What features do you think are missing from high-end audio components?

What features do you think are missing from high-end audio components?
Here's what I'd like to see
83% (85 votes)
Can't think of any
17% (17 votes)
Total votes: 102

Reader Mike Agee wonders why displays on disc players don't default to "time remaining" or why more power amps don't come with attenuators. What features do you think are missing from high-end audio components?

Joe's picture

An affordable price tag. Not all of us have incomes in the mid six figures, or are Stereophile contributors who get stuff for free.

Tim's picture

Mono & phono stages.

Nosmo King's picture

Networking features. I should be able to control my devices using a web page or iPhone app.

Jimmy's picture

L-o-w-e-r prices!

steve gillis's picture

Make CD players or amps have access to DAC for external uses (USB, etc).

Jorge Soares's picture

Audiophile hard disk SACD player

Rus Bee's picture

Integrated amps and receivers need subwoofer outputs.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

It would be nice to have a remote control for my LFD Zero amp and digital output from my Resolution CD. And too many speakers have bi-wiring terminals and I still don't know why!

Nodaker's picture

The ability to shut off the display. Why anyone would not allow for this feature is beyond me. Annoying little read outs when you really don't need anything. It increases the display life, too.

rwp's picture

Tone controls. Indispensable items, Rarely seen.

Mike Agee's picture

I think cable connections on components should be positioned for easy cable dressing. Some are quite good in this respect, others require that small signal and power cables be parallel and very near each other. If a special fuse, bit of damping, or footer makes a positive change in a component's sound, it should be mentioned in the product literature. A design is truly mature when accessory footers do no good.

C.  King, Thousand Oaks, CA's picture

Working peoples' prices....

digititus's picture

A DAC is to this century what a phono stage was to the previous one; Don't know why it's taken the industry so long to figure this one out.

EP's picture

All preamps should have a mono switch.

Dave's picture

Loudness and tone controls!

ChiDave's picture

Digital inputs on CD players. Sam T. was way off saying Unison shouldn't bother on their new player. Just replaced my Cairn Fog 3 with a Unico CD; two of the few reasonably priced players with this feature.

Dave in Dallas's picture

Lower prices.

Adrian's picture

Word Clock I/O on transports/players and DACs. No high-end digital source should be without it.

Vladimir Sheftelyevich's picture

A digital loopout for room correction computers. Room correction built into D/A converters.

digital doug's picture

I miss "full-featured" preamps. Tone controls (remotely operated!), bass management, D/A conversion, digital parametric EQ—the whole enchilada!

Cesar.'s picture

Lower prices!

Brankin's picture

Ha! Good sound! Or should I clarify by saying, lack of a sound?

Louis P.'s picture

Preamps should all have remote control standard. The oscillating fan I use in my den does, and it cost less than $100. There is no reason to have to get up for a minor volume control adjustment. Phono stages should either have adjustable resistance, or external receptacles. Ditto for capacitance for MM stages.

eddie's picture

Digital inputs on CD players so we can take advantage of DA conversion with sources like Apple TV.

mike eschman's picture

Automatic volume equalization across all sources.

Alan in Victoria's picture


sal's picture

A DAC with HDMI support.

Dudley's picture

I would like fewer features. I would like a one-box system like the Linn Classik or Arcam Solo. But for CD only. No radio. No inputs. No interconnects or terminals. No source selection. No remote. No bi-wire or multiroom. No programming. Strip out all the non-essentials, and beef up the power (150Wpc or more, instead of the typical 50-75Wpc).

Toussaint's picture

A light on amplifiers and turntables so one could see them when there is little light in the listening room. My old Nikko receiver had a light on the radio band. Whenever the amp was on one could see by this light all the knobs.

Robin Heisey's picture

A non-encrypted, industry standard, hi-rez digital interface is the elephant in the room for this question. The recording industry seems to think the suppression of this technology, eagerly desired by its most ardent and well-heeled friends and followers, will help prevent the spread of pirated lo-rez MP3 files. Wow.