6 Sound reasons to buy a hi-fi system (rather than a Bluetooth wireless speaker) 

A stereo music system really has a lot going for it.

We like hi-fi, obviously. What that really means is that we love music and we really want it to sound as good as it can. That is where having a decent hi-fi system comes into play. 

Where once stereo speakers, an amplifier and a CD player or turntable was the standard set up for a music system, now you can do it all (and more) with a single wireless speaker. And quite some of them are pretty good, and in any case far more convenient and affordable than any traditional system. 

But… it is not quite the same, is it? There are still many reasons why a stereo system makes so much more sense. For instance:

It sounds better

Let us kick things off with an easy one. You like music, right? So why not hear it sounding as good as it should? 99 times out of 100, that will mean a traditional separates system. 

The sum of the parts will almost always deliver better – and better-value – sound than a similarly priced wireless speaker can offer. Each box is a master of its trade, rather than a jack of all trades, the latter always requiring a compromise somewhere. From stereo separation to stereo imaging, Class D amplifiers to the limits of smaller boxes, the technical reasons are plentyful but the end result is the same: when it comes to sound quality, a stereo system is very hard if not impossible to beat by a one-box wireless speaker.

It will ‘always’ work

WIFI not working

Every now and then it just so happens that Spotify is down, or that other streaming platform you love listening to. If you are listening to music on a wireless speaker, there is a fair chance you are out of luck in these circumstances. And who knows, maybe one day your carefully curated music library will disappear? Like when iTunes merged with Apple Music, remember that? 

Yes, you can play locally stored music, and indeed Bluetooth does not require wi-fi, but at long last, wireless speaker will leave most people, most of the time, at the mercy of The Cloud. However there is really very little to stop you from playing a music collection made of CDs, vinyl or even downloads…

You get the best of both worlds

Although we probably just like doing it, we actually do not have to go through our dusty record collection to find the next thing to play. You can now add a music streamer to your amp and speakers and have a whole world of digital music at your fingertips, gathering the sonic benefits of your system as well having the convenience of Spotify or Tidal. You can plug your hi-fi into a multi-room wireless system from the likes of Audio Pro, Sonos or Bluesound whole-home smartness, or take advantage of the fact that an increasing number of hi-fi brands have built their latest streamers to support multi-room music. And on the other hand, you really cannot play a vinyl record on a wireless speaker, believe me.. 

There is often an upgrade path

Another reason why a system still cannot be beaten – the ability to upgrade over time. Fed up with your speakers? Simply buy a new pair and connect them to your system. Feel like adding a turntable? Go for it. A separates system allows you to upgrade components over time, as and when you’re able (financially or otherwise), as well as adding new features with new products. 

Contrary to what you might think, wireless speakers go quicker ‘out of date’ than a pair of passive speakers. Voice control, room correction, new software – all this tech can be great, but already quite soon it can also leave your once shiny new purchase looking sad and a bit ‘version one’… 

It is more than just a box

This idea of upgrading and fine-tuning your system brings us to the next point: a hi-fi system is a living, breathing, beautiful thing… figuratively speaking, anyway. But trust me when I say that you will feel a real connection to a system of components which you have chosen, plugged together, positioned, perfected and sat back and enjoyed. And,  while putting a wireless speaker in the corner of the room and then fiddling with your phone for ten minutes can be satisfyingly convenient, it is not likely to feeling at one with your system and your music collection. 

It is much like the argument for physical media over digital. We love streaming music, but it is not the same. Think of a hi-fi system as the delicious homemade bread, in contrast to a quick sandwich you buy on your way to work (being a wireless speaker).

Buying physical music supports artists

As mentioned earlier, a hi-fi system does not always have to mean playing physical media but most of times does support CDs and vinyl (and digital downloads). And, whether we like it or not, as things stand, if you want to support artists and bands making the music you love, buying physical media is a better way of doing it than streaming. Simply because they earn more money by it. 

