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In Living Stereo: NYC's old school high-end audio shop

In Living Stereo caters to audiophile tastes in Greenwich Village, right across the street from where Tower Records once stood.

Steve Guttenberg
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 Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
2 min read

In Living Stereo is a very different kind of high-end audio shop. It's nothing like its older, more established Manhattan competitors: Innovative Audio, Lyric, Stereo Exchange, and Sound by Singer.

The thing about In Living Stereo is that it's more focused on providing the best possible sound than installing speakers in your bathroom's ceiling. It's funny, ILS has been in business since 2001, but it reminds me of the way high-end shops used to be in the 1980s. ILS is a throwback and I mean that in the best possible way.

Yes, ILS sells home theater, but the prime focus is on two-channel, vinyl, and tubes. Clearly, owner Steve Mishoe is an audiophile at heart, so it's no mystery that ILS's customers are into sound. The vibe is relaxed and there's always interesting tunes on the stereo.

Exotic electronics for your listening pleasure

True, you won't necessarily find all of the better known audiophile brands the older shops boast, but ILS' lines are there because they offer something special. Like The Shindo Player System turntable and Shindo tube electronics I heard playing over DeVore Fidelity The Nines speakers.

DeVore Fidelity The Nines

This is the kind of system that lets you forget about the gear and get into the music. That happens to me almost every time I drop by ILS, and then when I play the same music at home it's never quite the same.

There's lots of tubes and turntables, but fear not, ILS sells solid-state amps and digital players. If you're planning on dropping by call for an appointment, and bring along some of your favorite CDs and LPs.