What are the different types of reverb? A guide

Image Credit: Paul Esch-Laurent

Starting to explore reverb effects as a beginner producer? Let’s look at the different types of reverb you might come across in your producing.

Who doesn’t love a bit of reverb. It’s the most commonly used effect by producers, beginner and established. Reverb plugins for DAWs can have lots of options however, and for the beginner producer things can get overwhelming, fast.

On your average reverb plugin, there’ll be more than one kind to choose from – and you can use more than one. Let’s quickly explore the basic types of reverb.   


What is reverb?

It’s the natural sound of a space, as sound waves bounce around it. The bigger the space, the longer the reverberation – a small space makes for a short, snappy reverb.


Room reverb

Room reverb replicates the sound of a small space, such as a bedroom, and all the surfaces inside that sound waves can bounce off from. It gives unprocessed sounds a natural ambience, fitting them nicely into the mix without being too obvious. Whatever instrument it’s applied to, a touch of room reverb gives a warming colour, bringing sounds right in front of the listeners and also lending touch of space to dreary sounds.


Plate reverb

Rather than imitating a space, plate reverb is instead a type of artificial reverb. The original hardware was popular in 1960s Abbey Road recordings of The Beatles, before digital plate reverb became popular in the 1980s. As the name suggests, a metal plate is used to create its sound. Plate reverb is characterised by adding a bright, even echo to a mix.


Hall reverb

Hall reverb is designed to make the sound seem like it’s being played in a space the size of a concert hall – coming with the territory, orchestral tracks for example embrace the grand sound of a hall reverb perfectly. The subsequent long decay of the sound tailing away is relevant to the size of the space. Beware of muddying up your mix when you apply hall reverb to your instrument tracks.


Spring reverb

Spring reverb is an artificial reverb. Spring reverb plugins digitally replicate the original hardware, which featured a spring between a pickup and transducer. It’s commonly found in guitar amplifiers. The coiled spring vibrates, bouncing the echoes inside the unit. Intrigued? Here’s a great free plugin of a spring reverb effect:


Chamber reverb

Chamber reverb immediately injects a lot of atmosphere, but without the sometimes muddy quality of hall reverb. The chamber effect is similar to playing an instrument in a bathroom, with a ton of reflective surfaces – you’ll get colour and energy added to your sound.


Still confused? Read our introduction to reverb and how best to use it.

How to listen to Apple Music in up to 24-bit/192 kHz – the best DAC, headphones and speakers for hi-res lossless audio

While Dolby Atmos spatial audio is compatible on most of Apple and Beats speakers and headphones, lossless audio is a different story.

Apple have officially launched Dolby Atmos spatial audio and lossless audio on Apple Music. For more information on spatial and lossless audio, as well as how to upgrade on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV, click here. In simple terms, lossless audio provides a higher quality audio experience, giving you a closer representation of what the artist heard in the studio. The upgrades are available to all Apple Music subscribers on the latest iOS, iPadOS, macOS and tvOS at no additional cost, however your experience may vary based on the equipment you use.

Apple Music is available for streaming in the following formats:

  • High Efficiency: HE-AAC (around 65 kbps)
  • High Quality: AAC 256 kbps
  • Lossless: between
    • 16-bit/44.1 kHz
    • 24-bit/48 kHz
  • High-Resolution Lossless: up to 24-bit/192 kHz

Over 20 million lossless songs are available to stream today on Apple Music. The entire catalogue of over 75 million songs will be available in lossless by the end of the year. You’ll find the Lossless or Hi-Res Lossless badge on the Now Playing screen of any song already available. If every track of a release is available in lossless, you’ll also see the badge on the album details page.


What equipment do I need to listen to lossless and hi-res lossless audio?

The built-in speakers on iPhone, iPad and Mac support lossless audio playback, however the speakers (particularly on the iPhone) are so small, the difference in audio quality will be negligible. To make the most out of lossless audio, you’ll want to hook up an external set of headphones or speakers. All of Apple’s AirPods and Beats wireless headphones use Apple’s AAC Bluetooth Codec, which is unfortunately not lossless. The HomePod and HomePod mini also currently uses AAC, however Apple says support for lossless audio will be coming in a future firmware update.

