Advanced Audio Solutions

Listen to music without your computer!
Read this introduction to webradio, and Noxon the leading brand in provision of a device which will play your music even when your computer is turned off. Click here

For most people seeking to link their computers to their stereo systems, a simple cable will suffice (see here).  However many people want to go the extra mile with their audio technology, be it for reasons of sound quality or convenience.  Here's a brief guide to some of the products on the market at time of writing and why you might want to consider using them to listen to downloads:

My computer's soundcard's not up to the job!

Computer manufacturers and dealers have to think long and hard about what to include in their packages to give the customer good value for money. Often the soundcard is an area where savings are made, especially in laptops where internal space is also at premium. If even CDs sound ropey on your system you might want to consider a USB device such as the Xitel Hi-Fi Link (left). Specifically designed for the task, it sets up and connects with the minimum of fuss.

Xitel Hi-Fi
D-Link DSM320

I can't stand all those wires!

Running cables all around your house can be time-consuming, costly, and unless done properly, ugly and unsafe. Avoid this with a wireless system such as the D-Link DSM320 (right). Not only can you use this product to connect to your stereo system, you can connect it to your television, using it to view image and video files.

What am I, made of money?

OK, so you don't need an all-singing all-dancing media circus. A simple yet reliable wireless connection can be had for under $40. The RCA Lyra RD900W (left) does one job and does it well; transmitting digital audio from your computer to your stereo. It also comes with a remote control to select tracks from your computer at a distance.

RCA Lyra RD900W
Harman Kardon DAL 150

Can I get even more audio fidelity?

Well, perhaps you can. If you have a coaxial digital input on your stereo, you can use the Harman Kardon DAL 150 (right) to take a digital signal from your USB port, transmit a digital signal to your stereo, which only converts it to an analogue signal immediately before sending it to your speakers. Fewer signal conversions equate to higher audio fidelity and thus the clearest sound possible.

Wi-Fi for your Hi-Fi

You may not even have to plug gizmos into your computer to transmit to your stereo; if you have Wi-Fi capability you can use products such as the Linksys Wireless-B WMLS11B (left). Portable and with its own built-in speakers, this product allows you to browse and listen to music remotely with a convenient all-in-one unit.

Linksys Wireless-B WMLS11B

We hope that this guide has given you an idea of some of the options available to today's audiophile. We can't say for certain that any of these products will suit you down to the ground, but with a little research it's probable that there's something out there which will. Happy hunting and have fun with your new toys!