THE SOUNDBAR prides itself on being the go-to space when it comes to high-quality audio listening and listening experiences. Whether you are looking for ways to listen to music on the go or at home, for simple relaxation or to discover new music, here are some wonderful online resources we think you should know about:
SUBSCRIPTION STREAMING SERVICES
Each of these services have their particular strengths and weaknesses, as well as pricing plans, but all let you pick what you listen to, give you suggestions for new music/releases based on your depending on your subscription level. All offer trial periods to let you see if their services/interface meets your needs. If you are serious about expanding your listening and don’t have a subscription (or two), give one a try.
The first three offer the highest quality audio signal, but not everyone can hear the difference depending on your ears, your gear, and where you are listenin. We use Tidal for our streaming at THE SOUNDBAR.
These services offer a huge assortment of curated online music (programmed for you, like radio but generally without the commercials).
- KCRW: LA’s leading NPR station is noted for its musical programming and programmers (many of whom are music coordinators for film/TV and club DJ’s themselves). This is a 6-hour stream of what’s playing on KCRW’s various music shows. It runs 24/7 and is updated weekly. Great music from one of the world’s great music capitals.
- Folkalley: Channels for Irish, mainstream folk and Americana.
- SoundCloud & MixCloud: These were built to accommodate indie artist and music discovery, but I use them to follow some of the best music series/podcasts on the air, including John Pizzarelli’s “Radio Deluxe” when we can’t listen to Sunday evening’s broadcast on KGOU.
- Radioparadise: An ad free hifi digital classic rock radio service with well curated rock genre channels.
- Radiooo: Pick a spot in the world, pick a decade, and pick a mood/tempo. Radiooo’s a musical time machine that lets you hear what would have been playing on the radio then and there.
- Shazam: What’s that I’m hearing? Shazam (app available) lets you instantly identify what’s playing in the car, the bar, the store, and more. Like the name says – SHAZAM.
GENERAL AUDIO GEAR
If you know what you are looking for, or want a better idea of what’s out there in your price range for buying/selling, the following sites – featuring gear from both private sellers and professional audio shops – may be for you:
The group are full of online audio businesses (some with brick-and-mortar operations). Although more expensive than the Ebay type sites, they can often be more reliable, offer manufacturer warranties (even for open box and sale gear), and almost always have someone knowledgeable available to you at the other end of the phone. And even if you aren’t buying, their listings can be very informative for both the new and experienced audiophile shopper.
This group includes online magazines (some with print counterparts) that offer gear news and reviews (some of which is hopefully affordable, with others un-apologetically aspirational):
And let’s not forget HEADPHONES – The entry drug for many who love great sound, and sometimes essential for those with big sound systems who still sometimes need to listen privately (whether for work, home, travel). Here are sites which focus on “personal audio” (headphones, and portable DACs/Amps), with gear and prices from entry level to end game:
Head-fi: Headphone reviewer
Links that can assist you in starting or maintaining your collection, and learning about records and recording generally:
https://www.allmusic.com – Premiere site for records reviews and news – all genres.
www.yoursoundmatters.com – Stuff for sale, but lots of good info on building a collection, and on playing and preserving your records.
www.discogs.com – Catalog your collection for free, with option of joining world of record buying and selling
www.analogplanet.com – Records and gear news and reviews.
As a footnote, you can discover lots of interesting music by reading gear reviews and seeing what the writers are listing too when they test equipment for review.
Our patrons’ questions help inspire us to improve our services and knowledge. Talk to us when you visit, or send questions to us via our “contact us” page. We’ll try to share our responses to FAQs (whether about THE SOUNDBAR, records or gear) with you here – and in our MUSIC NOTES.