High End Munich 2023 news and highlights: Naim, Musical Fidelity, Yamaha, Sonus Faber and more

High End Munich 2023 news and highlights
(Image credit: High End Society)

It’s like it never went away, eh? After two enforced years off, the High End Munich show made a spirited comeback last May to reunite hi-fi enthusiasts and industry folk alike in a hearty celebration of high-end hi-fi. It seems like only yesterday the What Hi-Fi? team was ogling Dali’s Kore and Fyne’s Vintage speakers and trying to get hands-on with Pro-Ject’s Metallica turntable without cutting themselves... in between sipping steins and washing down Weisswurst, of course. And yet, it is now that time again. 

For these few days, High End Munich 2023 is hosting 800 brands and over 20,000 visitors within the walls of the MOC München as the event celebrates its 40th year.

High End Munich 2023 info

When: Thursday 18th & Friday 19th May (10am-6pm) - trade visitors only); Saturday 20th (10am-6pm) & Sunday 21st (10am-4pm) - open to the public

Where: MOC München, Lilienthalallee 40, 80939, Munich, Germany

Tickets: €20 Saturday, €10 Sunday. Buy tickets here

Plenty of familiar names (and naturally not-so-familiar but brand-new products) are present, including Audio Research, Burmester, Chord Electronics, Copland, Dali, Dan D’Agostino, Focal, Fyne Audio, Naim Audio, Mark Levinson, Musical Fidelity, PMC, Sonus Faber and Wilson Benesch. We will save you from an 800-strong list of brands, but you can find a full list of exhibitors here, from market-leading manufacturers to more boutique brands from around the globe. 

What you can find right here is all the news on products that are being unveiled at the show, as it happens. We already had word about the affordable Yamaha components, a whole-new separates range from Moon and Thorens' greatest turntable triumph yet before the show doors even opened. But there has been plenty of reveals throughout, such as Musical Fidelity's new A1 amp, the limited edition Naim Nait 50, we spotted new Quad electronics and speakers, and much, much more...

High End Munich 2023 news and highlights - live!

12 of the best hi-fi separates at High End Munich 2023
Whether it's integrated amplifiers, turntables, music streamers or DACs, one thing the High End show has taught us is that the world of hi-fi separates is alive and well. We've rounded up our favourite new additions which include entries from the likes of Chord, Naim, Nagra, Yamaha and many more...
Read our best hi-fi separates highlights

8 of the best stereo speakers at High End Munich 2023
Our highlights of the best new speakers from the show veer between eye-wateringly expensive to actually within reach for us mere mortals. Our list covers eight stereo speakers that piqued our interest the most.
Read our best stereos speakers highlights

I had a first listen to the resurrected Musical Fidelity A1 integrated amplifier
Our technical editor got a first look and listen to Musical Fidelity's new A1 amp and it left him "wanting to hear more." The amp looks to be a faithful remake of the original 1985 design, but this reborn classic is a little bigger and has heat vents to accommodate its unique Class A design offering.
Read our first impressions of the Musical Fidelity A1 amp

Dali IO-12 wireless headphone hands-on review
We get our mitts on an early sample of Dali's new high-end wireless headphones which is set to go up against the formidable five-star Mark Levinson No. 5909. The IO-12 features speaker technology used in the Danish brand's flagship £70k Kore and newly launched £40k Epikore loudspeakers, so we have high hopes for its performance.
Read our Dali IO-12 hands-on review

Yamaha HA-L7A headphone amplifier hands-on review
We loved the recently launched high-end Yamaha YH-5000SE headphones and were excited by the news that Yamaha will be making a headphone amplifier to match. The unique-looking HA-L7A headphone amp isn't due to launch till later this year, but we got a first listen paired with the talented YH-50000SEs.
Read our
Yamaha HA-L7A hands-on review

iFi's new iCan Phantom has a clever feature for electrostatic headphones fans, and I love it
The new flagship iCan Phantom headphone amplifier is a mad box of delights, with a distinctive design and novel solution catering to electrostatic headphone fans.
Read our first impressions on the iFi iCan Phantom

