Unrolling the TigerFox Immerse 360

"New Patented Product Replaces Stereo Systems, Headphones and $100,000 Listening Rooms" declared the press release in red bold letters. "Introducing to the public for the first time a transformational new pure acoustic audio technology and the TigerFox® Immerse 360® Pure Acoustic Sound Pod—a disruptive new high-performance audio product that delivers immersive sound quality without the pain points of modern electronic sound systems."

Well, darlings, the claim that I could jettison all that space-consuming Wilson, D'Agostino, dCS, and more equipment, along with many thousands of dollars of room treatment and far more than that in cabling, in favor of a simple, portable easily erected Immerse 360 sound pod/"listening room in a box" and a pair of self-powered monitors certainly whet the curiosity. So, with every hyperbole button depressed to meltdown levels and raised eyebrows plastered back into place with psychic duct tape, off to Room 478 I trotted to end Day 2 of AXPONA with a visit to Rick O'Polka's TigerFox demo.

O'Polka (above) claims that the TigerFox pod requires less than 3 minutes' set-up time before it's ready to deliver "flawlessly precise" sound with "improved realism, accuracy and 360° immersion." To prove his point, he chose relatively inexpensive JBL monitors, an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red tethered to a smart phone, and a $20 interconnect for his demo.

He also explained that TigerFox functions similarly to a violin's cabinet, amplifying sound while eliminating room acoustic issues. The unit took 8 years to develop and went through 624 different models until O'Polka got it right.

When it was my turn—I didn't feel right pushing ahead of a man who had waited a long time—I seated myself in the pod. As long as my ears were level with the monitors' tweeters and aligned with red dots on either side of the pod, O'Polka told me that the system would work. And work it did. While I remained in the sweet spot, the pod performed exactly as claimed, immersing me in a curious, wrap-around soundfield that was equally fun and fascinating.

I'm not ready to jettison my sound system just yet. Nor am I content to seal myself off from friends and family in order to float supreme in my own private universe. But for those who like to fly solo, mating a TigerFox Immerse 360 with a pair of high-quality self-powered speakers and a good DAC might be all that's necessary for the lift-off of a lifetime.