February 17-19, 2023
All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise
Rounding out my final day here at the Florida International Audio Expo, I cobbled together a roundup of new loudspeakers that would give you a flavor of the diversity found here at the Embassy Suites Tampa Westshore. All prices are in US dollars.
There are a lot of high-priced loudspeakers here at the Florida International Audio Expo, and each of the various designs can be described as ambitious, from the speaker’s architecture and driver complement to the cabinet material and build quality. But having heard Ammar Jadusingh’s dual-speaker Soundfield Audio Obelisk T710 loudspeaker system, which retails for $15,000 (in USD), I can confidently say that his new loudspeaker system is the most ambitious product at the show. Let me explain.
I’ll be honest: there’s some insanely priced equipment here at the Florida International Audio Expo. A lot of it, actually. And so, on the second day of the show, I went searching for equipment that most audiophiles could realistically aspire to own—gear that doesn’t cost as much as a well-optioned BMW 3-Series. Here’s what I found, with all prices in US dollars.
My first two reports from Tampa featured new products from companies located outside of the United States, which demonstrates why this event is now called the Florida International Audio Expo. My final report has products from companies based in the United States, with all prices in US dollars.
A lot of loudspeakers are derived from the same basic recipe: a dome tweeter, midrange cone, and woofer cone arranged vertically in some kind of box. Obviously, there are differences in materials and the number of drivers involved, but it’s a tried-and-true recipe that’s hard to improve on—right? Maybe so, but here are two speakers that depart radically from that formula.
TAD, short for Technical Audio Devices, brought the newest version of its Compact Evolution One standmounted loudspeaker to the Florida International Audio Expo for its North American debut. At a quick glance, the CE1TX looks an awful lot like the original CE1, which was introduced back in 2015. As always, the devil is in the details.
Florida Audio Expo was renamed Florida International Audio Expo for this year—but it was purely coincidental that the first new products I saw originated outside of the United States. My first report focused on products from Focal and Naim Audio, based respectively in France and the United Kingdom. This report covers products from companies located in Austria, Japan, and Germany, as well as the United Kingdom; all prices are in US dollars.
I’ve covered my fair share of audio shows in the past decade, and while most rooms and setups tend to congeal into a hazy memory, Avantgarde Acoustic’s rooms always stand out from the crowd. The German company’s horn loudspeakers look—and sound—different from anything else offered in the high end. Florida International Audio Expo 2023 marked the global debut of the new Duo GT loudspeaker system, presented by House of Stereo, a high-end dealer located in Jacksonville, Florida.
The annual Florida Audio Expo began in 2019. Florida Audio Expo 2021 was canceled due to COVID-19, so the 2023 event marks the fourth time the show has been presented. It’s still a three-day event (February 17 to 19 this year), but the 2023 iteration showed a bit of a twist—instead of being called Florida Audio Expo, it’s now called Florida International Audio Expo (FIAE) to better reflect the fact that this show now has international appeal, for both attendees and exhibitors. The name change also shows that this event is firmly established and, therefore, a success.
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