How do you listen to your music – Show us your set-up!

As everyone knows, just as CDs supplanted vinyl and cassettes, MP3 and other digital-music formats are well on their way to replacing CDs as the most popular way to listen to music.

In our minds that usually means more convenience but worse sound – though that’s a whole other story which we’ve already covered extensively in our ‘Is studio recording killing music’ and ‘Does music sound better today than 30 years ago’ exclusive podcasts.

Streaming music using services like Last FM and Spotify are becoming increasingly popular and physical sales are continuing on their way down but a great many people  still want to have something tangible.

CD sales account for 80% of total album sales, and although still tiny numbers, vinyl LPs purchased in 2008 almost doubled to 1.88 million units up from 0.99 million in 2007.

Sony Walkman

So what we want to know is, how do YOU listen to your music? We know you love music and we know you care how it sounds but we don’t know how you listen.

I’m guessing it’s a combination of the above but let us know, and even better, email us at or send us links to pictures of your set-ups – or indeed your favourite Walkman.

As you can see from our artful photograph , we primarily use Sonos and our Zeppelin though we do have in-wall CCM817s too.  And should you wish to know, as I write we are listening to a 62 track Crosby Stills and Nash marathon.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


  • Justin M. Forbes says:

    Most of my music is listened to via Squeezebox into an external DAC at my desk these days, now I just need to replace the speakers with a pair of 805s. Not seen in the picture is a sub under the desk:

    My downstairs setup works for HT but much less music now that I have kids. It also gets most music via squeezebox:

    And the bedroom is Squeezebox into B&W LM-1 + AS1.

    I still purchase CDs whenever I cannot buy a flac download, but if I can purchase flac that is my first choice.

  • Tito says:

    I listen Music from CD´s, SACD, DVD-Audio, the MP3 ist´s a poor sound.

  • Bill Hunt says:

    Now, with a decent set up (a pair of B&W CM1s and a Fatman iTube Carbon II amp connected to a Sony Vaio), I’ve ditched all mp3s that were below 128kbps and re-ripped my CDs to a much higher quality … it was time consuming, but worth it. Very pleased with my new sound quality.

  • Johnny says:

    I have CM1’s connected to an Onkyo receiver. I still buy CD’s, but only to rip music using Apple’s Lossless encoder in iTunes to a hard drive, because the quality is much better than buying through Apple’s iTunes store.

    The only challenge is what to do for music on the move, as I then have to rerip music for the iPod at a lower compression rate otherwise I run out of space too quickly!

  • RK says:

    I purchase CDs and vinyl. I listen to CD or vinyl for the best sound. I rip the CDs in to both my Sooloos and on to computer for my Sonos. I always rip in a lossless format. The sound quality of the media servers never equals the CD or the vinyl.

  • Justin M. Forbes says:

    That’s the joy of ripping lossless, you can easily convert to another format without taking an additional quality hit. I have scripts to convert to mp3 for the car or iPod, and I think iTunes can automatically convert your Apple Lossless to compressed before putting it on the iPod. If you start out with a lossy file and decide you need more compression, you have already lost bits, then you lose even more as it uncompresses and recompresses.

  • Jukka says:

    I mainly wirelessly stream my music (mostly Apple lossless) from iTunes on my MacBook Pro to an Apple Airport Express optically connected to the DAC on my Harman-Kardon 3490 receiver.

  • Steve says:

    Traditional I’m afraid, Michel Micro Deck, PS Audio GCPH phono stage, Cyrus 8 amp and, of course, a pair of B&W 805s. I do have a Zeppelin in my office though, and i love it.

  • Daniel says:

    My Macbookpro is my video editing machine, using a set of B&W686 as monitor speakers and an iTube Valve as their amp. Although I use an iPod for on the road music, I dont use the Valve Dock (too much space) but Apple’s own white Dock.
    And yes: I still buy CD’s but I ripp them to iTunes in AAC =)


  • Ayo Akande says:

    I listen to music in a dedicated listening room/study. The sound on my modified squeeze box duet sounds better than my (sold) £2,150 cd player.
    Future investment would be spent on better Streamer/Amp/Speakers. The Streaming technology offers tremenduous value for money. Ten years ago – I had all EXPENSIVE linn system with ok sound.
    Amp – Passlabs X150
    Dac/Pre – Benchmark DAC HDR (previously using Dax Decade);
    SqueezeBox Duet – Audiocom modded + Paul Hynes Power supply; Flac files ripped to a western digital external drive – 2 Terabyte mirrored, 1,600 CD Collection producing 18,000 tracks.
    Yamaha CD S700 CD player(previously Micromega Aria);
    Technics TT + MF Phono stage/Power supply;
    Speakers – a pair of B&W PV1 + a pair of Usher BE718 (previously 805S)
    All cables by chord signature/anthem.
    Backup System B&W 605 + Yamaha AV + Phillips CD player;

  • Mike says:

    ITunes played through Zeppelin also IPod dock connected to my Denon. Played though XT’s and PV1 plus CCM65’s.
    CD’s & music DVD’s through Denon transport


  • krek says:

    I listen mp3’s from a panasonic HD recorder with a jukebox function. If I have the original cd, I listen the original cd using a tube cd player from Vincent. This is only 10% of the time.

    The HD recorder is connected with a pioneer vsx 2014i with a digital optical cable. thus I use the pioneer internal DAC.

    I tried very hard but I cannot hear any difference between mp3 320kbs ripped from the original, and the original cd using the tubeplayer.

    I also have an ipod with ipod doc, which is used when I have guests so I can create a playlist and don’t have to bother.

  • RonP says:

    I have over 40,000 digital songs and listen on my iPod and the Zeppelin. My songs are on a server and I stream to my sound systems using Apple Express’s. I still use my 801’s and 802F’s in the sound systems. Great sound.

  • Clive says:

    Large collection of classical and jazz LP’s. I can still find some LP’s in great shape at local Goodwill.

    I have some cassette’s that continue to sound fine on Nak player. New pair of CM5 helps a lot.

  • Volker says:

    iPod and an old Aura amplifier. that`s enought :-)

  • Barros says:

    I’ve read tons of articles about the most exotic CD players, amplifiers, etc. For me, the truth is that music (lossless flac) played from my notebook through a digital out cable sounds exactly the same as the CD through the acclaimed Marantz CD63 or whatever other CD source. I use a Rotel stereo amp for front speakers (and stereo music) and a Marantz 5400 for multichannel decoding and the other center and surround channels.

