This was a big week for new audio product releases. Klipsch announced an updated version of one of its best-selling speakers of all time. The French hi-fi company Devialet introduced a new-and-improved version of its fancy wireless speaker. And KEF finally gave us its first pair of wireless earbuds, which look to be a serious rival to AirPods Pro. And then there were a number of hi-fi components aimed toward audiophiles. We've rounded them all up below.
Pro-Ject Phono Box RS2
Pro-Ject announced its latest flagship phono preamp, the Phono Box RS2, and it's designed to be paired with Austrian company's higher-end turntables. It's incredibly fine tune-able, with wide gain control and support for both RIAA and DECCA equalization standards. Throw in the fact that it's steel-and-aluminum chassis — it's available in either silver or black — and it's just a great looking audio component for people looking to upgrade their home hi-fi system.
Devialet Phantom I
We've been big fans of Devialet’s beautiful-yet-alien-looking wireless speakers for years, and this week we got a new one: the Phantom I. It still looks and works the same as the company's previous Phantom speakers — its two opposing woofers pulsate against one another, in perfect symmetry, without ever touching — but the French audio company has made the Phantom I more power efficient, so it supposedly sounds way better. They also gave it support for AirPlay 2 and a fancy new physical remote. As for price, well, it's still expensive. The Phantom I comes in two versions — 103dB or 108db — and they cost $2,200 and $3,200,
Poly Studio P21 Personal Meeting Display
Poly's new 21-inch monitor is pretty neat because it's specifically designed for video calls. It has an excellent microphone and a webcam with a built-in shutter. There are ambient lights built into the sides of the monitor to make sure your face is always well illuminated. Additionally, the base of the P21 monitor works as a wireless charger. You can check out The Verge's article for more information on the P21 monitor. (Other information, like screen resolution, have yet to be released.)
KEF Mu3 Noise-Canceling Wireless Earbuds
In my mind, KEF is best known for its superb passive and active speakers, like the new LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II, but the company has thrown its hat in the true wireless ring for the first time. The KEF Mu3 are wireless earbuds with active noise-cancellation and they're priced very similarly to their main competitor, Apple's AirPods Pro. The Mu3 promise to have an excellent battery life (nine hours per earbud, with the case adding an extra 15 hours ) and support for high-resolution audio. They also have an IPX5 water-resistance rating. You can buy them now from KEF's website.
McIntosh MHA200 Vacuum Tube Headphone Amplifier
McIntosh pulled out all the stops for its new super-fancy headphone amplifier. The MHA200 is packed with glowing vacuum tubes, a pair of the company's Unity Coupled Circuit output transformers (which are also integrated in McIntosh's much larger speaker amplifiers), a multitude of connectivity options, a wonderfully tactile volume knob and a signature McIntosh look. It's expensive, for sure, but it's also designed for discerning audiophiles for who care about one thing: pristine sound.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Level
The Beosound Level is a unique take of the portable home speaker because, well, Bang & Olufsen expects that it will last you a really long time. Like many many years. It has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, similar to the Sonos Move, but it also has what B&O is calling a "modular design." Basically, it's designed so that it can be taken apart and that its various components can be replaced, like the chipset or the battery, when they become antiquated in the future. It's also designed to sound and look great for years and years. The Beosound Level will be available in late April.
Klipsch Forte IV Loudspeakers
The Forte IV are the newest addition to Klipsch's famed Heritage Series. They're an improved version of the original Forte loudspeakers, which were first debuted in 1985 and one of the company's best selling speakers of all time. The Forte IV have a vastly improved sound thanks to a host of acoustic enhancements, but they still have the classic wood exterior that make them look timeless. You can buy them in four finishes: American Walnut, Natural Cherry, Black Ash and Distressed Oak.