Are there any unfulfilled audiophile needs still waiting to be met?

From basic components to the obscure tweak, there are thousands of products to satisfy every audiophile need. But are there any unfulfilled audiophile needs still waiting to be met?

Are there any unfulfilled audiophile needs still waiting to be met?
Here's what we need
91% (52 votes)
Nothing new needed
9% (5 votes)
Total votes: 57

James's picture

Margules Audio showed a prototype high end interface for the iPod. I hope that this is the beginning of many new products designed to integrate this popular device with our two channel high end systems.

John H's picture

A magic pill that (permanently) makes your spouse accept any setup.

Bubba in SF's picture

There is one piece of equipment that still is not used very much or at all at Stereophile. It actually has a greater use in Washington DC also, but I doubt it would be used there ever. It is a hand held device called a Reality Check Meter. It requires no battteries but, it does require a self evalution.

Scotty Thompson's picture

It would be nice if more females would embrace the hobby.

Bruno from Slovenia's picture

AN FM antenna with 9db gain (no amplifying - only directors and reflectors) over 360 degrees.

Paul J.  Stiles, Mtn.View, CA's picture

We are sooo satisfied with what we have now (and got it at such an affordable price) that none of us are looking for anything new, whether it be playback equipment or discs (software)! Or is it: I can't wait to cash out on my 403(b) account to buy that new turntable-tonearem-base combo.

S.  Thews's picture

Much more media in SACD or DVD-Audio. Remastered classic albums and new albums. Stereo or surround, who cares?

DAB, Pacific Palisades, CA's picture

Overkill! Many "tweaks," as well as component claims, have simply gone too far in terms of claiming better sound.

Travis Klersy's picture

One big unfulfilled need is more effective audio racking at entry level prices. Laminated MDF with screw-on legs or glass shelving that rings like a bell appear to be the only options until one starts closing in on the $1000 range. Frankly, one is better off making a rack from Ikea Lack endtables than buying a cheap audio rack-the Lacks are very effective at vibration dissipation for around $15 each.

Chris S.'s picture

Let's see. We need a portable SACD player. The world could use a 100GB iPod with optical out and gapless playback. Basically, we need better portable audio. Many people don't have the time to really sit at home listening to a dedicated system these days. I know I spend more time dusting my rig than listening to it.

process97's picture

I'd love to see something like the old McIntosh MPI series. We need an audiophile type oscilloscope for system troubleshooting. I fondly remember using the auxillary 'scope inputs on my old Marantz Model 150 tuner to check things like channel balance, volume control tracking, true mono/stereo signal, phase, etc. I'd buy sometihing like this in a flash!

deno kouris's picture

A tiered approach for offering information to readers. From what I've read and seen there are many levels of education for audiophiles, newbies to engineers. Stereophile is missing the boat with most of its articles and the way it approaches relating to their readers, often excluding all but the most knowledgable of electronics fans. What I was looking for from Stereophile, when I first started subscribing some years ago, was education, something as simple as speaker placement or what do they mean by those complicated terms. Unfortunately, for many years I kept reading but didn't feel like I was learning anything. Who cares what a piece of equipment that I will never hear has a nominal impedence of if I can't relate? It was my biggest reason for cancelling my subscription, I know good sound (I've saved up for the last 10 years to afford my Dunlavy/Pass Labs setup), but I have no idea what the reviews are saying at a technical standpoint and how that effects sound. The resolution? Use Stereophile's current lineup with some slight modifcation. Get new users excited with affordable products but also educate them so they understand what that means in terms of higher quality equipment. An example for the first two installments: 1) How to choose a system Recommended Component: An entry level system; 2) Setup Recommended Component: A good sound level meter; 3) Tweeks and upgrades

Harris Haft's picture

A high end separate component equilizer complete with mike and remote controll. Why? Because no matter how good your system is, every room or environment is different, unless of course you live in an anechoic chamber.

erich's picture

We need widespread adoption of DVD-A!

Allen's picture

A recording system that sounds real! It is the only weak point in the reproduction chain. Think about it, live music sounds "live" even though it has passed through microphones, poor professional cables, junky mixing desks, ear splitting high-efficiency amplifiers, more junky cables and then finally some horrible plastic cased speakers. My point is, it still sounds great, the weak link in our chain is the actual recording system. SACD was a step in the right direction but we need a lot more!

Ken Kirkpatrick's picture

We need that JVC hard as a rock vinyl to come back from retirement. That vinyl was so quiet and lasts and lasts.

J,Liguori's picture

iLink based DVD-Audio & SACD D/A converter. I need it!

F.  Chasinovsky, Van Nuys, CA's picture

Room acoustics fixes!

Glenn Young's picture

Affordable and effective digital room correction. Fully automated surround setup. Programmable and effective digital speaker correction.

Mike Agee's picture

Beyond basic record cleaning, it would be interesting to lift some of mystery about specific surface issues on LPs. Audio's dirty secret? A scandal on the seedier side of cable prices? No, but LP surface noise is an undissected subject in an otherwise thoroughly dissected hobby. This must have been covered in a 'net forum somewhere, but "pops and pings" as a desriptor doesn't quite cut it when you're wincing through a barrage of crackle over great music on a kilo-buck system. Why do some records look pristine but sound like a gravel road? Why do other records look really bad but sound fine? Is there a name for that one channel swoosh that roars in and is gone on the lead-in groove? Is there a good way (besides pressing on the cartridge like I did as a kid) to correct a skip in an otherwise good LP? The angled point of a hypodermic needle is a good tool for popping hardened schmutz from a groove, any other neat tricks out there?

Edward Devanandan's picture

We need a DVD-Audio or SACD capable portable audio player. A high capacity Flash player with built in memory and removable memory cards, with high-def headphones ofcourse.

Patrick Boulay's picture

A digital archiving component for CD collections with upsampling and compression capabilities that's affordable (ie, less than $2000).

Mark Miller's picture

A modern and very reasonably priced tubed preamp that includes a phono section.

D.  Hebert's picture

SACD and DVD-Audio have to crank it up big time! Great formats; too few discs. Release tons of them, please! These formats are audiophile bliss, but frustrate me because every time I listen to a great CD, I think "this would be awesome in SACD, but its not available." More, more, more!

Craig's picture

First choice: Lower prices for the gear that really sounds good. Second choice: Less beating around the bush and use of hyperbole in audio equipment reviews when it comes to describing the observed capabilities of a product and how it compares to other similarly priced offerings already on the market.

No body's fool.'s picture

We need another $19,000 amp with a whopping 100 watts. Wait, I'm sorry, that was crass. What I meant was "We need another 100 watt, $19,000.00 amp." Sounds stupid either way really, doesn't it?

David's picture

Standalone automated room acoustical calibration device, rentable, that you set up at your listening position, and it tells you what/where to place acoustical treatments to eliminate room resonances.

C.  Healthgut, M.D., FACS's picture

In my opinion, we need a "back to basics" approach to audiophile listening. Being a minimalist reaps its rewards when it comes to seeking and obtaining the ultimate combination of audiophile compoents.

trevor t's picture

Simple, cohesive hi-fi using digital media as source.

Al Marcy's picture

Time to listen ;)