Besides, if you are thinking of starting your vinyl collection, you will want more than a wireless speaker anyhow.


With many of us spending extra time at home these days, more and more people valuing a physical connection with music in this digital age, and everyone always eager to hear the music they love at its best, I think it’s a good a time to build and enjoy a brilliant, versatile and maybe even a state-of-the-art hi-fi system. 

Happy listening






Fodder On My Wings, the 1982 album from legendary singer, songwriter and activist Nina Simone, became recently available on the Verve/Ume label. A personal favourite of Simone’s, and a long-sought-after rarity, this expanded edition of Fodder On My Wings can now be found on CD and vinyl and, for the very first time, in both standard and hi-res audio formats.

Nina Simone Album

The number of Nina Simone albums is close to a hundred, and this one is one of her most obscure, and most interesting. Recorded in 1982 in Paris, shortly after she settled there, at a difficult time in her life; financially, psychologically and physically. Not only was Simone feeling isolated in a new country, but her mental illness was worsening and her family life was broken. However, she channelled her despair into writing some of her most powerful material, including ‘I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them’ and the near-title-track, ‘Fodder In Her Wings’, which Pitchfork included in their roundup of Simone’s most iconic songs.

The publication proclaimed that the original version of the composition, which Simone would revisit several years later, “Captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period”. Pitchfork added that, “Simone’s vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale”.


Another standout track is the triumphant ‘I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive’, which became a popular live song for the artist later in her career. Full of upbeat percussion and horns, the song was clearly influenced by the African musicians that Simone had met in France.

She recorded ten very personal songs for the original album, with African-French musicians who all excelled; Jacco Pastorius-like bassist Sylvin Marc and percussionists Paco Sery and Sydney Thaim. Nina sings in both French and English. Songs that were very dear to her are witnessed by later performances. And she plays piano and harpsichord, arranged her own soulful compositions, and morphed the stately sound of her classical piano education in Philadelphia past with her then-current travels; through Europe and the Caribbean—and of course, the blues. Living her best and freest life, Fodder On My Wings was truly her declaration of independence, of no compromise. The CD reissue includes three additional tracks from the same recording session, including Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again Naturally, with adapted lyrics, about her father. 

What makes this album so special? Simone was able to accurately put into words her misery at the time, and her piano playing and vocals sound extremely lived-in. 

A very welcome re-issue, as this reanimation might be an odd, but certainly beautiful surprise. Rich in dynamics and contrasts, like Simone was, and always would be.

Her most famous song, My Baby Cares For Me, was already recorded in 1958, for her first album Little Girl Blue, aka Jazz As Played In An Exclusive Side Street Club (issued in 1959), but it was used for a Chanel No.5 commercial in 1988 and it was an instant hit again. This brought her a good deal of money, but at the time her career and personal life were on a low point. A good friend of her invited her to come and stay in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, to get rest and care, far away from the craziness in France. She bought an apartment nearby the city center, overlooking the wide valley of the river Waal, and lived there for two years, after which she moved to Amsterdam for another couple of years. It was in this time that I first came aware of Nina Simone as a person and great performer of a huge repertoire, not only of the singer of that catchy and famous song. 

Writer of this article was born in Nijmegen, a quiet midsized provincial town nearby the German border, in the east of the Netherlands. Although for a little while it was the talk of the town that a world famous singer resided in –of all places- Nijmegen, she could actually live an anonymous life there. Which helped her very much in recovering from bad times, although she in this period also got diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, and received treatment for it. Nevertheless, slowly she worked her way up towards a real come back on the stage. Later on she moved from Amsterdam back to France, and recorded several more albums there.

Needless to say that after I got to know more of her and her music, I became a big fan. Especially interesting I find her fascinating piano play, which in many songs by nature but at the same time very inventively fused classical themes from J.S. Bach with modern jazz and blues styles. Just listen to this first track of Fodder On My Wings, played on harpiscord and piano: 

It’s giving me chills.



