After last year’s cancellation and a two-year hiatus due to the covid pandemic we were finally able to make our regular yearly visit to the High End convention in Munich to explore all things HiFi! High End is the biggest HiFi convention in Europe with an endless list of the world’s best brands aiming to flex their HiFi muscles and really put on a show. With everything from headphones to ludicrously expensive systems there really is something for everyone.
Our trip started early on Friday with myself (Josh) and one of our Directors, Mitch catching an early flight from Birmingham to Munich to catch the end of the IPS trade show. This was only available for trade visitors and was a great opportunity for us to meet with some of the existing suppliers that we use such as ETI and Audio Quest, as well as being a good opportunity to build relationships with prospective companies within the industry ranging from cable and connector manufacturers to those working with the components and the chassis.
After the rest of our group arrived late Friday night, Saturday was show day! We split off into different groups, all with a different goal based on their experience within the business. For our engineers JJ, Mark and Director Mitch, it was all about R&D. Exploring what the current trends were within in the industry and what we could potentially explore doing in the future. After pounding the show for seven hours, it’s safe to say they came back inspired from their trip!
For the rest of the team it was either brush up on all things HiFi or for myself exploring the crazy world of high end HiFi systems for the first time. This included the incredible Avantgarde Acoustic Trio G3 with their futuristic SpaceHorn design, DCS’ new and improved Apex systems and a very special 50th anniversary exhibition system from Mark Levinson which was effortless in its presentation. For me it was fantastic to experience the best in what HiFi can offer at the top end of the market.
The standout for the R&D team was the Golden Ear Triton reference speakers, a relatively unknown speaker brand in the UK that have impressed us so much that we are considering them for our future listening room. We also enjoyed PMC/AVM stand with the Fenestria speakers and the Verity Audio stand (both a little out of our price range).
Naim and Focal’s stand was downsized this year, a shame given it was the 10th anniversary of their partnership. They had a 252/300 setup which was ruined going through the Focals and sadly no Statement to be seen. Some of us actually liked the limited-edition cases but we were disappointed that these could only be purchased as a package with the speakers.
After a long day at the show and more HiFi systems than you could shake a stick at, it was time to for a well-deserved beer (or three…) at the world famous Hofbräuhaus to toast what was a very successful trip.
Until next time High End!