After we concentrated primarily on Spirit Torino in Part 1 of our trade fair report, we report here on further exciting discoveries.
Besides Spirit Torino, another of our manufacturers was also represented at this year's HighEnd: Ferrum.
Ferrum are relatively new to the market and are still known to some people for their intelligent "Hypsos" power supply, a bestseller here by the way! The Hypsos supplies (via a splitter) up to two devices (with the same voltage) with electricity and, incidentally, also improves the sound. Do not you believe? Then test it yourself, free of charge and without obligation.
The Hypsos works with most devices on the market (amps, DACs, etc.) and comes with a large number of presets for many manufacturers with. Of course, it also works extremely well with Ferrum's own DAC, the fully balanced "ERCO" and their headphone amplifier "OOR".
All three together result in a "completely happy" combo, which due to its size fits on every desk and of course in every living room. Oh yes, and the small parts also look chic. 😉😅
The ladies and gentlemen from Ferrum still have a lot planned for this year: A total of 5 new devices are being planned and during the conversation with Woijtek it became clear: they have many, many more ideas! A really creative team full of energy!
InEar from Germany actually managed to secure the rights to the term "In-Ear" as a brand name 20 years ago. And that's how long they've been around!
A family business, now in the 2nd generation managed by Marius Schmitt, whose father founded the company at the time.
I had some great conversations with Marius and I was immediately swept away by his attitude and passion. InEar come from the professional corner, they have been offering in-ears for musicians and producers for a long time.
Of course there are also Universal in-ears in the lineup, of which I took a closer look at 2. ProMissionX and ProPhile8 are high-end in-ear monitors that are rather neutral in their basic tuning, but their treble and bass reproduction can be "tuned" using a mini switch on the IEMs can.
The sound is very balanced and still has a wonderful naturalness that is simply fun. What particularly impressed me is the fit: I have never had a better fit with any other in-ear on the market! Marius explained to me with a smile why that is the case.
InEar have actually analyzed over a hundred thousand ear impressions over the past 2 decades and used them to determine the average Central European "ideal ear" on which the fit is based. All I can say is: "Hats off!"
Here people work with dedication and passion. 🙌😊
It is very possible that the products from InEar will soon find their way into Audio Essence. A personal visit to us in Zurich is already being planned. 😉🤝
Right next to the Spirit Torino booth, my eyes were drawn magically to some particularly beautiful tube headphone amps.
I quickly grabbed my Valkyria (and my Empire Ears Odin) and disappeared into the soundproof booth of Feliks-Audio for a listening test, where Lukasz Feliks received me personally to introduce me to their artworks.
You can see it immediately: These are not factory products from the assembly line, they are handcrafted from the finest, from the most expensive to the cheapest device - optically and haptically beyond any doubt.
Lukasz briefly explained the lineup to me, then I plugged my Cayin N8II with Satin Audio Perseus cable to the "thickest" tube amplifier, the Feliks-Audio "Envy"
Wow! I hadn't heard anything like it - with any other amplifier, tube or not. 😲😱 The whole thing just sounded natural in every way. Voices, instruments, stage - everything was right here. And it didn't sound "tubey" at all, i.e. warm and sedate, but fast and crisp.
Tube at the highest level.
Unfortunately, Feliks-Audio already has a distributor in Switzerland. But: The smallest tube amp, the brand new "Echo 2", is not yet sold in Switzerland. And even this rather cheap tube headphone amplifier already develops a powerful sound that is addictive and does not have to hide behind significantly more expensive devices.
Want to say: We will definitely include it in our shop if nobody else wants to sell it ! 😎 On the last day of the fair, Lukasz packed us one of her Echo 2 demo devices to take away.
Dziękuję, Łukasz! - thank you very much! 🤝🤩
When I got home, the "Echo 2" was immediately paired with the new Spirit Torino "Pulsar" and what can I say: "Try it out quickly" turned into an extended listening session, which I had to end at some point due to exhaustion. I can only say: "Wonderful"!
Of course there were a lot of other exciting things to discover at HighEnd 2022. I just want to say this much: We had a lot of exciting conversations and made lots of contacts! 😉
The next audio show will soon be just around the corner and it has it all: The CanJam 2022 in London is calling and there is ONLY Head-Fi here. We're in!