ProJect Affordable HiFi Setup



當我們在解釋 VDP Audio是在做什麼的時候,往往很容易讓人馬上聯想到"哇,這一定很貴吧"手工音響對他們來講似乎是遙不可及,而且難以相信其實是可以高貴不貴的!


這樣的自我安慰其實不然,我們能分辨的聲音細節以及對音樂性的期望是另人驚訝的,尤其在經過一些些的訓練或指導之後。不過,讓我先說明一下HiFi的實際含義。這個術語大約從1950年代開始,是 High Fidelity的縮寫,中文直譯就是我們常聽到的"高傳真"或"高保真",如字面所示,意指接近真實,像是在現場聽到的音質。而且,毋庸置疑的是自50年代至今相關的技術不斷進步,當初對所謂HiFi的定義與要求,用現今的技術早可以輕易達成,現今對高傳真的標準也提高了。但這類消費性質的技術已經變成相對負擔的起,對大眾而言HiFi並不難取得。

其實,除了以下這些類型的設備,幾乎所有的喇叭/揚聲器都可以重現符合HiFi標準的聲音質量 – 老式袖珍收音機,手機或電腦裏的微型喇叭,低價的電腦用桌上型喇叭(常見塑膠製品),便宜耳機(主要用來電話接聽),或是一些便攜式,迷你藍芽喇叭。結論是,重現所謂"高傳真"品質的音樂並不廉價,但絕對是負擔得起的。這樣的聲音品質大約可以滿足99%的消費者。用數字來舉個例,大約美金250元,就可以組合出一套具有HiFi聲音品質的音響設備,包含音源(例如CD播放器),擴大機,還有喇叭。


高端音響與標準HiFi的區別不僅在音質上有更高的要求,因為這畢竟是音響的主要目標。 這個部份可以透過更先進和新的技術以及更高級的電子和機械組件來實現。 除此之外,還會出現許多奢華取向的元素,例如使用更昂貴的材料及將其應用至音響上的複雜過程。 而且總體設計-外觀-往往也呈現更精緻奢華的風格。

不過呢,與高級音響產業希望您相信的相反,高端產品所提供的優美音質也不一定要非常昂貴才能達成。 如今,有許多品牌提供精良的構造,非常好的發聲設備和喇叭,且對很多人來說其價格實惠可負擔。 當然,花錢時總是有些優先順序的考量。我只是想說其實想要在家中建置一套出色的音響,讓您更能享受喜愛的音樂,不至於得去搶銀行才能買的起呀。

說起來,並沒有一個所謂的保證可獲得高端音質的入門價位。 很多的樂迷或是音響迷覺得大概要一萬到二萬美元的數字,可以進到高端的領域。 well….但我可以告訴你,這被誇大了。 巧妙地選擇,如今有可能以一到兩千美元之間的價格獲得高端音質。 這僅是上述金額的十分之一。


坦白說,還有比史蒂夫·古騰堡(Steve Guttenberg)所說到,更多的選擇,可惜的是在台灣沒有那麼容易獲得。 這是我們VDP Audio的目標; 提供各種價格實惠的優質HiFi產品,能使99%的音樂愛好者擁有可讓其開心享受音樂多年的音響。尤其是不想要一直更新和升級音響設備的人,可以對精心挑選的設置長時間感到滿意。


Ray 睿


Pro-ject affordable audio setup

What is the difference between HiFi and High End Audio?

Stepping into an audio shop in Taiwan, most of times you enter a world of pricy luxury. Not seldom it gives you an uncomfortable feeling, as if you don’t belong there, or even worse, are not wished there. In some cases you will feel really uneasy, like when you enter some exclusive art gallery and the atmosphere is clearly at a level way way above your comprehension, and financial situation no doubt.

