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There is nothing quite like having a sound system, and a good one at that, transform your living room or living space into your own theater. Sitting down on the couch at night after a long work day and putting in a movie, while feeling the bass of the subwoofer echo and rumble around the room. There is only one small issue with this, though; what if you are looking to purchase your own personal speaker system for your house, but aren’t sure where to look?

Do you want a TV with good speakers built into it? A subwoofer and external speakers that you picked up off of the side of the road? Maybe you’re looking for a couple of soundbars or even some wall-mounted speaker boxes? If you are having this dilemma and are not sure where to look, or even sure of what you want, then rest assured. This article is going to make that choice as easy as counting to three.

1. Best In All Categories; ShockWave Professional 7.1 Surround Sound Bar, 400 Watts, 45″ In Length, Nakamichi

This quintessentially massive soundbar is over four feet long and can seriously pack a monstrous punch. It delivers a crisp and beautiful in-home 7.1 surround sound experience with absolutely zero drawbacks.

This excellent soundbar has six ‘DSP’ chips and six respective chipsets that enable it to bring six acoustic audio channels to life. It can produce 104 DB of sound, thanks to its 11 speakers as well as it’s punchy, mean, and deep bass.

2. It’s Runner-Up; The SoundTouch 30 Series III Bose Wireless Sound System

This shockingly bright and crisp sound-box will play every single strum of the guitar, a strike of the pick, creak of the floorboards, and every pin drop in your music or your movie. It’s currently patented technology enables it to fill any size room with punchy, clear, acoustically-tuned music. Because it’s just a single box, it is easy to bring around and requires no cords or cables during use, as it is wireless. It uses Bluetooth technology to connect to your TV, computer, smartphone, or smartwatch.

3. Best Budget Sound System: The Sonos Play I

This great little trashcan-shaped speaker is so good that it will beat out anything when compared to the budget category. It is doubtless the best wireless, high quality, best priced, highest quality sounding and the strongest contender in the entire budget category. Setting it up isn’t even a breeze, no; it is merely a breath. All you need to do is download the free Sonos app, register and pair the Sonos Play I with your android or apple device, and you’re ready to go.

Although not designed for super easy portability, it certainly can be. Due to its interesting size, being shaped like a trashcan, it’s not designed to be toted around on the daily. It measures 4.7″ wide, with a height of 6.4″ and weighing in at about a solid 4.1 pounds. If you are looking for a great quality sound system that is easy to set up and priced on the low-end spectrum of most sound systems, then you don’t need to look any further, because this is it.

 

In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter where you stand on the issue of analog versus digital recording. It is clear that they both have their merits as well as their respective problems and uses. They can both be widely popular in certain cases, which makes your opinion on either one entirely relative.

1. Digital Vs. Analog Recording
Regardless of digital vs. analog recording, the sound is still recorded the same way. Air is pressurized and recorded by a microphone which is then transformed into a pure magnetic and electronic signal.

An analog recording, from there on, is formulated by taking these same signals and physically imprinting them onto something that can then be played back later. These include the cassette tapes and vinyl records of old, which, by the way, is making an enormous comeback in popularity thanks to the new-age ‘hipster’ movement.

On the other end of the spectrum, a new electronic recording takes that same analog signal that has been recorded and directly converts it to a digital ‘representation’ of the same sound, via electricity and magnetics. It is then converted into binary code, in the form of numbers, for computers to interpret and then playback.

After an analog signal has been digitized (and therefore converted), it can be copied and dubbed many times. It can then be put online or copied onto a CD or hard drive. This is why digital audio and music tracks are so plentiful and cheap when compared to its physical counterpart.

2. Audio Bandwith And Quality
The ‘bandwidth’ of a signal is essentially the amount of, and therefore the frequency of, the signals that have been recorded. Because analog is ‘physical’ (technically) any sound, no matter how bass-heavy or shrill, can be played back exactly as it was heard and therefore originally recorded. This high fidelity is because of how analog records; in the olden days, having a needle cut into a wax candle to record sound was the easiest way to record it. Therefore, anything recorded could easily be played back in the same way because it was physical.

Digital recordings, due to their respective recording process, work in an entirely different way. Because you are electronically and digitally recording a signal, by converting the same analog signal to digital numbers, you lose some of the quality that was originally physically recorded.

This is why you can hear leather boots squeak or a pin dropping in the background of a vinyl record, but on some low-quality digital records, you can only hear the loudest or at least the ‘most prominent’ quiet sounds being able to be played back.

You tend to lose a lot of the quality that originally was there when you convert analog to digital. With all of this having been said, you can see audio ‘purists’ like to stick to vinyl and cassette-based music and sound rather than digital.

