Built for Audiophiles

JA, the industrious, is home today, working on his review of the Slim Devices Squeezebox, which will appear in our next eNewsletter. This makes me happy. Happy, not because JA, the boss, is home, but happy because he's working on his review of the Squeezebox. And, the Squeezebox, as we know, with all of its delicious features and its oh-so-sleek-and-simple lines that fit snugly in the tiniest of corners to broadcast your Editors and Jimmy Edgars and Pink Martinis and Sonic Youth-slash-Fugazis from your office to your kitchen to your bedside window ledge to your broom closet and back into your sweetly pitter-pattering music-loving heart,


There are even a few eager people asking:
"When's Stereophile going to review the Squeezebox?"
Asking: "What's taking them so damn long?"
Asking: "Will the review appear before the SB4 is released?"
Asking: "I wonder if the SB3 will sound better atop Ayre Myrtle Blocks?"

And on and on.

So, I'm happy that JA is writing his review of the Squeezebox, if not for the print magazine, at least for the eNewsletter. The newsletter is, after all, where we first mentioned the Olive Symphony, and it's now earned "Follow-Up" coverage in our April issue. Like Olive, Slim Devices isn't exactly the typical high-end audio company. Take a quick look at either company's website to see what I mean. These sites are good-looking, fun and easy to use, warm and inviting. These websites ask to be played with, they ask the user to take off her scarf and gloves and get comfortable. They're smart. They appeal to a wide audience. And we're not exactly the target their designers are shooting for when they sit down at their drawing boards. Non-audiophiles — I mean: regular people — understand this stuff. Nevertheless, we are on their radar. Suddenly, it seems to me, there are all these glossy mass-market types slinging around the word "audiophile" like poets crying "love." Love, love, love, love, love, love, love.

And I've never been one to run from love. That's why I say, "It's about time." I say when these companies throw wide their great, big, strong arms to us, we should come running, eager to embrace them. We — the audiophile community — can, at times, be an extreme bunch. And what is it to be extreme? Every extreme, it seems to me, is nothing much more than its opposite. And where does that leave us?

David Nighorn's picture

This is great news. The SB is one of the new digital sources that might be the bridge between the ipod generation and the tradional audiophile community. Using the proper compression (lossless), music sounds as natural and alive as I've ever heard it through any cd or dvd player. I am very much looking forward to JA's review. It may be too much to hope for, but it would be very nice to see the review in print!

Al Marcy's picture

Junk I listen to and junk I read are only loosely coupled in the junk I think with, but, it is fun to watch the spectacle ;)