Lossless Audio – 24-bit/48 kHz

You’ll need a wire to make the most out of lossless audio. The most affordable way to listen to lossless audio on your iPhone is using Apple’s Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter. This little adapter used to be included in the box of the iPhone after they dropped the 3.5 mm headphone jack from their phones. Sadly they stopped including the adapter a few years later, but it can still be purchased, currently for just $7.99. The adapter contains a digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) that supports up to 24-bit/48 kHz lossless audio.


High-Resolution Lossless Audio

For audio quality any higher than this, you’ll need an external digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). However before you go rushing out to drop a few thousand dollars on your new audiophile-grade hardware to listen to all of your favourite music in super high resolution quality, you should know while Apple Music’s entirely catalogue will be upgraded to lossless by the end of the year, most of these do not and will not exceed 24-bit/48 kHz. I recommend browsing through your own Apple Music catalogue, looking for that Hi-Res Lossless badge to see how many of the songs you listen to support the higher audio quality.

Also note that if a track is listed as Hi-Res Lossless, this means the track is higher than 24-bit/48 kHz, but not necessarily 24-bit/192 kHz. You’ll find the resolution by tapping the badge. Many Hi-Res Lossless tracks are actually around the 88 to 96 kHz range.

All of the below DACs use USB, so if you’re connecting one of the options to an iPhone or Lightning iPad, you’ll want to start by purchasing a Lightning to USB adapter, such as the official Apple one, currently available for $24.32.

24-bit/96 kHz

All AudioQuest DragonFly DACs support audio up to 24-bit/96kHz, with varying levels of audio quality among three colour options below.

AudioQuest DragonFly Black: $99.95

AudioQuest DragonFly Red: $199.95

AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt: $299.95


24-bit/192 kHz

The $949 RME Babyface Pro FS is a bus-powered audio interface, giving you a super simple setup, with one cable running from your device and another to your headphones. No need for bulky power bricks.


Headphones

For a killer pair of wired open-back headphones, check out the $599 Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro.


If you’re on a tighter budget, check out our guide to the best headphones at every price point.


Speakers

Check out our bookshelf speaker guides for some excellent pairs under $100, $200, $300 and $400.

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $400

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $400 (per pair)

Give your setup the hi-fi upgrade it deserves with these top five bookshelf speaker pairs, all under $400.

Boost the audio performance of your turntable, CD player, computer or TV with one of the fantastic speaker options below.

If you’re on a tighter budget, no problem. Check out our top five pairs of bookshelf speakers under $300, $200 and $100.

1. Klipsch R-41PM – $399
  • Designed for simple setup with your turntable, TV, computer, or wireless device: This truly powerful, compact music monster is packed with Klipsch acoustics with integrated power and Bluetooth wireless technology.
  • 70W total system power, 35W per channel: Delivers robust and controlled audio that is crisp and clear.
  • Internal amplifier: The R-41PM monitors incorporate individual ultralow noise amplifiers custom-designed to maximize system performance and eliminate the need for external amplification.
  • 4″ copper spun magnetically shielded IMG woofer: Along with a 1″ aluminum diaphragm compression driver mated to 90° x 90° square Tractrix horn, provides a balance of crisp highs with immersive lows for impressive sound.
  • Full-featured IR remote: Allows easy access to system features, such as dedicated source selection, track controls, and play/pause.
  • Two-way bass reflex enclosure: Offers deep, powerful low-frequency sound.
  • Bluetooth wireless technology: Allows easy pairing with your compatible devices, such as smartphones.
  • Inputs: You will find a phono/line analog, 3.5mm analog mini jack, USB, and Toslink (Optical) inputs.
  • Outputs: A single RCA line-level output enables connection to subwoofer.
  • 76Hz – 21kHz frequency response: Ensures faithful sound reproduction.

