Some valuable audio tools I use regularly. Hardware and software. Software are all for Mac OS X platform, some of them also works on Windows and sometimes GNU/Linux.
Lossless, way of life
Lossy music is bad, really bad. It cuts extreme lows and highs supposely ear can’t hear. Not true.
Recently I also discovered Bluetooth APT-X, the protocol you might use for wireless speaker or your car, compress also the audio data to transport it, and this is also using a compression algorithm. Guess what, compressed music time compressed transport doesn’t make a great sound.
So, get GB of memory. This means hard-drive (spinning is fine) – and their backup. Mobile users could get either inexpensive MicroSD or expensive audio player / smartphone when there’s no option (iPhone users, I am with you).
Once you have in mind a track is 30 to 60 MB (yes you read me right), you can start enjoy the true sound.
Audirvana Plus ($74)
One of the best of its kind to decode audio tracks. Concept is to shunt what OS X is normally doing and so reduce a lot of jitter. Pair it with with a DAC for the full enjoyment.
Helps you to tag properly your digital audio files. Multi-platform.
A very good CD Audio ripper feature Secure Rip: the fingerprint of your rip is compared to an online database to make sure you get no error. XLD is also my favorite tool to convert FLAC to ALAC
Nothing really high end below, just good gear far from fancy shop selling you expensive stuff.
- Audio Engine D1 DAC
- Philips Fidelio X1 (and now X2) headphone, great value but I had a very average experience about their customer service in Europe
- Sonos Play:1. Those guys aren’t new on the market and I was *very* late to play with their technology. This is perfect for kitchen and bathroom, or even bedroom. They’re about a new version of their mobile App to be used as a calibration system and get an even better sounds in difficult rooms.