What You Need to Know When Buying High-End Audio Speakers

What You Need to Know When Buying High-End Audio Speakers

Investing in high-end audio is a commitment to getting the highest quality music possible in your Southlake, Texas home. If you're only interested in a bit of ambiance while you cook, perhaps this kind of system is not right for you. But if you're the kind of person that categorizes their CD and album collections by eras, genres or themes—it’s time to upgrade your system. The right pair of speakers should be invisible, a transparent window that lets sound come through naturally. If that’s the kind of experience you want, check out how to find the right speakers: 

SEE MORE: 3 Ways to Fill Your House With Music

Things to Look For in High-End Speakers:

  • Sound Characteristics: Certain speakers are better at producing different styles of sound, from subtle tones to ‘bright' tones with a lot of trebles. Depending on your musical preferences, we find speakers tuned to the styles you like.
  • Frequency response: This is a good way to gauge how pure a sound your speaker can create. It is the amount of frequencies your speaker produces, the fuller the range, the more realistic your audio will be. You also want this range to be flat, meaning that certain frequencies aren’t overwhelmingly louder than others.
  • Cone Material: Your speaker has three main components: a cone, a coil, and a magnet. The coil sits in front of the magnet; the coil and magnet interact to create a vibration which is then amplified by the cone. As air comes through the come, it may flex at certain frequencies and distort the sound. What you want is the sturdiest material possible to avoid any flexing.
  • Cone Variations: Audiophiles want to hear a range of high, medium and low frequencies. High-end speakers often include multiple cones, each corresponding to a particular frequency to create the most accurate sound reproduction possible.
  • Design: You need to have the right design so there’s not too much echo within your speaker cabinet. Everything also needs to be tightly packed to avoid any movement that can create disruption.
  • Tweeters: Your tweeters are important in getting higher frequencies to stand out. To reproduce high-frequency, they need to be light enough to move quickly, yet strong enough that they hold their shape at loud volumes. High-end manufacturers work to adjust the design and material of your tweeters to get the best results.

Give Your Speakers a Test Drive

Ultimately, listening to music is a subjective experience. For you to figure out which speakers sound best, you have to hear them yourself. Just because a speaker is the most expensive or highest rated, doesn't mean it's necessarily the right one for you.

Many AV technicians like DB Media Solutions have showrooms where you can test drive speakers before you buy them. Let us know what you’re looking for in your system and we’ll pick out a few options for you to check out.

Consider Where You'll Use Your Speakers

For one, large speakers in a smaller room can result in too much bass and muddled sound. Meanwhile, small ones will be unable to fill up larger rooms and result in weak, overworked systems

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What’s New in High-End Audio?

What’s New in High-End Audio?

High-end audio is constantly evolving – both on the speaker side and on the music side. If you haven’t kept up with the latest news in high-end audio, then keep reading! We’ve summed up the latest innovations and happenings in the world of hi-fi audio for homeowners throughout the Dallas, Texas area.

The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper's' Album Like You’ve Never Heard It Before

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band,” the famous album is getting new stereo and 5.1 surround mixes. This project was overseen by Giles Martin, the son of Beatles producer George Martin, and engineer Sam Okell. They used the original tapes to remix the album and produce a fresh new sound for each song. If you’re a fan of the Beatles, be on the lookout for the new stereo mix. The release date for the remix is May 26, 2017.

High-End Headphones?

While we don’t see dedicated listening rooms disappearing in favor of headphones anytime soon, recent advances in technology have made high-fidelity music much more easily attainable in headphone format. For true audiophiles, this is fantastic news. After all, you’re going to want to be able to listen to music while you’re on the go. If you’re unsure which headphone brand is a good fit, give Denon a try. Their headphones are crafted with the same quality workmanship as their speakers.

SEE ALSO: What You Need to Know When Buying High-End Audio Speakers

Start Streaming Master Quality Audio

The days of MP3-quality audio are long past. You’re probably familiar with high-fidelity music streaming services like Tidal and Deezer. But did you know that as of this year, anyone subscribed to Tidal’s HiFi package can stream Master Quality Authenticated audio at no extra cost? It really is the best of both worlds: high-resolution audio with the instant gratification of streaming services.