Often, when explaining to people what we of VDP Audio are doing, they draw the rash conclusion that our products will be out of reach for them; handmade quality HiFi, oh my.. And it is not always easy to let them believe that we are actually quite affordable.

It must have to do with the concepts which the traditional audio industry in Taiwan is propagating. First of all HiFi seems to be the same as High End audio, and it is all meant to cost a lot, otherwise it will just not be good. Indeed, after some quick searching it does look like either you have to spend half a fortune on a serious audio set up of approvable quality by some audiophile friend or according to the audio magazines. Or you buy cheap stuff in 3C shops or online, with the expectation that it will not sound that great, but this is what you could afford, and you will excuse yourself with reasoning that you can’t hear the differences in sound anyway.

The latter is not true. You will actually be amazed by how much details you are able to hear, after a little training and guidance. But let me explain what HiFi actually means. High Fidelity is a term from the 1950’s and refers to a true sound quality, near to the real thing; live music. Needless to say that there has been an enormous technological progress since then, and that the standard of what was HiFi back then is easily reached now, but in fact also has raised significantly. Yet, since consumer technologies also have become very affordable for practically everyone, we can say that HiFi is available for practically everyone. 

HiFi sound quality is reproduced by every decent equipment and speakers as long as they are not in the following categories: old fashioned pocket radio’s / the tiny speakers in your laptop or mobile phone, cheap plastic desktop speakers for your computer, bottom priced headphones, earplugs or speakers otherwise, and a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers. The conclusion is that music reproduction in HiFi sound quality is not dirt cheap, but certainly very affordable. And the sound quality standard is satisfying to probably 99% of the consumers.  To give it a figure, we can say that US$250 for a complete setup of music source (cd-player), amplifier and speakers can already bring the music to you with HiFi sound.

The remaining 1% are the audio hobbyists or professionals, who seek for higher standards, and then we reach the topic of High End audio             

What High End Audio distinguishes from standard HiFi has to do with more than the sound quality. Obviously that should be on a higher level, as this is the primary goal of course. This is achieved by more advanced  and updated technologies and higher quality of electrical and mechanical components. But here also a number of luxury items come along, like the use of more expensive materials and applications of them. And the overall design -the look and feel- will often be more extravagant.

Well but, contrary to what the luxury high end audio industry wants you to believe, high level sound quality as in offered in High End is not necessarily expensive either. Nowadays there are plenty of brands that offer well build and really good sounding equipment and speakers that are also quite affordable for a lot of people. Well of course, it is always about priorities, when spending money. Just meaning to say that you don’t need to break the bank for getting some great sound at home, enabling you to enjoy your music so much more than before.

There is no certain minimum amount of money to spend that guarantees you to get high end audio sound quality. Too many sound adepts are still thinking of figures of ten to twenty thousand (US) dollars to make it possible to step into the high-end realm. Well, I can tell you that that is widely overstated. Cleverly chosen, nowadays it is possible to get high-end sound quality for something between one to two thousand dollars. That is only 10% of what is just mentioned above.

Just check it out here:

Frankly, there are many more options than that Steve Guttenberg gives, but unfortunately not so easily available in Taiwan. And here is what we of VDP Audio aim for; to provide a wide range of affordable good quality and good sounding HiFi products, which will make 99% of the music lovers happy for many years to come. People who don’t have the desire to keep changing and upgrading their audio set up, but are happy with a well chosen set that will keep satisfying for a long time


so, what do you feel about HiFi and Hi End audio, leave us message and tell us what do you think!

Ray’s Audio world 睿的音響世界


A blog about all things HiFi and music. My reflections about loudspeakers, equipment, accessories, and -not to forget- acoustics. But also about live and recorded music, and some occasional sidesteps.


這裡是睿Ray的布落格。博各種有關HiFi和音樂的話題。 我對音響喇叭,設備,配件的看法,還有評一評音響效果。 也要聊聊現場音樂和錄製音樂,還有偶爾也來天南地北談談與音響不太相干的事~

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