    I must confess that I sort of gave up SACD – never got convinced the sound was significantly better than a good stereo recording. Maybe my player isn’t good enough…

    The key pieces of any hi-fi, I strongly believe, are the loudspeakers. I use a pair of B&W 603 s3’s that I love – much better for classical music than what I had before. The center speaker is B&W as well as the subwoofer. The surrounds are old companions Rogers LS3/5a’s.

    In my opinion, CD is dead. The record industry should go for dowloadable digital music as Linn have done. Easier, cheaper, more durable. I lost a few CDs to some sort of rot… Never a music file.

    Now I have all my music collection in a NAS hard disk and I can play it in my music/cinema room or in my bedroom through the Squeezebox Boom (this is a great idea).

  • Cris Z says:

    I listen my music from CD’s played thru my Sony ES reciever and a pair of 685’s. I am not a fan of Ipod’s so I don’t use one, I use Sony Walkman for better sound quality and most people would disagree with this cause they love Apple products too much but the fact remains that Walkman produce best sound quality on any portable device. And using that combination with my B&W, the sound experience can really be felt.

  • Michael Kjellstrand says:

    Hi there fellow music lovers.
    Of course I will state my set up, but first the most important – Why do I listen to music? Simply because it’s an elixir to my well beeing. I listen to all kinds of music, from Beethoven to Dream Theatre. Well, maybe I’m bit bit prjudist against Swedish danse music. It’s simply boring.
    My set up is as follows:
    NAD 5, NAD 3 connected by Van den Huul MC Gold XLR driving a pair of 804 S’s via Purist Audio single wired. I use an old Denon tape recorder. There is a Thorens TD 318 mkIII with an Ortophon Roondo Red with a Clearaudio NanoPhono pre amp.
    My sound is just terific.

  • Jazzy says:

    I like music the traditional way, i.e. records and CDs but seriously considering to invest in a audiophile hard disk player. My current set-up is: Rega Turntable and phono pre-amp, Naim Audio CD5X with a Flatcap 2x power supply and Naim Audio Supernait amp, connected to B&W 805S speakers…I just love the sound..listen mostly to jazz

  • MWL says:

    All my music is stored as Flac files on a Tranquil Home Server, played via a Squeezebox and Cambridge DAC. The system is Naim XS and 805s. I do tend to buy most of my music on CD. From the web they are affordable and provide a ready made third tier backup if anything should go wrong with the hard drives.

  • Dewald Visser says:

    Hello from South Africa!

    Grear list:

    * B&W 603 Series 2 monitors
    * NAD 3020A amplifier
    * E.A.R. 834P Phonostage
    * Dynavector 17D3 Karat MC cartridge
    * Rega RB300 arm with Cardas Cable
    * Technics SP-10 mkII turntable motor
    * Marantz CD-65DX cd player
    * TEAC TX-300B tuner
    * Nordost Interconnects
    * Tektronix equipment rack

    I get an “eerie” holographic presentation from my current audio system. This is due to the stunning synergy between the B&W speakers and the amplifier.
    Bass is nice and tight with glistening treble. Midrange is, as always, very neutral and very musical. B&W does speakers good!

    Yes, the B&W speakers I have is nearly 10 years old but they stood the test of time and performs brilliantly. My next speaker upgrade will most certainly
    be B&W again. Maybe from the 700 series…

    Kind regards
    Mr D Visser

  • Gavin Lyons says:

    Using two Amps one for home cinema and other for music I have the best of both worlds. The Audiolab amp can be switched over to be a slave (AV mode). In this mode it fed with the front L+R channels of the Yamaha AV amp. The Yamaha amp does the surround and center speakers. B&W Center speaker too.

    When I want to listen to music then the Audiolab is switch back to ‘Intregrated Mode’. Back to a straight two speaker system with the Rega Planet connected to the Audiolab.

    – B&W 603 S2 Biwired
    – B&W 6 series Center speaker
    – KEF speakers on the ceiling for the surround.
    – Audiolab 8000S Amp
    – Rega Planet CD
    – Yamaha RX-V630RDS AV Amp
    – Toshiba DVD player
    – Epson Projector

  • Lyndon says:

    I like jazz and my setup is simple VTL IT-85, B&W 805s and Audio Research CD5

  • Scott Key says:

    iPod Touch, 320K sample rate. Zeppelin. It’s all about Convenience, control, organization and portability over the search for audiophile sound.
    (Probably not a popular opinion among such a serious crowd.)

    In the past, I’ve owned a pro-quality recording studio with Neumann mics, Ampex AG-440C and stuff like that. Sound is elusive and it boils down to content.

    In this modern world, iPod is just too convenient to have it any other way. Even my CDs languish once ripped.

  • John B says:

    OK, so I guess I am just the old guy for listening to music….I hate MP3, too much output signal, just no way of listening to it. Same for some of the new CD recordings, because they have to sound ‘good’ at popular equipment (which I can understand) you can only turn up the volume halfway to the level of what you are used to. I listen to CDs on Rotel 991 audiophile CD player, Rotel pre-amp, 2 Monarchy SE100 power amps, Van den Hull cables and B&W CDM9NT speakers. For home theater I have a ‘popular’ Yamaha system (CD, AMP and speakers) which does the job, I am no movie fanatic. Also have Philips 967 Direct Drive vinyl player, nothing special, but still sounds terrific with some of my old LPs. Music was my first love…John Miles

  • David Barbarulo says:

    I’m a professional Mastering Engineer, my main monitoring is 802N setup, actually powered by Pass Labs X 150 and supported by a pair of Velodyne subs. What i think is that gear industy is improoving sound reproduction quality as capturing, but what we see is a smaller attention to details by consumers and professionals. So probably we have more old recordings sounding better due to “care” in making process with less than a tenth of today available resources.


