Audience The One

I got to hear both the Audience ClairAudient 2+2 loudspeaker ($5000/pair, reviewed in the July 2011 issue of Stereophile) and the diminutive ClairAudient THE ONE ($995/pair). Associated electronics and cables were also from Audience and included the Wavepower monoblocks ($14,000/pair), a class-D analog switching power amplifier that put out 200W into 8 ohms, the Wavemaster preamplifier ($13,000), and AU24e cables and power cords and an Adept Response High Resolution Power Conditioner ($5000). The source was an Audience-modified Oppo BDP-83SE Blu-ray player, which was not for sale (priceless).

The Audience guys seemed to get no end of enjoyment watching people’s jaws hit the floor, the rug was littered with audiophile jawbones, when they played the single-driver ClairAudient THE ONE, which has nearly unbelievable bass performance for its size. Both speakers actually sounded big and solid with a nice fat midrange.

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Comments
tarquineous's picture
Audience products and sound

I heard both the small speakers and the 2+2 speakers. The small speakers were impressive. More than very good for their size.

The electronics were no better than the average room. I did not hear anything special, compared to the other good rooms, and certainly their price tags of over 10K is terrible for what you get, both in electronics, and sound quality.

The amps are Class D circuits, and sounded to me like other class D amps from Bel Canto and Red Dragon, to name a couple. Different from Nuforce amps which have a distinct character, and which I prefer over other Class D amps that I have heard.

From what I have read, it appears that show reviewers have a vested interest in hyping up nine out of ten systems, to the point where one would believe a milestone has been achieved in sound reproduction. This is a disservice to Audiophile customers. I heard good sound, but not a milestone in sound reproduction.

michaelavorgna's picture
Please explain your comments -

> "From what I have read, it appears that show reviewers have a vested interest in hyping up nine out of ten systems..."

What are my vested interests?

Why would my saying, "...nearly unbelievable bass performance for its size [THE ONE]. Both speakers actually sounded big and solid with a nice fat midrange.", give you the impression that - "one would believe a milestone has been achieved in sound reproduction."?

mcattack's picture
price of Audience amplifiers

The Audience prototype integrated amplifier that was driving The ONE speakers is projected to sell for around $1,300, not $10K+ just for the amps.

michaelavorgna's picture
The Wavepower monoblocks...

were in use driving both sets of speakers when I was in the room.

mcattack's picture
Audience amplifiers and speakers

The Wavepower amplifiers were NEVER connected to the small speakers at THE Show Newport. I set up the room personally and was in charge of the Audience room during the entire show. The small speakers were driven by an ICE Power integrated amplifier at 25 Watts per channel, sourced from the digital out of an Audience modified 83SE Oppo player into a DAC.

John McDonald, President
Audience

michaelavorgna's picture
My apologies John

I had not made any note of this in my notes. So when you switched from the 2+2 to THE ONE, we were listening on the ICE Power integrated amplifier?

mcattack's picture
no worries at all

Yes, there was the analogue feed and the digital feed coming out of the player into the two seperate systems. We simply turned the volume down from one system and turned the volume up for the other system. We didn't make a big deal about that at the show, so it is easy to see how it was misunderstood.

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