Most of the Audio-Head crew got into the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center the night before the big AXPONA audio show was to begin. The hallways were unusually quiet, as if almost silently preparing for the massive foot traffic that was to befall them in just a short 24 hours.

This year’s collection of listening room tops 190+ with many more brands than that being represented. Headphone gear had its own dedicated space this year, with the market place taking up residence right next door in the adjoining expo hall.

A small collection of all the new product launches can be found here on the AXPONA site – for those who don’t opt for a secret show “surprise” the day of.

Some noteworthy options include the new Audioengine A2+ wireless speaker, Aurender’s new A30 MQA-compatible flagship DAC and streamer ($18k), Whafedale’s new Linton Heritage 3-way standmount ($1.5k) and SVS’s new Prime Pinnacle. There were even hushed whispers about a new $20k speaker from long-time amplifier designer Vinnie Rossi.

We were mightily impressed with Magico’s A3 in Los Angeles last year, and the M2 ($56k) is likely to do the same at its release at AXPONA. ZMF headphones also had the new Verite and Aeolus we reviewed on public display at the Ear Gear Expo. It was a huge collection of audio treats, something for everyone and every budget. There wasn’t a ringing bell or starting gun to be heard, but the slow drone of an electric drill unscrewing a wooden box was all one needed to know the game was afoot.

More info: http://axpona.com