Our Favorite Audiophile-Grade Gear for Serious Listening

Your very first speaker purchase must be a quality set for your desktop. It is, after all, where you most likely invest a great deal of your time in your home. For listening at my desk, I enjoy the iLoud Micro Monitors ($350) They’re a little set that sound extraordinary for their size, and they have some remarkably amazing bass reaction.

As far as bookshelf speakers go, my preferred set is the KEF LS50 Wireless II ($ 2,126 per set) They have the greatest, most in-depth noise I’ve ever spoken with a set of speakers their size. The more affordable KEF LSX ($950 per set) design are likewise excellent, as are the wired KEF LS50 Meta ($ 1,600 per set)

The KEF and iLoud designs I simply pointed out are powered. They have amplification built-in, and they draw their power from an electrical outlet, so they can be utilized without a devoted amplifier. If you currently have an amp (or if you prepare to purchase one), a set of passive speakers is the very best method to go. Those hook up with routine speaker cable televisions, and you will not require to stress over plugging them into the wall.

Some passive bookshelf designs I enjoy are the ELAC Debut 2.0 ($400 per set) and JBL 4309 ($ 2,000 per set) The ELACs are a terrific entry-level speaker that will quickly take you into audiophile area with the best amp, where the 4309 basically sound remarkable with anything powering them. I’m a fan of enjoyable, energetic noise when I’m listening on speakers, and both of these designs provide that, however with sufficient information that you will not feel you’re compromising anything.

Moving far from bookshelves and onto passive floorstanding speakers, I’ll highlight 2 extremely various designs. The Paradigm Monitor SE 6000 F ($ 1,000 per set) are a terrific set of speakers for those who like things a bit more medical and exact– they’re remarkable for symphonic music, jazz, and folk, thanks to their amazing information. Some audiophiles choose the kind of tight accuracy you obtain from speakers like the Paradigms. The Klipsch Forte IV ($ 4,998 per set) are more vibrant. They are completely tuned, mid-century– inspired work of arts. They include hand-made wood cabinets and beautiful horn tweeters, and the 15- inch passive bass radiators on the back of the sealed speakers make them punch much deeper and with more authority than an expert fighter. If you’re searching for the most enjoyable you’ve ever had listening to Hendrix at high volume, speakers like these are the method to go.

Your taste might vary from my own! The very best method to discover your preferred high-end speakers is to utilize your ears. Discover a regional dealership and go listen to numerous designs prior to you purchase. For referral, other brand names that make outstanding speakers nowadays consist of Yamaha, Bowers & & Wilkins, Focal, Bang & & Olufsen, and Polk Audio, amongst lots of other more shop brand names.

You’ll never ever understand how a set of speakers really sounds in your space up until you get them there, so attempt to evaluate them in the house. Many high-end dealerships permit some kind of this, however big-box merchants might not, so inspect the return policy on anything you purchase.

Digital-to-Analog Converters

The Chord Mojo ($500) is a DAC with an earphone amp built-in.

Photograph: Chord Electronics

Digital-to-analog converters (DACs) take the digital audio signal from your audio files and transform them to analog audio signal that you can send out (through an amplifier) to earphones and speakers. Every piece of digital innovation you own that features an earphone jack currently has a DAC chip inside it, however it’s typically a quite low-cost one. If you path your signal through a devoted DAC– one with much better parts and a greater develop quality than whatever’s in your phone or computer system– then you’ll get greater fidelity out of your digital files.

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