The Absolute Sound April 2021

The Absolute Sound is the world’s preeminent source of expert reviews, features, and commentary on high-performance audio and music.

United States
Nextscreen LLC
11 期號


7 分鐘

Thank You, Paul Seydor Paul Seydor’s review of the Bluesound Node 2i streaming DAC in the September, 2020 issue actually changed my life. I’ve read many of Seydor’s reviews over the past 30 years, and they are always thoughtful and helpful. In particular, his review of the Harbeth Monitor 40.2 speakers prompted me to carefully audition them, and although I haven’t bought a pair yet, I’m thinking about it. But his review of the Bluesound Node 2i streaming DAC was so compelling that I bought it immediately. Of course, the fact that the Bluesound list price is $549 was a contributing factor—as Paul pointed out, that’s less than most cables. But more to the point was Paul’s remark that the Bluesound was a great way to get into streaming audio. Being…

3 分鐘
high-end dna

“The rich history, design expertise, and musical ethos these manufacturers bring to affordable speakers simply can’t be matched by mass-market brands.” This issue’s focus on speakers under $10,000 highlights just how much performance your audio dollar buys today. We’ve assembled an outstanding group of products, consisting of three stand-mount speakers (Elac Uni-Fi 2.0, Sonus faber Lumina, and GoldenEar BRX), three passive floorstanders (Focal Chora 826, Spendor A4, and Rosso Fiorentino Elba 2), and one integrated system that combines amplification and a streaming DAC inside the speaker enclosure (DALI Rubicon 6 C). They are priced from $599 to $5000 per pair, with the DALI topping out at $8798. What all these speakers have in common is the benefit of decades of hard-won design experience. Each was created by a person or an engineering…

4 分鐘
meet the writers

Robert E. Greene My parents were musicians, so I became interested in music at an early age. I started playing the violin at four, and have been playing ever since. I was also interested in recorded music from early on. Along with my violin, my prized possession as a child was a record player of my own. As a teenager, I became interested in what would then have been high-end audio. Later, in graduate school, I played in orchestras so often that my longing for sound as sound was satisfied by live experiences, and I worried less about audio. But my interest was revived when a friend gave me some early issues of TAS, and another friend told me about some speakers that, he said, really made violin recordings sound like violins.…

11 分鐘
building a compact reference system

Robert Harley is one lucky fellow. He got to build a custom, dedicated, no-holds-barred listening room in his new house. As Robert chronicled in these pages, he selected every element of the room—from proportions to materials to electrical power—expressly to optimize audio performance. What a luxury! Robert could let his sound system dictate his listening room’s parameters. Most of us live with the exact opposite situation: Our listening rooms dictate many of the audio system’s parameters. Fortunately for Baby Boomer audiophiles like myself, and most TAS readers, listening rooms haven’t posed many constraints lately. That’s because as a demographic group, we’ve done pretty well for ourselves, allowing us to live in homes with listening rooms that, while not custom-built, are at least audio friendly. As our families and material appetites expanded,…

13 分鐘
roon’s big makeover

Putting sound quality issues aside for a moment, when you ask an audiophile who has yet to embrace digital and streaming sources why he hasn’t made the leap, the answer usually includes the difficulty in easily and accurately connecting with and finding all the different music in his library. As someone who embraced digital music and streaming early on, I have to admit that finding all my digital music files has never been as simple as going to my record shelves and pulling out an album, but it should be that easy. Roon’s latest version, 1.8, finally makes finding music, both in your home library and Roon’s supported streaming services, Qobuz and Tidal, almost as easy and intuitive as grabbing an album off the shelves, but with less crouching. To accomplish…