Our highlights from this year's show include:
The Gold Phantom wireless speaker, with its 22 carat casing - wouldn't look out of place on the set of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. We were expecting style over substance, but were pleasantly surprised to hear lush powerful bass emanating from the side-mounted subwoofers, in perfect balance with the high-end. You can definitely see why Jay-Z is a fan.
Naim Uniti Atom
Part of the new, revamped Uniti range, which also includes the Star, Nova & Core. We listened to Aphex Twin’s 'Selected Ambient Works 85-92' - which sounded a tad flat, although to be fair, this was a prototype, so it was more about testing the functionality, which is impressive - with its Mu-So inspired volume dial, to the full colour LCD display. Sad to see the iconic Naim green disappear though.
Astell and Kern AK70
Stylish hi-res music player with a pair of Audeze LCDXC headphones. Listened to 24-bit version of Abbey Road, along with some Miles Davis. Lovely rich, crystal clear sound.
PMC room were showcasing their new Twenty5 speaker range. Bravely opting to play the entry level Twenty5.21 stand-mounted bookshelf speakers, and you can see why! The sound fills the room just as well as any floorstander, thanks to the clever Laminair vent - allowing the smooth flow of rear wave energy through the cabinet - improving bass and dynamics.
New Rega Planar 3
The new luscious red RP3, with a Moving Coil cartridge and its own phono stage, using the new and improved Brio 2017 integrated amplifier. Playing "A Hard Day’s Night " LP - the usual brilliance we've come to expect from Rega.
Bowers & Wilkins DB Subwoofers
We were treated to a demo of the DB Series within a set-up which included the truly awesome Diamond 800s - creating a deep & open soundstage. The dual balanced 12-inch Aerofoil drivers are contained within such a rigid & tightly compact enclosure, that the cabinet doesn't move a millimetre - even when pushed to the limit. Stand a glass of water on top of the DB1Ds, turn the volume up to 11, and the water stays as still as a duck pond.
We were lucky enough to the listen to the £52,000 Sennheiser Orpheus headphones, which have their own amp with retractable valves, and a marble base. Everything about them exuded calm, from the natural open sound, to the smooth way that the valves & dials disappeared back into the marble when switched off.
A fitting way to end the show.