The high end audio industry is clearly now targeting the Munich annual show for major product introductions. The 2017 edition has already a very important schedule of events and product launches, both from well-established brands and many new and less-know manufacturers from around the world. This includes also headphone manufacturers of course, which are quickly becoming an important part of the show.
Headphones have long since won over the hi-fi industry, and the demand is steadily growing with the category also becoming trendy lifestyle accessories. The promoters of the Munich High End show want to promote the highest quality experiences and the 2017 show will enable a first contact with some of the best headphones in the market today, while most brands are preparing new significative introductions. Apart from visiting the booths of all the existing brands, the High End show will offer again the "Hörbar" experience - which is to say, a unique concept of a "headphone bar", where visitors can try all available models without any type of pressure.
The Headphones “Hörbar” will be located in Halle 2 Stand F07/ G09 and will feature various manufacturers and price classes for identical music selections. The “Hörbar”, launched as a listening bar for the first time last year, was met with avid interest. This year, the visitors at the High End also have the opportunity to directly compare various headphone models in a wide range of price categories. Overall, approx. 30 headphones will be equipped with identical high-quality headphone amplifiers on all the listening stations. In the musical selection, identical music pieces of various genres will be selected, enabling the listener to have a direct basis of comparison. The headphone corner will be organized by the High End Society, with sponsorship from: audionext, audioquest, Lehmann Audio, and Sieveking audio.
An Auction for a Good Cause
The Ukrainian loudspeaker manufacturer, Volya, is auctioning off luxury loudspeakers valued at EUR 30,000 (not including VAT) at the High End 2017 for a charitable cause. The total proceeds of the benefit auction will go completely towards helping visually impaired children at the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital of Saarland (UKS). The benefit auction is being staged under the auspices of the High End Society. During the High End 2017, the loudspeakers will be exhibited and auctioned off in the foyer of the MOC convention center.
Prospects from all over the world will have the opportunity to follow the auction and bid on the premium loudspeakers directly at the exhibition or even online. The auction will begin on April 1, 2017 and end at midnight on May 20, 2017. Additional information on the auction is available at: www.volya.audio
50 Best Album Covers
Visitors to the High End show can also marvel at the 50 best album covers of the year 2016, selected by a jury comprising renowned design experts and previous prize laureates. The artwork, “packaging", or cover of an album is an essential and important part of the album and over decades developed into its own art form. For many vinyl fans, the design of the album cover is an important incentive to buy the album.
Since 2005, “Art Vinyl” has voted annually on the “Best Art Vinyl Award” for the most creative album cover. In 2016, this prize was awarded for the 11th time. The cover art exhibits are on display on every exhibition day in the foyer of the MOC between Halls 1 and 2 on the ground floor.
Lectures and Presentations
The High End will once again offer visitors numerous interesting lectures, presentations, demonstrations and workshops, featuring top-class and high-caliber speakers on all aspects of the topic of consumer electronics.
Among the many exciting sessions, there will be workshops on music listening, presented in all genres and in all formats. As in previous years, audio experts from around the world will provide visitors with an insider’s view into topics surrounding their work. These are the people who work tirelessly “behind the scenes” to ensure that worldwide music aficionados can enjoy the highest possible quality. The sessions will address aspects of analog reproduction and the latest HQ recordings, multichannel recording, (re-)mastering, D/A converter technology, “musical cable connections”, along with the latest server and streaming topics.
This takes place on Room K1b (Foyer in front of Hall 1), on all the exhibition days from 10:00am to 6:00pm in 30-minute intervals (Sunday until 3:30pm). No expense was spared in preparing and equipping the presentation room K1b, in order not to impair any enjoyment of the presentations to the extent this is possible at an exhibition.
Another interesting session, entitled "Is data reduction history thanks to the newly developed MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology?" - Atrium 3, 1st Floor, Room D111 (Audio Reference) on May 19 and 20, at 11:00am - will try to answer existing questions on the audio codec developed by Bob Stuart, which enables the transfer of studio master quality even at lower data rates. The sessions will explain the advantages of the MQA technology - already a reality and available on music streaming service Tidal - and also elaborate on why it is currently so controversial.
This session will be complemented by a workshop on Atrium 4, 1st Floor, Room E104 (Gauder Akustik) on May 20, from 1:00 to 1:30pm, where the same presenter, Joachim Pfeiffer (editor of Audio & Flatscreen Journal), will explain his methodology in loudspeaker tests along with the music with which he closely examines the individual quality criteria.
On the Technology stage, in Hall 3, booth L06, May 18, from 4:00 to 4:30pm, there will a presentation on "Next Generation Audio – A vision of audio recording and transmission systems of tomorrow". Christian Hartmann, chairman of the ARD/ZDF Audio Working Group and member of the Verband Deutscher Tonmeister e.V., VDT, the German association for audio industry professionals, will provide an overview of future-driven basic technologies, such as object-based audio transmission, and makes an attempt at assessing standard buzzwords, manufacturer
claims and marketing messages.