Whether you consider yourself an audiophile or even just a casual music listener, you want to obtain the best listening experience that you can achieve. The addition of new and technologically advanced components can have a dramatic impact on your ability to fully enjoy your music. You can create a sound system tailored to your specific tastes, greatly enhancing your enjoyment of your favorite music.
This applies to whatever musical genre you prefer. Based on the type of music you listen to, some changes may apply more than others. This is also true concerning the way you listen to your music. If you like to rock the house you will be interested in different aspects of the listening experience than if your preference is for a more private listening session with you and your headphone amp. According to Forbes, the allure of high-end audio is that it can reproduce sound in a more life-like way than less advanced components.
Here are 5 audio tools that you can use to improve your listening experience.
1. High-Quality Headphones
Though this upgrade will not appeal to the house-rockers out there, if you use headphones at all you will be blown away by the difference a quality pair can make to your listening experience. After experiencing some top-of-the-line headphones you will wonder how you ever listened in any other way.
Many people take the easy route and simply use the headphones or earbuds that came with their phone or portable device for all of their musical listening. This is a mistake, as those stock headphones were designed to be inexpensive and to perform adequately, but not spectacularly. If your music is important to you, the addition of an excellent pair of headphones will forever change the way you listen to and appreciate it.
2. Headphone Amplifier
Using a digital to analog converter (DAC) with a headphone amplifier can make a big difference to your listening experience. The DAC helps eliminate interference and helps you obtain the best quality of sound. This is especially helpful when listening to digital music from a computer or portable music player.
Amplifiers are important to boost the volume and are a critical component when using higher impedance headphones. High-end headphones tend toward higher impedance and will greatly benefit from the addition of a headphone amplifier to your sound system. Amplifiers may include other features such as bass boost that will allow you to further control your sound. The combination of a great pair of headphones with a quality amplifier will allow you to discover nuances in your music that you never previously encountered.
True audiophiles are always in search of the ultimate listening experience, and many prefer the sound produced from vinyl records. When music is digitized for distribution as MP3 files or CDs, concessions need to be made regarding the original analog sound. Proponents of vinyl claim that there is a warmth to the music that is lost when it is converted to a digital format.
The market for vinyl records is growing in the United States. According to Billboard, 2017 was the 12th year in a row that sales of vinyl records increased. Using a high-end turntable with well produced vinyl records will let you more fully experience the music as the musicians and producers intended.
Your overall listening adventure can also be augmented by the packaging that is included with vinyl records. There is definitely something to be said for being able to read the albums’ liner notes without a magnifying glass.
4. Upgrade Your Cables
Cables are often a forgotten aspect of a sound system. While we all understand that they are required to connect our various components to create a complete system, most people spend little time considering a cable upgrade. This is a mistake, as using better cables can make a huge improvement in the quality of sound that your system produces.
High-end cables are available and are almost a necessity if your system is composed of other high-end components. These cables are manufactured to deliver the performance that your system demands in its attempt to produce the best possible sound quality. Custom cables can actually add dynamic features to the music, such as giving you a warmer bass sound.
There are also less expensive cabling options that will improve your system’s sound. Speaker wires are notorious for being undersized. You should be using a minimum of 12 to 14 gauge wire to connect your speakers. Upgrading your speaker cables is one of the best ways to improve your listening experience.
The cables that connect your peripheral components are also a prime target for upgrading. Connecting high-quality audio cables to your CD or tape player will reduce noise and interference, making the music sound better.\
5. Upgrade Your Speakers
Even if your preferred method of listening to music involves a dark room and a pair of headphones, there are likely to be occasions when you want to share your music with others. This is where your speakers come in, as they are the component through which you actually hear the music. Upgrading your speakers will have an immediate impact on the quality of sound that your system produces.
There are numerous varieties of speakers for you to choose from when upgrading. Of course, you want to match the speaker performance with that of the rest of your system such as the amplifier. You also need to consider the size of the room and the type of music that will be played most often. It is always a good idea to bring a favorite piece of music with you when choosing new speakers so you can hear how they treat that particular recording.
These are just some of the tools and upgrades that can improve your listening experience. You may find others that appeal to you in your search for the perfect system of sound reproduction.
What are your favorite devices tools and peripherals? Leave us a comment with your recommendations in the section below.