The idle ramblings of a Jack of some trades, Master of none

May 10, 2010

Sonos, Sonus, Sonera

Mere hours after I spent the weekend ripping my old collection of CDs, The New York Times has an article bemoaning the loss of quality associated with your typical digitised music file. Sure, I ticked all the buttons while transferring the music onto my hard-drive - variable bit rate encoding, high bit rates, AAC rather than MP3 - but the fact remains that for your usual high-end listening, nothing I do will make any difference.

(Okay, I lied. I didn't choose the 256kbps bit rate. 192 is about my limit.)

Any of those digital files will underperform a compact disc.

(I'm not even talking about the old fogies who insist that vinyl was the only way to listen to music.)

Of course, this assumes that my speakers are fancy devices capable of projecting flawlessly the flutter of a fly falling on a flute.

The speaker I have is a Sonos S5.

While it is a bit of a networking marvel - creating its own wireless mesh - it's no Sonus Faber Cremona. (Note the confluence in the naming. Most mellifluous, no?) It's not even a Bose. But it is very decent, reproduces basses better than tinnily and tenors better than thinly, and, after several years of listening very occasionally to music on my TV via the DVD player, I have to say it adequately meets my needs.

So why does it still feel like a cop out?


??! said...


Fëanor said...

Always the cries of the Boeotians...

km said...

Because it *is* a cop-out.

Because most of us are now content to listen to music via YouTube on laptop speakers.

Because the music has become even more portable than it did with the Walkman (and its battery life challenge), the physical act of listening no longer demands fidelity/quality like it used to.

I know - get off my lawn.

Post a Comment