Introducing Billie, the stereo amplifier that combines the precision of digital with the warmth of analogue sound in a Nordic minimalist aesthetic. An objet d’art designed with attention to detail inside and out, Billie brings back the transcendent ritual of listening, say the company launching it on Kickstarter.
“Our goal is to go beyond soundbars and bluetooth speakers, back to how music was meant to be experienced.” says Itai Azerad, Heaven 11 cofounder and designer. “We believe that the stereo system is still the best way to experience that ‘live in the room’ feeling. We’re not about ‘multi-room’, we’re about ‘in the room’.”
“We designed something for the pragmatic audiophile because we couldn’t find it out there. We built an affordable high-caliber amp that plays all of your music collection – be it vinyl, Hi-Res digital, line or wireless.”
Combining the detailed soundstaging of digital to the round, analogue smoothness of tubes, Billie features ICEpower amplification by Bang & Olufsen (120W/4Ω), 32bit/384Kh DAC, AptX Bluetooth, RCA, vinyl and Toslink inputs. It comes with a custom-built tube preamp and a powerful headphone amp. The amp is to be manufactured in Montreal, Canada.
Moving away from the current trend of generic design and disposable materials, Billie’s shell is made of thick, machined aluminium. The cool minimalist casing details are balanced by warm, crafted hardwood knobs.
“Design is not just aesthetics, it’s how we use an object, what the object communicates to us and about us. I believe a stereo’s design ought to be closer to an electric guitar than a cable box -what most stereos look like these days. An electric guitar is quite a functional tool, -not too many useless knobs on there- but it’s also such an intimate object, there’s a mystery about it, you gotta feel a connection, you gotta want to touch it.”
Billie is to be launched on Kickstarter mid-July at the special price of $595 US. After the campaign, the price will be $895/$995 US.