High End HiFi & mainstream


With Apple taking interest in our industry. It's beginning to look like some of High End's technological advances are ready to be packaged and sent to market. Some may argue that it's just not possible and remain stoic. It's a fair argument as it's easy to be shocked by what's on offer in High End or Haute HiFi in the playground of the wealthy. But arguably you can achieve High End sound quality using clever products to achieve the high standards of High End without a huge price tag.

The advent of headphones / buds has reinvented high quality audio. Could a modern High End HiFi package be the next lifestyle purchase when convenient, small and priced within reach. The question is what is High End HiFi? I suppose it's easier to say what isn't High End about a High End HiFi package. Most people can tell by looking at something that it's expensive but don't realise that Audio is a developing intellectual pursuit which relies on a passion that can be learnt and refined. All of us love music so reassuring listeners with clean measurements, high specification and published conviction provides a standard of experience that suits the level of financial commitment.

So perhaps some privileged High End technology, philosophy and art is being and will be released to hold the door ajar into the High End community and act as a great complement to it's presence.

Albeit priced within reach, modern mainstream high quality HiFi that measures well so must be accurate is likely. I'd like to think that physics and magic are incompatible but experiencing High End at it's finest is so much more than physics. The passion and creativity in the art of sound and it's many marvels, inspire the eyes, delight the ear and charm the mind.

What should really be considered here is has high quality audio returned to the mainstream once again. Although in a much different guise with buds & phones. I can't deny it. But because everyones got a set it somehow makes it less appealing as a hobby and just something convenient and fun to pass the time on the train. Those that have more of an interest in quality buy a system and a set of headphones. This leads to buying more serious equipment but perhaps the upgrade path to a full stereo High End HiFi looks daunting. The option is equipment within budget, good ongoing research and circumstances allowing a more serious and confident position to trade up.

High End is more achievable as a purposeful and creative pursuit as a result!

David G Hart
Hart Audio