High End Munich is a show of extremes, at one end you have manufacturers trying to make everything bigger and at the other those who are trying to compress things down into a more manageable size.

Nowhere is this more in evidence than in the field of loudspeakers so let’s take a look at some of those ‘Big ole Horns’ and more lifestyle friendly speakers.

Someone had to do it, didn’t they? So Realhorns did.

This was probably one of the most photographed exhibits at the show and begs the question ‘How did they get it in here?’ Answer: Carefully!

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Avantgarde Acoustic could probably be subtitled ‘Lords of the Horn’ if that didn’t sound really quite rude.

It was great to see the team including Holger and his wife Beate, Peter and of course the wonderful Armin.

They have made some changes to the workings of their range of loudspeakers and the Duo’s that they were using in their room looked and sounded stunning, with the electronics in matching cherry lipstick red it was a sight and sound to behold.

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They were also in evidence in some of the other rooms that sounded amazing, including in the Fono Acoustica room and Sound Galleries who were featuring the new Silver Diamond cable from Tellurium Q and some rather tasty Audiopax amplifiers.

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But even the Horn Lords (does that sound less rude?) have produced a more lifestyle friendly system…..the Zero1 is still stunning and apparently sells faster than they can make them.

Big, crazy horns were the order of the day from Vienna Physix in the form of these rather fetching orange Diva Grandezza’s … I recall the white pair in their booth sounded good too but for the life of me I don’t recall what they were playing, so it was probably plinky plonky stuff or classical.

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If you want really big horns then you have to visit Sibatone’s room …..always something crazy and Western Electrically in there!

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Another must visit on the horn tour has to be Living Voice in the Definitive Audio room …..paired once again with Kondo the room looked and sounded beautiful.

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Focal are known for their large range of loudspeakers, they cater for just about every budget with their French made designs.

Their Grand Utopia speaker is huge (I know, not a horn) and one of those designs that is instantly recognisable, but their design signature is still there in the two models of the new Sopra range that was introduced at this year’s High End Munich.

The new speakers do not compromise on quality but the more compact design makes them much more liveable with in a smaller home.

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Yamamura Crawley are probably top of the list of ‘Loudspeakers that I want to hear in a room next year’. An interesting pairing of mahoosive horns and a couple of carbon fibre omnidirectional speakers…..interesting!

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My Audio Art had an interesting booth….in a ‘where’s the Hifi?’ moment we realised that they have speakers fitted into customisable art panels ….and the sound was great, which I was surprised about….I could see these doing well in the home and commercial environment, shops, restaurants etc.

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They don’t come much bigger or hornier than the Tune Audio Anima loudspeakers, they have sounded amazing whenever we have heard them but this year, paired with Modwright electronics,  Skogrand cables and a VPI turntable they were very special…yes they are big, but why not if you have the room!

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Even Wilson have also gone more compact with the European release of Sabrina, their new speaker, you can read more about her in our report from our launch event here. Link to Wilson article

We are big fans of hORNS from Poland……we have their Mummy speakers at home, and I always marvel at how they can get so much horn into one of the MOC’s smaller rooms AND make it sound great…..must be some kind of witchcraft!

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Sonus Faber launched their compact beauties just before the show, the new Chameleon range of speakers are customisable with their colourful range of beautiful leather coverings and would grace any home.

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If you want stylish and compact then I guess you don’t need to look much further than the Devialet Phantom, we were impressed by the demo at their press event and the Phantom certainly adds weight to their statement a couple of years ago that ‘one day, everyone will own a Devialet’.

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So whichever way you want to swing, from the biggest horns to the most compact modern speaker, there was something for everyone’s taste at the High End Munich Show this year!

Lin

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