HIGH END 2012: Trend show for hi-fi enthusiasts
HIGH END is the leading trade fair for high-priced outstanding hi-fi equipment. From 3 May to 6 May, audiophile and technophile people get the chance, to cast a glance at upcoming highlights and trends from the most renowned consumer electronics brands in the industry. More than 350 exhibitors from 33 countries present their new products – among them many world premieres – in the M,O,C, Munich, Germany.
Network music players and the coupling of several media sources are at the centre of this year’s trade fair. This trend is the culprit of an on-going process, where more and more music migrates from physical media to the Internet. From there, it needs to get back into the hi-fi system at home. To shorten the distances between the source and the output, some manufacturers offer solutions via network interfaces. This results in more digital media being played at home, putting emphasis on the prevalent prejudice MP3 files were tonal inferior to analogue material. Complex digital-to-analogue-converts are the industry’s answer, making any MP3 sound great. There is even a real battle “analogue vs. digital” on the trade fair: A human violin player will challenge the output of a recorded instrument (sourrounTec, Atrium 4, room F131).
Design wise two trends can be seen: On the one hand there are the curved dynamic lines of SWANS Speakers and the like; on the other hand there are companies such as Soulution and Certon, presenting products with a clean and straight design. One thing is certain: The fair attendance is not only a feast for the ears but also for the eyes.
Visitors of the HIGH END 2012 do not have to fear that they will overhear fine nuances in the hustle and bustle of the fair. Audiophiles can indulge in good sound in 137 closed individual room units, ranging between 49 and 297 square metres. The “sound carrier village” in exhibition hall 4 is another highlight: More than 200 labels offer their high-class physical media (vinyl, CDs, SACDs, Blu-rays and DVDs). Furthermore, there are lectures, discussion forums and workshops from industry experts, discussing the technology behind the trends and great sounds that can be heard at HIGH END 2012.