2. Edifier S2000MKIII – $399.99
  • Dual DSP digital audio processing: Helps independently control the electronic frequency division and dynamic management of the high-pitched and medium-bass channel, precisely control the frequency distribution, and fully release the characteristic advantages of the high and low-pitched units.
  • Continuous undistorted power: 15W RMS tweeter and 50W RMS mid-range bass in each speaker can effortlessly express vocal scenes of large spaces. High-efficiency class D digital power amplification delivers clear sound.
  • Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding: Wirelessly transmit lossless and high-definition music signals so that Bluetooth playback can obtain the same music quality as wired digital transmission.
  • Simultaneously connected multi-input: In addition to Bluetooth connection, these speakers feature digital and analog inputs to permit interfacing to multiple devices, such as TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, computers, and other devices.
  • Switch between four EQ preset modes: Swap between four EQ preset modes (Monitor, Dynamic, Classical, and Vocal) with a press of the button. These four sound modes will highlight distinctive tones in varying genres of music and audio.
  • Individually adjustable treble, bass, and volume: 50-level high-precision adjustment of the master volume, and smart startup volume protects both your hearing and the speaker from harm.
  • Premium construction: The speaker casing is made out of a wood veneer, and the knobs are made from metal and have a professional-grade feel.
  • Intuitive and clear digital display: Display selected input status of the speaker (source, sound effect modes, volume) with a clear OLED LCD screen, all you need to do is take a look at the LCD screen, and you’ll know exactly which input you are on.
  • Wireless remote control: Equipped with remote control for your convenience. Now you can adjust volume, switch sound source, select mode, and power on/off the speaker wirelessly, free you from the hassle of the constant press on the speaker’s buttons.

3. DALI SPEKTOR 2 – $349
  • Soft dome tweeter: The dome tweeter offers best-in-class resolution with an extended frequency response, wide dispersion and low coloration. The tweeter is based on an ultra-lightweight weaved fabric, which weighs less than half of the market standard (0.056 mg/mm2).
  • Low signal loss: By using only DALI designed and custom-built drivers, the need for frequency correction in the crossover is eliminated. This enables us to design an exact crossover which together with carefully selected quality components ensures that the signal loss is close to zero.
  • Wood fibre cones: The OBERON woofer features a wood fibre cone with a blend of fine grain paper pulp, reinforced with wood fibres, which creates a stiff, light-weight and well-behaving structure. Creating unfiltered sound with high accuracy.
  • Amplifier friendly: The amplifier friendly design makes the SPEKTOR series a perfect fit for almost any of the amplifiers in its price category. No matter if we look at compact Hi-Fi, stereo amplifiers or surround receivers, SPEKTOR will bring out the best in them.

4. SVS Prime Elevation Speaker – $399
  • 4-1/2″ polypropylene woofers: Along with 1″ aluminum tweeters for a complete range of sounds.
  • 2-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • 55Hz – 25kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • 87dB sensitivity: Ensures crisp, robust audio.
  • 8 ohms nominal impedance: Ensures efficient conduction of power through the speaker.

5. Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 – $399
  • Klarity Woofer: Klarity mica-infused Polypropylene cones with moulded radial ribs result in a lightweight cone with high rigidity, low colouration, and lightning-fast response.
  • Polyester Film Tweeter: Optimized to deliver open and smoothly extended high frequencies with low distortion at high volumes.
  • Sophisticated Crossover Network: Ulilizes a complex Linkwitz-Riley 24dB/octave topology featuring Air-core coils to produce the lowest possible distortion.
  • Resonance Control Cabinet: Cabinet walls that employ a multi-layered sandwich design with intelligent Spot Bracing to suppress resonance.
  • High Quality Binding Posts: Two sets of high quality angled 5-way binding post terminals for optional bi-wire connection and easier cable management.

Wintergatan is building another marble-based musical box – Marble Machine X (Video)

Martin Molin of Wintergatan has been uploading videos every few days showing the process of building a sequel to the Marble Machine.

Swedish band Wintergatan uploaded a video showing the completed Marble Machine in 2016, titled Wintergatan – Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles). If you’re not one of the 178 million people who watched the video, it shows the machine’s builder and composer Martin Molin operate the hand-crank, as thousands of steel marbles are raised through the machine and released from height to strike various instruments such as a vibraphone, bass guitar and drums.

Described by themselves as a mix of music, engineering and innovation, the Wintergatan YouTube channel has since pulled in over 2.2 million subscribers. After the success of The Marble Machine, Martin Molin and a team of people got to work on The Marble Machine X. Driven this time by motors, Molin is continuing to document the whole process every few days, showing testing and improving the machine, with hopes to one day take it on tour to play live gigs around the world. During the construction of the original machine, eight videos from Molin were released before the final demo. Wintergatan have so far posted 161 episodes of The Marble Machine X’s build. Find the full playlist here.

Watching those little marbles shoot through the machine with perfect timing and accuracy is hugely satisfying, just be careful not to get too lost in staring through hours of content, before realising a few day have passed without your knowing.

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $300 (per pair)

Perfect for hooking up a computer, CD player or record player, these bookshelf speakers will produce some silky smooth sound.

