Best Sound (highest value)
Audience Wavepower amplifier and Wavemaster preamp driving Audience’s ClairAudient 1+1 loudspeaker (see below).
Audience’s new ClairAudient 1+1 loudspeaker. This tiny cube, priced at $1800 per pair, combined the transparency of a one-way crossover less design with the dynamics and extension at the frequency extremes you’d expect from a larger conventional system.
Audience presented one of the smallest and one of the largest new speaker systems geared to promote the scalability of its full-range-driver philosophy. Driven by all Audience power was the new Mk II version of the ClairAudient 16+16 flagship ($72k). It continues as a bi-polar, one-way line source with thirty-two A3-S2 three-inch full-range drivers but has been upgraded with the addition of eight 6” x 9” custom passive radiators. To my ears the difference was quite startling with solid low-end response that didn’t inhibit the speed and crystalline focus that makes this design so listenable. In comparison and obviously bass-restricted, the tiny ClairAudient 1+1 was captivating in how well it retains the flagship’s remarkable voice and timbre ($1800).