Best of the Best 2007: Audio

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2007

The Ferrari Art.Engine music system (435.649.3458, www.dwvartengine.com) might represent the most radical rethinking of the high-end audio system. It incorporates 16 carbon-fiber woofers, 200-watt digital amplifiers, and a wireless interface that allows you to play your favorite music or Internet radio station from any WiFi-equipped computer running iTunes. With all of its speaker drivers mounted in a single unit, the Art.Engine cannot produce enveloping stereo, but its tone is remarkably natural—thanks in part to its rigid, nonresonant, 107-pound enclosure, which is machined from solid aluminum billet. Only 1,000 of the $20,000 Art.Engines will be made. The Ferrari system is available in black, silver, dark gray, and, of course, red.

 

Ayre Acoustics MX-R power amplifier (303.442.7300, www.ayre.com) maintains a sleek, compact appearance because its entire machined-aluminum chassis serves as a heat sink. Other similarly powerful amps look huge because they cool themselves using space-consuming rows of aluminum fins. Despite the amp’s prodigious 300 watts of power, its chassis barely becomes warm. The MX-R ($16,500 per pair) uses state-of-the-art transistors and many internal parts manufactured specifically for this amplifier. Few, if any, amplifiers sound smoother, more powerful, or more detailed.

Wi-Fi meets hi-fi with elegant results in Naim’s foray into wireless music…
With a full-frame CMOS sensor and the fastest autofocus in its class, the Leica Q is up for action…
FREE PREVIEW: The Sony 4K short-throw projector is among Robb Report’s 2015 Best of the Best...
The new releases combine retro styling with modern technology…
Photo by Brooks Ayola
The power of a professional cinema audio control, ported for the home theater…
The new turntable is a work of art, celebrating the British brand’s 25th anniversary…
Photo by Vzphoto
The new component’s wide array of outputs seamlessly integrate with any audio system…
The new speakers draw sonic inspiration from Wilson’s behemoth flagship Alexandria XLF loudspeakers…
Without sacrificing the brand’s audio credential, the new speakers feature onboard amplification...
From surfing to skydiving, these virtual wonders are the real deal…