Founded in 2004, Emotiva was among the first direct-to-consumer high performance, highly affordable audio brands. I recently spoke with Emotiva President Dan Laufman about the big changes afoot. The biggest surprise was that he's aggressively adding brick and mortar dealers in the US and abroad, while maintaining his direct sales online outlet. He expects to have 30 to 50 US dealers by the end of the year; worldwide distribution deals my take a little longer to put in place.
If that wasn't a big enough change for Emotiva, "By the end of the year over half of our revenue will be derived from American-made products, and we'll do it without raising prices," Laufman said. Most recently, Emotivas were made in Asia, but about a year ago the company started building digital converters in-house and will soon start building receivers and amplifiers in its Franklin, Tenn., headquarters. Laufman is proud of his factory, and invites people in to look around. If you're in or near Nashville, stop by and say hello.
Emotiva speakers are still built offshore, but Laufman is working to bring speaker production home as well. The factory will build an all-new line of USB-powered digital converter/headphone amplifiers called Ego. The Little Ego ($169) and Big Ego ($229) both feature ultra high-resolution 384 kHz/32-bit digital converters and headphone amplifiers. I will review them as soon as they're available.
Emotiva is known for its stereo and home theater electronics, and I'm a big fan of their desktop and home theater speakers. Now, with brick and mortar dealers more people will be able to see and hear Emotiva products, and compare them with other brands components. That's a huge advantage for consumers when they can listen and compare components and speakers for themselves in the store. Buyers from online sales sites get to hear the product at home, but can't compare it with a range of similarly priced products.
Laufman hinted there's a lot more new stuff coming down the pike, I can't wait to see what's next from Emotiva.