Disappointing was the word.
The world’s finest hi-fi was on display and we didn’t have enough fixed deposit to bother breaking. But for the well-heeled, the What Hi-Fi Show 2016 was an ‘all-you-can-eat’ buffet of the best loudspeakers, amplifiers, projectors, turntables and AV accessories that the world has to offer. Held at the ultra-luxurious St. Regis hotel in Mumbai, the show comprised of more than 30 room that were cleared of all furniture to become make-shift demo rooms for stereo systems, 5.1 channel home-theatres, laser projectors or full-blown Dolby Atmos 3D surround sound systems!
For old-school purists, the entire Pro-ject turntable range was on display to help you start building a vinyl collection all over again. If you fancied some traditional British craftsmanship, the regal Tannoy Turnberry from the flagship Prestige series were being demoed with the gigantic Hegel H30 1100watt/pc power amplifier. American fanboys had the big McIntosh amplifiers to cheer to while italian panache was added by speaker specialist Sonus Faber.
Home-theatre connoisseurs had much to look forward to. OEM Systems kicked it off the park with a 5.2.2 speaker configuration Dolby Atmos system that could put systems twice its price to shame! Elac, Procella and Klipsch showed off Dolby Atmos systems along with legendary Indian brand Sonodyne getting in the mix too, proving that theatre-quality sound at home isn’t just a pipe dream anymore, even on a budget. Never-before-seen technology in the form of Revolution Audio impressed show goers with its ability to be mounted on any flat surface and turning it into a speaker instantly. Elsewhere, Stealth Audio showed off a completely sealed speaker that can be mounted outdoors even in the most adverse of conditions without interrupting your One Direction playlist.
Oppo's new PM3 closed-back planar headphones were up for a listen as well and needless to say, attracted swarms of knowledgeable music lovers to its rooms. Wireless and streaming audio options were ample from new and established brands alike. Bluesound, Paradigm, Definitive Technology and Deviate…all strutted their stuff and if you got tired walking around stalking them, the Little Nap recliners room was open to visitors to experience their lounge sofas equipped with massage and Bluetooth reclining functions.
Smart homes are all the buzz and thanks to Raylogic, CasaDigi and Leviathan Sytems (Burmester) enthralled audiences with the possibilities of fusing your smartphone with your home-entertainment system and lighting.
For a complete lowdown on the WHF Show 2016, be sure to grab a copy of our sister brand What Hi-Fi? April issue on stands.