Rooms To Visit, Products To Hear…

A Munich Show Prequel – 2023

By Roy Gregory

Casting around the industry, especially those companies who have launched, or are launching interesting products, I’ve drawn up a short list of those rooms at the Munich Show that shouldn’t be missed…

YG Acoustics – Atrium 4.2 E218

Sometimes you come across a range of products that achieves both popularity and critical success – yet one that just doesn’t seem to ‘connect’ with you. For me, one such range has been the YG Acoustics speakers and, judging by others I’ve spoken with, the Colorado Company is definitely a Marmite proposition. But several years ago the Company changed hands and this year they’ll be launching new flagship products that embody the brand’s latest thinking and technological evolution. It’s going to be interesting to see (and hear) not just what changes they’ve made, but whether they represent a significant change in direction – as some have suggested – or just an extension of the status quo. The Company itself includes serious references to phase coherence and emotional communication in their product announcement, so they’re certainly making the right noises at this point. Let’s see if they make the right noises in their room?

Vienna Acoustics – Atrium 4.1 E101

You don’t need much of a crystal ball to know that the wireless-capable active speaker is the coming product. You don’t need much of an ear to know that most of the available options (not just including but especially the Phantom) are miserable, musical failures. But looking at those options that at least approach hi-fi performance, it is readily apparent that they all have something in common: effective acoustic design. In other words, more often than not, irrespective of the clever electronics incorporated, it’s the loudspeaker letting the side down.

All of which makes Vienna Acoustic’s entry into the wireless/active product category a particularly interesting event. The Vienna speakers keep a low profile, sonically, aesthetically and in marketing terms. But whilst their presentation doesn’t shout, “Look At Me!” they are musically all the better for it. In fact, pound for pound, these have been for many years, some of the most musically rewarding speakers available. Which makes them a good starting point for a wireless/active solution that actually delivers. But in this case, Vienna’s well-known obsession with avoiding musical compromise has produced what might be considered a hybrid solution.

Based on their long-standing and extremely popular Mozart compact floorstander, the Mozart INFINITY model features the company’s flat diaphragm, composite cone drivers and large diameter ScanSpeak-sourced, silk-dome tweeter, two-and-a-half way, reflex loaded topology and exacting attention to fit and finish. Wireless connectivity was developed over a four-year period with Stream Unlimited and is paired with a 125 W/Ch Hypex stereo amplifier. Bandwidth extends down to 30Hz with the help of a little DSP, the streaming solution accepts all of the popular services with a data rate up to 384kHz/24bit and the electronics package also offers HDMI, analogue (RCA and XLR) and digital (RCA and Toslink) inputs.