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A Thorough Guide to Listening the Right Way

Guide to Life: Upgrade Your Music Library

Our obsession with hardware is here to stay — don’t expect an apology for it anytime soon. We’ll be the first to admit, though, that even the right headphones, speakers and amps are only as good as the source material you play through them. Garbage in, garbage out. The solution? Get more out of the tunes you love by upgrading your music library.

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Digital Dynamo

Widealab Aurender S10 Music Server

Most people are perfectly content to store and experience their music collection on a computer (we do it everyday at the office). The convenience of accessing massive amounts of music and rich metadata on a whim with just a click or a search is simply unparalleled. For audiophiles, though, this ease of use comes at…

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Compressed for size, not sound

Astell & Kern AK100 Portable Audio System

The Astell & Kern AK100 portable audio system ($699) aims to be the iPod of audiophiles. It’s the first portable music player capable of playing Mastering Quality Sound files (MQS) from online stores like HDtracks.com, in addition to a slew of other lossless formats like Ogg, FLAC, WAV, WMA, APE and yes, even MP3 audio…

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Headed Up

Denon AH-D7100 Artisan Headphones

Whether your music tastes run to Mahler, Parker, Bowie, or Phoenix, the right set of cans will make the experience more enjoyable. Initial reports suggest that Denon’s recently announced flagship AH-D7100 Artisan headphones are the best over ear offering to date from the lauded audio company — even surpassing the venerable AH-D7000s. Interestingly enough, the…

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Meze-merizing

Meze Classics Headphones

We’re not designers by trade, but we’re pretty sure there’s a rule that says the addition of wood only makes products more beautiful. The Meze Classics headphones are a perfect example, and lend credence to our lumber-loving design ethos. The Meze headphone line is the creation of award-winning industrial designer, Antonio Meze. Available in three…

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A sound engineering shift in the digital age

Mastered for iTunes

Like Harold Camping on the subject of Judgement Day, audiophiles are notorious for predicting the death of high quality audio at the hands of the digital music revolution. We certainly think today’s emphasis on MP3s has put a dent in the quest for high fidelity, but initiatives like Apple’s Mastered for iTunes series do give…

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Take it to 11

DEQX HDP-Express

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…

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An Excellent Entry Level Turntable with Digital Music Fiends in Mind

Pro-Ject Debut III Phono USB Turntable

Vinyl has an interesting problem of image management. Depending on your exposure and background, people who listen to it are often stereotyped into one of three different categories. Whether it’s old timers who could never keep up to date with newfangled tech, audiophile snobs who can’t bear to live without the warmth of its sound,…