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The Best File Formats for High-End Audio

The Best File Formats for High-End Audio

Music is continuously evolving. Just a few decades ago, CD players were considered “high tech,” yet now you can store thousands of files virtually and have them accessible at the push of a button. You might be familiar with different music file storage types like WAV, AAC, FLAC, AIFF, or DSD, but are you aware that the type of file and how it’s encoded has a huge impact on sound quality?

For a high-end audio system in your Texas home, you need more than just quality speakers—you need music files that are able to reproduce the top-notch sound of the original recording. To learn about these file formats and the difference they can make in the listening experience, read on. 

Why File Format Matters

When you think of music files, MP3 probably comes to mind. It’s a very popular method of storing music because you can hold a lot of songs without taking up much space. However, MP3 uses lossy data compression, which means the smaller the file, the lower the music quality. It used to be the case that if you wanted high-fidelity sound, you had to store huge music files, but new advances in file format types have made it possible to preserve original sound quality while keeping storage size small.

The rule of thumb when it comes to file formats is always to go lossless when you can. Some of the most popular lossless file types include FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec), AIFF (Audio Interchange File Format), and DSD (Direct Stream Digital). Each of these formats has its own merits, but honestly, the file format isn’t as important as the coding, which brings us to MQA.

MQA: A Must-Have for High-End Audio

MQA, which stands for Master Quality Authenticated, is a type of encoding method that reduces the size of high-fidelity music files without any loss in quality. Developed by Meridian Audio, MQA makes it possible to not only store tons of lossless music on your computer but also stream it! While popular music streaming services like TIDAL have not yet made MQA publically available, the launch is likely not far off.

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How to Build the Perfect Listening Room

How to Build the Perfect Listening Room

For audiophiles in the Colleyville, Texas area, there’s one room that you definitely need in your home: a listening room. As the name suggests, a listening room is a space dedicated to the enjoyment of high-end audio. In this blog, we cover the main things to keep in mind when building a listening room so that you end up with a truly immersive music experience.

SEE MORE: 3 Ways to Fill Your Home With Music

Create the Right Environment

While it’s true that you can really use any space for a listening room, such as your living room or office, the best listening rooms are spaces that are dedicated for that purpose. That way, you can design the environment to be perfect for high-end audio, as opposed to accommodating multiple functions in the space. Your listening room should be a completely separate space that is able to be closed off from the rest of the house, removing any distractions that could get in the way of your music enjoyment.

Choose the Best Equipment

For a dedicated listening room, not just any speakers or audio equipment will do. In this blog on buying high-end audio speakers, we cover the characteristics you should look for when inspecting different speakers, but another topic worth discussing is brand. You simply cannot get the same level of pure, clear sound from cheap speakers, so do yourself a favor and choose a quality brand from the start. Here are our favorite audio brands—any of these companies will provide reliable, robust A/V equipment perfect for your listening room.

  • Triad: Handcrafted in the USA, Triad’s loudspeakers are custom-built to fit your needs, including custom paint and veneer. Triad uses top-notch components and proprietary engineering to ensure each speaker offers premium sound.
  • Denon: From amplifiers to analog turntables, Denon’s selection of high fidelity audio equipment leaves nothing to be desired. Their speakers are engineered to make it easy to enjoy pure sound.
  • Integra: Integra has been around since 1969, and in that time, their A/V equipment has only gotten better. Whether you’re looking for Dolby Atmos surround sound or the perfect amplifier for your system, Integra has you covered.

Optimize the Acoustics

The most expensive speakers in the world won’t yield the type of sound you want for a listening room if the room’s acoustics are bad. Your audio/video integrator should design and implement your listening room with acoustics in mind from the very beginning. For new construction, your integrator should get involved during the initial planning of the building so that your room ends up with the appropriate ceiling height, room shape, and size for optimal acoustics. Other factors that can significantly impact acoustics include speaker positioning and placement as well as the objects and materials in the room, such as glass cabinets or bulky furniture.

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