  • Fredvik says:

    Most of my music is purchased in cd then ripped with EAC to a Windows pc. Although I buy from Linn too. I use Foobar to select the music and send it to the toslink interface via Juli@’s ASIO driver. I dont like foobar but it gives me the control I need and i don’t look at it. The latest juli@ driver doesn’t mess with the sample rate.
    The data is converted by Cambridge’s DAC magic and then on to Cambridge’s amplifier (840) via XLR outputs and out to kef’s iq50 speakers and a B&W subwoofer.
    One nice little feature I like with cambridge dac is that it indicates the input sample rate, confirming the foobar/juli@ setup.
    I’m toying with the idea of upgrading the dac although I’m happy with the cambridge (v.good value). Perhaps Benchmark dac1 Pre or Stello DA220. I’m looking to tighten up the bass and polish up the high tones.
    Has anyone compared these dacs with the cambridge dac magic?

  • Jamie says:

    i have a MT-20 speaker set up powered by a Denon 1909 receiver, currently using a panasonic s-52 dvd player to play CD’s and watch DVD films on my sony W46-4500. I have been using a denon wireless iPod dock to play Music from my CD collection.

    we have recently moved and now have more space and all of my CD’s are now coming back into the music/tv room. i have rather missed them and enjoy the process of choosing a CD and then having the case in my hand

  • Dallas says:

    My music tastes are classical and jazz. I listen to CDs through a Musical Fidelity CD player and amplifier combined with the wonderful B&W 805s.

  • Patrik says:

    I use a Squeezebox (classic) to listen to music files. They are stored as flacs on a NAS.

    When portable I’m using an iAudio U3 (which can decode flacs).

  • TIM says:

    NOW…only listen to my ipod through the ZEPPLIN why listen to anything else its top sound gives me all I need.

    Thank you B&w

  • Mike Harnetty says:

    I have 2 802D’s double wired to a Rotel 1082 pre-amp and 2 Rotel RB 1070’s each run mono (1 per speaker). Music source is Sooloos system. 2 terabytes of Twin store, Source and that terribly cool little control monitor. All that has 2400 Cd’s loaded bit-for-bit and I have to say it all sounds pretty good.

  • Chris Wall says:

    I listen to most of my stuff from existing physical media (CDs and LPs). My main system consists of a pair of DM603 S3s, an LCR600, and a pair of NHT 1.3As in the back. Playback devices are an Oppo DV-980H and a 1981-vintage Philips AR-829 turntable (recently re-fitted with a Shure M97Xe cart).

    I probably listen to digital sources 95% of the time, and have been buying as many DVD-A disks (including dual disks) and SACDs as I can.

    It’s hard to back to even standard CDs after listening to a good recording.

    I have roughly 500 CDs (including DVD-As and SACDs) and another 400 vinyl LPs – but most of them are old and abused. Still, when you drop a Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs disk on the turntable…. there’s just something super sexy about the way it sounds.

  • Cyrile says:

    O.K. Maybe I’m a little on the old fashioned side (if you want to call CD’s old fashioned.) but they’re all I listen to. I have a pretty gret setup. I run 2 705’s off a NAD 2155 and 2 601 s3’s off a NAD 2240 with a NAD receiver and NAD CD player. THe 601’s are my “kitchen” speaker and the 705’s are for real listening. Pretty darned awesome kit! My mind oozes out of my ears every time I turn on the sound system!
    Thanks guys.
    One day, I’ll be able to afford a pair of 802’s…one day…

  • Ani says:

    I have two systems (CD player –> Amp –> Speakers):

    System 1:
    Classe CDP-102 –> Classe CAP-2100 –> 803s

    System 2:
    Denon 3910 –> Rotel RA-05 –> 685

    Love them both to bits !!!

  • glen says:

    I am using a macintosh mini which is fire wired to a 2tb fanless harddrive. The mini toslinked to a dac magic by cambridge audio. The dac makes all the difference in the world and this dac is amazing. The dac outputs stereo to a fairly modest yamaha theatre reciever, which are bi-wired to my 603’s. I am using TWO asw800 subs, which are still my favorites. Anyone who says two subwoofers aren’t neccessary should hear my setup. The extra sub opened the soundfield and makes my room sound huge. I have a thousand albums, lossless, stored on the hard drive, and I control the whole thing from an ipod touch with the application “remote”. Best remote ever, don’t waste money on any of these universal things. The dac also feeds a digital out to the reciever which alows me to decode computer suround when available. But the most important piece- Bowers and Wilkins speakers. NOthing like them even my modest 603’s blow most speakers away, and I dream of 801’s with the diamond tweeters-maybe someday.

  • G says:

    Zeppelin question.
    I recently sold a fairly large high end system and still retain a PV1 sub. I am going to buy a zeppelin and wondered if anyone has heard of tapping the zep to hook up the PV1 sub?

  • Dave says:

    I save music (FLACs & ripped CDs) to a Tranquil PC AVA RS3 NAS running Asset UPnP and Twonky, and play them back through the network via HomePlug to my Linn system – Akurate DS streamer, Kinos DSP pre-amp, Audyssey MultiEQ Pro room equaliser, AV5125 amps, and Akurate 212 front speakers with Trikan centre, Katan rear surrounds and Afekt sub. For SACD, DVD-Audio, and DVD movies, I use a Unidisk SC. I can also use Sony MDR SA5000 or AKG 701 headphones through a Graham Slee Solo amp. For other rooms, I use a SqueezeBox SB3 and SqueezeBox Duet through Linn Classik Movie Di or headphones. Controllers include Linn Kinsky Desktop on laptop, SkweezyDS via Duet Controller, Leia DS on Nokia 810 internet tablet, and Songbook, PlugPlayer, iPeng, & Squeemote on iPod Touch.

    I also copy FLACs & CDs to MP3 for portable listening.

  • stan Lee says:

    I have the Cambridge Audio Azur 840c upsampling cd player into the denon 3808 as a pre (pure direct mode always) and into the rotel RB1070 stereo amp at 130wpc connected to my awesome 804s with JPS superQ speaker cables.

    I mean dont get me wrong but I’ve only had my 804s for about 2 weeks now and as each day goes by it just simply sounds better and better….unbelievable!!!

    Did not like the sound at first, thought maybe it was the amp (too weak) and was thinking of getting the rotel 200wpc amp. I might hold off on that for now until I get every tiny ounce out of the 804s utilizing the rb1070 and than perhaps I’ll upgrade the amp.