If you’re after a high quality pair of bookshelf speakers, these are just about the best money can buy under $300.

If you’re on a tighter budget, see our top picks under $100 and $200. If you’re tight on space, see our top compact computer speakers here. If you’re after something a little more high-tech, see the best home smart speakers here.

1. ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 – $279.98
  • Handles up to 120W of maximum input power: Designed for today’s dynamic movie soundtracks and music.
  • 6-1/2″ woven aramid fiber bass driver and 1″ soft-dome tweeter: Woofer delivers deep impactful bass and tweeter provides smooth extended highs for both movies and music.
  • Wide-dispersion waveguide: Improves directivity control and eliminates diffraction modes.
  • Five-way metal binding posts: Ensures compatibility with nearly all speaker wire connectors.
  • Thick MDF cabinet with internal bracing: The speaker cabinet has specially designed internal bracing reducing unwanted cabinet vibration.
  • Enclosure with front firing port: Allows for greater flexibility in room placement – even up against a wall.
  • 44Hz – 35kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • Easy-to-drive 6-Ohm nominal impedance: Compatible with nearly all AV receivers and stereo amplifiers.

2. Edifier R2000DB – $249.99
  • Thoughtful design and comfortable style: Make these bookshelf speakers a perfect accessory for any studio or living space housing.
  • High-gloss piano finish: Adds a bit of elegance to match your room’s décor.
  • Dual-speaker system: Consists of active and passive speakers and provides maximum audio performance.
  • High-performance sound: Each speaker contains 25mm silk-dome Eagle Eye tweeter that makes the slight sounds clear, and 5″ bass unit for spectacular, distortion-free audio.
  • Digital signal processing (DSP) technology: Offers active crossover frequencies and superb tonal balance even at high volumes.
  • Dynamic range compensation (DRC) technology: Keeps any possible distortion at an absolute minimum.
  • Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity: Lets you stream your favorite music wirelessly. Simply connect this Bluetooth speaker system to any Bluetooth-enabled device, such as your smartphone, tablet, and laptop, for a seamless and cordless listening experience.
  • Additional wired connection: You can also connect devices to your R2000DB through an optical and RCA input.
  • 120W RMS of power: Creates a powerful sound.
  • 55Hz – 20kHz frequency response: Enables accurate sound reproduction.
  • 85dB sensitivity: Picks up highs and lows for faithful sound reproduction.
  • 4-ohm impedance: Conducts power to keep the speakers working at optimal levels.
  • Built-in and wireless controls: Conveniently use a wireless remote or the side panel on the speaker to adjust bass, treble, and master volume.

3. Polk Audio S20 – $291.32
  • Polk’s S20 hi-res bookshelf speakers deliver big, reliable surround sound: Featuring Dynamic Balance acoustic array, these full-range speakers each have (1) 6.5″ driver & (1) 1″ tweeter that produce clear vocals & exceptional music with deep bass for a cinematic experience in the comfort of your home
  • Dynamic audio with exceptional low frequency response: Polk’s patented power port technology delivers deeper bass impact with its turbulence-smoothing diffuser that transitions air flow from the speaker into your listening area minimizing distortions to produce rich, clean sound for movies, TV & music
  • Designed to deliver: The non-resonant construction of the speaker cabinet with thick baffles ensures a more lifelike sound, while its iconic curved edges & vinyl finish gives the S20 speakers a performance-oriented yet stylish look that fits in with any home decor
  • Versatile use in home theater setups: Use as front, rear or surround in an all-inclusive stereo or surround sound system in 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 & above configurations with Polk’s Signature collection of tower speakers, center channels & subwoofers, making your movie nights perfect with room-filling sound
  • Trusted name in Home Audio & Entertainment Systems: The Signature Series has earned the hi-res certified rating and redefined the real american HiFi sound with Polk’s unwavering commitment, reliability, and craftsmanship, so you can sit back, relax and listen with your heart!

4. SVS Prime Satellite Speaker – $269
  • 4-1/2″ polypropylene woofers: Along with 1″ aluminum tweeters for a complete range of sounds.
  • 2-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • 69Hz – 25kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • 85dB sensitivity: Ensures crisp, robust audio.
  • 8 ohms nominal impedance: Ensures efficient conduction of power through the speaker.

