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All the audio brands indexed by Hi-Fipedia.
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Founded
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Name
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1
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Acoustic Energy
Acoustic Energy was started by Phil Jones and the company became famous with their very first pair of speakers - the
. They were originally made for recording studios but became popular with home audio. Some of the original models were even lined with literal concrete to make them heavy and reduce unwanted vibrations.
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2
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Apple
Apple’s biggest contribution to audio was the iPod which dramatically changed how people could carry music around with them. iTunes helped transition music from CD’s to digital files and eventually lead to streaming with the launch of Apple Music.
More recently Apple has been focused on making headphones and smart speakers after they bought the company Beats (by Dr. Dre) in 2014. They have also been an early advocate for spatial audio (their term for Dolby Atmos) and offer free Hi-Res Lossless streaming.

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Arcam
Arcam became famous with their integrated amps in the 1970’s. They expanded into CD players in the 80’s and started making more general home theater components in the 90’s but still have audio-focused products shown here.
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Astell & Kern
Astell & Kern focuses on hi-end portable digital audio players (DAPs). They trace back to the original mass market iRiver MP3 players that pre-dated the iPod. As the portable audio player market became smaller and people used their phones more, Astell & Kern focused on more high-end units.
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Audeze
Audeze was one of the early companies to pioneer magnetic planar headphones. This uses magnetic fields to create sound vs the more traditional dynamic cone drivers that push air which is how most headphones are made.
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Audioengine
Audioengine is a newer company that started with a focus on active powered speakers that have everything built-in to them. Their first product was the A5 and they quickly expanded into a range of other active speakers with both wired and wireless connections so that anything can be connected to just a pair of speakers without needing other components.
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Audiolab
Audiolab started in the UK in the 1980’s and was most famous for their stereo power amps which they sell modern versions of today along with other components that pair with it.
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AudioQuest
AudioQuest is mostly known for their high-end cables and power accessories but they also make a series of popular portable DACs.
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9
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Bang & Olufsen
B&O is a Danish company making high end audio products for nearly 100 years. They became famous for making one of the first plug-in (no battery) radios in the early 20th century. They are known for having striking industrial design and exotic shapes.
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10
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Beyerdynamic
Beyerdynamic invented the headphone. The DT 48 was the first pair of dynamic headphones introduced in the 1930’s. They also are a popular manufacturer of broadcast microphones and conference call equipment particularly in Europe.
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11
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Bluesound
Bluesound launched in 2013 from the Lenbrook company which owns NAD and PSB Speakers. They created the BluOS software system that allows for Hi-Res wireless streaming which is also included in many NAD products as well. BluOS works similar to Sonos but but with a Hi-Fi focus on things like Roon, Tidal, MQA and lossless streaming.
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12
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Bose
Bose is based in Massachusetts and is one of the longest running American audio companies. They first became famous for their 901 speaker in the 1960’s which featured an unconventional array of speakers meant to face the wall of a room (not the listener) - which created a largerer sound. In the 1990’s they expanded into home theater surround sound systems. Today they are best known for making noise-cancelling headphones that you’ll see many people use on airplanes.
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13
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Bowers & Wilkins
“B&W”, is a British company that started making speakers in the 1960’s. They are known for their striking bright colored speaker cones which were initially used to show off the use of kevlar, a first for a speaker company. They also are known for mounting their tweeters on top (outside) of the speaker cabinet box which also leads to dramatic looking speakers.
They are part of Sound United which also owns Denon, Marantz and Polk Audio.
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14
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Cambridge Audio
Cambridge Audio was started by some college students from Cambridge in the 1960’s. They were the first to use a which is now standard for most high-end amp designs. They have had a revival recently and have become known for their integrated amps and network players.
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15
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Campfire Audio
Campfire is based in Portland Oregon and started making high end in-ear monitors in 2015.
