It wasn't that long ago that
the best sounding audio gear wasn't much to look at. The designers focused
almost exclusively on the sound, but in the early 2000s the engineers started
to lavish attention on the way these things look. That makes sense: we live
with the gear, so purposeful style and build quality can only add to the
products' allure. Take for example the Devialet 120 digital amplifier.
It does it all: it has turntable and analog
line inputs, USB, Ethernet, and digital coaxial, plus the new Devialet AIR
Universal Streamer. Oh, and it also sounds phenomenal!
The Woo Audio WA7 ($999) is a high-performance vacuum
tube headphone amplifier-digital converter. It's a pure tube design, utilizing
6C45 tubes, and I think it's one of the most exquisite designs that still comes in at an
The Avantgarde Acoustic Zero 1 wireless speakers come with built-in digital converters and power amplifiers. And since they're horn speakers, they deliver extreme dynamic range and razor-sharp stereo imaging.