5. DALI SPEKTOR 1 – $249
  • Wood fibre cones: Our low-loss drivers uses a mix of low-mass paper cones with wood fibre reinforcement. The wood fibres give the surface an uneven structure, which dramatically minimizes the resonance of the surface. This creates the best possible reproduction of every detail in the audio signal.
  • Amplifier friendly: The amplifier friendly design makes the SPEKTOR series a perfect fit for almost any of the amplifiers in its price category. No matter if we look at compact Hi-Fi, stereo amplifiers or surround receivers, SPEKTOR will bring out the best in them.
  • Soft dome tweeter: The dome tweeter offers best-in-class resolution with an extended frequency response, wide dispersion and low coloration. The tweeter is based on an ultra-lightweight weaved fabric, which weighs less than half of the market standard (0.056 mg/mm2).
  • Low signal loss: By using only DALI designed and custom-built drivers, the need for frequency correction in the crossover is eliminated. This enables us to design an exact crossover which together with carefully selected quality components ensures that the signal loss is close to zero.

Naim release a Headphones Edition of their Uniti Atom hi-res music streamer

Image Credit: Naim

British high-end audio manufacturer Naim’s new Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is a high resolution music streamer and headphone amplifier.

Naim Audio are known for their wireless hi-fi music systems such as the Mu-so speaker and Uniti Atom streamer. Simply hook up a pair of speakers and stream hi-fi music directly to the Uniti Atom with no computer or mobile. Uniti Atom can stream from a variety of sources such as streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, TIDAL and Qobuz, or AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth, radio stations or your own music library. To maximise audio quality, wired connections are also available to hook up turntables, TVs via HDMI or USB drives. Uniti Atom can play music at up to 32bit/384kHz resolution. Uniti Atom’s new Headphone Edition is essentially the same beast, but geared towards headphone users specifically.

Image Credit: Naim

Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition has three headphone outputs: 4.4mm Pentaconn (balanced), 4 pin XLR (balanced) and 6.35mm jack (unbalanced). If you have multiple different pairs of high-end headphones for different scenarios, you can keep three plugged in at once and switch between sets depending on what you’re listening to. Naim suggest Focal (pictured above), whose home headphones range in the thousands.

That’s not to say the Headphone Edition doesn’t also excel as a pre-amplifier for speakers. You can simply plug in active speakers, or an amplifier and speakers to use it as a traditional music streamer. The Headphone Edition still has the same voice, remote and app control options as the previous Uniti Atom, as well as the front LCD display.


We have designed this special edition of the mighty Uniti Atom to be the premium music streaming system for solo listening. Just add headphones to escape into your own world of high-quality sound.

Paul Neville, Research & Development Director, Naim

Naim’ Headphone Edition comes in at the same price as the non-Headphone Edition Uniti Atom at an eye-watering $3290.


If you’re after a similar experience, though not designed specifically for headphones, check out the $549 Bluesound NODE and $899 Bluesound POWERNODE.

Go back to the ’80s with MPC One Retro Edition

Image Credit: Akai

Mixing modern capabilities with retro cool, Akai’s MPC One Retro is a powerful all-in-one music production box.

Akai have announced a new limited edition MPC unit, and the result is a classy mashup of ‘80s style and powerful modern features.

The MPC One Retro Edition is a standalone music production workstation – you can make all the beats you want, without the need for a computer. It takes the design of the iconic MPC 60, MPC 3000 and MPC 2000 drum machines, famed for shaping the history of hip-hop, dance, pop and R&B music.

What can you do on the MPC One Retro? The multi-touch screen means you can edit MIDI on the piano roll, utilise effects and automation parameters and sample audio instantly. It contains a built-in library of plugins including a polyphonic synthesizer, vintage keyboard instrument and DrumSynth with hundreds of presets.

The simple workflow makes it easy to get to grips with the interface. MPC One Retro can also be used as a controller for the MPC2 desktop software for those who prefer to work in a DAW.

Image Credit: Akai

Features:

  • Powerful multicore system from the MPC Live and MPC X
  • 16 velocity sensitive RGB pads
  • Brilliant 7” Multi-Touch full-colour LED-backlit display with touch interface  
  • 2 GB RAM, 2GB Onboard Storage, 2GB pre-installed content
  • Mac & PC controller for MPC Software (included)
  • Stereo line level inputs
  • MIDI n & MIDI Out
  • 4 TRS CV/Gate jacks, 8 outputs
  • USB 2.0 slot for storage drives or MIDI controllers
  • SD card slot

The Special Retro Edition will set you back £640. Discover more about the MPC One Retro Edition from Akai here.

