If you’re like most people these days, you probably have a smartphone that gives you access to a world of information. And while it’s great to have instant access to email and Facebook, smartphones are a very versatile tool that is constantly getting better. Smartphone applications (apps) come in a all forms, from social media and games, to banking and time management. Luckily, for the fans of audio there are a whole range of music related apps that can expand your world of music and enhance your listening experience. Let’s take a look at our favorite 3 best audio apps.
1. Listening, finding and discovering music: Spotify.
If you’re an iPhone user, iTunes is great, iTunes Radio is cool and there is no doubt that this services will continue to grow. As long as you’re part of the Apple product ecosystem, it will work well on all your devices as well. For Android users, you can use Google Music which is awesome as long as you manage it correctly across your devices. So why Spotify? Think of Spotify as the “One Ring To Rule Them All” in terms of music platforms. For $10 per month Spotify gives you all the music, all the time, and give is to you wherever you are. Plus, you can stream in 320kbps audio quality, which in relation to most other services offering 128kbps, is pretty good sounding audio. Spotify is universal as well, with apps available on every phone, computer and even plenty of Smart TV’s, AV receivers and Blu Ray Players. In addition to having access to virtually every song out there, you can listen to full albums all the way through and there is even a radio feature similar to what Pandora offers. Pair up the Spotify app with your phone or tablet and stream it directly to our Allaire Bluetooth speakers for some outstanding sound.
2. Equipment setup: Smart Tools/ SPL meter.
Smart tools is just a handy app to have for many different reasons, but why we like it is because it contains a few simple tools that that can help you setup and calibrate your system correctly. While most receivers have some type of auto setup, calibrating manually is still important in my opinion. As you know, speaker placement is very important both in your room, and also knowing what measurements to put into your receiver for calibration as well. With the Smart tools app you can measure the distance from your seating area to each speaker and put those distances into your receiver. Additionally, with the SPL meter you can measure the test tones coming from each speaker and attenuate them to make your sweet spot the best seat in the house. Finally, when it’s time to wire or check connections on the back of the receiver, use the LED light app that turns your camera flash into a flashlight.
3. Convenience apps, all tied for third:
Think of this as a bonus section for convenience apps that are available on your smartphone that can help make your listening experiences even better., all tied for 3rd place…
1. iRule. There are quite a few universal remote control apps available, but iRule seems to be the most configurable to turn your phone or tablet into a complete control center for all your devices, lighting and more.
2. Receiver apps for Marantz, Denon, Onkyo, Yamaha and others. If you have a newer receiver, you can probably download an app for it that can completely replace your device remote. Additionally, for the Networked section of the receiver, you can access shared music on your computers or via subscription services like Pandora or Spotify to play music directly to your receiver on the best speakers in the house.