Standing room only at Hong Kong High-End 2016


Three words to describe Audiotechnique’s Hong Kong High-End AV Show 2016? Busy, busy and busy. Day one tells us that this audio show isn’t the biggest in the world in terms of square footage but it’s certainly the best attended.

On Level 3 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, an open plan hall crosses (and downsizes) Munich’s Halles with CES’ Las Vegas Convention Centre to host a 50-50 split of portable audio and two channel. Not all displays lay exposed to the hall’s humdrum but several prefabricated listening rooms attracted lengthy queues. No more than the positively epic line for the show itself!

This video does the walking and talking:

For the $eriou$ stuff we move to levels 2 and 4 and their dedicated listening rooms — considerably larger than those of your average hotel-based show. Good, right? Not quite.

Anyone hoping to audition gear, even on a basic level, must negotiate the hordes of punters who often spill out in the hallway, craning their necks for a glimpse of the action. And more people also brings more extraneous noise.

A small minority of attendees seem to think nothing of puncturing demos with idle chatter or a mobile phone conversation.

Seeing so many people passionate about high-end audio in one place is a mixed blessing. Want to sit down and listen? Not a chance. Want the sweet spot? Fuggedaboudit!

Could it be then that the Hong Kong Hign-End audio show is more about looking than listening?

Further information: Audiotechnique


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Written by John H. Darko

John lives in the NOW + HERE = NOWHERE. He derives an income from the ad revenues of DAR. John is also an occasional staff writer for Stereophile, 6moons and TONEAudio.

Twitter: DarkoAudio
Instagram: DarkoAudio
Facebook: DAR


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  1. More seeing than hearing is right.
    Asian in general don’t sit down in front of a Hi Fi system to listen and enjoy.
    Cause they are not used to this sort of ritual?
    Funny, but the best sounding systems I have heard (and mine), are the more modest one that Real
    MUSIC lovers put together.

  2. I don’t know what you shot the video on (?) but I find it interesting that even on my iPhone 6 Plus speaker you can easily identify the better sounding systems. Maybe the tiny speaker highlights any shortcomings…

  3. I see in one of your photos that Swiss ultra high end manufacturer, CH PRECISION has now come out with “special gold” chassis components specifically for the Far East Asian market. Asians sure love their gold colored audio gear! Bricasti, Playback Designs, etc have also joined this trend of late.

  4. ‘more about seeing than hearing’….makes sense…FLC 8S technology creator
    Forrestwei was lamenting this very thing on headfi, recently, with how many
    Chinese value looks first over sound quality….this popular iem has had a hard time
    selling in his native homeland…he was lamenting this on the headfi flc thread a few weeks
    ago, as the new ‘celeste’ is about to be released.

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