Best audiophile equipment: headphones, speakers, amplifiers, DAC


From Musician: The world of high-end audio is often tainted by nonsense. Precious (usually snake oil-like) materials and terminology are used to sell products at high prices. Faux-science aims to entice you into thinking that you need overpriced accessories, such as a 2-inch thick speaker cable.

Once you start buying equipment that is close to the high three or low four digits, it is difficult to distinguish between what is good and simply good-looking. Never fear! I have listened to thousands of hours of music in an acoustically processed home studio through many of the most popular high-end headphones, speakers and amplifiers on the market. Below you will find my current favorites and some information about the role of each project.

Before you continue reading, be sure to check our Cheap (or free!) tips on how to get more benefits from home audio settings.

Interested in other audio suggestions?Check out the tips in our other guides, including Best wireless headphones, The best bluetooth speaker, Best turntable, with The best equipment for learning music.

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Before wasting money!

consider where is it You will listen before you decide what You should be listening.

The sound quality you hear in the room will always be as good as the room itself. In other words, a pair of $250 speakers sounded better in a room treated to suppress reverberation than a pair of $10,000 speakers in an empty room with bare floors and walls.

When it comes to room dynamics for high-end listening, what exactly is “bad”? Usually this means that the sound waves bounce too much, giving the so-called long reverberation decay time to the room. This is the length of time it takes for the sound to disappear when it bounces off the wall. Try this: clap your hands loudly in the center of the room and listen to the attenuation-the echo of the clapping sound. The best way to shorten the decay time is to fill the room with as much soft porous material as possible. This controls audio reflections, suppresses them, allows you to hear more focused sound waves from the speakers, and reduces cluttered sound waves bouncing in the room.Sound-absorbing panels (usually rock wool insulation material wrapped in cheap fabric and hung on the wall or ceiling) are used in rooms that have been properly acoustically treated. Recommended insurance amount Space for them.

Bass frequencies of trembling and thumping are more difficult to tame than high frequencies (such as splashing cymbals and vibrato guitars), and generally reduce the audio quality you get in smaller rooms. It takes a lot of porous absorption to make large speakers sound great in more compact spaces such as bedrooms. If you like big speakers with big bass, please set up the stereo in a more spacious place.

Generally speaking, the softer and larger your room, the bigger the system and the better their sound. If you have to set up a stereo in a room with little or very reverberant sound and acoustically “bright”, I suggest you buy smaller speakers or just wear headphones. (But don’t worry, great headphones are Astonishing.)

When improving your listening room, it’s worth noting that investing in some acoustic treatment is more cost-effective than investing in more audio equipment. For a few hundred dollars, you can buy or build enough panels for a medium-sized space. In my experience, hanging some panels and curtains on bare walls can improve the sound quality than any single device.


Sennheiser is one of the top brands in high-end headphones. The company produces many models that are ideal for immersive home listening (such as the HD6XX shown here).

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