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16
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Chord
Chord is best known for their high-end DACs and digital processors but they also make other components like power amps and pre-amps. Their products have striking designs with open glass windows and multi-colored lights to show off the internal electronics. They also have non-standard dimensions but can be placed in their custom metal stands.
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17
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Definitive Technology
Def Tech started in the 1990’s with former people from Polk Audio. They specialize in bipolar speaker design which means their speakers are large and have multiple drivers facing different directions to product a bigger sound. They are now part of the Sound United empire which includes Denon, Marantz, Polk, and B&W.
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18
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Denon
Denon is mostly known for their home theater AV receivers but also have a wireless home audio platform called “HEOS” which competes with Sonos and BluOS and dedicated Hi-Fi products shown here.
Today they are part of the Sound United empire which includes Marantz, Polk, B&W and Def Tech.
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19
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ELAC
ELAC started making turntables back in the 1950’s and eventually got into speakers in the 1980’s. Some of their speakers feature ribbon-style tweeters that have a unique sound at higher frequencies over the typical cone tweeters used in most speakers.
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20
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Empire Ears
Empire is a new small Hi-Fi company (started by a father & son) that makes in-ear monitors for audiophiles and professional musicians.
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21
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FiiO
FiiO is a relatively new company started by some former staff from Oppo which was focused more on video and home theater equipment. Most of their audio products are portable or digital focused.
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22
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Focal
Focal is a French company primarily focused on speakers. They are popular in Europe but have become more common in the US. Around 2011 they merged with NAIM which is one of the oldest UK Hi-Fi companies.
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23
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Grado
Grado is a 3rd-generation family owned business based in Brooklyn New York. They focus on open-back headphones and turntable cartridges which are largely still made by hand in the original building the company started in.
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24
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Hegel
Hegel was started in the early 90’s by Bent Holter as part of his graduate school studies where he created a new way to reduce distortion in an amplifier circuit that the company was founded on. Bent is still the lead designer at the company today.
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25
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HiFi Rose
HiFi Rose focuses on touch-screen digital network streamers as well as fully integrated 1-box solutions.
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26
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HIFIMAN
Started by Dr. Fang Bian and named after a popular website discussion forum he started called “Head-Direct”. It eventually was rebranded as HIFIMAN. They specialize in magnetic planar headphones and other portable audio gear.
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27
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JH Audio
JH is short for “Jerry Harvey” who was Van Halen’s stage monitor engineer and created the first 2-way in-ear monitor system in the 1990’s. Jerry also started before it was bought by Logitech in 2008. The company is based in St. Louis and they cater to both musicians and audiophiles.
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Kanto
Kanto specializes in small desktop/bookshelf powered speakers. Their small size and good sound make them popular on either side of a computer monitor or a turntable. They also make speaker stands that fit their products which can help improve the sound by getting them closer to ear-height.
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KEF
Kent Engineering & Foundry (KEF) is one of the original UK Hi-Fi companies. It was started by former BBC sound engineers in the 1960’s and their LS3/5A speaker was one of the most popular models used in broadcasting. Today they focus on developing new speaker technology and are well regarded for their recent Uni-Q and “Meta” materials that are used in current speaker designs to reduce distortion.
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30
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Klipsch
Klipsch is best known for using a horn-loaded speaker design which emphasizes clear high frequencies that can be helpful for highlighting singing and voices over musical instruments. Because of this design the companies products are well regarded in home theaters but they also have a loyal following for their unique musical sound.
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31
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Krell
Krell started in the 80’s and became known for their extremely high powered Class A power amps. The KSA-100 in particular was a legendary amp that has modern successors in their current lineup.
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Linn
Linn pioneered the suspended turntable which improved the sound quality by allowing it to not pick up the vibrations made by speakers. They mostly focused on turntables and partnered with KEF for speakers and NAIM for amps but today they have a full range of components.
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33
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Marantz
Marantz is part of the Sound United empire which includes Denon, Polk, B&W and Def Tech.
