Making predictions is a risky business. You can look like a genius if things work out the way you say they will, or a doofus if they don’t. In my annual “State of Streaming” feature, which was published February 15 on Simplifi, I made four predictions: Spotify would finally launch its lossless music service; Apple would release its long-awaited classical-music app; Apple might introduce an enhanced version of AirPlay that supports hi-rez audio (and possibly spatial audio as well); and Tidal might make it easier for subscribers to listen to Atmos-encoded multichannel music. I was quite confident about the first two predictions, moderately confident about the third, and only mildly so for the last one.
Canada’s PSB Speakers was founded in 1972 by Paul Barton. PSB celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 1 (Canada Day) last year with the release of the Passif 50 ($2499/pair, all prices in USD): a retro-inspired design that evokes PSB’s Passif I and Passif II models from the 1970s.
Read more: Active Voices: An Interview with Paul Barton and Rob Nicholls of PSB Speakers
Typically, articles predicting developments for the coming year come out in early January, or even late December. But here we are, two weeks into February, and Simplifi finally has a feature outlining what we can expect from music streaming in 2023. Do I feel badly about this delay? Not in the least. Because when it comes to lateness, I have nothing on Spotify and Apple Music. Those streaming giants have both missed self-imposed deadlines by well over a year. With that excuse out of the way, here are three streaming stories I’ll be watching in 2023.
Sometime last spring, it became clear to me that I’d be upgrading my hi-fi setup before the year was out. Not that I was dissatisfied with the gear I already owned—quite the contrary. I loved listening to that system, which comprised an NAD C 658 streaming DAC-preamp ($1999, all prices in USD), a pair of Elac Navis ARF-51 active floorstanding speakers ($3999.96/pair), and an SVS Micro 3000 subwoofer ($899.99). That system has provided countless hours of listening pleasure for me, my music-loving missus, and visitors to our home.
Since the 1970s, record labels and audio manufacturers have been trying to convince music lovers to move beyond two-channel stereo. Music doesn’t just happen in front of us, argue proponents of surround music; it happens all around us. We could get a better experience if we added speakers beside and/or behind the listening position.
Read more: Mix Master: PMC's Heff Moraes on Making Music in Atmos
How would you rather spend a glorious Canadian autumn weekend? Walking in the park? Taking a drive in the country? Raking the leaves? Or roaming the halls of a generic suburban hotel?
Lately, I’ve been enjoying the SoundStage! Audiophile Podcast, which is hosted by Brent Butterworth, senior editor of SoundStage! Solo, and Dennis Burger, senior editor of SoundStage! Access. Brent and Dennis tackle a wide range of topics and do a ton of preparation for each episode. The production is polished, the discussions are well-informed and thought-provoking, and the presentation is casual and inviting.
I never wanted to purchase new speakers. I never wanted to go digital. It all happened by accident.
Read more: Evolving Hi-Fi: My Journey with a Fleet of Devialet Silver Phantoms
The greatest audio show on earth is back. After a two-year, pandemic-induced hiatus, the 2022 Munich High End show took place from May 19 to 22. The SoundStage! Network sent a four-person editorial team to Bavaria: founder and publisher Doug Schneider; editor-in-chief Jeff Fritz; Edward Kramer, editor of SoundStage! Australia; and Jonathan Gorse, a UK-based contributor to SoundStage! Ultra. Together, they filed 18 dispatches from Munich, which you can find on SoundStage! Global.
Read more: Simplifi'd Hi-Fi at Munich High End–and Elsewhere
When it comes to consuming music, you can split the SoundStage! team into a few broad categories: those who are big into physical media, those who have fully embraced streaming, those who rely on downloaded and ripped music, and those with feet in all these camps.
Across the SoundStage! Network, you’ll find coverage of all kinds of audio products: high-end gear on SoundStage! Ultra, affordable components on SoundStage! Access, headphones and accessories on SoundStage! Solo, lifestyle audio here on SoundStage! Simplifi, portable Bluetooth speakers on SoundStage! Xperience, news and events on SoundStage! Global, and all manner of gear on the mothership—SoundStage! Hi-Fi.
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