Portable and Desktop HiFi
The portable music generation has led to expectations of quality to go with the portability that have seldom been met. There are three dimensions to this lack of quality: The portable player itself, the compression that is often applied to music so that it will fit onto your portable device, and the the quality of replay devices (Headphones or amplifiers and speakers) that are plugged into your portable device.
We see a set of solutions, going from ultra portable to desktop HiFi:
- Earbud headphones – minimalist equipment to add to your portable player
- Headphones – Up the quality and comfort, but at the expense of bulk
- Portable speaker system – headphone-free listening with portability
- Desk-top HiFi – Traditional HiFi, but on a small scale with high quality
Each of these have benefits and drawbacks, so the choice is a personal one depending on the comfort you require for listening, and the quality of audio you’re willing to pay for.
The highly popular iPhone (other phones are available ) is a superb device for what it is, however it is not a piece of HiFi equipment, and is limited to only 16bits resolution for replaying music. This is fine for casual listening, however the discerning listener will quickly discover the limitations.
Improvements can be made with plugging in an external DAC, however it ceases to become portable.
The Astell and Kern AK120 is a high resolution portable HiFi player. Though it doesn’t have a phone or other smarts, it does include the ability to play 24 bit 192KHz music tracks, and act as a 24 bit DAC. The two micro SD slots are able to add to the internal 64Gb of storage, so that it can still store an impressive amount of uncompressed music (up to 192Gb – 256Gb in the Titan version). The Internal Battery is good for up to 15 hours of listening, which means your high resolution music can accompany you wherever you go. These are truly phenomenal music players, even without considering the portable format.
An easy win in the process to improve audio output from your portable device is to improve the headphones. Most of the mass-market headphones or ear-buds that come with portable music players, are somewhat limited in music quality. Replacing these with better quality ones is an instant win, and sure to impress. We have a number of headphones available, that cover a wide range of price points.
Click on THIS LINK to go to our Webstore to see the range available.
Desktop HiFi can range from a simple pair of powered speakers to a full-on HiFi sat on your desk. Personally my desk is somewhat cluttered with the paraphernalia of day-to-day working, so one of my criteria was size.
Here are some solutions we have picked out to cover a wide range of desk-top audio solutions with connectivity to portable music players and a PC/Laptop:
Powered / Active Speakers:
- Serene Audio Powered speaker £379
- Podspeakers MiniPod Bluetooth from £469
- DALI Kubik Active Speaker £899
Miniature HiFi / Conventional Speakers:
We have a range of other more conventional solutions for desktop HiFi too, based around the conventional format of amplifier and speakers, but small in stature though big on quality.
If you have a requirement that is a bit out of the box, feel free to give us a call on the phone number below to talk through your requirements. We’re often very inventive when it comes to fulfilling customer requirements, and much of what we sell can be listened to in our showroom before committing to buy.