Have you ever heard people say that the best DJs only use vinyl? In this article, we are going to look at the various pros and cons of digital music and vinyl music, so that you can have a better understanding regarding these two music formats.

Sound quality
The sound quality is what many vinyl lovers are most often obsessed about since vinyl sounds warmer and richer than digital music, hands down. Well, they may be technically correct here. Digital music signals are just approximations of an analog signal; wave signals are a series of small steps as opposed to a true curve of an analog signal. Can you differentiate between these two? Next time you go to a club, and you can’t see the DJ booth, try and notice the quality of the sound.

Material Quality
There is, of course, one aspect where digital recordings and CDs are better than vinyl, and it’s regarding dust, scratches, wear and tear, etc. A new piece of vinyl may sound warmer and cooler, but its quality deteriorates over time. Digital recordings, however, still sound as good as the day you bought or downloaded it.

How about portability? 
Obviously, there can be no contest here. It is a whole lot easier to carry a case of CDs or any digital recording around as compared to a few crates of vinyl.

Hardware
A pair of a mixer and Technics 1210s is a seriously cumbersome kit – both bulky and weighty. Compare that with a pair of Pioneer CDJ 850 and a DJM-850 mixer. You’ll agree the digital music setup will be the winner here.

Availability
A few decades back was a time where vinyl would win out. It was a real struggle to find music in digital formats. However, that has all changed. Most of the music labels have entirely shifted towards digital downloads, CDs, DVDs, etc. In fact, the development of online digital music stores has swung things firmly in favor of the digital music. Anyone can now find and download a track they’ve heard in a club in any format, burn that track to DVD or CD, and it’s done. No more searching various record shops vainly for that elusive track.

There you have it, digital music vs. vinyl! By reading this article, I hope you now have a better grip on the pros and cons of both digital and vinyl music.

A few years ago, there was nothing such as digital downloading. Use of computers, phones, and tablets was not widespread yet and so the ordinary person didn’t to bother to know the difference between software and hardware. We only bought our music only from music stores and only in the form of vinyl records or CDs, since we did not have digital downloading back then. However, as time went by, CDs were slowly replaced by digital downloading of music. As of now, many people would rather download their favorite music rather than buy CDs. Should you bother buying CDs?

Well, these days digital downloading has become a lot easier than going around looking for CDs of your favorite music. Wherever there is a computer, tablet or mobile phone with a reliable Internet connection you can easily access music at your own convenience. Apple iTunes store and other online stores are a popular source for music that can you can download for a price. If you want a certain new track, you just visit an online music store and buy downloading rights. If you consider this factor, then you would not bother going around looking for CDs.

Downloading of digital music simplifies the process of buying music. Needless to say, this is also good for our environment. An obvious environmental benefit of downloading music files straight from an online store is that you don’t have to drive to a physical music store just to buy DVDs or CDs. Because you don’t have to drive, you also don’t have to release carbon exhausts into the air. Not to mention all the waste that companies like Waste Focus have to haul away or figure out how to recycle properly.

Another key benefit of downloading digital music rather than buying CDs is that it helps us to save on non-renewable resources. DVDs and CDs and their jewel cases are mostly made of plastic. Manuals, sleeves on these jewel cases and the other documents that usually come with the CD are mostly printed on glossy and thick papers with glowing colors. Recycling these printouts is hard. Downloading does away with use of such resources.

And another benefit to downloading digital music is that you can relax and do other things as you wait for your phone, computer or tablet to finish downloading. You can also do away cleaning up the clutter that DVDs and CDs create on your desk, and the thought of it may be relaxing too.

Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than purchasing an entire CD after hearing a good song in a club, only to find out that this song is the only decent track on that album. With digital music downloads, you can download a single track that you want. After learning all this, would you really bother buying CDs? I don’t think so. If you like the sound of all this and don’t know where to begin then take a look at the video below on downloading music from places like Amazon.

 

We might today be sitting in the comfort of our living rooms or traveling with an earphone plug. We could be listening to our favorite music or even could be hearing an ideal speech by a politician, leader or other famous persons. However, the history of recording of audio and reproducing them in different forms did not happen overnight. There is a long history behind it, and it would indeed be interesting to know more about it so that we know how much technology has moved as far as audio recording and reproduction is concerned.

The Different Ages Of Audio Recording

When we talk about the history of audio recording, we can perhaps divide it into three distinct segments, the Acoustic age, the Electrical Age, the Magnetic Age and the Digital Age. Of course, the digital age has given a new meaning and definition to audio and video technology. Since we will be talking about the first audio recording, we will be restricted only to the Acoustic age.

