I wrote the first High End 2022 product-coverage article we published, and then I turned my attention to taking most and editing all of the photos. But during that time with the photos, I came across a number of products I knew that the others on the team didn’t get, and I wanted to make sure they got published—so that’s how I ended up writing this final product-coverage article. All prices are in US dollars or euros.
Anyone who loves sports and watches ESPN—the United States’ most influential sports-related cable network—and, specifically, commentator Stephen A. Smith, knows what the term hot take means. Merriam-Webster defines the hot take as “a quickly produced, strongly worded, and often deliberately provocative or sensational opinion or reaction.” As I traversed the halls of High End 2022, ate in the restaurants of Munich, or worked in various places on my computer, I muttered myriad opinions both to myself and folks I know in the industry. A thought occurred to me: why should the sports reporters have all the fun?
The final day of High End 2022 was much like the first few: lots of new products, some of them very cool. In fact, I came to the realization that we would only cover a fraction of what was on display in Germany—I regret that we’ll definitely miss some relevant products. One thing is for sure, though: customers have some wonderful stereo components to choose from when shopping for a new audio system. Prices below in US dollars or euros.
Approximate system cost: €600,000.
Approximate system cost: €400,000.
The second day of High End 2022 was filled with me finding some of the most ambitious products you can imagine. But ambition does not necessarily equate to high prices. Though sometimes it does.
Approximate system cost: €380,000.
Approximate system cost: TBA.
Approximate system cost: £275,000.
Approximate system cost: €350,000
Approximate system cost: if you have to ask . . .
Diversity rules this installment of the SoundStage! High End 2022 product coverage. With prices that range from $699 to over $500,000 (USD), it’s hard to believe that, at High End, there are customers for both of these price categories and everything in between. It serves to remind us that the hobby of high-end audio and listening to music in the home is an attractive proposition for a wide swath of us. Prices for the products below are in US dollars, euros, or Swiss francs (CHF).
The two COVID years prior to 2022 meant no High End show in Munich, Germany. Two missed years were two too many. The pent-up creative energy at work in high-end audio was unleashed at High End 2022. And it was glorious. Anyone remotely interested in audio gear and fine music reproduction was in for a treat in terms of new product introductions and systems singing away. And there were some doozies. All prices below are in euros or US dollars.
If someone asked me a year ago if High End 2022 could be successful, I likely would’ve said, “I have no idea if it will even go on, let alone be a success.”
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