How to Listen
a guide to some of the greatest recordings of all time and what to listen for to tell if your system is performing to its full potential
Getting Into Vinyl? Find Yourself an Expert

“A luxury stereo system or home theater should deliver exceptional sound, of course. But what exactly should you listen for in evaluating, choosing, setting up, and enjoying a high-performance system?  read more   

How to Listen: The Dark Side of the Moon

“Here I’m going to take one of the most revered albums not just in the audiophile world but in rock history and give you a sense of what makes it such a great recording—not just so you can better appreciate the virtues of this particular effort but so you can apply that knowledge to your own favorite albums.”  read more   

How to Listen: Just a Little Lovin'

“In the first installment of ‘How to Listen,’ I talked about the sonics of The Dark Side of the Moon, an album with a sound as immense as the album’s influence. The sound of Shelby Lynne’s Just a Little Lovin’ is exactly the opposite.”  read more

How to Listen: Kind of Blue

This is not just one of the greatest jazz performances ever committed to record, but one of the greatest recordings ever—maybe the best possible test of how realistic your system sounds.  read more

How to Listen: The Firebird

“Aside from the considerable musical merits of classical, there’s arguably no better form of music to demonstrate what a good audio system can do—and perhaps no better disc than this 1959 recording of Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird.”  read more

How to Listen: Nirvana

“Nirvana might be one of the last bands you’d think about when the subject of audiophile recordings comes up. Yet, their two landmark albums—1991’s Nevermind and 1993’s In Utero—are admirable examples of how to record and produce rock records.”  read more

How to Listen: Roy Orbison

Roy Orbison had one of the most magnificent and distinctive voices of all time. It’s been called ‘operatic’ so many times as to become the go-to cliché when describing it, but it’s true. No one’s singing had as much emotional impact. Just listen to classics like ‘Crying,’ ‘It’s Over,’ and ‘Running Scared.’ If you’re not moved, you’re dead.”  read more

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