You’re probably familiar with the usual suspects when it comes to audio brands. Sony, Audio-Technica, Sonos and the range.
But at the International Sound & Sight Exhibition, held over three days from 27 to 29 November at Parkroyal on Kitchener Road, budding audiophiles will get to hear a wide range of audio products.
We’ve spent a few hours at the annual audio exhibition and noticed some new and familiar brands that you should lend your ears to.
Astell & Kern
This T-shaped speaker is anything but simple. Because the Astell & Kern AK T1 supports hi-res audio up to 24-bit/192kHz and plays audio from optical and auxiliary inputs, or a microSD card.
And that's just for starters. Streaming is supported in any number of ways thanks to the inclusion of Ethernet, Wi-Fi and aptX Bluetooth connectivity. Any DLNA device is supported for wireless streaming, from computers to NAS drives to portables, and you can play music straight from your phone or tablet using the AK Connect app for iOS and Android
The Japanese company, which is known for their wide spectrum of headphones and earphones that deliver either amazing bass to absolute vocal clarity, have a few surprises in store for audiophiles. Headphones take centrestage here but it’s what they’re plugged to that should be of interest.
The Audio-Technica AT-HA5050H Hybrid Headphone Amplifier marries the best of both worlds - we listened to a few tracks via the Audio-Technica ATH-W1000Z headphones and it was splendid. The perfect balance of lows, mids and highs give this amplifier that extra edge we’ve always looked for in a music delivery system.
Pre-order price: S$8980 (usual price S$9978)
You might or might not heard of this French company. But once you hear the Devialet Phantom in action, you will feel the prowess of its audio delivery.
These wireless speakers aren’t just good looking. They pack quite a punch too, deliver either 750w or 3000w of pure audio punch for the Phantom or Silver Phantom speaker respectively. It’s the Heart Bass Implosion technology that’ll get your heart pounding - enough to keep you on the edge of your seat and try to “see” the amazing reverb of the sound.
Price: S$2990 (Phantom) or S$3490 (Silver Phantom)
You don’t want to set your sights on this. Because the Lumin S1 is going to lure you in with its bespoke design. That, and the promise of a DSD128 5.6Mhz playback, done through high-res PCM to mainstream formats FLAC, Apple Lossless, MP3 and Internet radio streams, is going to make you want one.
Oh, we almost forgot to mention, it has native support for Tidal’s hi-res music streaming service. Now that’s making this a smart experience.
Usual price: S$19,800 (ask for ISSE special price)
This Canadian-based brand, carried by local distributor Hwee Seng Electronics, is one heck of a high-end system for audiophiles. For starters, if you get the full subwoofer and speaker setup with an Onkyo amplifier and receiver, be prepared to hear the amazing Dolby Atmos sound system.
The recommended setup should including a full 5.1 system, complete with speakers hanging from the ceiling to create the all-round aural experience. Be warned though, this won’t come cheap.
Price: approximately S$15,000 and above (depending on setup)
Here’s one for the Singapore team. If you’ve heard of UB+, you would know that its Eupho modular speakers are an interesting bunch. For one, it can be configured to either act as a standalone Bluetooth speaker or connected to another as a stereo setup. New to its lineup is the UB+ Eupho stereo expansion casing. This is essentially a wooden case that converts two speakers into a stereo delivery, complete with USB and 3.5mm analog connectors to link it with your audio players.
Another lineup worth mentioning is the UB+ Eupho Brave expansion, which links six UB+ speakers into a soundbar setup. The expansion case also includes optical and RCA connectors to link up with your TV setup.
Price: S$219 (UB+ Eupho stereo expansion casing), S$568 (UB+ Eupho Bravo expansion casing)