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Q Acoustics, Focal & Cambridge Audio: AXPONA 2023

New high-end audio products from Q Acoustics, Focal and Cambridge Audio captured a lot of attention at AXPONA 2023.

AXPONA 2023: Focal, Q Acoustics and Cambridge Audio

Sweet home Chicago. If you have never been abused standing in line with Vince Vaughn at the Wieners Circle on N. Clark for a char dog at 3 a.m. — you really haven’t lived.

Wieners Circle Sign

The Chicago suburbs were overrun with audiophiles over the weekend looking to experience some of the best high-end audio systems in the world at AXPONA 2023; they could have saved their money for Munich 2023 instead but that’s a topic for another day.

AXPONA has become one of the most important consumer A/V shows in North America and there was broad representation over the weekend from all corners of the globe; the show was also scheduled at the same time as NAMM 2023 and NAB 2023 so the strong attendance and industry representation was a good sign that companies are being aggressive and looking to showcase their new products even with consumers being more conservative with their spending.

Focal Maestro Utopia Evo Loudspeaker at AXPONA 2023
Focal Maestro Utopia Evo Loudspeaker

The entire eCoustics team will be at T.H.E. Show 2023 in June in Orange County, California, and we are looking forward to broadcasting live from the show over the course of the weekend, and participating in a number of panel discussions.

Trade shows represent one of the only opportunities for consumers to audition such a wide range of equipment; especially those who do not have specialist audio/home theater dealers in their area.

It’s almost impossible to really judge anything at a show, but it does allow consumers to meet with manufacturers, dealers, and other music listeners who genuinely care about better sound quality.

Q Acoustics 5000 Series Loudspeakers Sigin

Events like AXPONA 2023 are open to the general public (unlike CEDIA and CES) and that makes them very important to vendors who spent many months preparing for the event knowing that potential customers have thousands of options and that they may only have one opportunity to pique their interest.

Q Acoustics

Fidelity Imports and Q Acoustics used AXPONA 2023 as an opportunity to showcase the new 5000 series loudspeakers. Alex Munro, Q Acoustics’ Brand Director, spent the weekend demonstrating the new 5040 and 5020 models and many came away very impressed.

Q Acoustics 5020 bookshelf speaker, 5090 center speaker and 5040 floorstanding speaker at AXPONA 2023
Q Acoustics 5020 bookshelf speaker, 5090 center speaker and 5040 floorstanding speaker

You can read a more detailed explanation of the new Q Acoustics 5000 Series here and also listen to our podcast with Alex Munro as well.

Q Acoustics 5040 Floorstanding Speaker in Oak at AXPONA 2023
Q Acoustics 5040

The 5000 series represents a rather significant departure from the award-winning 3000 series from the perspective of driver technology, cabinet bracing, and a rather different tonal balance. Our initial impressions can be found here and expect to see the first part of our 5040 review later this week. Jeremy Sikora (the Budget Audiophiler) is working on a review of the 5020 stand-mount loudspeaker for the following week.

Q Acoustics 5020 Bookshelf Speakers in Oak at AXPONA 2023
Q Acoustics 5020


We expected to see the new Focal Theva Loudspeakers at AXPONA and they were on display in a number of different configurations including a Dolby Atmos 7.2.4 system.

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Focal Theva Center Channel, Subwoofer and Floorstanding Loudspeakers
Focal Theva Loudspeakers

What we didn’t expect to see was the new Littora CI Outdoor Loudspeaker range at the show; the end result was a system powered with a Naim Uniti Atom Network Amplifier and something that would make sense if you were building a simple outdoor 2.0 system and wanted full control of the system through the Naim Control app on your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Focal Littora 200 OD Stone 8 Speakers at AXPONA 2023
Focal Littora 200 OD Stone 8

Focal had a rather significant presence at AXPONA; show attendees could try the entire Focal headphone range including the Bathys, Utopia 2022, Stellia and Clear Mg.

Focal Stellia Headphones at AXPONA 2023
Focal Stellia

Focal has used the new Focal Powered By Naim locations around the globe to showcase its growing lineup of CI loudspeakers, including some rather full-range in-wall home theater systems that come with rather expensive price tags.

Focal Utopia 1000 IWLCR Utopia LCR and 1000 IWSUB In-wall Speakers at AXPONA 2023
Focal Utopia 1000 IWLCR Utopia LCR and 1000 IWSUB

Cambridge Audio

We are huge fans of the new Cambridge Audio MXN10 which recently earned a spot on our “Best Network Players 2023” list and show attendees had the opportunity to try it for the first time at AXPONA 2023.

Cambridge Audio MXN10 Network Player Front
Cambridge Audio MXN10

Cambridge Audio has also worked very hard to build awareness around its new partnership with Rough Trade; the Alva TT V2 Wireless Turntable is the best one we have tried so far and a great option with a desktop headphone amplifier if you prefer to listen with headphones instead of loudspeakers.

Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable
Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 Turntable

For more coverage of AXPONA 2023 click here.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ORT

    April 17, 2023 at 11:54 pm

    Long have I admired the performance and style of all three marques presented here. So much so that I bought my son a pair of Focal Elegia headphones for Christmas and then earlier this month I bought the same brand and model for…ME!

    As I have said elsewhere, each new year presents us the wondrous possibilities in the joint arena of Audio and Video. Some more affordable to others than we may like but if you look at those items as a possible goal then better to work toward it than whine at it and those who can buy such tech now.

    As is often pointed out here by Ian & Co., affordable is often quite affable. In plain language, it is comfortable for your wallet and your life. Never allow those with more money and less manners to chide or deride you for what you can afford. They are likely the dreaded frAudiophile and their ego is legendary for making an asshole into a whole ass. Jerques the lot of ’em. 😉

    A man’s (or hey Lady Catherine of Lugg, a WOMAN’S!) reach should exceed their grasp but never their wallet and their manners. For to exceed that which puts the humane in any human will most asuredly make an a whole ass into an even bigger fool. Or as Bugs Bunny would say, “What a maroon!”

    It is a hobby. It ain’t your life. Family first and if you don’t have a “family” then friends first and if you don’t have friends? Go make some. And remember, which is easier to do, make an enemy or a friend?

    The former because it takes no effort. It just takes being an asshole. Being a friend takes a lifetime of commitment. I have rambled enough but I was kinda sorta inspired by another reader of this site. Sheol awaits…


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