High-end audio is coming to the Windy City, not once but twice in the coming weeks. The 2013 AXPONA (Audio Expo North America) show, which is being held on March 8-10th, will focus on high-end audio and feature more than 400 manufacturers in 100 rooms. This is the first major audio show to be held in Chicago (the former home of CES) for more than 15 years, and if you ask the organizers, the response so far has been tremendous. The first six months of 2013 are absolutely packed with audio shows – AXPONA, Montreal, Munich, New York, and T.H.E. Show in Newport Beach, California – and the rationale is that there is a renewed level of interest among younger listeners in better quality audio thanks to a rash of new, affordable products. Renewed optimism in the economy and a surge in vinyl sales has some of the bigwigs thinking that a great opportunity exists to expose the MP3/headphone generation to the next level of music playback.
Between affordable USB DACs, portable high-end media players such as the Astell and Kern AK100, and a surge of consumer interest in Neil Young’s PONO player, the barrier to great sound at home is dropping quite rapidly.
One company that has been way ahead of that curve with its affordable high-end audio and home theater products is Emotiva Audio. The boys from Tennessee are taking their show on the road – just not with B.J. and the Bear. Emotiva is packing up a 40-foot trailer with more than 1,000 pounds of amplifiers, headphone amps, home theater processors, loudspeakers, and preamplifiers, destined for a town near you – eventually.
The first free “Emotiva Experience” is being held on Saturday, April 13th at the Chicago Marriott Naperville from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Emotiva will have two-channel and home theater demonstration rooms and are sweetening the deal with refreshments. Who doesn’t love a good refreshment?
“We may live in an MP3 world, but we’re seeing a growing interest in audiophile sound,” explained Dan Laufman, Emotiva’s President and CEO. “That is why we created this customer road show, to help people re-discover the joys of high-end audio and demonstrate how great equipment can transform their listening experience. After all, hearing is believing.”
The second event is being held in Boston on June 21st, 2013. Location is TBD.