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34
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Mark Levinson
Mark Levinson was started in the 1970’s and specialized in beefy power + pre amps. The company went bankrupt in the 1980’s and their assets were bought by Harman where they largely specialize in car audio now while still offering some high-end home components.
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35
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Martin Logan
Martin Logan made some of the first electrostatic speakers. Similar to
in the UK but based in US/Canada. Their speakers became popular in the 1980’s and the eventually expanded into subwoofers and home cinema in the 1990’s. In 2019 they were acquired by .
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36
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McIntosh
McIntosh started in New York and became known for their vacuum tube amplifiers that were used to power the original Woodstock music festival. They are still best known for their high-end amplifiers which feature their iconic blue VU meters.
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37
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MoFi
Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab (MFSL or MoFi) was a record label that produced music records - ie vinyl, CD’s etc from the 80’s up until the early 2000’s. They recently in 2016 started making turntables and speakers.
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38
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Moon by Simaudio
Sima Electronics which later was renamed to Simaudio started in the 1980’s and initially made products for professional musicians. By the 1990’s they became known for their integrated amps and launched their “Moon” reference series which is the name used on all their products today. They are often paired with , another Montreal based company.
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39
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Musical Fidelity
Musical Fidelity started in the UK in the 1980’s. They became popular with one of their early power amps the “A1” which sounded much like a tube amp despite being a solid state design. They expanded into many other component types and eventually in 2018 the owner of took over the brand.
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40
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NAD
NAD started in the UK in the 1970’s before moving to Canada where they are based today. Started by Dr. Martin Borish who was an electrical engineer, they became first popular with their 3020 integrated amp. In 1999 they were acquired by Lenbrook which also owns and PSB Speakers.
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41
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NAIM
Naim flipped the trend in the 1970’s of high wattage amps with their NAIT amp which offered low power but high current. Today they are known for their highly modular separate components where even power supplies can be treated as external components in a Hi-Fi rack.
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Norma
Norma Audio began in 1997 in Cremona Italy which is home to many well-known classical composers and violin makers. Their focus is on amplifiers which have a warm quality that blends the best of solid state and tube designs.
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Paradigm
Paradigm started making speakers in the early 1980’s. They expanded into home theater equipment in the 1990’s by adding subwoofers and weather proof outdoor speakers. In the early 2000’s they moved into a new factory so they can have total control from design, manufacturing and shipping all their products in one place.
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44
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Peachtree
Peachtree was the first company to make integrated amplifiers with a USB DAC input so computers and streamers could easily be connected. Their amps also feature distinct rounded/wood cases instead of the traditional metal black/silver panels. Recently they have become one of the first companies to explore Gallium nitride (GaN) over traditional silicon for the transistors in their amps.
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45
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Pro-Ject
Pro-ject began making turntables in the early 1990’s a time when CD’s were quickly replacing vinyl. They were able to maintain R&D so that when vinyl became popular in the 2010’s they had many affordable high-end models already. They’ve expanded into other components and are owned by Audio Tuning which also owns but are still best known for their turntables today.
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46
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PS Audio
PS Audio gets its name from the initials of audio designers Paul McGowan and Stan Warren who started the company in the early 1970’s. They eventually left to work elsewhere and the company went out of business in the 90’s. Paul McGowan returned in 1997 and helped rebuild the company. They make their products in Boulder Colorado and Paul runs a popular “ask Paul” .
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47
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Q Acoustics
Q Acoustics is a relatively new company that recently started making speakers in the UK. Their speaker cabinets feature rounded corners and mostly monochromatic colors.
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48
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Quad
Quad made the first commercial electrostatic speaker in 1957 with the ESL-57 which has become an iconic speaker in Hi-Fi history. Electrostatic speakers produce sound using a magnetic field instead of a driver/cone like most speakers. Quad is best known for their ESL series, but they expanded into traditional speakers and other audio components over time.
