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Audio Takes Off During The Pandemic


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One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Not really the same type of "audio" as your article refers to, but the owner of Goodwins High End in Massachusetts told me in an email that business was great over the past year. Many people at home and listening. So increased interest in audio systems. A lot of purchases and upgrades based on phone consultation, without a trip to the shop.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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One of my dealers in town, Creative Audio, which had switched over mostly to home theatre a few years ago, has reverted back to mostly dealing with stereo this past year as the owner was telling me he sold so many Focal and Elac speakers and Naim and Rotel components during the pandemic he had trouble keeping up. My regular dealer also had quite a bump in sales.

I guess the pandemic makes us re-evaluate what matters in life. And music is life.

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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I found it interesting that wireless headphones and earbuds are now more popular than wired. Has anyone tried to make audiophile versions of these?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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8 minutes ago, Jud said:

I found it interesting that wireless headphones and earbuds are now more popular than wired. Has anyone tried to make audiophile versions of these?

For convenience, I listen to my Jabra 65t wireless IEM all the time. And I have lots of high quality wired headphones and DACs to choose from.

 

While the audio signal is compressed via bluetooth, I think most people would be surprised by how good they sound. And I think there are a couple of main reasons:

1) You can DSP these headphones to have a more neutral frequency response (or whatever response you want)

2) If you’re running an iPhone and your earbud supports AAC codec, the dedicated AAC encoding on iPhones is quite efficient and AAC is a sufficiently high quality codec that music sounds pretty great despite being lossy. (The same can’t be said of traditional Bluetooth codec like AptX or SBC or Android AAC encoding. While there are special lossless codecs, you need both the phone and the wireless earbud to be compatible which is a real nuisance).

 

That said, I don’t know what you would consider audiophile. I mean, once you get to $1000 headphones, yeah, even AAC compression starts to show its weaknesses compared to wired. Moreover, those ultraportable DACs built into these headphones also aren’t sufficiently audiophile anymore. You can’t really beat the laws of physics.

 

On the other hand, I think many people would consider their Bose/Sennheiser/Apple wireless headphones audiophile enough and I think that’s generally true, particularly for Sennheiser. 

Roon (convolution filter using Acourate) > ultraRendu > Peachtree X1 (Toslink) > Chord Hugo M-Scaler > Chord DAVE > Chord Etude > Dynaudio Confidence C1 Signature + Sunfire TS-EQ10 subwoofers

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