Jim Austin

Jim Austin  |  Nov 18, 2022  |  24 comments
What does it mean to be Stereophile's Product of the Year? It's an honor, certainly, and probably helps the winner sell more products, but is there anything more we can say about it?

The PotY competition is the culmination of a whole year of the magazine's work, starting with the choice of products to review. Only products we review or consider carefully in a column qualify for the competition, and every product we review is eligible for the competition: We only review products we think will have a decent shot at being among the best.

Jim Austin  |  Nov 15, 2022  |  27 comments
I have a confession, one I'm hesitant to make for reasons that will soon become clear, but my conscience compels me to make it.

I have a new dog. A puppy. Her name is Ella Wren.

Jim Austin  |  Oct 20, 2022  |  23 comments
I remember, at High End Munich 2019, setting eyes on one of the most attractive loudspeakers I'd ever seen, in the color that, as I now know, Estelon calls Ocean Mystery. I remember it as a passive demo, no music playing, seen through glass; whether that memory is strictly accurate I don't know. Memories are funny things.
Jim Austin  |  Oct 19, 2022  |  1 comments
For years, Audio Advice Live has been an annual event, drawing enthusiastic audiophiles to the dealership's showrooms on Raleigh's Glenwood Avenue, next to Virgin Cigars. This year, Audio Advice Live was different. It was a fully fledged audio show, held like most such events at a conference hotel: the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel in that North Carolina city, with rooms sponsored and presented by a wide range of hi-fi and home-theater manufacturers and distributors.
Jim Austin  |  Sep 13, 2022  |  11 comments
I first heard about the project in an email, one of the dozens I receive every day and barely glance at. It said that the editor of a German hi-fi publication was crossing the ocean to talk about hi-fi audio to students and their parents at a junior/senior high school in Westchester County, New York, just 45 minutes or so by car from my Manhattan apartment. Interesting. And odd. I moved on to the next email.
Jim Austin  |  Aug 26, 2022  |  1 comments
Since 2007, Audio Advice Live has been an annual, one-night event, drawing enthusiastic audiophiles to the Audio Advice showrooms in Raleigh's Glenwood Avenue, next to Virgin Cigars, or to their location in Charlotte. But this year, Audio Advice Live was different: It was a fully fledged audio show, held like most such events at a conference hotel: the Sheraton Raleigh Hotel, in that North Carolina city, with rooms sponsored and presented by a wide range of hi-fi (and home-theater) companies. The show's website listed 70 brands—58 home audio brands, the others video-related—followed by a graphic saying "+ MANY MORE!"
Jim Austin  |  Jul 19, 2022  |  24 comments
'm writing this column on the long flight back to New York City following High End Munich, the big hi-fi show that in regular times takes place each May. Because these are not regular times, this was the first Munich show since 2019. This show was smaller than other recent Munich shows: COVID in the Far East limited involvement by people and companies from East Asia, and German government–mandated attendance caps limited the number of people who could enter at any one time. Even so, it was a big show, with some interesting product introductions and prototypes.
Jim Austin  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  2 comments
I'm writing this one week after returning from Schaumburg, Illinois, where I attended my first real audio show since the Florida Audio Expo in early 2020, just as the pandemic was starting to gain momentum. Everyone I talked to was hopeful, but no one could predict what attendance would be like or what people's attitudes would be.
Jim Austin  |  May 17, 2022  |  12 comments
I wrote about the music industry's impressive recovery in the February 2022 AWSI. Robust LP sales were a headline item of that report, but they're a sideshow: Paid-subscription streaming is what is bringing the industry back.

When I wrote that, 2021 wasn't quite over, so year-end financials weren't available. They're available now.

Jim Austin  |  May 01, 2022  |  4 comments

T+A elektroakustik GmbH & Co. brought the A-team to the 2022 AXPONA, including American rep Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations David Schultz, Chief Operations Officer (and heir apparent) Conradin Amft, and Founder and CEO Siegfried Amft. During a light Saturday breakfast in the big T+A room, the elder Amft briefed the Stereophile team on T+A's status and plans; expect some big announcements at High End Munich later this month.

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