Crossing the threshold into the world of high end audio products in Chicago means immersing yourself into a culture that may be unfamiliar to you. Think of it like buying a high-end automobile in the sense that the approach is entirely different from wandering down to a local Toyota dealership and haggling over the price of a sedan—if you’re buying a high end luxury vehicle, you’re going to go through an entirely different process with an entirely different set of variables. Buying high end audio products is no different.
Perhaps the first thing that anyone should realize when it comes to buying high end audio products Chicago is that you’re not going to be dealing with any run-of-the-mill brands—if you’ve seen it at your local electronics store or at some mass retailer online, it’s definitely not considered “high end audio.” In fact, most high end audio brands are so exclusive that you either a) have to find an authorized dealer, of which there are far and few between or b) order custom directly from the manufacturer, which is an other-worldly expense.
If you’re intent on joining the exclusive and insightful world of high end audio owners, it behooves you to at least know what brands you should be looking at and thinking about. Here’s eight of them to get you started in the right direction, in no particular order:
- Audio Research: One of the great contributors to American high end audio, this company has been in the business of creating exceptional tube and transistor based audio products.
- Clearaudio: Manufactured in Germany, Clearaudio is known worldwide for its superb turntables and amplifiers. The company focuses on precision when it comes to producing exceptional sound quality.
- Dynaudio: Creating high end speakers for the home and automobile, Dynaudio is known for its flagship speaker The Consequence and today leads the industry with loudspeaker technology.
- Focal: The leader in vehicle sound system products, as well as widely known for louspeakers, all of Focal’s innovations are created and produced in California and have been for more than 34 years.
- Magico: An innovative name in loudspeakers, Magico commands the industry with a vast line of loudspeakers that are the product of unique design and refined technology.
- Pass Labs: Pass Labs is known for some of the best amps and preamps in the business. Simple, streamlined design is what makes these products so appealing and their long history of innovations has made them cannon in the world of high end audio products.
- SimAudio: Founded in the 1980s, SimAudio quickly became an authority on amps and preamps. Today, the company’s Moon series and Legacy products are held to the highest esteem.
- Sonus Faber: Sonus loudspeakers are far and away iconic in the world of high end audio both because of their luxurious design and the sound quality they produce.
If you’re trying to break your way onto the exclusive high end audio scene, make sure you know your brands before anything else!