Audio Gear and Advice |OT| - I like the way you sound

Howdy to this lovely community! As some of you know, I’m a bit of a burgeoning audiophile (or at least someone who has a decent ear and loves HiFi), and I looked around at all our lovely OTs and discussions only to realize there was a massive gap: audio equipment discussions. So, I thought I’d get the ball rolling and build one, with the hopes that this could be a place where we could talk about our audio gear (heaphones, speakers, amps… the works) and for people with questions to get a bit of assistance and/or recommendations.

What are your setups like? What is your dream speaker? How do I get the best out of my current setup? Are you just proud of your setup and want to help others? All are welcome :slight_smile:

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I’ll start things off, as the son of a radio host/audio engineer/bassist/guitarist, I’ve grown up around audio equipment all my life and have been learning the ins and outs of audio and the equipment to celebrate the magic of music (as well as movies and games). I’ve had a bevy of speakers and headphones over the years, and I often spend more time and money on the hobby than I should, but it’s always been extremely rewarding (to me) and any time I’ve been able to turn someone else onto the hobby, or help them in their journey, the reward extends beyond just myself.

As such, I thought I’d give a rundown of some of my current setups:

Home Theater (5.0): Denon 760H AVR, L/R - Polk S60s, Center - Polk S35, Rears - Polk S20s. Currently using Apple TV and Apple Music for lossless stereo streaming (28bit/41khz). Switch between DTS and Dolby for movie/gaming.

Bedroom (2.0): Fluance Ai61 Powered Bookshelf Speakers and using the internal DAC for 24bit/96khz (Airplay). Lossless stereo via optical from Xbox gaming/movies.

Office (2.0): Onkyo NR656 AVR, L/R - rotate between Kef Q150, Polk R200, and Bowers and Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary. Apple Music Hi-Res Lossless (24bit/192khz) via Thunderbolt/Optical.

I have some additional soundbars for my office gaming setup (Polk N1) and for the wife and my other his/her setup (separate speakers unfortunately aren’t suited for the area).

I’ve had other brands/models of speakers as well, and have plenty to say about pros/cons of any and all - ultimately, speakers at least, are in a bit of a renaissance in that there are plenty of fantastic options in every price range and region of availability.

As for my headphones, it’s probably just easier to show a picture than to list (though it is missing one of my favorites: B&W P3).

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Nice to see some Polk love @Knottian I’m a bit of a fanboy also. Not exactly an audiophile, as I’m not pretentious enough to pretend as though I’m an expert, but I treasure the gear I’ve collected over the years.

KRK Rokit 5s on my PC

They’re powered by my M-Audio Air 192|4

Also adore my daily driver Sony WF-1000MX3 ear buds

If I need to go wired I can always rely on my Sony MDR-1Rs

My favorite setup is in my den where I play my Series X and listen to the majority of my music. I have some vintage floor standing Polk Monitor 10s and a 10" Yamaha subwoofer: YST-SW216

In here I also have a Polk CS-1 for my center channel

in addition to two Polk R10s which serve as surrounds

All of this is powered by my Yamaha HTR 3065

my front room has a Google Home Max in it which certainly packs a punch of its own

Then if I’m playing some multi-player stuff on Xbox Live… I go with the Razer Kaira Pro

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As for my next purchase, I’m aiming for a KRK 10S to complement my Rokits on PC

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The only place I really care about audio is my home theatre/gaming room. In there I’m doing 7.1.4, with Paradigm for speakers, SVS for sub, and Denon and Onkyo for AVRs.

More specifically, this is the equipment list:

  • Left and Right: Paradigm Monitor 11 (2)
  • Centre: Paradigm Monitor CC-390 (1)
  • Surround and Rear: Paradigm Surround 3 (4)
  • Ceiling: Paradigm P80-R (4)
  • Sub: SVS PB-1000 (1)
  • Primary AVR: Denon AVR-X3700H
  • Secondary AVR: Onkyo TX-NR708

At some point I may replace the Onkyo with an Emotiva amp, but for now I’m reasonably pleased with the sound this setup provides. Especially that beast of a centre.

I don’t really care about music much, and just use some little mini stereo system I bought about 20 years ago. I picked it because it looked nice and would play CDs. Couldn’t even begin to tell you the model or any specs. For me music is just something to put on in the background while I do something else.

The only other audio related piece of equipment I own, aside from the factory default stereo in my car, is a pair of Bose Quiet Comfort noise cancelling headphones I use on flights. Love those things.

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