Revealed: Best Sounding Room at the Australian Hi-Fi Show 2024 in Sydney

Best-sounding rooms t the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024
(Image credit: Future/Firefly)

Our thanks to all who voted via their competition cards at the Australian Hi-Fi Show 2024 in Sydney, the three-day celebration of hi-fi and home cinema brought to you by Australian Hi-Fi, What Hi-Fi? and Sound+Image magazines, by Future Publishing.

You showed your discernment and discrimination when voting, too. It's very common for most votes for Best Sound to go to the biggest rooms with the biggest kit. But voters here also highlighted the value of rooms that hosted more affordable hi-fi, showing that it's also about bang for your buck, as well as just bucks.

Enough preamble – who got the votes? Here are the top scoring rooms.

Best-sounding rooms t the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)

1: WINNER: Synergy Audio Visual – McIntosh & Sonus faber

Sonus faber’s Stradivari sequel, aptly paired with McIntosh’s MC1.25KW monos, 1200 Series digital components and MT5 turntable, as well as Aurender’s N20 streamer and REL’s massive No.32 subs. That was the formula for the room voted No. 1 at the Show – courtesy of distributor Synergy Audio. 

The room seemed permanently packaged with listeners throughout the Show, listening to the enthralling music being produced from the Sonus fabers, of which the company's chief of design, Livio Cucuzza, says: "We wanted to ensure that the new Stradivari represented all the advancements Sonus faber has made in sound technology to date, while still keeping the brand’s classic external look and feel." Mission accomplished, we reckon.

But it was not only this high-end system which drew the vote. The Synergy room had a second more ‘real-world’ system with Advance Paris (a French brand new to Australia) paired with Mo-Fi source point 10 speakers also landed key votes which saw this room rise to the top. The high-end and the real world together in one room was the perfect equation – congratulations to Synergy for bringing top performance from its top brands.

Best-sounding rooms at the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)

JOINT SECOND: PuraSound – AlsyVox & Aries Cerat

Up in the Corridor of Sound on the Show's 9th floor, Room 922 won the second-highest collection of votes, for PuraSound's demonstration of the bewitching AlsyVox full-range ribbon loudspeakers from Italy, backed by the Aries Cerat Aperio integrated amplifier and huge Ithaka ladder DACs, and tunes from Pink Faun's 2.16 Ultra digital server/streamer.

This sound was one of the biggest buzzes around showgoers, and we absolutely agree: the sound was thrilling. Congrats on a spectacular second place to PuraSound.

Best-sounding rooms at the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)


Richter's system was a fraction of the price of most systems at the show – yet showgoers were savvy enough to vote up its performance, precisely for making such thrilling sounds at such relatively affordable prices. The latest Wizard S6 Plus floorstanders were sounding wonderful, despite being priced at AU$2899, among the least expensive floorstanders at the show. They ran from a Bluesound streamer with Musical Fidelity amplification. 

But equally intriguing was the demonstration of the new Unicorn centre speaker, or rather LCR speaker, since it can be configured for left or right or vertical use. Its tone was such a perfect match for the Wizards that it may herald a new age of AV as well as hi-fi stereo performance for the Australian brand. Top work on a top room.

Best-sounding rooms at the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)


March Audio was another room where sound quality was paired with affordable performance. In their ground floor suite the March Audio Ukkonen AWG floorstanders and Sointuva WG standmounters were driven by the new Pre1 preamp and flagship P801 power amp, providing an oasis of calm and beautiful music – just the thing the March team needed after transport issues left them driving their gear over from Western Australia, emu incident included. 

Their reward is their recognition here: the speakers are $10,000 the pair, the power amps $3300 each, yet the room drew showgoers' votes over systems costing 10 times as much.  

Best-sounding rooms t the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)

JOINT FOURTH: Yamaha 5000 Series

Yamaha had two rooms on the 9th floor, and both rooms received votes, but it was the furthest room featuring the 5000 Series hi-fi system which gathered enough to put Yamaha into fourth place – even though the AU$13k 'Giant & Tremendous' GT-5000 turntable arrived late, so that on the Friday the 5000 Series pre-power and speakers were fed from a Tidal stream, before the system returned to all-analogue activities led by the vastly vinyl spinner. 

Congrats on a great pair of rooms to Yamaha – with showgoers further attracted by the biggest prize on offer at the Show, a pair of Yamaha's YH-5000SE orthodynamic headphones, valued at $7499!