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $200 (per pair)

Forget Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. These five pairs of bookshelf speakers, all come in under $200 and pack a serious punch.

Wireless smart speakers are a great option for those that want a simplistic way to stream music around their house. If you want to take it old school, bookshelf speakers are the perfect addition to a computer desk with plenty of space, record player or CD player.

On a tighter budget? Check out the best bookshelf speakers under $100.

If space is an issue, find the best compact computer speakers at every price point here.

1. JBL Stage A130 – $179.95
  • HDI Waveguide: The HDI waveguide directs sound in a focused direction instead of in all directions and causing distortion and unkind reflections. The HDI waveguide acts like a flashlight that beams the sound into a specific direction to create a loudspeaker that sounds good in almost any environment.
  • Pure Aluminum Tweeters: The aluminum tweeters utilized in the Stage series reveal all of the nuances of today’s music and film recordings by virtually eliminating unwanted resonances.
  • 2-1/2-way Crossover Networks: JBL Stage loudspeakers use a high-order 2-1/2-way crossover network for optimal integration between the woofer and tweeter yielding a smooth and linear performance. With all JBL loudspeakers, a Straight-Line Signal Path approach is taken to minimize noise and signal loss.
  • JBL Polycellullose woofers deliver unrivaled purity, power, and realism: Decades of JBL® acoustic research and development have made their pronounced impact. Stiffer cones deliver more uniform pistonic motion, for deeper, tight bass. And their lighter weight delivers amazing attack and accuracy.
  • Specially Braced Enclosure: The goal when engineering a loudspeaker enclosure is to make it rigid and resonance-free as possible. Our combination of bracing pattern, materials and construction have been part of our DNA dating back to when we engineered the loudspeaker for the very first talking movie.

2. Sony SS-CS5 – $148
  • 100W maximum power handling: Ensures robust, controlled audio.
  • 5″ dual-layer, foam, mica-reinforced woofer: Uses the upper surface to provide faithful, supple sound and the bottom layer to deliver powerful, tight bass response.
  • 3/4″ wide-dispersion super tweeter: Along with a 1″ tweeter offers ultraresponsive high-frequency audio, so you can enjoy crisp, natural-sounding vocals and other tones.
  • High-quality crossover networks: Minimize signal loss to ensure energetic vocal response, reproducing even the most delicate emotional nuances. The networks are mounted directly to the cabinet for efficient vibration isolation.
  • 3-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • Wood, bass-reflex enclosure: Along with a cloth grille provides a durable, sturdy design.
  • 53Hz – 50kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • 87dB sensitivity (2.83V, 1m): For rich, crisp audio.
  • 6 ohms impedance: Efficiently conducts power through the speaker.

3. Edifier R1850DB – $199.99
  • 70W nominal power handling: Helps ensure rich, dynamic sound.
  • 3/4″ silk tweeter: Offers crisp high frequencies.
  • 2-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • Built-in Bluetooth: Offers easy connectivity to your compatible device.
  • Remote: Lets you make adjustments from across the room.
  • 60Hz – 20kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • Volume control: Lets you easily adjust the listening level to suit your preferences.

4. Crosley S100 – $139.95
  • 15W nominal power handling: Helps ensure rich, dynamic sound.
  • 4″ woofer: Along with 1″ tweeter for a complete range of sounds.
  • 2-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • Built-in Bluetooth: Offers easy connectivity to your compatible device.
  • 50Hz – 20kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • Volume control: Lets you easily adjust the listening level to suit your preferences.

5. Yamaha NS-6490 – $150
  • These 3 way speakers can be added anywhere in your home component sound system front or rear speakers, even as auxiliary speakers for another room
  • Each speaker enclosure has 3 drivers: An 8 woofer/ a 4 midrange/ a 0.75 dome tweeter that work together to provide an 45Hz to 23Khz frequency response range
  • Magnetically shielded to suit home theater applications

Can you teach yourself a musical instrument?

It’s easy to access the tools and resources needed to learn a new instrument. But is it possible to master a musical instrument by teaching yourself?

Getting your hands on a musical instrument, whether it’s a guitar or bagpipes, is only the first step; the tricky part is learning how to play the thing. Is there a vital need to take lessons to learn how to play a musical instrument?