Dali IO-12 wireless headphones

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

A new range of Wharfedale stereo speakers is coming in 2023
Details are very thin on the ground, but we spotted a brand new range of Wharfedale speakers at Munich. We’ve been reliably informed that Aura will feature five models including three standmounters and one floorstander and will arrive sometime around August or September.
Read our Wharfedale news

New Quad hi-fi separates and stereo speakers spotted at the show
Wandering around the corridors at the MOC will give you all sorts of sneak previews. We discovered Quad's brand new Platina Series of electronics (consisting of an integrated amplifier and matching CD player) as well as two new Revela speakers. No concrete details yet, but they are due to launch in Q4 this year. Stay tuned...
Read our Quad separates and speakers news

Nagra brings high-end Swiss engineering to its €18k 'entry-level' Classic DAC II
One brand's 'high-end' is another brand's 'entry-level'. Nagra's exceptional engineering expertise is trickled down to its Classic DAC II, a sequel that uses the same digital engine as its flagship DAC X. Guess how much that one costs.
Read the full Nagra Classic DAC II news

Thorens New Reference

Thorens' New Reference deck in the flesh (Image credit: Future)

Thorens reveals TD 124 DD turntable for 140th anniversary; reinvents ‘SoundWall’ dipole speakers
Not content with showing off a magnificent New Reference turntable, Thorens has also released two surprising new products. The German company is certainly having a busy show...
Read the Thorens TD 124 DD and SoundWall news & New Reference news

McIntosh ML1 MKII are modern-retro reinventions of original 1970s speakers McIntosh's "new" ML1 MKII are just the latest example in a long line of brands taking a classic design and reinventing it for the 2020s. The long-delayed sequel to the '70s originals places modern engineering within classic American Walnut solid wood cabinets for that classic hi-fi feel. 
Read the full McIntosh ML1 MKII speakers news

Sonus Faber's Stradivari is a stunner - but it won't come cheap 
Italian manufacturer Sonus Faber revealed its second-generation Stradivari loudspeaker at this year’s High End, but it isn't going to come cheap. Retailing at a hefty £45,000, the enticing new speaker is a reimagined and enhanced version of the first Stradivari that entered the world in the early 2000s. If you've got the cash...
Read the full Sonus Faber Stradivari news 

Quad_Platina hi-fi system

Quad's new Platina Series of separates (Image credit: Future)

HiFi Rose RS130 packs extensive streaming smarts into a stylish package
One of the quirkiest new products so far comes from South Korean audio manufacturer HiFi Rose. The company is showing off its all-new flagship streamer, the RS130, which it is confidently claiming to be the "ultimate digital audio source for any high-end hi-fi system".
Read the full HiFi Rose RS130 news

JBL remasters its retro-modern L100 Classic speakers for a second edition
Say hello to the new MkII editions of the L100 Classic and its smaller sibling L82. The two new models have had "significant internal upgrades" courtesy of the company's "Performance Package", which promises a significant step up in sound quality over the MK1 predecessors.
Read the full JBL Classics MkII news

The DSP9 loudspeaker is a bold new look for Meridian
Meridian has a new loudspeaker, but not just any loudspeaker – it's hailing the DSP9 as the start of a new chapter for the company. Why? It could be something to do with the new cabinet aesthetic which showcases the company's new design signature.
Read the full Meridian DSP9 loudspeaker news

PMC prodigy1 and 5 speakers aim to take studio-grade sound mainstream
PMC has distilled its 30+ years of its expert knowledge into a new prodigy speaker line – prodigy 1 standmounter and prodigy 5 floorstander – that brings many of its key flagship hi-fi and studio-grade speakers into a more affordable package.
Read the full PMC prodigy speakers news

Here's why Melco's £7k digital music library could actually be a bargain
In March, Melco launched the flagship N1-S38, and now it's followed it up with a cheaper model with the same audiophile credentials. The N5-H50 has the same ground-up design, platform, chassis, casework and mainboard as the £12,000 flagship, but costs over £4000 less. Bargain.
Read the full Melco digital music library news

