Sometimes, you need to go for broke. Take your audio seriously enough to build the very best hi-fi system you can. Here at The Master Switch, we love love love it when people take this step. There's so much great equipment out there, and we can't wait for you to experience it. But just because you're ready to drop some serious cash on new gear doesn't mean you're going to be throwing it around like crazy. That's what the articles below are about: helping you figure out which components are right for you.

Best Bookshelf Speakers of 2020

Ever since the glory days, when hi-fi systems were integrated and even color-matched to the furniture, bookshelf speakers have been the beating heart of the party...

Best Floorstanding Speakers of 2020

Floorstanding speakers have one of the most recognizable profiles of all speaker types. They're designed to slot in next to bookcases and TV cabinets, and their shape has two major advantages...

Best High-End Wireless Speakers

The quality of wireless speakers has exploded over the past few years. What was once a mass-produced, cheap item has become a high-end essential, as audio companies outdo each other to produce the best high-end wireless or Bluetooth speaker.

Best Subwoofers of 2020

You can survive with just a regular set of speakers. You don’t, strictly speaking, need a subwoofer. But you cannot believe the difference having one will make. This big box of wonder will do incredible things to your sound.

Best Music Streamers of 2020

If you love great audio, a dedicated music streamer is essential. It can become the center of your hi-fi universe, making every listening session that much more amazing.

Best DACs of 2020

A simple DAC upgrade can do wonders for your audio playback, as for example, a 4K-capable TV might change your movie viewing experience. So why not take the jump?  We’ve gathered some of the most exciting converters currently on the market.

Best Stereo Amps of 2020

An amp should be the center of your hi-fi world. It should be the focus point for all your efforts, the piece of equipment that can make or break your sound. Everything flows into it, and everything flows out of it...

Best Turntables of 2020

Vinyl records are just cool. They deliver music with an elusive and even romantic warmth that audiophiles continue to love. And right now, we have a list of the very best turntables available. Come see it.

Best Phono Preamps of 2020

If you’re reading this, you are at the very least intrigued about great-sounding vinyl playback. That’s not an easy thing to get right: record players are very much like fine musical instruments, so you need a damn good preamp.

Best High-End Headphones of 2020

Sometimes, you need to take a step back, look at how you’re listening to music, and improve it. Sometimes, you just need to break the bank.

Best In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) of 2020

A good pair of in-ear monitors (IEMs) can be a revelation. They can take your music to truly incredible places, far beyond what regular earbuds can do.

Best Headphone Amps of 2020

You wouldn't expect headphones to need any special equipment to work. They are just about as simple as audio equipment gets.

Best Digital Audio Players of 2020

Remember the very first iPod from seventeen years ago? No? Damn, we're old. Anyway, it sold around three hundred and sixty million units. It changed the way we listen to music forever - and today, Apple is no longer the market leader.

4 Tricks To Improve Your Headphone Sound

At The Master Switch, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about audio. More importantly, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about how to improve it. Everything we do is geared towards creating bigger, better sound.

How To Tube Roll

There are three types of audiophiles: those that find tube amplifiers to be the bee’s knees; those that swear only solid-state amps can produce true-to-life audio; and those that haven’t tried tube amps and are simply missing out.

How to Choose a Digital Audio Player

Digital Audio Players - also known as DAPs - are a lot of fun. They’re sleek, well-made slabs of metal that can not only contain every music file you have, but usually stream the ones you don’t.

How to Choose a DAC

In the world of audio, no subject is more confusing than Digital-to-Analog Converters, commonly known as DACs. for new listeners, they can be daunting, and for audiophiles, they can be a subject of heated debate.

How to Choose a Stereo Amp

A great stereo amp is the key to a great hi-fi system, but there are thousands of amps available and picking one can be tricky. That’s where we come in, with our full guide to choosing the right amp.

How to Choose Bookshelf Speakers

ookshelf speakers are the definition of friendly audio. As the name suggests, these speakers are small and compact, and they make the perfect addition to a new hi-fi system.

How to Choose a Headphone Amp

Chances are, buying a headphone amplifier is the first step you’re taking in your journey to great audio. Headphone amps are an easy, fun, and affordable way to boost your sound quality. But how do you choose the right one?

How to Choose Floorstanding Speakers

Floorstanding speakers, also known as tower speakers for their tall profile, are among the best ways to enhance the sound in your setup. Choosing a good pair, however, takes a little leg work

How to Choose a Subwoofer

Buying a subwoofer is like navigating a minefield. You want to get the best bass possible, but you probably also want to avoid installing a sub the size of a rhinoceros in your living room.

How to Choose a Music Streamer

A music streamer is a device that takes audio from one location and directs it to be played from another. If you’re into streaming, and you want to boost the sound of your system, then a good music streamer is absolutely essential.

Review: Astell & Kern AK380

In the month or so we spent with Astell & Kern’s AK380 player, the most common question from those who saw it – after a few minutes spent marvelling at its stunning good looks – was the price point.

Review: Benchmark DAC3 HGC

If you like to tinker, if you like to go deep into your equipment, and if you like to have your efforts rewarded, then you are going to want to hear this. It’s spectacular.

Review: Bryston B60R

Sometimes, you just need noise. Good, old-fashioned, wonderful noise. No Bluetooth, no cute input lights, no digital displays. Just a big, grunting monster of an amplifier that you can use to mess things up.

Cambridge Audio CXA61 Review

Picking the best stereo amplifier for your setup can be a huge challenge. We know this all too well. There are quite literally thousands of amps available, from tiny desktop models to massive, five-figure beasts.

Cambridge Audio CXN (V2) & CXA80 Double Review

This is going to be an unusual review. For the first, time, we're reviewing two products at once. Cambridge Audio's CXN (V2) streamer and CXA80 amplifier may retail as separate products, but we've never seen another pair that work so well together.

