Digital Audio overview. Since the introduction of digital recording in the 1970s with technologies like pulse code modulation (PCM) the quality and transfer of music has seen a revolution in the way we select and listen. The iPod brought a second wave of this revolution with thousands of songs available at the press of a button. Unfortunately as hard drive storage space was initially limited, MP3 compressed recording became the norm. It is worth noting that a CD contains approx 25% of the recorded information of an LP or master recording whilst MP3 contains approx 16% of a CD or roughly 5% of the original studio master. For this reason musicians like Neil Young, Dave Gilmore and many classical players are promoting the concept of better playback quality via high-resolution digital music.
Whilst playing vinyl records (LPs) is a very good way of experiencing superb quality it is impractical for many day to day uses. So we need and in fact demand a better method of playback. By ripping our CD collection in lossless Flac or WAV form is a great way to at least retain the original CD quality of sound when stored digitally. Or purchase on-line, hi-resolution music - some sites like Linn or Naim offer very high quality music to download with essentially the same content as the original studio master recording. Exciting!
DACs - a digital to analogue converter -will convert your computer or media player music files with exceptional quality when played via your hifi or 'phones. These often connect via a USB cable. Talk to our expert staff. We hear music in analogue form, so the quality of conversion from digital to analogue is of paramount importance to your listening pleasure. Brands such as Oppo, Naim, Musical Fidelity, Arcam and Chord (the Mojo model pictured above receives awesome reviews) make exceptional digital music gear including DACs.
Networked stand-alone digital music systems. Sonos, MusicCast by Yamaha, Bowers & Wilkins, Bose, Naim offer single and multi-room digital music solutions.
Yamaha AVentage home theatre receivers, with MusicCast offer multi-room, and whilst primarily designed for movie and TV playback, offer excellent hi-res digital music capabilities - ask our staff. Crossover vision products like Oppo Blu-ray/DVD/CD players also offer streaming of high-resolution music and SACD playback. These are referred to as Universal players.
Bluetooth is a wireless digital connection from your phone or tablet that does not require a network. Excellent for people on the go. The quality of bluetooth audio in recent times has improved vastly, Bose have excellent portable digital music players.