HIGH END® 2016: The Audio Event of the Year, Part 2

In our last blog post we told you about the greatest audio event of the year for professionals and enthusiasts alike—the HIGH END® audio exhibition in Munich, Germany. Today, we’re going to give you the highlights and best-of-show products that we think will soon be all the buzz in the most important venue of all—your home. Audiophiles, get ready!


First up: we totally agree with what The Absolute Sound writer Jonathan Valin pegged as “Best in Show” from our friend Richard Vandersteen and his 5-A Carbon speakers.

Best in Show for the money:

“On the other hand, Richard Vandersteen’s 5A Carbons driven by Richard’s own M7-HPA amps and sourced by Brinkmann Spyder turntable (with EMT-ti cart and Edison phonostage) don’t cost anywhere near a million dollars but they sounded like a million in München. A truly great system.”




We were super-excited to find out that Canadian hi-fi company Bluesound has confirmed that as of this month, all of its Bluesound players will support the new MQA format.

MQA stands for Master Quality Authenticated, a new technology developed by Meridian Audio, that delivers high-quality audio sound in a file that’s small enough to stream or download. The partnership allows Bluesound to be the first company to offer MQA through a wireless multi-room system.



High performance home theater and hi-fi company NAD has added some impressive products to its stable, the M50.2 (A digital music player,) and the M32 (a direct digital amp.) According to What HiFi, the M50.2 is a high resolution, multi-room music streamer and CD ripper, which, when paired with a direct digital amp such as the M32, a true digital amp that provides a short signal path that produces clear sound.



And speaking of the new MQA sound streaming format, its creator, Meridian Audio, announced at HIGH END® that Warner Music Group has become the first big label to adopt the MQA format. MQA claims to bring a higher-quality sound to music lovers, one that brings the “live” sound back to streamed music.



The latest digital audio technologies from Ayre include the QX-5, their new flagship DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that sets new standards for a linear, dynamic audio range. This allows the sound to remain pure, no matter what format it originates from. That’s good news for those of us with multiple music formats!


Audio Research 

Also creating a stir at HIGH END® was the LS28 line stage preamplifier, the PH9 phono stage, and the DAC9 digital-to-analog converter, part of the new Foundation Series from Audio Research. According to the company, the series will eventually include an amplifier, and “the Foundation family of vacuum tube components has been created to provide incredible musical experiences. Spatial definition, dynamics and detail abound while providing the most natural musical experience.”

audio research

Whew! We’re excited about showing you all of these awesome new products. Come in to see us and give a listen to the latest from HIGH END® 2016! Find us in Buckhead or visit us on Facebook or Twitter!


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