  • Rui says:

    I sitll love the sound of lps nothing matches that and through a project turn table even better. Not a fan of mp3 so i keep on buying cd´s. PC´s are not for music. cd´s are good but to be honest analogue sounds way better. If i can choose between a format lp first, cd second and nothing else after hehe. All this using rotel 1080, 805s combo. I love it. Cheers all.

  • Robert Phillips says:

    At the moment a mix of Apple lossless and 320 kbps ripped CDs straight from my MacBook Pro via TOSLINK into my Zeppelin. Space and convenience rule at the moment…

    One day I will upgrade, but the Zeppelin does such a good job in my little living room, I couldn’t imagine anything “affordable” that could improve on the sound quality!

  • Steve says:

    Does anyone know how to connect up a Zeppelin to a Macbook using an Airport express, i.e wirelessly? Thanks

  • SusannaGrant says:

    Hi Steve,
    You can find this information in the Zeppelin connectivity guide.
    The airport express out should be connected to Zeppelin AUX input

    Zeppelin has both analogue and optical digital input( combined socket) Zeppelin mini only has analogue aux in.

    I hope this helps,

  • gadav says:

    Anyone know how to hook up your zeppelin to a HDTV? What cables required?
    Thanks in advance for any feedback.

  • Shaun says:

    Hi Gadav,
    you should be able to simply hook it up via the analogue outputs on the back of the Zeppelin to the TV.
    You can check the Zeppelin connectivity guide on our site here:


  • Matthew says:

    I have an ipod nano and a Sonos ZP90 zone player connected with ichord which means I can stream Napster through the zeppelin in my Bedroom.

  • Ageve says:

    I rip CDs to my HTPC with EAC (Accuraterip verified), and play them back using Foobar 2000. The signal is transferred bit accurate to the receiver using optical toslink.

  • Maxmac says:

    Studio Zeppelin and Ipod Classic, in the Living room Denon A1 and B&W 7 …nice play

  • altan basaran says:

    I buy vinyl if I can find, otherwise I look for a CD, If still I can not find, I look for flac.

    Vinyls and cds are still the best audiophile sources. IMO digital music is for entry level systems. As much as you invest for your stereo setup, you are looking for better sources.

    My system;

    B&W 803s, Classe Cap-2100 ,Ear Acute cd player, Project Xtension Turn Table(Jubilee Cartridge), Sonos, Benchmark Dac

  • Paal says:

    Mosly listening to music via my hi-fi, and car radio.
    I buy CD and sometimes vinyl as I’m oldscool – like to hold and read on something real.
    The SoS downloads are the first serious e-based mudic I use,(Which have given me great pleasure and broaden my mind). Have downloaded some
    Flac bootlegs in the past.
    My gear is.
    heavily mod. Rega 3
    Dynavector 10x
    Tannoy 613
    MF KW550
    MF A5 DAB
    Pioneer CDP 77
    Senheiser HD120

  • apollo joseph says:

    I Mainly listen through my ipod connected to a Pioneer HT system which has a provision for sound enhancement. Again itunes has the option of sound enhancement to ipod tunes as well. I have a large collection of CD’s and have converted them to AAC format and i continue to buy CD’s as i too like to have the tangible product. The ipod strictly speaking is just for convinience in terms of storage and on the move travelling, other than that i still consider the CD option is

  • Joris says:

    Dear Music lovers,

    This is my current set-up:

    HIFI: Sony LBT-V901 amp (20yrs old) with B&W DM17’s (1984)
    on the amp I’ve connected my PC and Iphone dock. (PC: mainly 320 kbs MP3 & FLAC)

    A/V: Denon AVR-1910 with 2×601 S1; HTM7; 2x LM1 and 2x Solids HCM2 and a BK Gemini II subwoofer

    Currently I have Creative 630i in-ear headphones on my iPhone 2G, but I’m looking forward connecting the all new P5 headphones (in April 2010 on Belgian market)…
    Someone already got a chance listening to the P5 ?

    I have some audio CD’s but I mainly listen to digital music (MP3 & FLAC); once I have a NAS I’ll start ripping the CD’s to FLAC or Apple Lossless.

  • SounDDD says:

    No compromise, @ my own level:
    I play wave files only, from my Apple Mac, from iTunes or (better Quicktime), thru a MOTU 896HD interface going directly in AES EBU to a pair of Dynaudio AIR6, mounted on Dynaudio stands.
    Since day one of having those AIR series, I thought I had magnifying glasses in front of the ears. And 5 years later, I still discover things, in the recording I listen to.
    It’s like whatching the same movie, but still discover things you would have missed so far….
    I love it.
    come and see me @

  • Martin Cope says:

    I listen to music through an active Linn system in the lounge which is fed FLAC files through a Logitech Squeezebox 3 (soon to be replaced by a Linn Akurate DS). I am still very impressed by how good the SB3 is when one considers that it is essentially badly matched cost wise in the above system. It’s a superb bit of kit.

    In the attic, a SB3 feeds a home cinema system consisting of a Musical Fidelity HTP/Power Amplifier and Monitor Audio speakers.

    For those of you that are interested in detail, the systems are:


    Logitech SB3*
    Linn Kairn Pre-amp
    Linn Klouts x3
    Linn Kaber (active) Loundspeakers
    All Linn cabling
    Files stored on a Terastation and fed to SB3 on a wired LAN

    I use the SB3 as the DAC however the system also includes a Linn Numerik I could use as the DAC instead though this is 20bit, not 24 bit


    Logitech SB3*
    Musical Fidelity Home Theatre Processor
    Musical Fidelity HT600 5 Channel Power Amp
    Monitor Audio Gold main (GS60)* and centre (GSLCR)
    Monitor Audio Silver rear (RS1)
    Mordaunt Short Alumni Sub (MS339)
    Files stored on a Terastation and fed to SB3 on a wireless LAN

    * signal conversion (DAC) done by SB3 and only main speakers used for music playback

  • Razvan Bestea says:

    When I want to listen some music I go to the local B&W store and ask for an audition on the 804 with Rotel… That’s why I have nothing at home, I can’t have less than that!
    I use to visit one friend with turntable, SACD player, Rotel and 803… but he moved out…

  • DJ V says:

    the future is invinyl and digital. We need the warmth of analouge and the precision of digital. 24 bit flac is getting close to perfection but still has a harsher sound than the new pressed vinyl. I love both

  • Robin Garms says:

    Old meets new. I have a Rega Planet plugged into the Radio 2 socket to my 1970’s Quad 33/303 driving Quad ELS 57’s. I do also play TV, DVDs, my laptop and my iPhone through the same system.