Chord Ultima Integrated amplifier

Chord Electronics' Ultima Integrated amplifier, shot by the What Hi-Fi? team on the ground (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

T+A's streaming DAC finally launches a year late – here's why it was worth the wait
The PSD 3100 HV couldn't launch originally as planned because the processor for its streaming circuit board was cancelled. Instead of releasing it with a temporary fix, T+A decided to use a different chip and to integrate its own third-generation Streaming Architecture into the bargain. So while it might be late, it should be worth the wait.
Read the full T+A streaming DAC news

Chord’s Ultima amp combines spaceship looks with out-of-this-world accuracy
The new amp is Chord Electronics' first full-width integrated amplifier in years and, according to the British company, integrates the latest developments in low-distortion power supplies to deliver low noise and “outstanding amp operation”. 
Read the full Chord Electronics Ultima amplifier news

Dali's Epikore 11 floorstanders use trickle-down tech from its £70k flagship
The key technology inside the speaker is SMC Gen-2. First introduced on Kore last year, it's the next generation of the brand's magnet material technology found in the bass and midrange drivers as well as the crossover induction cores.
The Danish company has also launched its latest wireless headphones, which feature technology found in its high-end speakers, no less.
Read the full Dali Epikore speakers news and Dali IO-12 headphones news

Ruark has teased a potential Sonos rival
Ruark Audio has confirmed it will launch a mysterious new line of “100 Series” streaming devices at the High End Show in Munich, claiming they will offer an “evolutionary leap” in audio quality on the company’s previous offerings.
Read the full Ruark 100 Series teaser story

Burmester’s 232 integrated epitomises the modern amplifier
The 232 integrated amplifier – named after the year and month of its developmental breakthrough, February 2023 – epitomises the modern-day amplifier with everything from built-in network streaming and a futureproof-friendly modular design to a contemporary new aesthetic. Read the full Burmester 232 amplifier news

JBL L100 Classic MkII, JBL L82 Classic MkII

JBL's new L100 Classic MkII & L82 Classic MkII speakers (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Yamaha trickles down 2000 Series tech to two affordable streaming amps
Yamaha is using the prestigious High End Munich show stage to reveal four affordable new products – the R-N1000A and R-N800A streaming amplifiers, and the NS-800A and NS-600A bookshelf speakers that have been designed to be their perfect partners to complete a neat and compact hi-fi set-up. Despite being several ranks down from Yamaha’s reference components, the network receivers adhere to the company’s strict engineering template.
Read the full Yamaha streaming amplifier and speakers news

Musical Fidelity unveils two loudspeakers based on the BBC’s original designs
Musical Fidelity is the latest brand to make loudspeakers based on the Beeb's original R&D specifications for the iconic LS3/5A and LS5/9 speakers.
Read the full Musical Fidelity speakers news

Cambridge Audio's Evo CD has finally been revealed - but there's a catch
Cambridge Audio has finally revealed the price and some specs for its long-awaited Evo CD transport, ending months of teased hints about its imminent arrival. Launching this month, the Evo CD is one of the more niche products we have seen this year...
Read the full Cambridge Evo CD news or our Evo CD hands-on review

Naim Nait 50 front at High End Munich

Naim's Nait 50 integrated amplifier, a limited edition special (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Naim launches special anniversary edition Nait 50 integrated amplifier
The limited edition Nait 50 (only 1973 samples) to mark the brand's 50th year is made up of all-new internals but takes inspiration from the iconic Nait 1, Naim's first integrated amp, including the half-width form and chrome bumper.
Read the full Naim Nait 50 story

Naim Audio continues to celebrate its 50th in style with the release of 300 Series hi-fi separates
To mark the occasion, the British audio company has unveiled more hi-fi separates as part of the 300 Series, featuring: the NSS 333 music streamer, the NAC 332 pre-amplifier, the NAP 350 monoblock power amplifier, the NVC TT phono stage and the NPX TT power supply. 
Read the full Naim 300 Series news 

