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.


  • 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…

Older comments

Add a comment

We welcome debate within Society of Sound, but please keep it friendly, respectful and relevant. We have a few house rules which we ask you to abide by to keep the debate intelligent. Read more.
Product enquiry or support issue? Please click here.

Related posts

Bowers & Wilkins Speakers thumbnail

How Many Speakers?

After listening to the podcast discussion about surround sound in the Lab it got us wondering just how many speakers is enough for … Read more

Bowers & Wilkins Speakers thumbnail

Computer Games: The Future of Surround Sound?

Computer games were once just for kids; many of those kids are in their 30s and 40s now, and many of them are still playing games. … Read more

Bowers & Wilkins Speakers thumbnail

Apple Lossless Confusion

There’s a lot of confusion about audio encoding, and how to get the best out of your digital music. Obviously we at B&W are … Read more