Tom Petty said, “You gotta turn it up to hear it.” #HiResAudio.
Instead of Pono hardware that Neil Young’s been tossing about as a salesman promoting HiRes music, Tom Petty is busy in the studio remixing most of his albums for HiRes export. There are affordable alternatives to be able to playback this HiRes files. It all depends on the Digital Audio Conversion hardware you have on you. Obviously a plain laptop will not be ideal to listen to this files, even those laptop speakers that says BEATS on it. No. Using some recent programs like VOX, you will be able to playback 24/192 audio but you’re still not going to get the optimized audio quality from that speaker or headphone output. Instead look out for external DAC converters, this will by-pass the default output and route the audio data through higher quality converters. I have been happy using my Fiio X3 which uses Wolfson’s WM8740 DAC chip. The X3 doubles up as a DAP (Carry around DA Player) as it can store FLAC files into its MicroSD card. The device pushes audio out through a separate amplifier AD8397 chip that doesn’t add color or noise to the sound. I’ve just started carrying DAPs with me, and no iPod or Walkman can compare with its audio playback. In fact I think it might be a good time to upgrade to a dual DAC converters, even though it’s a little pricey, but well worth the ear massage.
Well that is in a nutshell about my early endeavour with HiRes portable playback. But that’s only about the D/A player or converter. There’s a universe of choices when it comes to which speakers, monitors, or headphones you should be listening from. But the bottomline, start from the ones you can afford. And learn to listen better instead of blasting MP3s when you can be listening to the original studio mix as how Tom mixed it.
Cheers. Enjoy the beautiful spring season.