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Tech Showcase: The Latest in High-End Audio

Premium is in — and with luxury audio products like these it is easy to see why.

The recent Consumer Electronics Trends report given at this past CES showed that consumers were buying more premium brands for a better experience. Here, we share some of the latest entries in the world of high-end audio from some of the industry’s most respected brands.

Estelon Extreme MKII Speakers - High-End Audio

Estelon Extreme Mk II Loudspeaker

After updating the Estelon classics series to Mk II and launching a limited Anniversary Edition of the Forza model, Estelon now refines its flagship loudspeaker. The Extreme Mk II includes a unique two-module design of the over 2 meters tall loudspeaker that allows the user to adjust the height of the upper part, as well as the depth of the tweeter, in order to achieve optimal performance in any room. Furthermore, it isolates the upper drivers from vibration created by the woofers.

The new Estelon Extreme Mk II is being offered in two-tone, ultra-premium high-gloss finishes: Midnight Opera, Bronze Royale, Lunar Eclipse, and Nordic Emerald. The form of the cabinet and the proprietary marble-based composite material provide the ideal conditions for the speakers’ components. The shape provides the unique visual aesthetics for which Estelon is known, but having no parallel walls also prevents unwanted resonances.

The Extreme Mk II sports a new 168 mm (7 inches) ceramic membrane midrange driver with CELL technology from Accuton. The new 25 mm (1 inch) diamond membrane Accuton tweeter can reproduce sounds up to 60 kHz without distortions in the human hearing range. In addition, the new Extreme Mk II contains an upgraded crossover network that integrates new and improved inductors, capacitors, and resistors, all utilizing the company’s new proprietary direct connection techniques.

CSEED + LAcoustics Island Prestiege – High-End Audio

C SEED and L-Acoustics Creations Maunakea

Two ultra-high-end manufacturers — C SEED and L-Acoustics Creations — have combined their products to bring the luxury AV experience to new levels. C SEED M1 unfolding 165-inch 4K MicroLED TV is now combined with L-Acoustics Island Prestige ultra-high resolution spatial audio experience to create Maunakea (pronounced MO-na-KEY-uh).

“Maunakea,” explains Laurent Vaissié, CEO of L-Acoustics, “is named after a volcano in Hawaii, the world’s tallest peak as measured from its sea-floor base to summit — even taller than Mount Everest. In the same spirit, our latest product collaboration with C SEED affords new heights of modern elegance in luxury home entertainment systems. And just as most of Maunakea, the volcano, resides beneath the ocean surface, the technology offered by L-Acoustics Creations and C SEED remains cleverly concealed yet spectacular.”

The self-contained personal auditorium, Island Prestige, offers a sonic environment that comfortably places its occupants at the epicenter of the concert, film, or gaming action via 13 professional audio frontal speakers, five rear speakers, and two subwoofers. Optional overhead speakers provide for an even more immersive experience. With a media processor, Island’s state-of-the-art technology integrates to play audio from any format, including CD, DVD, Blu-ray, gaming platforms, Dolby Atmos, and hi-res streaming services such as Apple Music Spatial Audio, Amazon Music Ultra HD, TIDAL, and more.

Designed by Stefan Pani, M1 TV’s unfolding screen rises from the ground in a tidy package and then metamorphoses into a massive display diagonally stretching nearly 14 feet. Once deployed, M1’s 4k MicroLED technology creates vibrant colors and a stunning resolution with 1000 nits brightness and 64 billion colors. A special screen surface treatment displays the all-important black, deep and accurate. In addition to onboard HDR Plus (High Dynamic Range), C SEED´s Adaptive Gap Calibration Technology renders borders between the display panels totally invisible.

Meridian Audio DSP8000 XE Digital Active Loudspeakers - High-End Audio

Meridian Audio DSP8000 XE Digital Active Loudspeakers

Meridian Audio has launched new developments in Digital Active Loudspeakers with the introduction of its new flagship loudspeaker, the DSP8000 XE. The DSP8000 XE is the first Meridian loudspeaker to emerge from the company’s Extreme Engineering Program, which commenced more than six years ago. Informed by psychoacoustics and engineered by experts, the Extreme Engineering Program was created to re-imagine every element of Meridian’s product platforms, including both software and hardware.

A major advance, borne from Meridian’s significant investment in this program, is a new design concept known as “Precision Sonic Transport.” PST adopts innovative techniques and new processes to ensure that every aspect of the audio signal journey through the loudspeaker maintains maximum sonic fidelity, according to Meridian. DSP8000 XE is the first of Meridian’s products to benefit from the enhancements enabled by PST, with further new product developments to be announced.

McIntosh C12000 Preamp – High-End Audio

McIntosh C12000 Preamplifier and Controller Module

McIntosh has announced the C12000 preamplifier, which has a unique two-chassis design that isolates the audio section from the control and power sections, resulting in the purest sound reproduction possible, according to the company.

The C12000 comprises the C12000 controller module and the C12000 preamplifier module that work together seamlessly when connected. All power control, data ports, and external control connections are located within the C12000 controller, where dual isolated power supplies drive the left and right channels, while a dual microprocessor gives robustness to the control system. The C12000 preamplifier module houses the audio connections and circuitry — inside, the left and right channels are electrically and mechanically isolated to allow true dual mono operation. The controller and preamplifier units are connected via high-performance umbilical cables that are specifically designed to prevent outside noise from leaking into the audio signal.

B&W 705 Signature Speakers – High-End Audio

Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signature and 702 Signature Speakers

Bowers & Wilkins has launched two new versions of its 705 Signature stand-mount and 702 Signature floor-standing loudspeakers. Available in Midnight Blue Metallic paint, the 705 Signature and 702 Signature models feature the same combination of drive unit design and carefully upgraded crossover componentry as the existing Datuk Gloss-finished 700 Series Signature models, which remain available to purchase.

The new 705 & 702 Signature feature state-of-the-art Bowers & Wilkins technologies, including a decoupled Continuum cone midrange drive unit on the 702 Signature, complemented by Aerofoil-profile bass drivers. Both 702 and 705 Signature also feature the Carbon Dome tweeter, housed in Bowers & Wilkins iconic Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top assembly.

As with the existing Signature models, both Midnight Blue Metallic loudspeakers feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors sourced from Mundorf, larger heatsinking, and, in the case of the 702, an upgraded LF capacitor on the bass section of the crossover.

Trinnov – High-End Audio

Trinnov Audio Amplitude16 Power Amplifier

Trinnov Audio has announced the release of a new high channel count power amplifier, the Amplitude16. Designed for immersive home theaters, with custom integration in mind, the Amplitude16 provides integrators with the ability to meet diverse channel counts and power requirements with exceptional rack efficiency.

Effectively two 8-channel amplifiers on a single 3RU chassis, the Amplitude16 has dual power supplies, each requiring its own 15A AC mains power inlet. In its base model, it is a 16-channel power amplifier with a continuous power rating of 200 watts/channel at 8 ohms and 400 watts/channel at 4 ohms.

Going beyond, the Amplitude16 provides the integrator with the option to bridge pairs of amplifier channels to increase available power for specific outputs. This enables the integrator to maximize power for the channels with the greatest demand (e.g., left, center, and right screen channels). In bridged mode, the power for one channel increases to 800 watts/channel at 8 ohms and more than 1000 watts/channel at 4 ohms.