Best music tech from the High End Audio Show 2012
8th May 2012 | 12:15
Now, if you aren't aware of Focal's eccentrically brilliant Grande Utopia floor standers then a) check them out and b) bear in mind how serious this lot are about audio when reading about its new headphones. The Spirit One cans sport an around-ear, closed-back design with a boasted sound insulation of 20db. In layman’s terms, they clamp around your lughole like a limpet, blocking out all background noise leaving just your heartbeat thumping away. Sound quality is exceptional, as it should be for a pair of cans costing around £200.
Price: £190, focal.com
Best for: Those wanting a more hi-fi version of Beats.
In concept-yet-coming-out stage, the Consolette is the first streaming dock from Marantz. You can dock an iOS devices including the new iPad, plus it will suck music from Android devices. Marantz also told T3 that Windows Phone will be supported later in the year. At the back are ethernet and USB connections for playing audio files over DLNA. On the front are basic control buttons, an LCD screen and a volume jog dial. We saw it playing from an iPad and were mightily impressed with the sound reproduction. Damn loud! Can't wait to get our hands dirty on a review model.
Price: €£899.90 (out Sep), marantz.com
Best for: Batting most streaming docks out of the park.
Half squid, half teardrop, full-blown badass loudspeaker, the new Giya G3 is a four-way unit capable of handling power up to 800RMS. There's no getting away from why you'd want this in your house, though – it's a massive talking point where you can ramble on for hours about its 'tapered tube loading, short-coil long-gap motor design'. Or, you could put on some Bauhaus and showcase the awesome sonics.
Price: $40,000 per pair, vividaudio.com
Best for: Psychedelic audio chat and equally mesmerising listening.
A network music player that has an integrated up-sampler to squeeze every last inch of musical code from files played from a uPnP computer, NAS drive or internet radio station. It'll also buff the audio from external devices connected to its twin – or USB 24-bit digital – inputs; Blu-ray players, iPods. iPhones, that kind of thing. Add the aptX-compatible BT100 Audio receiver (£70) and you can stream high-quality tuneage over Bluetooth. Impressive.
Price: £700, cambridgeaudio.com
Best for: Releasing hi-fi standard music from your mobile devices
The British-based hi-fi specialist has upgraded its mini speaker system for 2012. Tweaks to the drive unit configuration mean better bass response and finer detail, helped by a more flexible speaker cone. Like the previous incarnation, the satellites are available in two sizes; single (Min11) and twin-driver (Min21) design. The Subwoofer comes in 200W, 300W and 500W flavours. Still great sounds from an impish system.
Price: £500, cambridgeaudio.com