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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