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Rega
Rega began in south-east England making turntables in the 1970’s. Most notably the Rega Planar 3 is one of their most popular products. They eventually expanded into other components in the 80’s and make many of the turntable parts for other audio companies such as NAD and Rotel.
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50
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Roon
Roon is a software platform made by former people from Meridian Audio. Their software is used to build a server that can organize local music files and combine it with streaming services such as Tidal or Qobuz to have a single digital music library. Many Hi-Fi devices are “Roon Ready” which means the Roon library can be quickly accessed by a component to play music. They sell a line of pre-built servers that come pre-installed with Roon software or the software is available to download to build your own.
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51
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Rotel
Rotel was originally named Roland and specialized in importing American TV’s to Japan in the 1950’s. They eventually pivoted to audio components in the 60’s and formed a partnership with Bowers & Wilkins in the 80’s which they maintain today.
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52
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Schiit
Schiit was started by Jason Stoddard and Mike Moffat, based in California with manufacturing in Texas. Their main products are headphone amps but they also make DAC’s and power/pre amps. Notably many of their components have internal modules that can be user-upgraded over time.
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53
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Sennheiser
Sennheiser began by making microphones shortly after World War II. Eventually they expanded into headphones which became popular with recording engineers for their neutral sound profile.
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54
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Shure
Shure began by making radios and microphones in the 1920’s and expanded into turntable cartridges in the 40’s. In 2009 they started making headphones which became popular with the advent of more portable audio players.
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55
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Sonos
Sonos was the first company to make it easy for people to put together multi-room audio systems outside of hiring a custom home installer. They eventually expanded into home theater products and maintain some of the most wide support for connecting to all the major music streaming platforms and voice assistants.
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56
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Sony
Sony is a huge global company with many contributions to audio and music standards. Currently they are best known for their TV’s, home theater and PlayStation gaming products but they continue to have audio specific products such as headphones and the Walkman line.
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57
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Technics
Technics is the Japanese audio brand of Panasonic. The brand was started in the 1960’s when they created the SL-1200 turntable which used a direct drive motor to spin records instead of a belt system. This means it starts playing more quickly and is more durable which made it the most widely used turntable by radio station and hip-hop DJ’s which it still is today.
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58
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Thorens
Thorens started as a Swiss company making clocks and music boxes in the late 1800’s. They are one of the first companies to start making turntables in the 1900’s. By the 1950/1960’s they made some of the best direct drive motor based turntables similar to
and . They went out of business in the 90’s but have had a resurgence winning awards once again for their turntables in the 2010’s.
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59
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Totem
Totem is a speaker company based in Montreal that was started by Vince Bruzzese. Their unique speaker design uses mitre locking joints in order to make them more stiff and inert to vibrations. Many of their speakers are often paired with , another Montreal based company.
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60
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Ultimate Ears
Ultimate Ears, often shortened to “UE” was started by Jerry Harvey who was the stage monitor engineer for Van Halen. He created some of the first in-ear monitors so that Van Halen could hear their instruments on stage instead of using on-stage speakers. Jerry worked with who created similar in-ear monitors and they became popular with non-musicians for their improved quality and passive noise cancelation. In 2008 they were acquired by Logitech and Jerry left to start JH Audio which also makes in-ear monitors.
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Vincent
Vincent is a German based company that designs stereo gear using both tube and solid state components which blend the best of both.
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Warwick Acoustics
Warwick makes electrostatic headphone systems that include both headphones and amplification.
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63
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WiiM
WiiM, also known as Linkplay, specializes in making affordable network streamers. Their mini and pro products were the first to support Hi-Res audio from Roon, Tidal and Qobuz for under $200.
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Yamaha
Yamaha is a Japanese based global conglomarte similar to
. While they make everything from musical instruments to motorcycles they have a popular line of home theater receivers and make several hi-fi components.
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Zu
Zu is a small company that makes speakers based in Utah. They are well regarded for their warm musical sound and offering a huge option of colors/finishes on their speaker cabinets.
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