Adding this component to your home audio system can unveil new layers of realism to sounds and vastly improve your listening experience, even if you already own most expensive gear out there. How and why the DEQX HDP-Express ($1,950) works is a bit complicated, so we’ll spare you the lengthy audio lesson and stick with the basics.

Accurate sound playback involves properly reproducing the amplitude, time, and phase of audio material. Good speakers do a decent job of correctly reproducing the amplitude, but they all fail at preserving the time and phase to some degree. Timing issues are introduced by speakers because more than one driver is involved in reproducing the individual frequencies in a particular sound. Similarly, phase errors are introduced because all of a speaker’s drivers fail to move perfectly in and out in step with each other, and with the speaker’s input signal. Both of these error types are compounded when multiple speakers are involved. The DEQX HDP-Express corrects for both of these issues and adjusts for acoustic anomalies in the room, creating an immersive experience unobtainable by the system on its own.

Setup involves connecting the component either between an analog preamp and power amp, or directly to a digital source. Next, users must measure the room and speaker distances with a microphone, which DEQX’s software then uses to optimize the audio system. Subsequently, if you don’t have this equipment installed by the pros, you’ll have to purchase either a standard ($279) or reference ($935) calibration kit to make it all work.

Given its price tag, this obviously isn’t something you’d purchase for your generic home-theater-in-a-box, but for those who’ve spent anywhere from 10k and beyond on their system, the secret sauce that DEQX HDP-Express can bring to the table is worth considering.

Buy Now: $1,950