Over the years, there have been various ways of reproducing music, from vinyl to cassette to CD, but digital music has revolutionised listening in ways that previously couldn’t have been imagined.
Digital music debuted well over a decade ago to disdain from audiophiles, and it has taken quite a while to be taken seriously.
We are now in a position where, alongside its convenience, digital audio’s quality is able to rival other forms.
Sonos is a world leader in wireless multi-room audio today. Their speakers can be set up remotely throughout the house, enabling users to manage and play music via Bluetooth or Airplay with an iOS or Android app.
Sonos claims to let you access “all the music on earth, in every room, wirelessly.” So what does this mean?
Sonos systems can access your existing digital music library wirelessly. You can access Internet radio, including years worth of stored radio content, instantly.
They are also partnered with streaming services like MOG, Spotify and Deezer, so you can stream an enormous wealth of digital music rapidly.
MOG has access to over 16 million songs. If you’re looking for a rarity or B-side from an obscure band or artist, they’re likely to have it.
All in all, you really can access virtually all recorded music, or as close to all as possible, from an iOS or Android application.
With Sonos’ new addition, the Playbar – a wireless, nine-speaker soundbar – on top of these abilities, you can get clear, dynamic stereo sound from your TV, which can be controlled by your TV remote.
The Playbar has features like ‘Speech Enhancement’ to bolster the frequency range covering the human voice and ‘Night Mode,’ which shortens the dynamic range so you don't bother others with sudden loud noises.
New technology is often judged by how smoothly it can transition into regular life, and in this way, Sonos excels. Its features add a huge level of comfort, and its quality can greatly enhance listening experiences.
The ways in which music can be engaged with today are numerous, and each has its own advantages. Digital music is widely compatible, and the ease with which systems like Sonos can be used is a testament to its functionality and ingenuity.
What else can I say?
My girlfriend was one of the lead singers in the
Australian opera company. She was passionate about her music, but didn’t have a
decent way to listen to it.
I suggested I build her a hi-fi unit.
I had a cabinetmaker build a sand-filled
cabinet to Wharfedale three-way specifications in a nice ash. Many
enthusiasts considered the Wharfedale books by CJ Briggs biblical truth at the
It had a 15” woofer with a red-painted magnet,
an 8” midrange and a 3” tweeter, pointing upwards. All with foam surrounds.
I can't remember the price but it was
horrendously expensive in student terms. Love is blind.
I built a Mullard specification amplifier and
they sent me a complimentary letter. It was all very expensive with its valves
and transformers. I mounted a Leak tone arm and cartridge in another
cabinet. I was pretty good with a soldering iron once. I am reasonably sure the
turntable was a Garrard 301.
Her and all her musician friends were very
impressed. A couple of them asked me to build equipment for them so I got to
I decided to try my hand at business, and
put advertisements in The Age classifieds.
"Student must sell wonderful hi-fi equipment cheap."
And that's how it all began.
It matters a lot.
There are no hard and fast rules apart from trying the speakers in different positions over a short period of time. It is common for people to leave their speakers in the one place from when they were originally delivered.
Generally in the common rectangular room, the speakers should be on one of the narrow walls. Which end of the room will be affected by where you sit. Too close will not allow for a good blending of the sound.
Then there's personal preferences. Do you prefer front stalls or back stalls? Positioning speakers in the corner will tend to reinforce bass. Is this what you want? You can have too much bass as well as too little.
Should you raise the speakers if it's practical? Angle them? What about different angles?
These are just some of the questions. With whatever speakers you purchase we would be pleased to offer you advice based on your individual circumstances and our real life experience.
What's the most important organ in your body. Heart, lungs or brain? Any major organ failure can incapacitate or kill you.
OK, not exactly the point.
What would you want in a car - a powerful engine, good suspension, safety features, four-wheel drive or great cornering?
There aren't neat rules.
Some people say that speaker differences matter more to them. But there are individual tastes and requirements that need to be taken into account. Just as you would assess a car by driving it with interest and thought, listen to possible audio equipment combinations carefully with your own media.
A very reasonable rule: a time-poor careless choice is unlikely to get the optimum results you would want, whatever the price range you wish to be in.
All parts of the sound system have to be integrated as a matching whole and tailored to the particular user.
Spend time listening in a place that allows careful listening choices without pressure. Whatever you choose will be listened to for many hours over the years.
Let's say your older TV was a CRT (think of the pre-flatscreen 'box' type
sets). It had a much bigger cabinet, and if it was good quality, larger
and better speakers to match.
In a modern normal LCD/LED, the manufacturer has to make more compromises
with sound. A very slim cabinet - especially as the price goes down - usually
means much smaller speakers placed for appearance reasons rather than the
The manufacturer knows that when actually buying a TV, the normal customer
looks at the appearance much more than he or she listens for sound quality.
So why not put the money into what people like before they buy? They'll
put up with the sound once they've purchased - they've bought the TV anyway.
This is why sound bars are now becoming more popular. Our Polk range offers an elegant and value-for-money solution for mid-level sets.
Inbuilt 'sound enhancements' can shorten the life dramatically of these
much smaller speakers. Particularly at higher volumes when trying to overcome
the poorer sound quality.
At least don't complain later amongst your family if you don't listen
carefully to the TV before purchase.
A good test is to turn off the normal picture by changing to one of the
digital radio channels and listening to the sound. You may get a shock,
but at least you'll have been warned!
The Metz aren't as slim as some but they do sound very good, as people
keep telling us.
What is important to you?
What is special about love?
Why can a Stradivarius violin cost
thousands of times an ordinary violin? There is no neat scientific formula.
In the age of the MP3, one may ask why
the ancient technology of vinyl hasn’t disappeared like eight-track, Minidisc
It is very simple. Good vinyl sounds a
lot better. This is why sales are booming, and we can't keep up with the demand
for quality turntable equipment.
A musical person can hear the difference.
'Omnidirectional,' 'warmer,' 'extra subtlety'’ are just some of the
descriptions that can be applied to vinyl.
Digital music has brought us a new world
of convenience and availability. But there are an increasing number of people
who want to enjoy the difference of analogue. It has a sound that can best be
described as more organic and sweeter.
Two years ago I was in Yemen. It was a time machine that was rich and rewarding. Vinyl can take us into a past world without having to leave home. The slight background noise gives the music a different reality, a world of poetry and romance.
We live in an analogue world and we hear
in analogue. When we receive sound through CD or MP3, it has been through a
multiplicity of steps before being converted to the soundwaves detected by our
ears. Digital stores in binary a series of
mechanical steps of different size. So while it can give an approximation, it can
never recreate the original recorded waveform in all its purity.
Vinyl gives a more faithful reproduction with less intervention between the studio and the lounge room.
In the old days of cheap vinyl, the
material was often recycled and the records themselves a lot thinner. It saved
Modern analogue record technology is far
removed from that of yesterday. It is produced with more rigour and
attention to quality. The unwanted noise effects traditionally associated with
older vinyl are minimised with improved turntable belt drives and their more precise speeds, as well as better tonearms and cartridges.
A relatively low-priced turntable and
tonearm like a Project Debut has far better quality than some of the extremely
expensive turntables of the past. And your ears will hear the difference.
A good turntable can be an art object in
itself and as well as having a tactile pleasure in handling. A well-kept
collection appreciates in value so also has its practical side. You can have a gallery at home as part of vinyl life.