National Audio Show 2016, Whittlebury Hall

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Meze – best known for its excellent 99 Classic closed-back headphones has launched two new earphones; the £49 11 Neo and the £69 12 Classics. Both using a titanium coated 8mm Mylar driver, the Neo sports an aluminium housing while the Classics features real wood. They both looked great in their respective Iridium and Walnut finishes.

Ultrasone was showing prototypes of its Black Pearl versions of its Edition M on-ear and Edition M+ over ear closed back headphones. Prices are still to be confirmed, but these super shiny headphones were in full parade gloss glory!

Music First Audio showed a prototype of its headphone amplifier at several shows. It's now close to being the finished article, and in the company's truly iconoclastic manner, was driven by a Sony Walkman Pro. Cassette never sounded finer!

In the main show, Teddy Pardo was demonstrating the £530 HPN headphone amplifier to great effect with a pair of Sennheiser HD800 headphones. This, coupled with the matching Teddy DAC, was extremely live and exciting sounding.

There was more of course. One of the best sounding rooms at the show was the Audio Consultants room, featuring Nottingham Analogue vinyl, Norma electronics, and German Physiks loudspeakers.

It is particularly good to finally see Pear Audio’s Tom Fletcher derived turntables and arms make their way to the UK, including some extremely interesting prototypes (the foam platter is just there for effect!).

And also good to see Cayin audio electronics back in Blighty.

Also we hope to see more about the Auris range of electronics in future, especially the good-looking £1,795 DHP converter.

A smaller than usual show, then, and while not exactly 'disappointing', neither was it particularly 'appointing'! But for many of the exhibitors at least, it was more about quality than quantity.

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