Best-sounding rooms t the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)

6: MAXMEDIA with Avantgarde Acoustics, Innuos, Leica, Piega & more

MaxMedia had one of the Show's top spots, right at the top of the entrance stairs, the perfect place to wow the punters with the giant orange horns of the all-new Mezzo G3 active loudspeaker system flown in from Germany. But this was a cleverly organised space with multiple systems, and the alternate system of InnuOS Pulse player, Fezz Audio’s tube Equinox DAC and Titania stereo amp driving Piega loudspeakers also gathered votes from impressed showgoers, while Leica's Cine 1 'Cinema TV' impressed the eyes as well as the ears.

A great room, well-organised and chosen by many as their Sound of the Show. 

Best-sounding rooms t the Australian Hi-Fi Show in Sydney 2024

(Image credit: Future)


Masimo Consumer had three rooms at the Show, and all three gained votes (if we combined them, Masimo would rise up the rankings, but the choice is for Best Sounding Room, so we don't do that!). While the Denon-Polk system and the 9th floor Bowers & Wilkins 702 S3 Signature speakers both got votes, it was unsurprisingly the B&W 800 Series demonstration pictured above, with Classé amplification, that received the most cards voting it Best Sounding Room. 

Wavetrain Cinemas' astonishing home cinema demonstration also scored highly for the combination of BenQ projection and Elementi Audio sound through three clips: Barbie, Bond and The Greatest Showman. It's often hard for cinema rooms to get votes against hi-fi systems, so additional kudos to this top demonstration.

With Duntech's latest Princess speakers, legendary Halcro amplification, and the unimpeachable  source of a Döhmann Helix turntable, we would have been surprised indeed if the all-Aussie supersystem on Level 1 did not appear high on the voting lists. Some showgoers returned time and again to experience more tunes through this system, and the Princesses proved themselves a stunning new design.

Indie Hi-Fi's single-seat demonstration on the Lower Ground also pulled in a wodge of voting cards, with much mention of the Wilson Audio SabrinaX speakers under the control of AGD Productions’ Andante DAC/preamp and Audion mono amps, with tunes from Grimm Audio's MU1 streamer (and Roon server).

Rooms at the Australian Hi-Fi Show 2024

(Image credit: Future)

Editors' Choice

All the Best Sounding Rooms above were chosen by public vote using the Competition Cards which are given to each Show visitor. We also asked our Editors to make their pick, a choice which always sets them squirming – but once duress was applied, they supplied the following...

Australian Hi-Fi Editor Becky Roberts chose PuraSound, Room 922:
"Please forgive the cliché but the clarity and texture of the violin that came out of the Alsyvox ribbon speakers when I visited Purasound's room really did, it seemed, resemble a violinist playing live in the room. Thinking about it, considering each speaker's size, I can't be sure there wasn't one hiding behind it! Unsurprisingly then, vocal delivery through the system (which also featured Aries Cerat and Pink Faun electronics) proved equally absorbing."

Sound+Image Editor Jez Ford chose Wavetrain Cinemas, on Level 1:
"I'm choosing here entirely on goosebumps, which swept across me during the third of three excellently chosen demo excerpts here, and did so on both my visits. The first clip was from 'Barbie' – primarily to show the colour palette of the BenQ W5800 laser projector. The second was from a Bond film, demonstrating the Elementi audio system's ability to immerse and slam with enormous force. The third clip was the song 'Never Enough' from 'The Great Showman', and here the Elementis revealed themselves as great hi-fi speakers as well as great home cinema, with a vast open and thrilling sound, and clearly headroom still to spare. Best home cinema demo I've ever heard outside of a dedicated room. And I've heard a few."  

Our congratulations not only to those who received the most votes, but also to all the other exhibitors as well. We have rarely experienced a Show where so many rooms were on song, and in which so much time could be spent sinking into the wonderful music being delivered by the systems presented. We thank you all. 

Stay tuned for news of next year's Show!

Australian Hi-Fi is one of What Hi-Fi?’s sister titles from Down Under and Australia’s longest-running and most successful hi-fi magazines, having been in continuous publication since 1969. Now edited by What Hi-Fi?'s Becky Roberts, every issue is packed with authoritative reviews of hi-fi equipment ranging from portables to state-of-the-art audiophile systems (and everything in between), information on new product launches, and ‘how-to’ articles to help you get the best quality sound for your home. Click here for more information about Australian Hi-Fi, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how best to subscribe.