Generally speaking, yes, it is definitely possible for someone to teach themselves an instrument and be able to play it well. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. However learning a musical instrument boosts your mood and improves your mental health, boosting self-esteem, with benefits depending on the instrument like improving your breath control and multi-tasking skills.

Everybody learns in different ways, and you never know until you try.


Why would you want to learn a musical instrument on your own? It sounds hard

Not everybody wants a teacher bossing them around and dictating what direction their learning path will take. Plenty of people find they flourish best when not being judged by someone else. Teaching yourself a musical instrument also means you save money on music lessons.

Perhaps you’re just after a new project, or looking to challenge yourself. You never know what natural talent might emerge once you pick up an instrument.


Serious about teaching yourself music? Time to get organised

Research is the first step to teaching yourself a musical instrument. Start by listening to famous music featuring your chosen instrument, getting familiar with the sound it produces and different musical genres associated with it.

When it comes to the teaching itself, you know your own learning process better than most. Say you’ve been handed down a violin – are you content with mastering a few well-known folk songs, or would you rather complete a course to learn techniques that will give you a grounding to play a whole range of music? Having a think about what you want to get out of the process and setting goals will help to streamline your learning, saving you time.

There are YouTube tutorials out there for even the most obscure of instruments, and you can’t go wrong with teaching yourself from an educational music book. A vital step of learning an instrument on your own is establishing a routine right from the beginning of practising every day.


Is it worth it?

There are unique challenges to teaching yourself an instrument. Some instruments are arguably easier to learn than others – if you’ve zero knowledge of music or music theory, an easier instrument like the piano might be a better starting point than something like the cello. Saying that, plenty of determined learners crave a harder challenge.

Teaching yourself an instrument does pose the danger of learning bad habits, which a beady-eyed tutor would normally spot before they become ingrained – things like breathing techniques and hand positioning. There’s also nothing like being mentored by a talented music teacher with musical life experience to draw from, eager to introduce you to their own unique way of playing an instrument.

Consider whether you need the structure of music lessons to motivate you to keep learning. Some people find they need the motivation of being monitored week to week, craving that competitive feeling that nudges them to keep practising and not let their teacher down. If you find you’re struggling to motivate yourself, consider documenting your progress on social media, perhaps setting yourself a challenge to give yourself accountability.


The sense of pride and achievement that comes from teaching yourself a musical instrument is hard to beat. You know you got there by your own hard work, and you’re in total control of your own destiny. Everybody learns in different ways, and you can always take a few lessons later on if you’re struggling learning advanced techniques by yourself.

With all the online resources available, as long as you’re in possession of an instrument there’s absolutely nothing to stop you teaching yourself how to play it.

Have IK Multimedia just launched the next generation of analogue of synth with UNO Pro?

IK Multimedia are back in style with what they’re promising is the ‘next-generation analog for everyone’ in their new UNO Synth Pro models.

The UNO Synth Pro promises an immense amount of possibility in sound in a small but feature-filled package. IK Multimedia say that they are bringing users the “power to create nearly any analog synth sound you can imagine” with their new release.

The UNO Synth Pro comes in two forms, to suit the needs of different players. For the home-producer/player there is the base model with semi-weighted keybed offering hefty playability and a solid metal housing for withstanding the stage. Then for the producer on the road there is a far more portable, USB powered version that combines a cheaper cost with a synth that is easier to transport.

They both offer a 64-step sequencer with incredible versatility. Choose from 256 presets to explore the wide potential of the keyboards three analogue oscillators, each with customisable waveshape and pulse width modulation. There are 12 studio-quality effects built-in to the machines for a unique soundscape whatever you’re using.

IK Multimedia promise the potential to recreate the most iconic synths with dual filters available in 24 potential different filter combinations. Combined with 2 full ADSR envelopes, 2 LFOs on offer, and a 16-slot modulation matrix for routing your selections through – you truly have unlimited potential at your hands.

What makes the quality of this synth so surprising is that this is one of IK Multimedia’s first explorations into analog synths. Their original UNO Synth launched 2 years ago to cracking reviews with huge potential for creators to make unique and stunning sounds. The UNO Synth Pro is their latest foray since then and promises a whole lot more.

The UNO Synth Pro Desktop is available from €399.99 and the full UNO Synth Pro is available for €649.99. Find out more and discover your nearest dealer for purchase from IK Multimedia’s website.