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Review: Geneva Lab Model S Wireless speaker - Page 2

post #41 of 47
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

That's how it struck me too. But I do appreciate DrB's thoughts on the matter.

go spend an afternoon in a high end audio store and all you have to do is bring in your favorite CDs and tell the sales people you are just doing some research and you aren't ready to buy anything, but ask them if its OK to do some listening so it can help train your ears.  If the store is worth a $hit, they'll be happy to let you do that.  I was able to do that at a local store and I used to spend Saturdays for about 4 hours almost every weekend and got to know them quite well and it got to the point where they'd let me take things home for a week  to try out, since they know it sometimes takes listening to products in the home.  But I rarely bought anything from them, but when i did, it wasn't a $100 speaker system.  They even got used equipment in mint condition all of the time and I would buy that stuff as well.  But, they helped me with training my ears, as I would sit down and listen to different products and sometimes I could hear a difference and sometimes I couldn't.  It's interesting to go to their shows that are put on where you see the mfg showing off new products.  Some of the high end systems are just REALLY nice to listen to.  But if you don't immerse yourself in that, then you'll just be stuck not knowing and not experiencing what is out there.


It doesn't cost a penny to listen to high end audio at a local store.  Nothing worse than spending money on something because you didn't do your homework and the product sucks.


Bottom line, don't walk around in life being ignorant about everything.  It doesn't cost much money to gather information and to become informed about something that you actually might use daily.  If you don't listen to music on a regular basis, then I can see, but I think a LOT of people actually do listen to music much more frequent and wouldn't it be nice to listen to music on a system that sounded great?  You actually might listen to music more often.  Is that such a bad thing?


If you appreciate a well engineered product, then it's almost like going to heaven, if you will.  Have you ever looked at a pair of MBL's $125K speakers. They are a freaking work of art.  Listening to them is whole other experience.  I may not have the money to buy them, but if you looked at the engineering, the meticulous machining, they are freaking gorgeous pieces of equipment and they sound even better. You don't have to buy them, but just to be able to sit and look at them is a unique experience.  Or how about a $350K Goldmund turntable?  I've seen one up close, another work of art.   I can't afford one, but they are a thing of beauty and and they sell every one that they make and they only make 25 a year.  Insane stuff.

But again, if you happy looking at and listening to some POS Bose system, go right ahead.


Most of these audiophiles have a serious engineering background, so by osmosis, you learn something.  

But please, don't be stupid and bring in rap or metal music, that's just not normally considered high quality music.  Be nice and respectful to these people and they'll treat you the same.

Word of advice, listen to the low end systems first and gradually go up the food chain to their high end system.  Then go back and listen to the low end system and see if you hear a difference.  If you can't tell the difference between a low end system and a high end system, then you are deaf.    The first time I heard a $400K audio system, it was just a different experience.  It's like someone that likes to drive cars gets behind the wheel of a top end Ferrari.  Worlds apart from a Honda Accord.


Here's a YouTube video on the MBL speakers.  It's short but even though its a YouTube video, you get an idea of what these speakers are all about.  In person,they are just works of art and even better to listen to.



Edited by drblank - 9/1/13 at 10:34am
post #42 of 47
I agree totally. People spend $1000 at best buy and they think they've got a great stereo. Then go in to a high end audio store and hear some of their products. The differences are amazing, and as our good dr has pointed out, if you have never heard a quality stereo, you don't know what you're missing. And to get into this you don't need to spend $25k, you can get awesome equipment for 1/10 of that. You just won't find this stuff at the big box electronics stores. As someone else pointed out, it's kind of like comparing Apple computers to the other cheap brands.
post #43 of 47
I have the the regular Model S. You have no idea how impressive this thing sounds.
post #44 of 47
Just to comment on why Apple should NOT bring back the Apple HiFi: the product didn't sell well. It sounded decent, but most single speakers in that price range sound similar. It's the last part that rings most true for me though. Devices like these don't sell huge volumes, yet Apple is unlikely to release any product they don't spend money to advertise for. That advertised cost would never be recovered from the anemic sales they garner. Someone like B&O can put out a few cheap ads in a select few audiophile magazines and call it a day. They will still make money. They don't have to perform to Apple's high standards (by this I mean sales volume). Basically, there is no need for Apple to release another speaker. There are tons of great low, mid, high, and ultra-high end kit out there that works great with iOS devices. Someone made the Android analogy earlier. Google produced the Nexus device to show other Android device makers what a solid android phone should look like and the features it should bear. Apple has no need to do that.
post #45 of 47
So for about the same price you could buy a pair of AudioEngine 2s with an AirportExpress (or AppleTV) and have some sublime sounding speakers. Or spend some more for the AE5 s to get a huge, but still well defined and controlled sound.
post #46 of 47
Originally Posted by drblank View Post

go spend an afternoon in a high end audio store and all you have to do is bring in your favorite CDs and tell the sales people you are just doing some research and you aren't ready to buy anything, but ask them if its OK to do some listening so it can help train your ears.  If the store is worth a $hit, they'll be happy to let you do that.

blah, blah, blah, blah

There's a difference between wanting and recognizing good sound and some of the true nut-case audiophile stuff. Remember the green magic markers on the edge of your CDs? And the $500 interconnect cables? Those things made zero difference in the sound (as verified both electronically and in blind a/b comparisons), yet some people swore that they were hugely important. There's an enormous placebo effect in audio.

Not to mention, of course, two other factors:
1. Anyone past about 25 years old is suffering at least some hearing loss, particularly at high frequencies. My high frequencies are down about 3 decibels and that's not at all uncommon. So what you hear at 50 is nothing like what you heard at 20, anyway.
2. It's possible to enjoy music without perfect reproduction. For example, when I'm working out at the gym, I use some cheap $5 headphones I bought at Big Lots because they're going to get ruined eventually and they produce sound good enough for me to enjoy the music - even though it's far from audiophile quality.

Sure, at home I have a $2 K set of Infinity speakers which many audiophiles would sneer at, but which (to my ears) are the most natural sounding speakers out there. They're nice and when I want to listen to music loud, I appreciate them. But my enjoyment of music would not be all that much lower with much cheaper speakers.

It's like anything. Too much of a good thing leads to extremism - which is not good.
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
post #47 of 47
A lot of things go into "producing a better sound" :

in order:
file encoding
transport (wire, Bluetooth wireless codec, AirPlay, DLNA)
speaker drivers

Any one of these can strangle the audio quality.

With Bluetooth, there's a codec that is used to encode and decode the wireless audio as it is sent. For Apple, this is AAC over Bluetooth. For Zune, WindowsPhone, and some-but-not-all Android devices, this is aptX. AAC has codec licensing fees associated with it, aptX doesn't any longer. The default if it's not either of these is SBC, which is the usual old lousy sounding Bluetooth codec.

AirPlay uses AAC. No surprise.
DLNA uses mp3 / mp4.

Apple does not need to provide a reference design for wireless speakers: they have partners for this who can provide the AirPlay reference designs.
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