Astell & Kern's new music player and in-ears create a pricey portable system
For audiophiles who want their high-end audio to go, Astell & Kern has created a pricey portable proposition that promises to transform on-the-fly listening.
Read the full Astell & Kern A&futura SE300 and Aura news

Bluesound brings updated performance to 10th-anniversary Node X streamer
The Node X doesn't just have a 'unique' silver finish to mark the ten-year anniversary; it's also packed with new technology, designed to improve upon the standard Node that holds the current What Hi-Fi? Product of the Year Award for music streamers. 
Read the full Bluesound Node X news

QED’s Golden Anniversary XT speaker cable celebrates its 50th birthday
The new Golden Anniversary XT will join QED’s current five-star model, the capable Reference XT40i, and promises to deliver the sonic benefits of a high-end speaker cable at a relatively competitive price.
Read the full QED Golden Anniversary XT cable news

Sonus Faber Stradivari 2 at Munich

The stunning Sonus Faber Stradivari second-gen speakers with McIntosh electronics (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

High End Munich 2023 preview: what to expect

The below was written and published pre-show to give readers an idea of what to expect from various attending brands at Munich.

Astell & Kern
A one-stop shop for hi-res portable music players, Astell & Kern will offer visitors the opportunity to experience its increasingly vast lineup of award-winning players and headphone amps – including the first opportunity to see recent launches, such as the new SE300, SR35 and SP3000 players, the PA10 headphone amp, and high-end Aura and Odysssey in-ear headphones. Also, a special invitation-only event on the Saturday (20th) will give attendees the chance to meet GRAMMY-award-winning jazz guitarist and composer Al Di Meola, who is the brand ambassador of this year's High End show, at the Astell & Kern booth.
Hall 1, Booth E03

Danish speaker company Audiovector is looking forward to showing off its reference R8 Arreté speakers, a step up from the R6 Arreté we awarded five stars to last year and called "exceptional musical performers". The R8 is a beautiful-looking speaker that we have little doubt sounds as good as it looks.
Atrium 4.2, F203

Avantgarde Acoustic
It wouldn't be the Munich High End Show without some horn action, and offering a slice of it will be Germany's Avantgarde Acoustic, who is set to demo two new third-generation models, the reference Duo GT and 'entry-level' Duo SD (hopefully in the stunning orange finish we recently saw at the Australian Hi-Fi Show, pictured below).
Atrium 4.1, E123/E124


Avantgarde's Duo SD horn speakers (Image credit: Future)

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Canadian brand Bluesound will be showing off its new Node X music streamer – a limited-run anniversary edition of the Award-winning Node (2021), with upgraded components and a special silver finish. You can find them sharing space in the Dali rooms with NAD and PSB.
Atrium 3.1, D107

Cambridge Audio 
Cambridge won't be short on space at Munich, exhibiting both inside and outside of the show halls – which is just as well considering it isn't short of products to display and demo. While the High End show will likely host the company's highest-end Edge range, we wouldn't be surprised if its newest streamers, the AXN10 and MXN10, had a presence too. The British brand will launch something new in Munich, too, and visitors will also get the first chance to see a new product that is set to be revealed before the show.
Hall 3, Booth P04 & Hall 4, Entry Halle 4

Campfire Audio
Campfire Audio's full range of IEMs will be at the show – including the Andromeda ‘Emerald Sea’, Solaris ‘Stelar Horizon’ and Trifecta ‘Astral Plane’ models as well as the Orbit true wireless earbuds. So if you're in the market for a high-end pair of in-ears and are taken by the company's distinct-looking designs, the High End show will be a good opportunity to get your ears on a pair.

