It’s been 21 years since the MP3 audio file format made its debut, 17 years since Napster revolutionized the distribution of digital music, 15 years since the iPod brought that music to a pocketable device, and 13 years since Apple made downloads legit with the iTunes music store. Computerized audio is now enjoying a vigorous middle age—old enough to support lots of audio products and system configurations, young enough for some of those products to be innovative. Outfitting your desktop with an audio system can cost as little as $13.99 for a pair of AmazonBasics powered speakers or as much as several thousand dollars for the highest-end speakers and integrated amps recommended by our sister site AudioStream.com. The Sony CAS-1 system falls somewhere in the middle. At $1,000, it’s a substantial investment, but far from the most expensive desktop audio solution. And unlike a lot of cheaper systems, it’s designed explicitly for high-resolution audio.
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