The incredible (and incredibly expensive) world of high-end personal audio

Subscribe: Products like Spotify and Beats rule the land — but if you want to spend more on your music, there’s no limit. Read the full article …


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The incredible (and incredibly expensive) world of high-end personal audio

Comments 46

  1. With the high impedance, the “amp” inside the Scarlet Solo should be able to deliver enough power to sound half decent, but it won't likely deliver what those headphones are really capable of, Sir Which Headphone amplifier is best for beyerdynamics DT 770 Pro 250 ohms, which also connects to my audio interface scarlett solo 2nd generation ?

  2. Have you done the "blind test" of all the audiophile systems in the world…cheap and expensive? Expensive equipment are not necessarily audiophile! There are also cheaper equipment than you have mentioned which are true audiophile. Conversely I can also pick up some expensive not-so audiophile equipment and do a blind test with cheaper audiophile equipment and would my verdict be justified?

  3. You only need bluetooth connectivity that match. Or is backwards compatible. That’s it.

    4.0 to 4.0, 4.1, 4.2 etc.

    Not 4.2 to 4.1, 4.0 etc.

    Trust yourself. Your ears are going to thank me.

  4. Then you wonder why the average retirement fund in your fifties is $25k. Hope you enjoy those glowing tubes when your hearing acuity dips to below 10k Hz in your eighties and you're subsisting on Ramen noodles in your nursing home

  5. The trick is, don't try your friends or an audio shop's high end setup. Since once you heard it and you are into music, there is no turning back. Hello to me now 30 headphones and 7 iems.

  6. Most of the money should go into the drivers since they're the largest source of colouration and distortion, not the amp.

  7. There are different ways people choose to spend their money. Some people like indulging in luxury handbags wallets, belts and clothes, some people like building high end pc's with top-tier components, some people buy expensive cars or mod out enthusiast cars over and over again with many expensive parts also. The listening experience is no different. We choose to pay what some may consider outrageous amounts on audio equipment because to 'us' (not you), it is worth it. Sure you might disagree but it just means we value different things differently and that's totally fine, having different opinions is what it means to be human.

  8. lol. he's got a $1700 pair of headphones and a $200 dac/amp combo. You should be spending at least half of what the headphones cost on a dac and amp. It would be better to spend the same amount on both headphones and dac/amp.

  9. Schiit audio are former MUSE guys that designed the Andromeda and amps designed to power the 2 ohm apogee scintilla. They made choices to cut overhead and sell high end quality sound at realistic prices. In the past, any headphone amp with half the power of the Jotunheim would cost 3 grand from a vanity brand.

  10. If you spend 8 hours+ sitting at a desk working, playing games, listening to music, watching youtube videos, you can justify spending 150-250 dollars to buy an external dac/headphone amp and a good set of headphones. If you already have the headphoens, just spend 75 dollars on a fiio e10k.

  11. I think the quality of other streaming platforms like spotify have high enough bitrates to sound just as good on high end equipment, to be honest I have some locally stored music with even lower bitrate than spotify premium and I can't tell the difference.

  12. Dont get fooled folks. A LOT of this stuff is bullshit. The pono and sony device at the end are absolutely false, they are no better. Watch videos on hires audio being debunked to find out. Basically the audio format we use is as good as it gets for humans. 44100 hz and 16 bit depth. The most important prt of the sound are the first three. Dac -> Amp -> Headphones. Again there is a lot of bullshit with that as well. A good dac and amp is a good dac and amp. The diminishing returns get like exponentially higher with price. Headphones are super subjective as well, often you will get used to whatever pair you have and swear everything else sounds bad.

  13. help, im gonna buy an Beyerdynamic dt990 250ohm for my computer, i decided to buy the schiit magni 3 for the amp, but do i need a dac? and what does that do? its just for the best sound on my computer for music

  14. A decade ago I picked up a set of Sennheiser HD600's for $190. I've heard better but none of them can beat the 600's for the price i paid and I'm not really that into heavy bass. I do use a Schitt DAC (Modi 2)and headphone amp (Asguard 2) and you won't find better gear for the price in my opinion.

    None of this gear is top of the line these days but it's very good at a reasonable cost.

  15. I have S7 with 200gb micro disc and a iFi Micro iDSD that I use portable. I will NEVER stream my music. Too many variables between the connections.

  16. You forgot the most important link in the chain, especially for older releases, the release that the uncompressed digital files are sourced from. Many albums are remastered; sometimes they're better, but usually they're not. Unless the digital files are coming from the best mastered version you won't be getting the best audio.

  17. If you ever want to hear a bunch of delusional BS then just listen to audiophiles talking. They build up their listening skills to the point of ridiculousness. I once heard an audiophile claim that he could hear the difference between the two sets of speaker outputs on the back of his amplifier, based on the fact that one was an inch further away from the components that were feeding it. Of course when you suggest a blind listening test, they say things like "well those tests are flawed" and other such crap. They just want everyone to think that they have "golden ears" and are better at listening than the rest of us. The whole industry is an outlet for egos and delusion.

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