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.