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What You Should Know About High-End Audio


Now that the MP3 is officially dead and streaming services like Spotify and Tidal are offering lossless audio subscription tiers, it’s the perfect time to invest in a high-end audio upgrade for your New York City property. But if you think all you need to get optimized sound is a wireless speaker taking up space on your bookshelf, you’re in for a disappointment. Instead, top-quality audio is about choosing the right components and optimizing your space for the perfect listening experience. Interested in learning more? Keep reading.

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Understanding Speakers

While they’re not always the first place to start building your system, many homeowners believe speakers are the most important part of an audio chain. But instead of scouring online forums and blogs about which speaker sounds best, you have to consider how they’ll sound in your space.

No two speaker brands are the same, just like no two rooms are exactly the same. Taking an in-depth look at the cabinet crafting, the materials of the drivers and other details will help inform your decision on which speaker will sound best in your space. However, there’s never a substitute for actually listening to the units.

The Audio Chain

Many systems today use AV receivers, which feature multiple inputs for multiple sources. AV receivers combine a radio tuner, pre-amplifier and amplifier into a single, relatively compact package. That way you can enjoy multiple functions out of a single device rather than one function out of many. Each device contained within the receiver is part of an audio chain – the series of components that begin at the source and end at the speaker to create high-end audio.

Every component of your chain is important. For instance, if you’re using expensive audio components but using a 10 year old iPod as your source, the audio will only sound as good as the iPod’s MP3 quality. Similarly, if you’re streaming lossless audio from Spotify but using a sub-par receiver, it may not have the bandwidth necessary to send out a lossless signal to the rest of your components.

One piece of the chain that’s often overlooked is the cabling. While connecting a system in a single room is relatively simple when you use HDMI cords, streaming throughout your property can be challenging. Often, a professional installer has to determine what kind of cabling they should use throughout your space and craft at detailed map of the design before it can be installed.

Optimizing Your Room

Your audio chain isn’t the only part of ensuring top-quality audio in your home. You also have to optimize the room you intend to listen in. That could include soundproofing your walls, adding acoustic treatments and it could even inform the type of furniture you use in the space.

Sound happens when a source pushes vibrations into the air and those vibrations bounce off of the surrounding objects until they reach your ear. In an empty room, there are often a lot of hard surfaces and few soft ones, so the sound continues to bounce around, which creates an echo. Acoustic treatments can help minimize the echo. They work in conjunction with other soft surfaces, like carpeting and furniture, to absorb the excess soundwaves and create a single, resonant acoustic environment. That, coupled with a high-end audio chain, can help create the perfect sounding system you’re looking for.


Are you ready to enjoy better sounding music in all of your spaces? Contact ACS for more information today!

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