Chord Electronics
Chord Electronics usually has something up its sleeve for High End Munich, and this year is no different. The British hi-fi brand has not one but two new products to unveil at High End. We don't know what they are (or do we...?), but we can reveal that they come from separate product ranges and, according to a company spokesperson, "will create an even broader choice for audiophiles to build hi-fi systems around".
Atrium 3.1, C122

Clarisys Audio
Clarisy Audio's $34k Minuet have been showing visitors to America's Florida Audio Expo and Axpona the potential of full-range ribbon speakers over the past weeks, and now it's time for Europe to hear what the Swiss company's ribbons can do. The company's flagship model, the Auditorium, will be on demo during the weekend.
Atrium 4.1, Room E107

One of Denmark's biggest and most beloved hi-fi brands will be celebrating its 40th anniversary year at High End in Munich this year with something special. Or should we say somethings – two new products showcasing the company's 'commitment to high performance audio while celebrating their heritage' will be revealed. Going by that snippet of info and the teaser image (below), we are expecting a new high-end speaker that could well be a homage to a Dali classic.
Atrium 3.1, D107/D108


Dali teaser for a new high-end product (or two) (Image credit: Dali)

High End Munich will be as good a chance as any to experience the dCS Rossini Apex (the most capable digital-to-analogue converter we've ever reviewed, no less) and Vivaldi Apex, which launched last year and are built around the British company's latest, and hugely impressive, Apex Ring DAC platform.
Atrium 4.2, F209 & Hall 1, C13

FiiO will be flying the flag for portable hi-fi with its well-equipped M15S portable music player demoed alongside its just-announced FT3, its first-ever pair of open-back headphones. “The M15S and FT3 bring high-end home hi-fi and portable hi-fi together for a combined cost of half of rival players,” says FiiO PR spokesperson Richard Melville.

Final won't only be showcasing its current headphones range, which includes the D8000 Pro Limited Edition headphones, the new A5000 IEMs and the flagship ZE8000 true wireless earbuds; it will also be announcing a new product exclusively. "Expect to learn about the key technology behind this upcoming release and see a prototype with early access for those attending," says the Japanese brand.
Hall 4, S01

Fischer & Fischer
German speaker brand Fischer & Fischer will be presenting a "selection" of speakers within its 12-strong catalogue, which stands out for its use of natural slate cabinets. These will be powered by electronics from Accustic Arts and use power supply components and speaker cables from Mudra Akustik and SilverCom.
Atrium 4, F104

Naim NSC 222

Naim's NSC 222 streaming preamplifier from its new Classic range (Image credit: Naim)

Focal, Naim Audio
Both Focal and Naim have come racing out of the blocks this year, the French speaker company with new entry-level Theva and mid-tier Vestia speaker ranges and the British electronics brand with its 50th-anniversary-celebrating Classics series. And there's more to come next month as Naim's anniversary celebrations continue. Focal and Naim will hold a press conference on the Thursday (18th) of the show to unveil more new product. Will we finally get a new Naim Nait, as featured in our 2023 wishlist? Fingers crossed.
Atrium 4.1, F111

Fyne Audio
The Scottish speaker brand will almost certainly continue touring its Vintage Fifteen and Vintage Five speakers, part of a series that was first previewed at last year's Munich show, and which launched at the Bristol Show in February.  
Atrium 4.1, E116 & Hall 3, K02/L03

Analogue audio specialists Goldring will be showing off its new E Series flagship: the E4 moving magnet cartridge. It sits above our current Award-winner, the Goldring E3, and is billed as the ultimate cost-effective way to upgrade your budget or midrange turntable.
Atrium 4.1, F110

JBL will have its entire new Classic Series of hi-fi electronics displayed at Munich. First unveiled at CES 2023, visitors will get to feast their eyes on the CD350 Classic CD player, MP350 Classic music streamer, SA550 Classic integrated amplifier, and JBL’s first turntable, the TT350 Classic. Also being exhibited is the new 4329P Studio Monitor all-in-one speaker system and the snazzy Spinner BT wireless turntable. Look out for sister-brands Arcam, Mark Levinson and Revel at the show, too.
Atrium 4.1, F106

