Over the past few years, the home listening experience has taken on new importance and meaning. Records continue to be the music lover’s physical format of choice – vinyl recently saw the highest sales week since at least 1991. However, streaming services are still an integral part of everyday life, with the number of music streaming subscribers reaching 487 million in 2021.
Whether you’re hunkering down by your record player or streaming music on the go with a pair of headphones, there are always new ways to discover music and acquire gear that enriches your listening experience. These five recommendations will help you make the most of your music in 2022.
Stream High-Quality Sound
Even if you aren’t a subscriber, you’ve likely streamed music at some point. At first glance, most of the streaming services appear to be similar, but Qobuz offers a few features that help it stand out from the pack.
Qobuz has become the audiophile’s go-to streaming service. At a price point comparable to popular brands like Spotify, Qobuz is home to over 70 million songs and provides users with the ability to download their favorite albums with optimum sound quality. If you are even remotely interested in studio-quality streaming, Qobuz may be the streaming service you didn’t know you were looking for.
Discover New Music
Most streaming services offer recommendations based on your listening history and themed playlists that cover certain genres or artists. If you’ve been relying on these playlists for a while, you may be ready to take your music discovery to the next level and you can (with very little effort). Bandcamp’s homepage is a treasure trove of discovery and the Discogs database makes it easy to search for genres, artists, labels, and recommendations based on the page you are viewing.
Upgrade Your Gear in the New Year
A new year is here and that’s as good an excuse as any when it comes to investing in some new audio gear. To curate the best turntable setup, you’ll need the right turntable, cartridge, speakers, and headphones. New collectors and audiophiles alike may find these lists to be a great starting point for their next sonic adventure.
Support Local Record Stores
VinylHub is a great resource for those looking to learn more about record stores in their area and any other places they plan to visit. The interactive map allows you to zoom in on any cities you’d like to learn more about. The listings for each record store will provide you with everything you need to know including their address, website, and social media pages. See a store you love that’s not on VinylHub? You can show your support by adding them to the database.
Support Your Favorite Artists
Social media is a great way to stay connected, but signing up for mailing lists can help you be first in line when a new release or tour is announced. For artists with websites, you can usually find a subscribe box at the bottom of their homepage. On Bandcamp, each page has a Follow button that will instantly sign you up for announcements. If your email inbox and social media feeds already feel overwhelming, don’t fret! You can always show your support by ordering a record, buying a t-shirt, or purchasing some digital files.
Feature image by Kelvin Lutan. Published in partnership with Qobuz.