  • Jens Peter Sørensen says:

    I listen to CD/DVD on
    Meridian 596 DVD player
    Meridian 568 processor
    Meridian DSP 5000 main/center speakers
    Meridian m 2500 sub
    KEF Reference rears
    The signai is digital from CD to speaker

  • G. Brown says:

    I’ve moved all my CD’s over to a PC on an external harddrive (which I should backup on the main hard drive) and play them through a network connection to a Yamaha RSV3900 receiver (powering some new B&W monitor speakers that sound so much better !! :) ). Plus an old Technics directdrive turntable and a DVD with SACD / DVD-A player.

    Just haven’t figured out the FLAC 24 bit thing yet!

  • Chandra says:

    I only use B&W 804 + Onkyo TX876 + Onkyo SP504E + Harman Kardon Sub + XLO cable for speaker and sub. I used it for easy listening, and I like it very much.

  • Paul Zaragoza says:

    I use my Imac connected to a Benchmark DAC 1 – Woo Audio Amp, Beyerdynamic and Denon headphones for non disturbing hearing sessions. I use the same DAC 1 to a yamaha amp and a pair of KEF XQ1 speakers

  • Stephanie Gelder says:

    Hackintosh via USB into a Musical Fidelity A1008, speakers B&W CDM7NT’s.

    Control is through an iphone that controls the library or via my tv that connects to the hackintosh.

  • Rob Rector says:

    I mostly listen to CDs … Jazz, Rock, Classical.

    System: B&W 685 speakers, Adcom GFA-555 II Amplifier, Marantz CD5001 CD Player, Currently Adcom GTP-500 II, being replaced this weekend with a NAD C160 Preamp.

    Here is a picture of my setup….I only started setting this up about 3 weeks ago, and now I have caught the bug.

  • Marcus Gava says:

    I am using Squeeze Box Radio – home office, Boom – bed room, HDX1000 (HD video player) as a FLAC player for 94Khz audio in the HT room with optical audio connection to a Integra Pre-Amp and where I have my B&W speakers powered by a Anthem amp. I have the SB3 also connected to the Integra but supporting up to 48Khz FLAC files. All CDs ripped with FLAC and 320Kbps MP3 for mobility but now testing streaming from a NAS to Iphone 3GS supporting FLAC on the fly conversation with PlugPlayer and where I want to use 3G to access my remote NAS FLAC library. Waiting for Squeeze Box Touch to be available to replace the SB3 and HDX1000 and one additional SB Touch for car use.

  • Robert says:

    Collection of my music is in FLAC on NAS drive with squeezebox server installed.Next to it sits squeezbox reciever, it’s digital output goes into Beresford DAC.Signal from its analog output is splitted in two and is amplified by two fatman itube amplifiers (original 2x13W).They drive pair of shelf speakers, connected as follows: AMP1->L/MF+L/MF, AMP2->HF+HF.All connected with reasonable quality cables/interconnects.Music playback is controlled via ipod touch or PC. I have an AKG-701 headphones and love to use them when cannot listen to my music loud. I connect them to my DAC with headphone amp built-in.I get most of my music from CD’s and B&W. Some of my tracks were purchased online from other sources (FLAC only).
    My quasi bi-amp setup may not make sense to many of you, but I started with only one amp and ipod dock that came with it. Soon realised that ipod is a bootleneck in my system in terms of quality and capacity. I happen to have a chance and listen to AKG headphones with Beresford DAC and found them as of very good price to quality ratio. I purchased DAC and used my old ibook (with NAS) + itunes as a streamer, connected to DAC with USB cable and all controlled with ipod touch. Despite better audio quality, soon I realised, there are limitations or implications to what I can listen as FLAC forma t is not natively supported in itunes.Conversion to other formats or using third party plugins for FLAC support was not working for me either.I also wanted eliminate PC from my chain as I weren’t happy to see it running all the time for no purpose when not using my system. I have considered sonos zp-90 as a streaming option,but found it to expensive and incapable of streaming higher quality content (24bit). I found second hand squeezebox receiver dirty cheap, as its owner wanted to keep original squeezbox controller with upgraded system. I was almost set with the hardware and the last thing was to get squeezebox server running on my NAS and communicating with the receiver.When first track played through my speakers, I was almost in heaven. It may sound unbelieveable, but I’ve noticed huge difference in quality between direct streaming from PC with USB versus streaming through squeezebox receiver. I realised, I could have saved few bucks and use built-in DAC instead of my Beresford, but there is a difference in quality between those two chips,that can be demonstrated with ease. Also having Beresford DAC, means good quality headphone output.
    Second amp joined my setup not so long time ago, when I got fascinated about active speaker systems and multi-amping applications. I did not believe that using second amp without active crossover can make any difference in such entry level system. I didn’t want to make any more expenses as I was finall y happy with my system performance. However, because I wasn’t using my ipod dock with remote anymore, I decided to convert it into few bucks and auction it. Happily, winning bid was higher than I expected and at the same time, I found someone who wanted to get rid of fatman amp, keeping its original ipod dock :)). Adding very few bucks made it new home and great company to my existing setup.What I discovered soon when using two amps, is that sound is much brighter and relaxed, comparing to single amp setup. Second fact is, when playing tracks with very variable dynamic, following sound is much easier and there aren’t any moments that you’d think,I wish I had more powerful amp.
    What I have learned is, that discovering again your well known music through better playback is wonderfull experience. There are plenty “ready to go” great, easy to use products for audio playback on the market. Unless you want sexy, compact and great sounding ZEPPELIN for your Bedroom or Living Room, experiment little bit and have a fun.

