How to Get the Most from Your Audio Setup at Home

Listening to music is easier now than it ever has been. In the age of Bluetooth, WiFi, and on-demand access to songs, music is easy to find, purchase, and play. It stands to reason that your extensive music library should have a sound system that supports it. To get the most out of your audio setup, implement these solutions that boost the bass and your home aesthetic.

Buy Audio Equipment That You’re Proud to Have on Display

Since the 80’s speakers have adopted the “modern aesthetic,” which is code for rectangular, black, and boring. One company that didn’t get that memo was Bang and Olufsen, whose White Beoplay A9 speakers are just as beautiful as their sound quality. All of their sound products manage to look incredible without sacrificing modern features like Bluetooth and compatibility.

Move Your Speakers to Maximize their Sound Quality

No matter what audio equipment you have, proper speaker placement can vastly improve your listening experience. To do this, find the location where you’ll most likely stand or sit while listening and try to get about 4-8 feet of separation between the speakers and walls. Place speakers so they face towards you and form an equilateral triangle with your listening position.

Buy Rock Wool Insulation or Foam Insulation for Walls

Look for proper sound treatment materials at your local hardware store or craft store. They’re typically cheap and customizable with some scissors and glue. Most audiophiles will put up insulation after creating a dedicated studio, but there are plenty of attractive choices that can look great in a living room. Soundproofing materials are available in practically every color.

Check Your Streaming Setting on Spotify or Apple Music

Streaming music services like Spotify and Apple Music don’t offer the highest quality files upon signup, but you can change that in the settings. Streaming services add a data saver option that changes the music quality to low (24 kbits/s) as a way to not waste your data. However, if you’re streaming using a WiFi connection, just switch to the maximum bit-rate available.

Modernize Old Equipment With a Few Easy Upgrades

Did you know that modern high-end receivers top out at 150w, while an older Gutenberg from the 80s references a whopping 270w? That alone is a good enough reason to keep your old stereo systems, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make them better! Upgrade your pre-streaming radios, computers, and sound systems with a radio box or a digital-to-analog converter.

Invest in Some Expensive Audiophile Studio Headphones

If you’re still using the same wired earbuds that you’ve repurchased time and time after they break each month, it’s time to upgrade to studio headphones. You can find some quality studio headphones in the $100-$300 range that won’t constantly break on you. For example, the Grado SR80E, which looks similar to old-timey radio equipment, sounds incredible for the price.

Keep Your Vinyl Player in Great Shape With These Tips

Many audiophiles will agree that vinyl records sound better than 8-tracks, cassettes, or other recording formats. However, turntables need a lot of upkeep to stay in working order, so buy a record brush and record cleaning kit to reduce clicks and pops. For general repairs, purchase a level, stylus scale, a record weight, shelving for proper record storage, and a phono preamp.

A Quality Soundbar Can Make a Huge Difference for TV Audio

As Smart TVs became more popular, many casual music lovers started using their televisions to listen to their favorite albums. Upgrade to a soundbar system that comes with separate subwoofers and surround speakers, but be careful not to buy one that’s too cheap. Soundbars in the $100-$500 range typically sound worse than the speakers on a 90’s television.

Remember: Dollars spent don’t equate to quality. Most modern recordings are made with cheap gear, even in pro studios, so avoid buying equipment you can’t afford or don’t need.