Although this year’s ‘theme’ appeared to be cost-no-object turntables, there is always a strong loudspeaker presence at Munich. This year was no exception. A walk along any of the halls, corridors, or atria returned countless new products in all categories, and we could easily turn this into a list of the 100 most important new loudspeakers and only scratch the surface, but that would exhaust even the most resolute reader.
So, instead we chose a Baker’s Dozen of the best new loudspeakers at the show. We tried not to be specific in price terms – good is good, no matter the price – but Munich does tend to have its own distinct price floor, and products that fall below that level just tend not to be on display. Nevertheless, when it comes to good loudspeakers costing from the low thousands to the cost of a small island, Munich High-End is the place to be!
Avantgarde Acoustics Uno has long been the popular staring place for fans of the brand, but it was looking a bit long in the tooth. The new Uno XD series from Avantgarde retains the super efficient horn midrange and tweeter with a 500W active bass system and subtle digital filtering. The range starts at €21,900 per pair
Bowers & Wilkins – now owned by a US tech start-up – showed the impressive new £22,500 800 D3 flagship floorstanders. Looking very similar to the 803 D3 on a larger scale, this is a departure from older 800 models, but in listening tests arranged in the centre of Munich, the 800 D3 sounded extremely impressive
As ever with Burmester, the clue is in the name; the Concept 500 began life as the loudspeaker equivalent of a concept car and weighs 500kg per side. However, it will become a production model soon, and not in ‘dazzle pattern’ camouflage. The loudspeaker is photographed in its standard guise; in party mode, the side panels swing out and both bass drivers are used per side. This wasn't demonstrated too often because people were complaining that it was a bit loud and the bass was shaking walls... in Stuttgart!