Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

June 2-4, 2017

All prices in US dollars unless indicated otherwise

LAAS 2017: Speakers

I always enjoy smaller, regional events such as the Los Angeles Audio Show, which debuted this weekend at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, because they often include lesser-known companies that would likely get lost in the noise (literally and figuratively) at the big national and international shows. I found several interesting new speakers at LAAS, from conservatively engineered models to some of the most interesting designs I’ve ever seen. As with my electronics article, I focused on smaller companies here because we’ve covered most of the big-name launches in our CES and High End reports. All prices in USD.

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LAAS 2017: Electronics

The Los Angeles Audio Show 2017, taking place at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, hosted a wide variety of audio electronics manufacturers displaying products ranging from the most elite high-end amps, preamps, and DACs to electronics costing just a few hundred dollars. Most of the big players in the audio industry launched their new electronics at CES, held in Las Vegas in January, or High End, which was last month in Munich, so I’ve decided to focus here on less well-known companies whose new products we haven’t yet covered. All prices in USD.

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LAAS 2017: A Different Kind of MQA Demo

I’ve attended many demos of MQA, a technology that compresses high-resolution audio files down to the size of standard-resolution files, and claims to correct “time smearing” problems in the process. I found those demos unconvincing. Most played MQA files on their own without comparing them with the original files or with the uncompressed high-res files. I got one reasonably decent MQA demo at the 2016 T.H.E. Show Newport, but I heard nothing in the MQA-processed pop and rock recordings to convince me that MQA was a significant sonic advance.

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LAAS 2017: Headphones and Earphones

The first Los Angeles Audio Show kicked off on Friday at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, just down the street from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). For a first-time effort, it seemed pretty successful, with five floors of exhibits and a few big-name brands such as Sony and Harman joining the usual slew of high-end boutique brands.

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