CES 2012 Report - Steven Stone on Digital Products

Disc players,
Multi-format disc players,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Music servers and computer audio,
Headphone amps and amp/DACs
McIntosh Labs MV891
CES 2012 Report - Steven Stone on Digital Products

Most Significant Product Introduction

Ted Denny and Synergistic Research have come up with another head-scratchingly good new product—the Tranquility Base. How does it work? All I know for sure is it’s based on the same technology as his Galileo Cable Cells. With several patents pending, this is anything but snake oil. During his demo Ted turned on and off the Tranquility base under a router and it had an audible effect. About five seconds into the first A/B someone behind me who had come in during the middle of the demo whispered, “Holy ----!” My feelings exactly.

Greatest Technological Breakthrough

Say hello to jitter measurement in femtoseconds. MSB’s new Galaxy Clock’s published specifications are 77 femtoseconds of jitter. Calyx’s Femto Dac/Pre also claims “better than picosecond” jitter specifications. Next up: atto seconds…

Most Important Trend

Headphones. Whether earbuds, on-ear, in-ear, around, or over-ear. Manufacturers including Paradigm, Velodyne, Cardas, PSB, and Focal premiered their takes on these portable transducers. As more performance-oriented companies get on the bullet-train to the future with personal systems I expect every survival-oriented high-end company to bring its own version of the ultimate portable to market.

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