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Have You Heard High-End Audio?




Whenever you read about high-end audio, most of the focus is on the speakers. That’s because performance speakers are delicately crafted, intricately designed masterpieces of acoustical reproduction. While Sonos speakers may deliver what you want for background music or a workout soundtrack, they don’t compare to high-end audio components.

Manufacturers like Revel and Triad use rare materials and unique cabinet construction to create perfect audio playback. By crafting drivers from rare metals like beryllium and continually experimenting with everything from metal to paper to ensure cone rigidity, high-end speaker manufacturers keep edging closer to the perfect construction.

Though speaker concepts haven’t changed much over the decades, new materials and new science help manufacturers improve performance and develop more realistic sound imaging capabilities.


Once, there were vinyl records. Though their size made them inconvenient for travel, they boasted some of the best sound quality possible. That's because they played a continuous wave format. Music was reproduced precisely the way it was recorded, as a movement of vibrations through the air.

Then came the digital music formats. Compact discs usurped vinyl as the dominant format because they were less cumbersome to carry around. Listeners could walk around with personal CD players, or listen to their favorite albums on their daily commute. But to some, they also sacrificed sound quality. Why? Because digital formats are not continuous. They sample bits of information. How the sampling is done can affect audio quality, as it may not capture the full dynamics of the music.

The MP3 format created a revolution that made it possible to store millions of songs on a device that fit in your pocket - like the iconic iPod.  But it offered high convenience at the expense of sound quality. Depending on how you listened to music, like headphones or wireless speakers, you may not have noticed. But on high-end audio equipment, the difference is palpable.

Recently, we’ve experienced a digital music renaissance. Lossless files like FLAC, DSD, and MQA make it possible to listen to master-quality audio anywhere. Thanks to advances in digital storage, streaming, and more, you can listen to high-resolution, lossless tracks in your home -- without flipping through endless pages of a CD holder. When you listen through hi-fi audio equipment, you will notice the difference in quality.


Today, you can listen to music in just about any format you like. Vinyl has reemerged as a popular physical media, thanks to its excellent sound quality and fun features like album art and liner notes. High resolution, 24-bit sample tracks are available for download, and music services like TIDAL offer lossless CD-quality and MQA high resolution streaming. You might say it’s a golden age for audio quality.

But no matter what you’re listening to, it won’t sound right unless your system has been professionally calibrated to the room. Furniture, carpeting, artwork, and architecture can change the way your speakers perform in a listening room. By working with a professional, experienced high-end audio installer, you can ensure perfect sound imaging any time you listen.

If you’d like to work with Houston’s leader in high-end audio, Echo Workshop can help you get the most out of your system. Stop by our showroom and get a sense of the difference performance audio can make in your home.

Click here to schedule an appointment or give us a call at (713) 589-9222 today!

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