The Woo Audio WA7 amplifier
is made in New York City, its clean lines and minimalist features set make it
easy to use and a pleasure to listen to.
This 5-inch (127mm) cube headphone
amplifier has two vacuum tubes protected by a thick glass cover (the amp is
pictured here with the optional tube power supply). The WA7 features a built-in
32-bit/192kHz USB digital converter and lots of custom-made parts, including
dedicated nickel-alloy output transformers.
As you can see, the Arabesque Minissimo speakers are available in a wide range of colors. The cabinet is milled from a single piece of metal loaded
polymer material in a fully automated process. The cabinet is finished in
Room acoustics in a typical home leave
a lot to be desired. Acoustic problems may be barely noticeable when people are
talking, but music and movies can excite echoes and harshness that wreak havoc
on sound quality.
Thick rugs or
drapes can help, and other strategically placed sound-absorbing materials can
really make a difference in perceived sound quality. Sound-absorbing panels are
available from a variety of suppliers, but most are downright ugly, so Baux's stylish tiles
are a pleasant surprise.
Designed and built in France,
the Devialet 120 is so much more than just an amplifier -- it's designed to be
the centerpiece of a legitimate high-end system. The
built-in EVO card enables free updates of the internal software that can
improve the performance of the amp or take advantage of new features with just
a few clicks.
The Audeze EL-8 is a
high-end headphone engineered to work with both portable players and home headphone
amplifiers. Industrial design is by BMW Group DesignWorks USA, and the EL-8 is the
best-looking and most affordably priced Audeze headphone.
For more than 30 years, Plinius has been making world-class, high-end audio products. Take a gander at this 80-watt-per-channel
integrated amplifier. The Inspire 880 will accept signals from your CD player, personal
computer and AV source, as well as analog from your turntable.
The look and feel of this Australian-made component is simply stunning. The sound is so rich and warm you
might be tempted to peek inside to see if there are any tubes in there -- but no,
the Conductor Virtuoso is a purely solid-state design. It can also be used as a
stereo preamp with desktop speakers or a power amp with hi-fi speakers.
crafted headphone amplifier with "Hugo" embossed on the top surface is
made by Chord Electronics, a high-end brand known for audio-component
equivalents of Rolls-Royces and Bentleys. The Hugo leaves other high-resolution
portable digital converters/headphone amps in the dust: it decodes up to 384kHz/24-bit PCM and DSD128 files using Chord's FPGA digital decoders.