AuralexThere are so many audio components that make nice sound that its hard for many people to justify investing in fine audio. For those who do, people known as "audiophiles" take the art and science of reproducing recorded music (be it live or studio recordings) to the highest level. Room acoustics, exotic electronics, complicated source components and top-level loudspeakers are only a start to the audiophile journey.

McIntosh Tube AmpMore developed audiophiles seeking high-end audio heaven look to products like stereo preamps vacuum tube power amps including single-ended triode tube amps while seeking out their audio journey. While many audiophiles cling to the kitchy past of vinyl for their audiophile music others look to HD music on 24 bit 96 (or 192 kHz audio files) for the holy grail of audio. Lost formats like SACD and DVD-Audio still hold some level of relevance to audiophiles as they deliver high resolution sound at levels that that the Compact Disc (no matter how good the DAC or digital components are in the audio system) can't compete with. There simply aren't enough bits. There just isn't enough data. That's where Blu-ray comes in with its 120 dB of dynamic range and HDMI connections. Downloaded MP3 music isn't audiophile grade even with the best DACs and upconverting computer audio software.

Stax Headphones    Simon Yorke Turntables

Many people think the future of audio lies with Generation Y (the Millennials) and the headphone generation. Monster's Beat's by Dre headphones have 2,500,000 Facebook fans as is reported by a few audiophile news sources (see our headphone recs at Curated Headphones). Apple can sell 3,000,000 iPad 3s in one day. Its hard to dispute this effect however looking at real audiophile systems and adding in a big, powerful subwoofer – you see the real audio experience that speakers to all type of generations. Crisp, clean, audio with deep-rich bass speaks to anyone with ears.

The real trick to high end audio heaven is finding speakers that you can afford. Room acoustics come first for those who know the audiophile rules of engagement but finding loudspeakers that move you emotionally is the key to audio. Speakers that aren't exactly your cup of tea can't get you to where you are trying to get to. No matter what your budget is, there is a speaker that is for you.