Bose QuietComfort 35 vs. Sennheiser PXC-550 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Jun 17, 2018

I bought pairs of Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II and Sennheiser PXC-550 wireless noise cancelling headphones, and compared their performance. Both are good headphones, but the Bose is the clear winner in nearly every category. The Bose headphones offer significantly better comfort, ease of use, sound quality, and noise cancelling. And both are priced at $350, so the choice is easy.

How Good Is Spotify's Audio Quality?

Jan 21, 2018

I bought a Google Chromecast Audio for my budget audiophile system, due to problems with Apple’s AirPlay. I like the Chromecast, but as I listened to my favorite music on Spotify Premium, I was disappointed. The audio quality was noticeably worse than casting Spotify to AirPlay. I decided to figure out what was going on and see if I could fix the audio quality issues. I think I’ve learned what’s wrong, and unfortunately I don’t think it’s fixable. Read on to learn more.

My Budget Audiophile Stereo System

Nov 24, 2016

You probably know that I like to be pretty minimalistic, and don’t accumulate many belongings. Yet for the few material things I value, I try to find the best balance of cost and quality. I enjoy music a lot, so I treated myself to an upgraded stereo system.

The Best Lossy Music Compression

Feb 21, 2016

I noticed recently that Google Play Music has a set of features I wasn’t aware of before, and decided to give it a try. Through various kinds of yak shaving, I ended up tackling a project I’d wanted to look into for a while: which formats and settings are really the best for lossy music compression?

What I learned was both fun and surprising, and ultimately highly practical. If you’re in a hurry, the summary is that high-quality variable-bitrate MP3 produced with the LAME encoder is the most compatible choice if you want broad compatibility, but has low sound quality; if you want the best sound quality, AAC (Apple’s native format) or Ogg Vorbis are much better than MP3 but aren’t as universally supported.

But before I get to that, let’s sharpen some yak razors, shall we?

How to Tune A Guitar (Or Any Instrument)

Jan 18, 2014

Do you know how to tune a guitar? I mean, do you really know how to tune a guitar?

A review of Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones

Jan 16, 2014

I’ve used active noise-cancelling headphones for over ten years now, and have owned several pairs of Bose, one of Sony, and most recently a pair of Sennheiser headphones. The Sennheisers are my favorites. I thought I’d write down why I’ve gone through so many sets of cans and what I like and dislike about them.

How to digitize records with Ubuntu, a USB Turntable and Audacity

Aug 30, 2008

I’ve been digitizing my LP collection recently and thought I’d share a quick howto, since I haven’t seen a good complete tutorial on the whole process online. Hopefully this will show up on Google and people can find it.