Can anyone recommend a setup for a sound system for 192kbps+ mp3s?


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Aug 10, 2019
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I know that I'm never going to get great quality from an mp3 at this or any bitrate but given the amount of music I have in this format now, I would like to know how to create the best sound from this format and how much I should spend before the equipment is too good for the incoming quality.. I know that you can't polish a turd. :)

I'm looking for the best setup for playing mp3 quality music from my pc into a rich, (maybe multi-speaker?) setup in my room. I do not want to play games, watch dvds or anything fancy with this setup & the main aim is to get the best sounding MUSIC from my lossy mp3 (I know it's nasty) collection.

1. Does anyone know of good technology that gets the most out of this lossy audio format? Are there things out there to improve on mp3 quality specifically? Like the Creative xMod but more of an audiophile's external sound card/standalone amp with PC interface? These things tend to just try to add nasty surround sound effects to music and may simply not help my cause - any advice here?

2. Speaker setup: I like the look of are the KEF iQ 5's (~£170 online) and am being sold that floorstands are going to give a much deeper, richer sound overall than bookshelf speakers.. My setup currently is to move my cheap-ass bookshelf speakers around on long cables so I can enjoy my music in bed with a speaker either side of me and at my desk - with one either side of me again. I also tend to drag one into the bathroom with me so I can listen in the shower/bath but we'll leave that option out. I'd love to recreate this so I was thinking of either buying 4 speakers (2 floorstands and 2 bookshelfs - so I can listen with sound around my bed and on my desk at the same time) but this might just be overkill - what do people think? Should I just buy floorstands to begin with and see how I get along? Are these speakers the best choice?

3. The amp (ideally < £200) should be able to run 2 pairs of speakers if I go for that setup described above. I'm not sure how much to spend on this but I need something that could drive something as nice as the KEF's but also try to get the most out the less-rich incoming source mp3 audio.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!


couple of suggestions - if the music is stored on pc hard drive or a NAS you could look at slimdevices squeezebox, which is probably the most "musical" of the wireless media players out there,

Or, if the music is on an IPOD you should look at the arcam rDock - I am using one with my new Arcam Solo and its great, The big thing here apparantly is that the rdock bypasses the ipods internal headphone amplifier and takes the signal from the ipod straight into its own wizards lair....the sound is really crisp, and full, and these mp3s were at 128Kbps!