First of all, I apologize in advance for this question: this forum may not be a perfect fit for it, but it is the closest I could find on Stack Exchange. Furthermore, the 'How to Ask' posting guidelines state that «we prefer questions that can be answered, and not just discussed», and this question is of the latter type. So, if you find this question too inappropiate, please tell me; I will take it down.
Now, the actual query:
Lately I've been caring more and more about audio quality and listening experience in general. As I researched into getting better equipment to improve the aforementioned elements, I realized, as a newcomer to the audio[phile] world, that there are much more factors (i.e. equipment, storage methods...) influencing audio quality than I thought, from the recording of the sound to its reproduction, going through its storage.
So, in this post, I intend to make an unordered list of factors that have an influence on audio quality which I would like more experienced and knowledgeable users to order, as they believe, by amount of influence on the overall quality of the listening experience: that is, if they believe that element x is the most important in achieving good quality, they should put that in position
1.; if they believe that element y is the least important, they should put it last; and so forth.
I'll divide the list in three main sections (
I-III), each corresponding to a certain phase in the whole process that goes from recording to listening:
[Acoustic properties of recording space]
Sound altering elements (e.g. pop filter)
- Microphone (or other sound-to-signal transducer equipment)
- Sound mixing equipment
- Recording equipment
- Cables (or other ways of transporting signals)
- Storage medium
- In case of degradable media: State of maintenance
- In case of digital recordings: Audio codec
In case of digital recordings: DAC
Amplification [and other signal processing] equipment
Cables (or signal transportation methods such as Bluetooth)
In case of not listening through headphones: Acoustic properties of the room
There should be a fourth section, perhaps the most important: IV. Hearing ability (i.e. the actual biological factors that affect your listening). But since you can't do much about that one, I haven't added it.
Please note that I'm a beginner in this kind of stuff, so forgive my ignorance if I miss some important elements, misname them, group together elements that ought to be separate, etc. I'm sure there will be plenty of corrections, additions and updates of this list in the future.
Thank you in advance.