    Cheers Rob

  • Klaus Labek says:

    Finally, my audio-life is complete:

    At work: WAV-Files >> optical >> Accuphase E-350 incl. DAC >> 805D (next week 802D coming)
    At home: WAV-Files >> optical >> EAD DAC >> T+A Preamp >> Krell MDA500 Mono >> Matrix 800 (old but still my reference)

    greetings, klaus

  • Malcolm Percival says:

    Mac Mini / external 1TB HDD holding Apple Lossless files – with the exception of one or two downloaded items from the Amazon MP3 store for convenience (hard to find items) which tend to sound slightly ‘rough’ compared to the Lossless stuff; Meridian 506.20 CD player – now only for the occasional spin of discs when they first come in the door; Oppo DV-993H for SACD & DVD (movies, opera, concerts), Sony BDP-S550 (some of the best sound around today comes from Opus Arte operas in surround PCM, DTS-HD MA or Dolby True HD). Sky Digibox for digital radio.

    Ancient but wonderful Denon AVC-A1D surround amplifier, connected digitally to Mac Mini.

    B&W CDM9NT, CDMCNT, CDMSNT. 10 years next year with these speakers and they still astound me. Would love 800 Diamonds with suitable amplifiers and Meridian surround processor :)

  • Norm says:

    Use a Cambridge DAC Magic, Squeezebox, original Rega Mira (clamshell) and Rega R5 loudspeakers with music downloaded from Linn and Society of Sound. Cd’s are copied with EAC in flac. Very good sound and convenient. Very rarley do I use my CD player or DVD player. Had many different setups over the years but my current system always pleases and over all cost is very reasonable.

  • Paul van Boeschoten says:

    very traditional : I use a Michell reference electronic for my vinyl collection and a Sony cd player (wich I have to replace soon)
    accuphase 405 amplifier
    801 and dm17
    on my computer : mm-1
    no compressed music of any sort

  • Aaron Williams says:

    Wow some pressive money spent on equipment. I’m pretty proud of my setup considering I’ve spent a grand total of $300 cnd on it.

    B&W dm330 up front ($50 at a garage sale, best deal yet)
    Bose 301 in the rear (free from a family member)
    Cerwin Vega HST 10 doing the lows ($40 from a friend)
    Sony 6.1 channel reciever (100w per channel) ($200 at a local audio store)
    Playstation 3 handleing streaming and storing music on the hdd.

    It’s kind of mismatched but souds impressive but the B&W’s still rock hard. I’d love a high quality setup someday but I do the best with what I have.

  • Henry Wotton says:

    I listen with me ears…. basically.
    I do understand the struggle of some with hi-end systems, but after a few years of trials, nothing sounds more pleasing than me father’s 1960 Garrard intermix 210, especially when 3-4 45rs have dropped and the belt drive slightly misses some turns here and there. I am at the process of hooking it up with an A/D (analogue to digital converter) and experiment on how i can enhance the sound quality coming out of the time-worn woofer (its a built in system) but without imprisoning its soul in a digital cell. (suggestions are welcome)

    The simplicity and conformity of the Zeppelin -ipod combination is memorial: and its usability/sound quality ratio unsurpassed. I listen to it most of the time now; from moments of peaceful hearing to noisy children’s parties, the Zeppelin is there. I do hope my kids will discover it some 30 years from now, under a layer of dust, in the basement, and be amazed by the ingenuity and fun that is bestowed into it by its creators. Like the old Garrard.

  • jpb1 says:

    A humble but more than able system:

    McIntosh Integrated MA-6500;
    McIntosh MVP-861 (CD; SACD; and DVD) player;
    Wadia 170i Transport w/ a 160 GB iPod;
    Benchmark DAC w/ USB;
    MIT interconnects;
    MIT Shotgun 3.3 Speaker Cables
    Bowers & Wilkins 805-Diamond Series
    Rega P1 Turntable

  • Peter says:


    I compress CDs to iTunes AAC 256 VBR on my MacBook, stream the digital signal to a Cambridge DACMagic which is connected to my NAD C 315BEE Amp, probably the weakest link in the chain. But my CM9 sound just right in this setup.

    What concerns compression: With AAC 256 and VBR my ears don’t hear the difference as compared to uncompressed formats anymore, not in my setup, at least.

    My experience with different DACs: The DAC does matter. My expreiences are reduced to the following devices: Cambridge DACMagic: HiFi. 3rd gen. iPod: MiFi. 5th gen. iPod, MacBook and iPhone: LoFi. The difference is subtle, as you won’t hear any dramatic change (as when you for example compare different loudspeakers). The detail of the music you hear is also just the same for different DAC. But if you close your eyes and ask the question: “Am I in concert?” With a HiFi DAC your answer much more probably will be yes, almost.

    But what makes the biggest difference, I think, is the recording itself. My impression is, that recently there are more and more recordings adjusted such that they sound really good on an iPod with some cheap earphones. These recordings then, however, are difficult to listen to on an advanced setup. Anyone else with the same experience?

    Cheers, Peter

  • Mahesh Rengaswamy says:

    I like the Zep. Replaced my Bose with this awesome speakers for my iPod and iTouch and am absolutely digging it. Since we got it, it is pretty much on the whole time we are home. Even my wife likes it, which is saying a lot.

  • Bob says:

    I listen to my music using a Project x pack t/table with Ortofon Rondo Red m/c cartridge into a Graham Slee phono stage , through an old Naim NAC 62 / Flatcap x Naim NAP 90 with Dynaudio Focus 140 speakers , my cd player is a Myryad MXC 6000 all with various expensive assorted cables that my Hi-Fi retailer said I could not live wthout. Bob the gullible

  • Fezz says:

    In my living room I listen to either CD’s, or music files streamed through a Logitech Transporter from a central storage PC. Either way the music goes through a Roksan Kandy K2 amp and then to a pair of B&W CM9s. Mostly I listen to the Transporter due to how convenient it is-LOVE HOW IT PLAYS raw 24bit FLAC files. No conversion/transcoding!!!. In my bedroom I have a Squeezebox Boom with a subwoofer.

  • Luis Mendes says:

    All my music is ripped from CD’s to AAC and record into the NAS system, iPhone and a portable disk.
    From NAS I listen with iTunes over my computer system;
    From portable drive I use the Winamp (portable version) in any computer system;
    From iPhone at home or in travel.

    The iPhone is connetc to a distribution box for the in-wall sound system and are controled room by room.
    The system above is linked too to:
    Sys1: Rotel Michi/Carver M1 Amplifier/JBL L150/B&W subwoofer;
    Sys2: Rotel Michi/Wharfedale diamond with amplifiers/B & W subwoofer.
    When I want list music with quality sound I list directly from CD.

