Modern Sound by Pete



Music plays a big part of our lives, it can be heard almost everywhere we go and is the soundtrack to the daily occurrences on our planet.  

However, due to changes in speaker technology and marketing, the modern music listener has somewhat changed.  When choosing to relax and listen to music at home people will now often overlook the traditional HiFi set up. This means many people will settle for listening to music on portable wireless speakers, headphones, and sound bar speakers or perhaps even worse the TV speakers. Although these devices are capable of playing music, a lot of them will not produce a true sound.  If you are passionate about music then there should be no compromise when it comes to sound quality.  The traditional two channel stereo setup still reigns supreme over all other speaker types when it comes to delivering accurate audio in your home.  

Owning a proper HiFi system will change how you listen to music. High Fidelity reproduction of music allows the listener to appreciate their favourite melodies sounding exactly how the artist originally intended, with clarity and experiencing their full depth.  When choosing to build a music system from scratch or looking to upgrade your existing home listening experience you should first be considering purchasing these components; an amplifier and some speakers, then add a decent music-playing source.  

The Amp

Like the engine of your car, this will provide the power for your system and drive the speakers. Opting for an integrated amp can be more economical than separate units and becomes a lot more practical housing multiple system components in one box, meaning there is no need for a separate preamp and power amplifier. Many integrated amps these days will also include DAC (digital to analogue converters) and wireless connectivity for digital music. There is also a number of networking devices available to connect to your amp integrating the system into your homes multi-room speaker set up should it be required.

The Speakers

When selecting a pair of loud speakers there are many options available. Speakers vary in size, appearance and performance.  When choosing a pair of speakers find a model that suits your audio and visual tastes, you want to make an investment that you will be happy with, one that will deliver years of listening pleasure. Take into consideration that speakers should acoustically suit your home environment and you may also wish form them to match the interior design. When shopping for speakers it's best to Listen to music that you are familiar with to audition speakers, take along a few different styles in a playlist and use these to help you find the right sound for you.

The music source

Good audio equipment is important but equipment connected in your setup can only produce sound as good as the quality of source music you put into it. This makes the decision when choosing which music format to listen to the most important. Here is a quick guide to which methods of playback will sound great on your system.

Digital music is the most popular way for people to listen to music, wherever possible avoid MP3s and  listen to uncompressed lossless audio files (WAV or FLAC) as these will deliver high resolution sound enhancing the music listening experience. Music streaming services are also paying attention to the increasing demand for high-resolution audio with Tidal and Deezer both offering HiFi subscription services and Spotify rumoured to be joining this market soon.

Incorporating a CD player into the system is a good option for music listeners even if no longer primarily buying music on CD a lot of people already own a huge back catalogue of music purchased on disc throughout the years and for some this could stem back over nearly a 30 year period which means there is a huge amount of high quality music material stored in the home just waiting to be enjoyed.

Finally, maybe it is time to dig out those old vinyls and connect a turntable to your HiFi. Anybody who has previously listened to a vinyl recording will be familiar with the warmth that those recordings provide when listening. Although vinyl never really went away, an increasing number of bands and popular artists are releasing music on vinyl along with record labels re-pressing classic albums. This resurgence of vinyl music has become popular among a younger crowd of music listeners and seen the format appearing available to purchase from local music stores and online record shops.