“The only truth is music.” ― Jack Kerouac
We could not agree more with that sentiment. Music is a part of everyone’s life at some level. Favorite songs, playlists, albums, live shows, sharing memories - well, you get it. Music is a pretty big deal, especially to us here at Klipsch. Our foundation is rooted in recreating the power, detail, and emotion of the live music experience.
Of equal importance is how we consume music. These days, the options are numerous. You are likely hunting for a truly unique experience to where you actually feel as though you’re at a live show or in the recording studio as the tracks are being laid down.
Which is where Klipsch comes in. Finding the perfect listening set-up can be a challenge. We’ll give you some recommendations depending on your format of choice.
Streaming Audio Services
The introduction of the iPod in 2001 revolutionized the way people listen to music, ushering in the era of downloadable and streamable audio. The consumer no longer needed a physical copy of a song or album, instead of downloading it or listening to a mix on a streaming service.
Online music services and earphone technology have evolved just in the last 10 years to the point where you don’t need a cord (or an iPod for that matter) to enjoy your favorite artists or discover new bands to love. You can listen via your phone, tablet, or SmartTV.
But, you want to have that feeling of not just hearing a song, but experiencing it. Don’t be shy - it’s something any audiophile desires. For your smartphone or tablet, the simplest solution is a pair of Klipsch wireless earphones. Going a step beyond patented comfort, the T5 II True Wireless earphones are smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than competitors, with a high-tech signal boosting antenna to truly mimic the experience of wired headphones.
For streaming via your HD TV, Klipsch sound bars cannot be beaten. They are made of wood and horn-loaded - just like our speakers. Plus, sound bars are an easy, plug-and-play option to instantly upgrade your TV sound for not just movies, but music as well. Each Klipsch sound bar comes with a large subwoofer so you feel the bass.
As a Gen-Xer, it blows my mind to some degree that my Dad’s massive record collection is now a coveted item. Vinyl records have exploded in popularity in the last two decades, thanks in large part to a shift toward the actual experience of sitting down and consuming an album from start to finish.
In fact, vinyl records officially outsold CDs for the first time in 34 years.
The grainy sound comes to life in a stunning way when you have a ridiculously good pair of premium speakers. Take the Klipsch Fives powered monitors for example. These premium, high-resolution speakers are a plug-and-play solution that includes a phono-preamp to bring you straight into the vinyl you’re spinning. The phono-preamp makes it easy to connect your turntable directly without extra equipment.
CDs and Cassettes
You’re probably laughing at these last two categories. Who could possibly still use CDs and tapes? Well, turns out, quite a few people actually. You can go on Amazon and buy a new portable cassette player with AM/FM stereo for under $50 or a portable CD player for under $100. Yes, really.
This illustrates an important point: certain formats do stick with people, no matter what new tech becomes available. In a similar vein akin to enjoying records, CDs and cassettes have no connection to the internet. These two formats do connect to an easier time of mix CDs and tapes, which were the way to build friendships or to confess to your crush how you felt (didn’t always work out, but the music still lives on).
“I grew up in Florida near Kennedy Space Center and witnessed the first shuttle launch in 1981,” explains Klipsch Senior Vice President of Global Brand and Business Development Mark Casavant. “The 80s were an exciting time of new technology and, of course, the launch of digital audio was very exciting for me as a teenager who was obsessed with music, audio gear, and technology. Compact Discs ushered in the new era of digital audio reproduction with 14 bit and shortly thereafter 16 Bit resolution. I couldn’t wait to get my first CD player!
“16 bit was considered the minimum requirement to capture the extended frequency response and dynamic range best serving the capability of the human ear. 'Studying up' on digital technology back in the 80s, I recall plenty of discussions and even arguments among the experts that 16-bit resolution wasn’t enough," Casavant says. "In other words, it wasn’t good enough for audiophile sound reproduction. But then there was always a debate of, 'can you hear the difference?' I remember when I first made the switch as a teenager from high-quality vinyl (albums from Mobile Fidelity: Original Master Recording) to CDs, I was astounded at the CD’s brilliant sound, the background of silence (zero noise), and amazing dynamics with my favorite music. I guess because those were my formative years, the Compact Disc is near and dear to my heart, and I still have my entire music collection on CD here at home.
"Ironically today this CD level of audio reproduction is considered lower resolution for lossless audio, with the prevalence of 24-bit recordings. 'CD quality' is also considered the standard for lossless audio in music streaming services. CDs debuted in the digital format of PCM (pulse code modulation) and is still prevalent today for streaming audio/video (Netflix, Prime, etc.)," Casavant goes on to say. "I am using Hi-Res music streaming services like Qobuz, while I have converted my compact discs to digital files on my home network servers. In this way, I have easy access to all my desired music choices.
"As a side note, unfortunately, today, digital audio technology has more served the convenience and packaging of music with compression, and this has not served the music fan or audiophile with the best sound that digital is capable of. But in 2020, higher resolution formats are becoming a bit more well-known and prevalent. But the good old Compact Disc is still something I enjoy to unpack and load in the disc player. Call me old school because I’m that way with Blu-ray discs for movies as well. I’m sure we’re getting to the point where we will not need to load discs into players or purchase discs with music or movies loaded on them, but we now are fully depending on the network for our entertainment. I still like having my music collection here at home. Long live the Compact Disc!“
Meaning, you can enjoy the music and tune everything else out. The Klipsch T5M Wired earphones provide an excellent noise seal so you can truly “tune out” and just experience the music.
- The Cure: “Standing On the Beach: The Singles”
- Your Favorite Mixtape Circa the 80s or 90s
At the end of the day, people crave escape. Enjoying records, tapes, and CDs are ways to not only relax but to disconnect from our overly plugged-in lives. We all want to feel something when we hear the first notes of something truly powerful. We want to be moved.
Share your preferred tracks and formats in the comments!