In March, Japanese digital audio specialist Melco introduced an all-new flagship digital library, the N1-S38, that saw the first built-from-the-ground-up design from the company in eight years. A new SSD-based platform, new set of system electronics, new power supplies, new chassis and casework. At Munich, Melco will be presenting the world debut of a brand-new product that expands on that next-generation audio technology.
Atrium 4.1, F107

Moon North Collection 791 streamer

Moon's North Collection 791 streamer (Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Meridian will be launching the "latest acoustic and visual masterpiece" from its Extreme Engineering Programme, which represents the pinnacle of Meridian innovation and engineering and was created to 're-imagine every element of Meridian’s product platforms'. The first fruit of that labour was the 2021-released DSP8000 XE speaker (which will be demoed in the Audio Reference room in Atrium 3.1, Room D111), and the new product – whatever it may be! – embodies the latest innovative technologies developed in the programme.
Atrium 3.1, C112

Moon's just-announced North collection of components will make its debut in Munich ahead of its October-December release. The term 'collection' is quite fitting in this instance, with North actually comprising six products across three price-spanning tiers (components are priced between £11,000/$11,000 and £25,000/$25,000 each), featuring Moon's latest "ground-breaking" technologies, as satisfying a number of connectivity options as is expected these days, and a unique BRM-1 remote control.
Atrium 3.1, C120

Musical Fidelity
Here's a nice surprise: Musical Fidelity will be showcasing not one, but two loudspeakers. The Musical Fidelity LS3/5A and LS5/9 speakers are, you guessed it, manufactured according to the original BBC R&D designs from the '70s and '80s. We've also been teased another new product that will be unveiled at Munich, one that "draws inspiration from the past and is fully prepped for today’s audio consumer. Expect a high-voltage device that is the perfect partner for, say, a pair of Musical Fidelity LS3/5A…"
Atrium 4.1, F114

When NAD announced its retro-modern C 3050 LE streaming amplifier in October, it stated that its 50th-anniversary celebrations last year would go all the way through to around the Munich High End Show, which was where the idea to create NAD Electronics first germinated back in 1972. Sure enough, the C 3050 will be on show, along with a brand new Masters M66 DAC and network streaming preamplifier, and the affordable CS1 add-on streaming solution.
Atrium 3.1, D107

Swiss high-end speaker company Piega has sent out a 'save the date' for its press event, where its CEO, Manuel Greiner, will introduce an all-new high-end loudspeaker design called... well, we don't know yet. We don't know a lot actually, but we can say that they are a reimagining of one of the brand's top-end speakers, complete with everything we have come to expect from a Piega speaker, such as an aluminium cabinet and an array of coaxial mid/tweeter ribbon drivers.
Atrium 4.1, E117

Q Acoustics 5000 series

Q Acoustics' 5000 series will be flying the flag for its C3 Continuous Curved Cone technology (Image credit: Q Acoustics)

PMC looks set to launch new loudspeakers on the Thursday (18th) if its mysterious teaser on social media is anything to go by. The new models can, PMC says, trace back their lineage to the company's QB1 flagship studio monitors: "Many of the technologies that were developed for QB1, such as Laminair, have been trickled down into the new models."
Atrium 3.1, D106

The new models are born out of the 30 plus years of research, development, measurement and listening that have gone into the creation of speakers that get as close as possible to what is being played and recorded. They can trace their lineage back to the PMC QB1 flagship studio monitors. Many of the technologies that were developed for QB1, such as Laminair, have been trickled down into the new models, so users really can ‘bring the studio home’.
Atrium 3.1, D106

ProAc will be back at the High End show for the first time since 2019, with a stand and listening booth offering visitors the chance to hear its premium speakers. ProAc blessed the Bristol Show in February with demonstrations of its K1 standmounters and flagship K10, so we expect those impressive K-Series models to be winging their way to Munich too.
Hall 3, Stand M11

