• Chord Electronics Qutest DAC

    Chord Electronics Qutest DAC

    If we were to rate audiophile firms on the basis of the strength of their brand identities, Chord would be near the top of the list. The letter Q has figured prominently in the nomenclature ...
  • Elac Adante AF-61VR Loudspeaker

    Elac Adante AF-61VR Loudspeaker

    The Elac Adante series of loudspeakers, especially the compact AS-61, have been the darlings of the press since the first one reached a reviewer’s listening room. Recently the AS-61 received the coveted 2018 EISA award. ...
  • Qobuz Comes to the U.S.A.

    Qobuz Comes to the U.S.A.

    As of January 8, 2019, Qobuz, the French streaming/download service became available to United States-based audiophiles for late-stage beta testing, with a final release date forthcoming. The elevator pitch is if Tidal and HD Tracks ...
  • Mytek Digital Manhattan II DAC

    Mytek Digital Manhattan II DAC

    Mytek was originally a pro-audio equipment manufacturer when it opened its doors in 1991. Its first flagship DAC for both consumers and pros was the Manhattan. Rather than abandon and replace this model when it ...
  • iFi Audio xDSD DAC

    iFi Audio xDSD DAC

    Digital audio converters (DACs) come in all sizes, shapes, and prices. You can find simple digital converters on Amazon for as little as $7 or state-of-the-art units that cost as much as a comfortable middle-class ...
  • RMAF 2018 – Digital

    RMAF 2018 – Digital

    In the past I’ve reported on both digital and personal audio at RMAF in one report. But as RMAF and CANJAM have continued to expand, so has The Absolute Sound’s coverage. Now Chris Martens of ...
  • Naim Uniti Nova

    Naim Uniti Nova

    Although Naim has been making audio gear since 1973, it is not your typical stodgy old-school hi-fi firm. Instead, it is one of those fleet-footed audio manufacturers whose products have continued to evolve over the ...
  • TAS Legacy: Thiel CS5 Loudspeaker

    TAS Legacy: Thiel CS5 Loudspeaker

    When Thiel launched its ambitious new flagship, the CS5, at the 1989 CES, the company stated its technical requirements as “tonal fidelity, spatial fidelity, transient fidelity, and dynamic fidelity,” and the design goals as “uniform ...
  • Focal Clear Headphone

    Focal Clear Headphone

    Designing and implementing a product that will sit between a top-tier model and an entry-level one is always tricky. If it is too close in performance to the top-tier component, it will cannibalize sales. If ...
  • AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All-in-One System

    AVM Ovation CS 8.2 All-in-One System

    Historically, all-in-one audio components have been looked down upon by serious audiophiles, who typically prefer big-boy, multi-piece component systems. I suppose the category’s lack of respect is due in part to not-so-pleasant flashbacks to ancient ...

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