Expect the best. According to the High End Society, promoters of the High End show in Munich, this year’s event is now fully booked with 505 exhibitors and more than 900 brands present from May 5th to 8th. Once again, the Bavarian capital will become a Mecca for fans of audio innovation, and the most important showcase event for consumer audio anywhere in the world.
Anyone in the audio industry that has ever visited the Munich High End show can attest how this is a perfect event in all regards. Promoted by the High End Society already for 35 years, the High End was first held in Düsseldorf in 1982, moved to Frankfurt, where it stayed for 21 years and finally moved to the MOC in Munich in 2004, where it has been held ever since. And a big reason why the show is so successful has to do with the MOC’s architecture and infrastructure with four spacious exhibition halls and four glass atria with 140 adjacent showrooms. All four halls will be used once again, and all 137 demo rooms in the upper atrium floors of the MOC are sold out. Important to note, those enclosed room units - between 49 and 297 square meters - in the upper atrium floors of the MOC, have been acoustically optimized since last year.
The show provides an excellent overview of the high-end and enthusiast music market, from the global players to the smaller audio specialists, benefiting also from the dynamics of the German home market. Many of the world’s leading brands will be presenting their latest developments at this year’s fair.
The show is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (open to registered trade visitors and press on the first day, May 5) and the organization provides free transportation to/from the airport and from selected hotels. If the weather allows, the external Biergarten will be a popular spot. This fair sure makes a lasting impression on all those who experience it.
The Munich High End show is established as an industry institution and it now stands as the most important showcase event for consumer audio anywhere in the world. Branko Glisovic, CEO of the show is thrilled by the tremendous response from leading companies, but is at the same time aware of the demands that this interest brings with it: “Of course you try to get as many companies as possible involved. But when you reach the limits of a 28,361 square meter exhibition space, it is then a question of capacity.” Most importantly, the numbers of exhibitors from all over the world continue to grow, representing a 2% increase over previous year exhibits. In 2015, foreign attendees also achieved an overall share of 63%.
German-based companies are naturally strongly represented at the High End show. Great Britain is in second place with 40 companies, followed by the USA, Italy, France, China, Japan and Switzerland. “This means that the High End offers not only a broad spectrum, but also an international selection, thereby serving as a shop window for the innovative drive of the whole industry. This is the basis for the ever growing international significance of the High End and the recognition it receives on the basis of its quality. We are delighted with the faith that exhibitors put in our event through their participation”, stresses Kurt Hecker, Chief Executive of the High End Society e.V., the trade association for high-quality electronic home entertainment, which includes the industry’s leading companies.
The Munich show brings together every aspect of the audio industry and technological developments, from traditional analogue hi-fi vinyl and tubes, to the latest digital trends, including mobile devices, online services and networked systems. With multi-room systems and wireless speakers in more demand than ever and currently driving the growth of the audio sector, visitors to the High End 2016 will also have the opportunity to listen to some of the best headphones or in-car sound systems available.
Visitors attending the High End have the opportunity to compare different headphone models directly in Hall 2, stand F10. Around 30 pairs of headphones in total, in different price classes, with uniformly high quality headphone amplifiers, will be available at all listening stations. The music selected will be identical, without any data reduction or compressed music files, and from different genres, to give the listener the opportunity
to make a direct comparison. The music will be controlled using iPads that are easy and intuitive to use.
At the High End 2016, start-ups will also have the opportunity to show off their ideas and innovations free of charge. This year, eight new companies will be contributing new technology and ideas. They include the German company xivero (www.xivero.com), which will be presenting a precise, software-based “measuring instrument” called MusicScope, which acts as an audio microscope and visualizes the various quality features of a music file or collection. It can be used to analyze digital music albums and analogue sources without needing the wide-ranging expertise of a sound engineer. For example, it is possible to easily verify and demonstrate whether a file created by up-sampling standard recordings is genuine. As a measuring tool to complement our ears, it can provide quantifiable information on the quality of a music recording.
The Munich show also offers exhibitors and visitors a comprehensive package of services for arrival, accommodation, catering and departure. This includes, among other things, a special program with excursions for partners, a free bus shuttle with expert guides, free talks and live music every day, apart from the numerous music presentations by the exhibitors, lectures and workshops.
The High End 2016 website already features all exhibitors as well their brands with the respective booth numbers.