The First Audio Recording

In fact, credit for the first audio recording goes to Thomas Alva Edison who perhaps did it in the year 1877. However, there are some news articles which might suggest that it could have happened even before 1877. The first audio recording was perhaps made on April 9, 1860, which is 17 years before 1877. The audio recording was a verse of a song sung by a woman. It was perhaps recorded by a Frenchman by the name Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville. He was the one who invented the phonautograph. Thus began the journey of audio recording before Thomas Edison formally set the ball rolling.

A Closer Look At The Acoustic Era

The early audio recording technologies were done using mechanical devices. They made use of a large conical horn. The objective was to collect and concentrate the physical air pressure of the sound waves. The sound waves were mostly produced by human voices and even a few musical instruments. It also came with a membrane that was very sensitive. It was located at the apex of the cone. This was connected to a specially made stylus. As the air pressure increased and decreased, it moved the diaphragm. This resulted in the scratching of the stylus which in turn produced sound waves in an analog format. However, the early sounds emanating from such technology was low in volume and fidelity. It was possible to capture only a narrow bandwidth of the entire sound spectrum and never exceeded 2500 Hz.

Those who are perhaps born after the 1980s may find answering the question, “what is a Gramophone?”, quite difficult. This is because these music playing gadgets have become obsolete and gave way to cassette players, VCDs DVDs and online music playing systems. However, even today, those who believe in nostalgia and would like to keep in touch with the past would certainly have a soft spoot in their heart for Gramophone players. They are also referred to as vinyl record players. The sound is stored in the analog form, and the records are mostly made from polyvinyl and shellac. They have a spiral groove which comes with spirals that are modulated and inscribed. The groove starts from the outer end of the vinyl records and ends at the center of the record.

History Of The Gramophone
Though the first formal gramophone was invented in 1877 by Thomas Alva Edison, an earlier version is known as Phonautograph was invented by Leon Scott in 1857. This used a vibrating diaphragm along with a stylus which did the task of graphically recording sound waves and the same were reproduced as tracings in sheets of paper. They were mostly for visual analysis purposes and not for playback. However, Thomas Alva Edison changed all this in 1877 and invented the formal Gramophone which could record as well as reproduce sound.

The Speed Of The Turntable
The science behind the music, recording and reproducing gadgets was simple. The magnetic waves emanating from the devices were picked up by the specially made stylus and the same was transferred as sound waves and reproduced in sound output devices. In the absence of electricity in those days, the motors for the turntable were powered manually. However, with electricity coming into use, the motors were powered automatically. Initially, there was only one speed as far as the turntable was concerned. The speed of the turntable was calculated in RPM or Revolutions Per Minute. The first vinyl records could work at speeds of 78 RPM. But they had limitations because of the speed due to which they could record and play only limited music.

However, as technology moved forward, these changed and we saw the introduction of vinyl records that could work on 45 and 33 RPM. In some countries, there were also records which could work on 16 RPM. There were also record players that could work on batteries once they were charged. They certainly were considered a status symbol and added lot of value to homes. But with changing technology, these gramophones had to make way for less expensive options like cassette players, VCD players, and DVD players.

For more information on the invention of sound recording, take a look below.

If there is one thing that technology has not managed to get rid of completely today is the use of record players. We have seen a lot of equipment being rendered irrelevant and outdated but not the record player for two main reasons. One It’s original and unique in the way it functions. Most people who were born when a record player was the only player in the market find it undoubtedly fun to use is it not only relish the old sweet memories, but it’s also so real in how it produces the sweet melody that even a small kid would dance to. Secondly, the melody from a record player is unique in the way it operates which gives it a more natural appearance that most people especially adults would want to associate with. Perhaps the question we should be asking is how do record players work?

For a better understanding, it important that you get to know what exactly a sound is. A sound is a form of vibration or what some people would refer to as a wave that’s moving in the air following a specific pattern. Remember that the wave does not just travel in the air like an object, rather it more about the molecules that are made to hit each other in order to produce a melody depending on the rate of vibration.

In a nutshell, a sound is simply vibrating the air, and that is the whole science behind the functioning of a record player. Usually, a record player to operate, there are components that must be involved, and one of them is a vinyl record that is used to code the pattern of vibration in the air. The rest of the magic is left to the stylus which reads, interprets and convey the data to the output devices.

To sum it up, for a record player to work, the grooves in the vinyl and the stylus that’s usually on the turntable are used to code and dispatch the vibration to the tone-arm and then to the cartridge where a vocal signal. It’s then taken via a preamp that amplifies the signals which are transmitted to the output devices like the speakers. Everything regarding how a record players works revolve around vibration. The good thing is that a record player is a plug-and-play type of a system which anybody in their right mind can operate without experiencing any difficulties. Looking to buy a record player? A question to consider is old or new – there are plenty of resources online, do your homework before making your purchase.

