Poll: What's your favorite audio format?

Many, but not all, audiophiles are hard-core vinyl devotees, some are perfectly happy with FLAC files, and millions groove to iTunes. What's your choice?

Steve Guttenberg/CNET

A couple of weeks ago I asked Audiophiliac readers to vote in my "What's the worst audio format?" poll, so now let's find out what you guys think is the best audio format. As in that poll, sound quality isn't the only criteria -- how you use the format and other factors may come into play.

I love vinyl but play more CDs, mostly because the selection of contemporary music is vastly greater on CD than it is on LP. I listen to Apple Lossless files on my iPod Classic when I'm on the go, but at home it's mostly CDs and LPs, with a smattering of SACD, DVD-Audio, and high-resolution downloads.

Listening at home is fundamentally different, it's more focused than on-the-go listening. That is, I'm really listening, as opposed to having music "on" to serve as soundtrack for whatever else is going on around me. In those cases, fidelity isn't paramount. How could it be? The environment is usually noisy, and there are more distractions when I'm not at home.

So I come down on the side of vinyl for sound, and I love the size, look, and feel of LPs. Yes, they're easily damaged and fragile, so they need to be treated with care. That's fine with me.

Add your two cents about the best format in the Comments section. Ideally, your vote or comment should be based on personal experience with the format. Feel free to list formats I neglected to mention.

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
The best 3D-printing projects of 2014 (pictures)
15 crazy old phones from a Korean museum (pictures)
10 gloriously geeky highlights from 2014 (pictures)
2015.5 Volvo XC60: updated tech, understated design
Busted! CNET readers show us their broken devices (pictures)