  • JayJay says:

    Another hello from South Africa!

    I have had a soft spot for B&W since first drooling over the sound of the Model 70 way back in the early 1970’s at Norman Foglar’s hi-fi retailer in Cape Town. The electrostatic mids and highs were sublime. So now you know my approximate vintage….and so the adventure of sound started.

    Zooming back to the present, I have both a stereo system and an AV system in my 8m by 7m (about 26′ by 23′) room, and another AV in kids lounge. A hotch potch of equipment, some goodish, some mediocre and some obsolete. But the music still brings smiles to our faces, or is the glass of 10 year old Cape Shiraz that does it?

    We have already ripped most of our CD’s onto one of the desktops and so have almost 7000 sings on iPod Classic 160gB, and have now started converting 1000 LP’s into the digital domain- it is a tedious process what with cleaning each one using a VPI Model HW16.5.

    Have just started with FLAC downloads via Society of Sound and look forward to even more great music to have in our earlobes, sorry – at our fingertips!

    Currently still 60% CD, 35% LP and only 5% virtual – but I am pretty sure these proportions will change in the next year!

    Main stereo:

    tapes (7″ reels at 7 1/2 ips half track stereo): Uher Variocord 263
    cassettes (once in a blue moon) NAD 6340
    vinyl Linn LP12 (Valhalla, Trampolin and Sirkus) with Ittok arm and AT OC9 cartridge
    CD: Theta Data II
    DAC: Theta DS Pro Prime
    CD/SACD/DVD-A: Pioneer DV 757 Ai
    Pre-amp: Audiolab 8000C
    Power amps: a pair of Steinhart valve monoblocks 200W
    Speakers: Apogee Caliper Signature
    Cabling: mainly van den Hul, with some Cardas and Monster.

    Main AV:

    DVD: Pioneer DV 757 Ai as above
    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V640RDS
    Fronts: a pair of B&W 604 S3
    Centre: B&W LCR600 S3
    Rears: a trio of B&W 602 S3
    Sub: Boston PV1000

    Kids lounge AV:

    CD and laserdisks (for once I tried to be :an early adopter and it backfired): Pioneer CLD 1850
    DVD: Samsung el cheapo
    AV Processor: Adcom GTP600
    Amps: pair of Rotel RB850 bridged mono
    Mains: B&W 602 S3
    Rears: Boston Bravo

  • Colin says:

    Music is such a big part of my life I have to have it in every room.
    I mostly buy CDs for the quality.
    Rip to AIFF or Download 24 bit FLAC from SOS and convert to 24 bit AIFF using XRECODE (really excellent software).
    Play through iTunes streaming over SPDIF & Wi-Fi to Living Room, Kitchen and most of all Bedroom/Music Room.

    Bedroom has Arcam A32 & P35 – Airport Express – Beresford Caiman – B&W 683’s – Chord; Odyssey2, Chameleon, Prodac & Opti-Chord –

    Very proud to have an All British setup that Sounds so Beautiful, especially those Exquisite 24 bit tracks you keep us furnished with.

    Thank You Bowers & Wilkins, for opening My Ears.

    Colin Waterworth

  • Karl says:

    Liste to the music with the B&W N801 on the naim supernait + hicap from a naim cd or my pro-ject for vinyl or most of the music comes from the big mac / apple losless. need nothing further…

  • Paul says:

    Due to degenerative hearing loss that includes tinitus I had given up on enjoying great sounding music. But then I bought the P5 headphones so that I could hear phone calls on my iPhone, what I did not realise was the difference they would make to the music on my iPhone. I now have a zeppelin as well which I use for music in my lounge but is also connected to the audio out on my TV, the improvement over the TVs built in speakers is huge and means I can watch TV etc without subtitles. Next purchase will be the MM-1 speakers for connection to my iMac.


  • Benjamin says:

    i listen to music using MP3’s off my phone but i still have a CD collection, just in case…. i have to admit, even though MP3 format may be worse than CD’s etc… it still sounds really good on the Zeppelin :) who would have thought a 14 year old would have one of them eh?
    picture below:

  • Stuart says:

    For my portable setup I listen to lossless files with an Ipod classic, Graham Slee Voyager headphone amp and B&W P5’s – simply brilliant sound!

  • Jason says:

    I’ve been going through a transition recently. I was listening to CDs, Minidisc and ATRAC players but, in 2008, I went over to iPod, mainly because I was annoyed that Sony had effectively abandoned ATRAC. My vinyl was played on a Project-1 and recorded to MD. Headphones were (still are) various in number but nothing stood out.

    In the last few months I have bought an iPod Classic, Onkyo ND-S1, Cambridge Audio Dacmagic and Graham Slee Novo (the kit one which I built myself), together with AKG K702 headphones. All CDs have been re-ripped to ALAC, except some DJ ones (Global Underground, etc.) which are staying on ATRAC. I still listen to CDs, vinyl and MD on my main system in the living room, with the iMac and Onkyo going to the Dacmagic in the study.

    Now I have the P5s too, so they are mainly for when I want to listen to music away from the living room or study, and vinyl to MD recordings.

  • Walter says:

    Hello to all from Vienna – Austria !

    My setup includes an Rotel Pre- Amplifier and a 5channel Amplifier (RMB1075). I got BW 703 in the front, BW 705 in the back and a BW center. I use a active woofer by Boston Acoustic for movies only. I enjoy listening to my BW’s and looking forward to buy Nautilus or Diamond series when i would have enough money. For iPod listening i am using Sure (i guess SE510) in earphones. I am wondering if the new BW P5 are that great as they say and might switch to them for listening when i travel.

  • Connor says:

    All my music, mostly lossless, is played off my iMac through either a pair of B&W MM1 speakers or Tannoy Reveal 6D’s. These near-field monitors are both stunning and precise, offering a great listening experience.
    Aside from this I have an imported Onkyo HTX-22HD

    This is a fantastic small/medium 5.1 cinema system with an epic dtsHD and DolbyTureHD processor.

  • Brad Hawks says:

    i have about 1,000 CD’s. My home system:

    Mc Intosh MC 2200 power amp purchased new 1977
    Mc Intosh C 504 preamp purchased new 1979
    Esoteric SA-10 SACD purchased new 2008
    B&W 801 Matrix 3 purchased new 1997
    Audioquest interconnects (coral) & full bi-wire speaker cables (cv4)

    I used to have a Thorens TD 125 MkIV with a SME Type 3 arm and signet cartridge and less than 200 records. I sold them all back in the 80’s. ARRRRRAUGGGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my bad.

