Solid-state power amplifiers,
Tubed power amplifiers,
Solid-state preamplifiers,
Tubed preamplifiers,
Disc players,
Digital-to-analog converters,

Once the Windy City’s snow thaws each year (and this year’s snowfall was a record!), it means that the annual AXPONA high-end audio event, slated for April 24–26, is right around the corner.

AXPONA, an acronym for Audio Expo North America, is the Midwest’s premier high-end audio show, and audiophiles who reside in so-called “flyover country” have plenty to get excited about. AXPONA boasts an impressive range of innovative and top-of-the-line offerings that rivals national (and even some international) hi-fi trade shows. This year’s event will host such illustrious players as Cabasse, Nordost, Emotiva, Pendulumic, exaSound Audio Design, Quintessence Audio, Gingko Audio, Auralic North America, and High Fidelity Services, among many other exhibitors.

First and foremost in importance, naturally, are the listening areas: Attendees can expect more than 125 suites where they can soak up the sounds of the latest and greatest gear the high end has to offer. There will be plenty for seasoned audiophiles as well as casual hobbyists and newcomers to the high-end scene to enjoy.

In addition to the extensive and exceptional listening opportunities, attendees can take in talks and informative seminars from a broad range of industry luminaries, such as Michael Fremer of Analog Planet, Jeff Merkel of the University of Colorado and Denver/Merkel Acoustics, and Bob Schulein of ImmerAV Technology. Basically, you can get access to first-rate advice on all types of audio issues—from how to optimize your listening room to proper turntable setup, and more.

For those newbies or longtime listeners who want to up the ante, 2015 marks the first year for a new “VIP Experience Package,” which provides early exhibit access in addition to a separate check-in section (a great way to avoid those long lines!), plus a relaxing VIP Lounge where you can escape the bustling hallways to relax with a beverage…and even check your coat.

If you’re feeling the urge to add new musical delights to your music collection (which all that listening ought to inspire you to do), you’ll want to peruse AXPONA’s huge displays of original and remastered recordings across myriad genres and formats, including vinyl, CD, and hi-res digital downloads.

For the third year running, AXPONA will take place at Chicago’s Westin O’Hare. For more info or to register, visit