In less than a week we will be heading to the sunny state of CA, where The Home Entertainment show will dowse visitors in audio ecstasy in addition to the unending sunlight of Los Angeles. I’m not sure how much sun I will be absorbing over the weekend, my goals involve the much more subdued lighting situation of hotel listening rooms.
This year marks the return of the Headphonium, a creation of show owner Richard Beers and Audio Head contributor Michael Mercer. See below for a little catch up on the event from last year via Michael himself.
More events, more rooms, more vendors! The entire headphone scene has grown exponentially from the single hallway hosted by Headroom just a few years ago. A quick glance at the promo card created for the event reveals an excellent cross section of the usual show exhibitors plus a few newcomers to the US circuit.
Glad to see Sony joining the fray. Their DSD-forward line of amps and DACs was particularly intriguing at the AXPONA show. From media servers to solid state headphone amplifiers, Sony appears to have done their research before finally entering the audiophile headphone market. Surprisingly, Sony also manufactures a high end speaker that usually makes the rounds within the decked out halls of the listening rooms upstairs. Expect and update from HifiMan as well, we haven’t seen an appearance from the brand abroad since RMAF.
Cavalli audio continues to reap the benefits of positive buzz. If you happen to catch our [EGX coverage from this year], you may have noticed my high praise from Mr.Speakers setup with his Alpha Dog headphone connected to the company’s Liquid Glass. We are looking forward to giving a solid listen to gear he will have on tap.
It also looks as though DSD continues to be a hot topic of discussion at this year’s show. With even more DSD distribution points on the web and the looming rumors of high resolution from Apple, its no wonder that Newport is a hosting seminars like the”DSD Progress Report” and “2014: Is this the year for High Resolution Audio?”. Hopefully the high rez digital growth coupled with the vinyl resurgence is enough to push our beloved hobby just a few feet closer into the mainstream conscious. A larger visibility and more revenue coming in would undoubtably help spur some new R & D in the enthusiasts direction. In-Ear planar magnetics? Electrostatics without being chained to a full size amplifier? DAPs with Spotify? Bring it.
Let me know if there is anything particular you would like to see from this year’s show and I’ll make sure to throw it into our mix of coverage. We will be keeping a good ear out for anything interesting or extravagant from the loudspeaker rooms upstairs, I was really impressed with a some of the top tier stuff at AXPONA. T.H.E. Show Newport is heating up the west coast to HiFi, so stay tuned to the site, YouTube and social media channels for the latest on the show.