Have you ever wondered how CDs were invented? The truth, however, is that the inventor of the compact disc is time 
and again disputed as it’s argued that the invention of a compact disc was a 
role played by several people.

However, the most attributed inventor is 
James Rusell. In 1965, James Rusell was inspired by a revolutionary idea as he 
made a rough sketch on paper, an ideal music recording system which would 
replace vinyl records. Rusell’s idea was to come up with a system that could 
record and replay sounds without requiring physical contacts between parts.

Development
Rusell struggled to attract investors, but 
with time Sony and a few other companies recognized the potential in Rusell’s 
idea and purchased licenses of the CD-ROM technology. The support of large 
corporations further improved the idea to ensure it was ready for market.

It was in 1978 Polygram when a division of 
Philips suggested polycarbonate as the material to make CDs. There were other 
decisions made at this time such as the disc diameter (115 mm) and the type of 
laser to be used. Additionally, it was decided that data on a compact disc 
would start at the center going spiral outwards to the edge.

In the following year, Europe and Japan 
hosted prototype CD system demonstrations where Sony agreed on terms to join into collaboration 
with Philips. The disc diameter was slightly changed from 115 mm to 120mm which 
allowed for 74 minutes of playback at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz and a quality 
of 16-bit audio.

Announcement
The CD was first announced 15 years after 
the invention by Philips on May 17, 1978. The announcement came with the 
proposed standards that were agreed between Sony and Philips. They made the “Red 
Book”, containing the technical specifications for all CD-ROM and CD formats. 
The collaboration between Sony and Philips ended, however, as the two companies 
had produced products ready for 1982.

CDs are made from a thick polycarbonate 
plastic(12 mm) weighing around 16 grams. There’s a thin layer of Aluminum that’s 
applied on the surface so that it appears reflective. It’s then protected by a 
thin layer of lacquer. Screen printing is the process used to manufacture CDs.

Introduction
The first CD audio player was released to 
the market by Sony in October 1982. The CDP-101 surfaced on the market in the 
same year, and the usage of CDs across Japan and Europe became widespread. At the 
time, Compact discs were ridiculously expensive with each going for $30. They 
were manufactured by only two facilities in the world which made the process 
tedious. Fortunately, there were six factories to do the job, and the price 
dropped significantly.

In the mid-1980s, portable CD players were 
introduced, but it’s until 1990s when they became popular. Other manufacturers 
followed Sony footsteps until the CD finally became the industry’s standard 
format for video and audio data.

Vinyl records have come back in style. In fact, millions of people have been picking up these wax based audio releases. A lot of arguments have been brewing on the internet about why. There are a lot of factors that can be considered. Even though some may find some reasons obvious, others will point towards the hipster movement. One thing is for sure, the struggling independent record stores of the past, are starting to revitalize based solely on new and used recordings on this option. Looking at the following reasons, you will see why this is not just a trend.

It Is Cost Effective

Digital libraries fade away when hard drives crash. Compact discs are nothing more than coasters for people. But a large format LP? That is a tangible commodity that can cost you less than some of the releases in mp3 formatting. Not only that, you can get a download code, compact disc, and the wax pressing for less than what it used to cost to just purchase the album straight away. Not only that, buying used or vintage releases can be quite inexpensive, and as low as 99 cents in many cases, (though you might be happy to find out that some of your parents old records can be worth quite a lot.) Just one look through any major independent retailer that stocks new and used options will give you blasts from the past at a low price. The luxury of digging through crates is no longer just for DJ’s it’s for anyone.

It Sounds Better (At Least In Theory)

It doesn’t sound better based on wavelength. However, audiophiles will argue about how it is a perfect way to listen to music. It may be nostalgia, it may be a larger sound, or it may just be that mp3 standards are so awful and truncated that when someone hears vinyl recordings, they are impressed. There are certain nuances that listeners cite on classic music offerings that are losses in digital formatting. It’s arguable whether or not it’s perfection, is a matter of the listener’s opinion.

Aesthetically Pleasing

In the end, it looks great. Large format artwork, in most cases, colored vinyl, and a physical item to cherish. There is just something compelling about holding a physical item that screams out that you love music. Whether you are digging in crates for some classic hip hop, or you have purchased the latest 180-gram vinyl remaster, there is no doubt that you are a person that loves music enough to pay money to get it. Try pirating a vinyl record, try sharing it and copying it, and you will see that this format is truly for lovers of music.

There are countless other reasons why vinyl records are becoming popular again. Last year alone, they sold millions upon millions of copies. Not only are new releases coming out in the format, the classics are getting redone, and put out in limited options. You may not agree with this sentiment, but they aren’t making a comeback since they never left.