Like most manufactured goods you buy today, the majority of electronics are made outside the United States. But when it comes to home audio equipment -- headphones, speakers, amplifiers, turntables, phono cartridges, etc -- a lot of the very best gear is produced here in the good old USA.
So if you're feeling patriotic this Fourth of July and want to show your stripes by supporting domestic companies, I've got you covered. What follows is a brief sampling of the best audio equipment made in Brooklyn, Chicago, Arkansas, Colorado and other places in the US. And a lot of it is surprisingly affordable.
Audeze makes superb in-, on- and over-the-ear headphones in California. The $399 iSine 10 in-ear that comes with a Lightning cable for the iPhone is downright astonishing.
is a no holds barred full-size headphone. It's the best sounding headphone I own and is made in East Aurora, New York.
Grado Labs headphones are made not far from where I live in Brooklyn. Prices start at just $79 for the SR60e over the ear headphones.
JH Audio in-ear headphones appeal equally to audiophiles and musicians, and they're made in California.
Ultimate Ears' in-ear headphones are made to fit your ears only. They are made in California.
The first thing you notice about ZMF Headphones are their exquisitely finished real wood ear cups, and then it's sound that blows you away! They're made near Chicago.
DeVore Fidelity, yet another high-end company based in Brooklyn! The sound is at once organic and highly resolved, and DeVore's cabinetry is superb!
Klipsch started making big horn speakers in Arkansas in 1946, and they still do!
Another Audiophiliac favorite, Magnepan has been making thin panel speakers in Minnesota for 47 years. I'll be reviewing their MMGi speaker ($650 per pair) in the very near future.
Another one based in Brooklyn, Ohm has always made omni-directional speakers with 360 degree dispersion.
Vandersteen, this California company's speakers sound unlike any box speaker you or I have ever heard.
Zu Audio, a long standing Audiophiliac favorite, Zu speakers' dynamic range and spacious imaging are strong suits. They're made in Utah.
Ayre Acoustics has made innovative digital converters, preamps and power amps in Boulder, Colorado since 1993.
Linear Tube Audio makes headphone amps that can also be used as preamps, they also offer power amps, every one made in Washington, DC.
McIntosh Labs, The classic American high-end audio brand is still making all of their electronics in Binghamton, New York!
Pass Labs makes phono preamps, preamps, integrated and power amps in California. I've used Pass electronics for years in my system.
Rogue Audio covers a wider than average price range with their mostly tube electronic components, including the snazzy new I recently reviewed. Rogue builds all of their designs in Pennsylvania.
Schiit makes a dizzyingly wide range of very affordable and great sounding digital converters, headphone amps and an integrated amp in sunny California. Schiit has been a longstanding Audiophiliac favorite.
Turntable and Phono Cartridges
Grado Labs, yes the very same Grado that makes headphones also makes phono cartridges. Prices start at just $75 for the Prestige Black cartridge. They've been in Brooklyn since 1953!
Soundsmith not only offers a sizable range of very excellent phono cartridges, they also repair other brands cartridges! They're based in Peekskill, New York.
U-Turn got its start just a few years ago as a Kickstarter project, and went on to become a bonafide American manufacturer of affordable turntables. Their factory is in Woburn, Massachusetts, their acrylic platters are fabricated in Ohio, plinths come from Minnesota, and the machined metal parts come from Connecticut.
VPI, the company's turntable factory is in Cliffwood, NJ, and all the metalwork comes from local suppliers and nearby states. The Cliffwood turntable is their newest design, it retails for $900.
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