Joining Bluesound and NAD is fellow Canadian brand PSB, who will be exhibiting the Alpha iQ – an all-in-one wireless speaker system complete with the BluOS network streaming platform built in. The compact bookshelf speaker system supports hi-res audio up to 24-bit/192kHz and is versatile with its support of Tidal Connect, Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and more.
Atrium 3.1, D107

Tannoy Stirling III LZ Special Edition

Tannoy's Stirling III LZ Special Edition speakers (Image credit: Tannoy)

Q Acoustics
Munich will mark one of the first outings for Q Acoustics' brand-new, five-strong 5000 Series, which was announced earlier this month and promises to revolutionise mid/bass driver performance with its C3 Continuous Curved Cone technology. This, the British speaker brand says, delivers the best of both worlds: the bass performance of a straight conic cone and the high/mid-range frequency control of a flared cone.  
Atrium 4.1, F110

QED is one of a handful of hi-fi brands turning 50 this year, and it's not doing so without celebration. The British cable company has just announced its fittingly named Golden Anniversary XT speaker cable, which utilises a hybrid oxygen-free copper and Ultra-Pure Ohno Continuous Cast Copper blend for an improved signal path to give “outstanding signal retention” at “a fraction of the price” (£27 / €35 / $40 per metre). The cable will have its first outing in Munich.
Atrium 4.1, F110

Endorsing the value of hi-res audio streaming, French music service Qobuz will host two listening sessions on the Saturday (20th), where visitors will be treated to a live hi-res presentation of German jazz drummer and composer Wolfgang Haffner's latest album in his very presence. (Registration is required - more info coming soon). Visitors to the show can also participate in an on-site giveaway that includes products from iFi, Triangle, Octavio and Yamaha, plus Qobuz vouchers.
Hall 2, G14

Thorens New Reference

Thorens' New Reference turntable (also available in white, black and bronze if you don't like this green/gold finish!) (Image credit: Thorens)

The High End Show is where the German headphones manufacturer will officially kick off its latest pilot initiative – Custom Comfort Tips. As the programme's name suggests, this will offer attending journalists and creators the opportunity to have their ears scanned for custom eartips to made for them. This project is becoming available to German customers and – fingers crossed – will eventually be rolled out to all customers purchasing Sennheiser IE Series wired earbuds. 

Sennheiser's broad audiophile catalogue will be on display and demonstration, including the most recent newcomers, the IE 200 in-ears and HD 660S2 over-ears.
Hall 1, D02/E07

Sonus Faber
An almost impossible brand to walk past at shows, Sonus Faber will be hopping across the borders armed with its recently announced high-end Homage speakers – and, fingers crossed, a 40th-anniversary surprise or two. Watch this space.

Visitors to Munich will be able to see and hear the first new speakers from legendary Tannoy in seven years, ahead of their summer launch. The Stirling III LZ Special Edition (pictured above) are modern reworkings of the British company's III LZ from the 1960s, and among the latest examples of the speaker industry paying homage to classic designs in recent years.
Hall 4, U04

"The result of our strive for the perfect rendition of music recordings" is how Thorens describes its New Reference turntable (pictured above), which will be spinning away at Munich. The deck is apparently the first of its kind to have been designed from scratch together with a fully active vibration isolation system, which has been possible through a collaboration between Thorens and German company Seismion, who is renowned for its active vibration isolators. Thorens claims that even tiny vibrations in the range of nanometer down to pico meter are still efficiently isolated by this system. This sounds like quite a technological feat!
Hall 3, M06

Yamaha YH-5000SE

Yamaha's YH-5000SE open-back headphones & matching HA-L7A headphone amplifier (Image credit: Future)

Remember the super-high-end, special-edition YH-5000SE orthodynamic headphones Yamaha released some months ago? Well, those outstanding open-back over-ears now have a headphone amplifier partner – or rather, they will when it launches near the end of the year. Munich Show attendees will have one of the first chances to hear a pre-production version of the HA-L7A amp fresh out of Japan, naturally paired with the 5000SE (set-up pictured above). A must-visit for head-fi fans. (Bookings required.)
Atrium 4.2, F207


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.

With contributions from