So, like November, I think January will be a time to buy some audio stuffs. I tried to order the Schiit Magni 2 headphone amp from Schiit in November, and couldn’t, so this time I will opt for the HELM Bolt USB-C amp/DAC, which is what I wanted in the first place, but it was pre-order only when I was looking at them. They are available for regular purchase now, and it will be *perfect* for my hi-fi/head-fi needs. I will not make the same mistake I made with the speakers, of getting some sort of passive components that require *this* piece of gear and *that* piece of gear in order to work properly. I can optimize for better sound if I went that route, but there is no “perfect” sound, and I don’t have the wallet to play around/experiment with high-end gear, so I will simply do hella research and buy the best component(s) that work for me, and go from there. Which, at this point, I would be A-OK with the (aforementioned) USB-C “dongle DAC”, and some decent headphones. nnThe headphones, the Audio-Technica ATH-M30’s, they are fine, and I don’t plan on upgrading those straight away. But I DO plan on upgrading a different set of headphones in the next few months. I want to pitch (after four “good” years of use) the Apple EarPods (which have deteriorated immensely over the years) and replace them with a set of Shure SE “ear buds” (or IEM’s (in-ear-monitors)). Shure makes a *lot* of IEM’s, but the specific SE model I am looking at runs around $100, and that should be fine (nice things have been said about nearly everything Shure makes). Those, coupled with the HELM Bolt, will make a very nice, minimal, compact, easy-to-use music setup that I can utilize anywhere. I will keep the Bolt (again, which is simply a USB-C “dongle” DAC) plugged into the Shure’s at all times, so I just plug-and-play (either via MacBook or via phone) when it is time to put on some tunage. A less bulky system.nnSo, I think those two things, coupled with Tidal (which I have been using for a year now, love it) will make a good “system” for listening to music. Nothing *fAnCy*, just good tunes that doesn’t “intrude” too much on my living space or my wallet (such as how a turntable + huge record collection + other various components certainly *would*). Practicality.nn

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