  • louis chiesa says:

    I guess I’m a little old fashioned in that to me I still want to hold my music in my hands and put it on the turntable or cd player

    my system is for both music and ht

    B&W 805s
    krell KAV 3250 250 watts really make those 805s sing
    NAD Master Series processer
    MIT cables
    Rega Apollo cd player
    Rega P2 turntable with nad pp2 phono amp and rega elys 2 cartridge

  • Joé says:

    FLAC over network to
    LINN DS-I to
    Mark Levinson Nr 334 over MIT AVt 2 to
    B&W Matrix 804

    Since I use the Linn, i’ve never used the Rega Planet Cd any more.

  • DoomHammer says:

    Linn Majik DS-I feeding Linn Katans (currently passive). Waiting for my Linn Axis/Akito/K9 to come to listen to vinyl.

    I must say that Majik DS-I is an impressive one-box solution and future-proof with ability to play 192kHz/24bit FLAC files.

  • Patrice says:

    I use my MacbookPro with iTunes and SongBird (to play FLAC) with Airport Express connected to my Harman Kardon HK 990. I play CD on my HD 990.

    805s B&W speakers.

    The sound is great ! i’m always surprised by basses on theses small speakers. I think that the Harman Kardon amplifier with 805s is just a miracle !

    Sorry for my bad english, i’m french !

  • Martin says:

    Sonos & Squeezebox Touch connected optically to NAD T-775, streaming from Netgear ReadyNAS NV+, Linn Majik 109-ers plus Majik subwoofer. Absolutely love it, but missing SACD/DVD-A player, looking at upgrading around Christmas time. Also looking at Majik DS or Logitech Transporter, but still need to do more research on that.

    Probably ditching Sonos in the long run. I was an early adopter, but its limitations to 16bit are getting on my nerves. Bought the Squeezebox Touch to get around that limitation in the short term, but looking at a more high-end solution.

    Btw, just joined Society of Sound today, and I must say, I’m already very impressed with the quality!

  • Stephen says:

    Which reasonably priced toslink cable would be recommended to connect my Zeppelin to my Panasonic TV?

  • Guy says:

    I have owned a pair of fantastic B&W 602.5 s3s for years but recently bought a Sonos Zoneplayer S5 for the back room which I run off my itunes and Napster off my mac.

    I love my old floor standers and the sound you get from B&W so I wondered if it was possible to hook up the new Zepplin Air Play to the Sonos Bridge wireless network?

  • SK says:

    Hi everyone, i am planing to buy a pair of CM8s. would marantz pm 15 s2 and Marantz sa 15 s2 be a cood combination with the CM8s. does any one have any experiences with CM8 combinations.

  • Marijan says:

    Harman Kardon AVR247, front preouts to Harman Kardon PA2400

    Fronts: DM603 S3
    Surround: DM602 S3
    SB: M-1
    SUB. JPW SW40

    Source 1TB HD on WDTV.

  • joseph says:

    My set up:Jericho (Fostex) horn speakers
    Supernait2 amp.
    CD 5is Naim
    Onkyo Integra Tuner

  • milan says:

    Replay system:

    Fiio X1 Digital Audio Player (Supports 192KHz/24Bit) (£99)
    MicroSD card 64G (£22)
    AKG 550 (99)
    Total Cost £220.
    Lessen the cost by using cheaper headphones.
    The replay system need not cost a fortune, the player is a real find, though you have to add memory separately.
    A head amp probably next purchase.

  • cherry|soda says:

    Here’s another girl brave enough to wade out into this pool of testosterone just enough to tell you about my setup… because im truly proud of it, and have worked hard to pay for it!

    I’m not sure of the order, but here’s a list of my gear, in what seems to be a logical order…:S
    Rega DAC
    REGA Brio-R amplifier
    AudioControl EQ-101 (rebuilt vintage!)
    Totem Tribe 500w Subwoofer Amplifier by Bash
    Rega Ear-1 Headphone Amplifier
    Totem Arro front speakers, in 2ch. stereo config
    Totem 2×8″ sealed On-Wall Subwoofer

    As far as my source units are concerned…
    Rega RP-6 Turntable
    Apple TV (3rd generation)
    Apple iMac
    Apple iPhone 5
    Apple iPad Air 2
    Apple iPad mini 3
    Apple MacBook
    Apple Mac mini
    Samsung 3D blu-ray player

    I’m on a roll now, so I’d might as well round this off with the visual end of my system…
    Samsung 55″ 8 Series 1080p 3D LED HDTV
    Samsung 28″ UHD 4K Monitor… I just bought this, and how I love it!

    There you have it… the female side of things! :)
    Oh! If you’re like me, then if you’re not spinning vinyl, your source is a computer or mobile device. I finally found an amazing player app. The player app from Onyko, called Onyko HF Player, is by far the best app of it’s kind… At least in my humble opinion.
    It stores and plays high-resolution audio files, including: DSD & FLAC, as well as 96kHz/24bit wave. (which is nice, considering iTunes’ aversion to playing said file types)
    …and the best part, is that it does all of that, while sounding incredible… while being a free app download from the Apple App Store! For free, you recieve the basic player, and to upgrade to the full High-Res version, the cost is a mere $12.99… And trust me when I say it’s one of the best $12.99s I’ve ever spent.

    That is all… cherry out!

  • Frank Black says:

    I have a squeezzebox touich. I have connected it to my Zeppplin by av leads but wanted to know if i could use the digital outputs to the Zepplin.

  • Bowers & Wilkins says:

    The Zeppelin cannot reproduce Dolby Digital or DTS encoded material, and therefore only an analogue connection is recommended.

  • Thomaz Nilsson says:

    Vinyl, vinyl, vinyl and vinyl using Nad 3020 purchased in London 1980 when i was 16 years. Took the boat from Gothenburg and back. Always use my P7 headphones. Otherwise the family will go crazy. Have even newer stuff for Tidal hifi but usually end up in front of the vinyl. The music sounds more honest. Maybe it has to do with age…

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