Sound transparency is an elusive term that you hear audiophiles toss around often, but when you search for a definition online, answers are mostly limited to internet forums and conflicting opinions. Sifting through these conversations can be illuminating, but sometimes, all you want is a concise breakdown of what a term means and how it applies to you. With the help of the experts at Technics, this article is here to clearly define what sound transparency is, how to listen for it, and the gear you’ll need to make it happen.
What is sound transparency?
When discussing transparent sound, less is truly more. Every audiophile’s ultimate goal is to hear music as it was intended to be heard. Sound transparency is when your home audio gear does not significantly alter the sound in any way. This means that your system is providing a listening experience that clearly reflects what the artists, recording engineers, and mastering studios want you to hear.
What factors make music more or less transparent?
Distortion can cause disruptions in transparency and this can be caused by a variety of factors: inadequate wires and cables, the settings or volume on your receiver, faulty equipment, etc. If you’ve pieced together a stereo setup with hand-me-downs or thrift store finds, you may experience a muddier sound than someone who has acquired all the latest high-end gear.
Certain amplifiers, speakers, and headphones emphasize different frequencies and this may add some color to your transparent sound. Just like a smear of color on a window would impair your ability to see what’s on the other side, a piece of gear that adds too much color will make the layers of your music sound less distinguishable.
What gear should I seek out if I am interested in sound transparency?
If you’re looking to grab some new gear that values sound transparency, Technics offers some versatile options. The SU-R1000 Integrated Amplifier is equipped with features that reduce jitter, vibration, and distortion. By accurately extracting distortion and suppressing unwelcome noise, the SU-R1000 greatly enhances transparency, regardless of the speakers you hook it up to. However, having speakers like the SB-G90M2 and SB-C600 definitely won’t hurt.
Technics also makes true wireless earbuds that boast industry-leading noise cancellation capabilities. With two different pairs of noise-canceling functions and the latest in acoustic design, the EAH-AZ60 and EAH-AZ40 headphones are ideal for those looking for sound transparency on the go.
Published in partnership with Technics. Photo courtesy of Technics.