HIGH RESOLUTION AUDIO A GRAMOPHONE GUIDE
Getting the most from
Getting the most from HIGH RES LISTENING Audio Editor Andrew Everard offers a guide to making streamed and high-resolution music sound even better
You’ve decided to embrace streaming or high-resolution listening, but how do you make the most of the music? How does one transition from the idea of dropping a CD into a player to accessing streamed or downloaded music via a computer? Or – if the mere idea of using a computer to play music has just filled you with horror – accessing music without a computer? Well, the simplest way to access services such as Qobuz is via a computer, or at least a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet, which you can connect to a hi-fi system. In a basic set-up, you can connect that device via a simple cable from the headphone socket to a line input on your hi-fi system or amplifier (or via the headphone adapter on the latest iPhones, which lack a headphone socket): a suitable cable will only cost you £5 or so.
As well as playing content directly from the streaming company’s desktop portal – or, on portable devices, its app – it’s possible to play it through some third-party audio players.
Audirvana, for example, can integrate the music you may have stored on your computer or network drive with your Qobuz subscription, and play it all as a unified collection. It’s a neat way of doing things, and if you don’t want to sit at your computer and play music, you can control Audirvana remotely using an app on your smartphone or tablet: I can stream through my hi-fi system using an old Mac Mini computer I bought secondhand online. The computer is permanently connected to my hi-fi system and runs ‘headless’ – ie without a monitor – being accessed via the remote app.
Of course, while the headphone socket on a computer is convenient, it isn’t going to give you the best sound quality, and for the same
4 GRAMOPHONE JULY 2019 | gramophone.co.uk
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