Review: Chord Hugo 2

Chord Electronics are mad. Other companies will make a high-end DAC, and call it done. Chord made one, then gave it Bluetooth, then put in a package small enough to slip into a pocket, then made it look like something you'd see in a music video from 1988.

Chord Mojo Review

Chord Electronics, the purveyors of handmade British hi-fi have been - since the eighties, no less - making waves with their innovative DACs and headphone amplifiers. The Mojo is one of them.

Review: Feliks Elise MkII

Feliks Audio is a Polish boutique headphone amplifier manufacturer that specializes in tube circuit designs. Their Elise MkII model has been making waves on tube amp forums and trade shows

Review: Focal Clear

To more established headphone companies like Sennheiser and AUDEZE, it must have felt like getting hit with a freight train. When French speaker manufacturer Focal made the decision to push deep into the market, few would have predicted their success.

Review: Focal Utopia

The Focal Utopia are the best headphones on the planet. That’s not hyperbole. It’s not shilling. It’s just the truth. Of all the hundreds of headphone models available today, these are the best. End of discussion.

Review: Focal Elegia

When you make the best headphones on the planet, you can afford to sit back and enjoy the acclaim. And yet Focal, a French company who produce the astounding Utopia headphones, refuse to settle.

Devialet Gold Phantom Review

Everybody always forgets about France. When people think of high-end audio, they think of Germany and Austria, Great Britain, and Japan. They don’t think about the French...

Review: Goldmund Telos 2

We’ll be honest: we never expected to review a product from Goldmund on this site. They’re not just a high-end audio brand; they’re floating somewhere above the very concept of high end. And yet: here we are.

Review: Hafler HA75

There’s no denying that high-end headphones and headphone amps can be amazingly nerdy. Wade into even the shallow end, and you’ll find yourself swamped by a discussion of whether a 12AX7 tube is better than a 6S7L, or an endless debates about...

Kanto TUK Review

We have a soft spot for Kanto, and not just because they come from Coquitlam - a town no more than a few miles away from our offices in Vancouver, BC. We have a soft spot for them because they make genuinely fantastic wireless speakers.

Klipsch RP-500SA Review

Once you’ve experienced Dolby Atmos, it’s really hard to go back to anything else. Like flying first class on a business trip, then coach on vacation. Fortunately, getting the right speakers for Atmos isn’t difficult, and is actually quite affordable.

MartinLogan Motion 35XTi Review

Say the word MartinLogan around audiophiles - yes, it’s one word, there’s no space between Martin and Logan, poor bastards - and you’ll get a knowing smile and a wink, as if you’ve just spoken a secret password.

Review: MarkAudio-SOTA Cesti T

MarkAudio-SOTA is a name that not a ton of people outside of the hardcore audiophile world know. It’s a collaboration between Mark Audio and SOTA Acoustics (obviously) and over the past few years, they’ve been putting out some seriously good stuff.

Naim Uniti Atom Review

Audiophiles don't like listening to music wirelessly. Wires, they say, are the only way to guarantee pristine audio quality. They just haven't heard the Naim Uniti Atom yet.

Peachtree Audio nova300 Review

You want to know the reason Apple was so successful? The reason they, above all others, dominated the first fifteen years of this century and became a global juggernaut? They kept it simple. So does Peachtree Audio.

Q Acoustics 3050i Review

To call the world of floorstanding speakers competitive would be a massive understatement. We could do this job for decades and only hear a fraction of the models available. We always get excited, however, when Q Acoustics drops a new product.

RME ADI-2 DAC Review

This German manufacturer might not be a household name stateside, but RME have been quietly making nerdy audio equipment since 1996. And they've gotten rather good at it. We were able to spend a month with their ADI-2 digital-to-analog converter.

Review: Rotel RA-1572

Rotel don’t often get the love they deserve. Perhaps it’s the name, which, if you’re not familiar with the brand, sounds like a copy machine manufacturer. We think they deserve to be a household name.

Review: Sony TA-ZH1ES

Dear Sony marketing department: can we talk? Can we be real for a sec? Thank you. We’re just trying to understand, you see. We want to figure out how your minds work. How do you name something the TA-ZH1ES with a straight face?

Review: SVS Prime Elevation

The problem with most modern living spaces is that they’re just not geared up for home theater.  When most people live in an apartment, or a moderately sized house, there’s no such thing as a dedicated media room...

Review: SVS PB16-Ultra

There are some things in life you can’t say no to. Threesomes. That’s a good one. A ride on a private jet. A chance to meet Samuel L. Jackson, courtside seats to a play-off game. The SVS PB16 Ultra is one of those things.

Review: SVS Ultra Towers

If you’re going to call a floorstanding speaker the Ultra, then you’d better have a set of brass balls backing up that particular claim. Then again, the Ultra Towers are easily among the best floorstanding speakers out there.

Review: SVS Prime Towers

When speaker maker SVS asked if they could ship us a pair of their Ultra Tower speakers to review, the response was an enthusiastic yes. But what actually arrived, courtesy of a distributor mixup, was a pair of their older Prime Towers...

Review: SVS Prime Wireless

Ohio’s SVS have a reputation for making phenomenal speakers and subwoofers. But for all their excellence in wired hi-fi, the company has been hesitant to dive into the wireless space...

Woo Audio WA11 Topaz Review

Jack Wu is one of the most creative audio designers around. His company, Woo Audio, is the place to go for incredible tube amps. But this time, he’s released something a little different.

ZMF Aeolus Review

Zach Mehrbach is the closest thing the headphone world has to a rockstar. He is one of the most highly regarded engineers in the business – at audio shows, his stall is always heaving with fans wanting to check out his latest creation.