Wallpaper * wants… an audio innovation for forever perfect sound

Background* You want… forever perfect sound from nine new audio innovations

Our regular roundup of what’s new and unique in the world of High-Resolution Audio, from soundbars and amplifiers, to standalone units and components in the ever-evolving world of digital audio.
We explore nine new audio devices, from standalone amplifiers to portable players, all of which offer a premium experience of high-quality sound reproduction and cutting-edge design. These devices should set you apart from mainstream music and help in the pursuit of perfect sound.

Nine audio innovations in pursuit of perfect sound

1. Astell & Kern A & Ultima SP3000 portable music player and in-ear Odyssey monitors

Portable music players are threatening a renaissance, but the vast majority of people are sticking to their smartphones for their daily listening needs. If you want a dedicated device, you can do no better than the latest Astell & Kern portable audio device. The South Korean-based brand has launched its latest player, the A & Ultima SP3000, along with the in-ear Odyssey monitors.

The latter was developed in tandem with American brand Empire Ears and is handcrafted in the USA, complete with a two-tone polymer-based case that is an over-the-top optical cut. The trigger itself is housed in a premium quality stainless steel case, protected by a French goatskin case. Capable of delivering high-fidelity audio, either via streaming or internal storage, the SP3000 with sharp edges is best.

Astell & Kern SP3000 player, $3700, Odyssey headphones, $3400, astellnkern.com

2. Ruark R2 smart music system

The latest version of the Ruark R2 is the fourth generation of this stylish all-in-one streaming box. Featuring a full share of sources including DAB+, FM, internet radio and support for the main range of streaming services, the R2 is compact, elegant and looks great. It is devices like this that connect the ancient cultural contact with radio; Sharing the same form layout and simple dial-based control, the R2 is completely familiar and up-to-date.

A slatted wood grille – available in either walnut or ash – is combined with a full-color LCD screen, while there’s Bluetooth 5, AUX input, and USB-C charging as well.

3. Loewe Klang Sub1 Subwoofer

German TV maker Loewe Technology has boosted its audio offerings with the new Klang Sub1, a compact active subwoofer designed to be paired with your flat screen TV to add more body and enhance sound. The first time the company has ventured into wireless TV speakers, the Klang Sub1 is more compact than its competitors, yet the cylindrical device produces a respectable 160 watts. Placement is straightforward thanks to the size and form factor, giving you cinematic sound without scale.

4. Sonos Sub Mini Wireless Speaker

Designed to complement the new speakers, the Sonos Sub Mini, the Beam and the Ray, is the latest wireless subwoofer from the manufacturer. Bringing bass into your space without sacrificing square feet, the compact Sub Mini is available in matte black and white. The cabinet design includes dual inward-facing speakers, reducing distortion to allow you to turn up the volume. The Sub Mini can be combined with existing speakers or added to the Sonos One smart speaker for an extra low end.

Sonos Sub Mini, available from 6 October, £429, sonos.com

5. Support for Bang & Olufsen Beosound Theater and TV Speaker

Perhaps the most impressive piece of this tour, the Beosound Theater has a price to match its finely crafted, beautiful look. The Beosound Theater marries a vast expanse of well-known Bang & Olufsen productions dating back nearly three decades. The theater is a very flashy TV stand, an audio bar that serves as a support for a contemporary flat screen TV, with space to hide cables.

If you choose the motorized mount, the viewing angle can be adjusted via the remote control. Alternatively, the stage can be mounted on the wall. Made of elegant fabric or wood, the device has 12 speakers in total, along with Dolby Atmos sound processing, and can also be used to stream music from any device.

6. PSB Speakers Passif 50 Mounted Speakers

PSB Speakers retain the textured, sober atmosphere that has characterized the company since its founding in Canada in the early 1970s. To celebrate the company’s half-century, it’s creating the Passif 50 Anniversary Edition, a rack-mounted speaker with walnut-veneered cabinets and original 1972-era badges. Beneath the vintage skin is a thoroughly modern speaker system that reflects its years of research and development. PSB. Only the highest grade of titanium and aluminum is used in the speakers, ensuring that they sound as good as they look.

7. Wilson Audio Lock Subwoofer

If space is an issue, consider Wilson Audio’s new Lōkē, the American audio brand’s compact subwoofer. Small is a relative term when it comes to a group that should deliver smooth bass smoothly, and the Lōkē is still just over half a meter long. However, this allows you to place it under the desk or somewhere else out of sight. You may not want to hide it away, since there is a rainbow of colors available. Lōkē is designed to pair with Wilson’s eclectic range of floor standing speakers and bookshelves, many of which have a bold, funky shape in keeping with the late David A. Wilson’s distinct and emotional approach to sound design.

8. AI03 Triangle Active Speaker

French company Triangle has launched a new version of the AIO3 speaker, enhanced by four new colors – Powder Pink, Frost White, Green Forest and Oucher – with a cloth created in collaboration with Danish textile specialist Gabriel. The rectangular box holds four speakers and adds Amazon Music compatibility as well as over-the-air updates. The simple metal buttons and finish refer to classic hi-fi from the 70s, yet the entire suite is up to date in terms of connectivity to nearly every major streaming service.

9. Escape P6-BT Portable Speaker System

For more powerful, hard-to-get anywhere access to high-quality sound, Escape’s P6-BT fits the bill. Offering eight hours of independent listening time thanks to the massive battery, the Bluetooth speaker can be moved into place with the integrated handle and features a weather-resistant casing. Two speakers can be paired to create a true stereo, and there’s even a dedicated app for endlessly adjusting the audio landscape of this simple and practical device. §

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