High End 2023 final report

26.05.2023

Press release | The figures have now been evaluated and confirm the outstanding impact left by the High End 2023, which ended on Sunday and attracted an international audience to the MOC Event Center in Munich from 18th to 21st May. With halls fully booked down to the last centimetre, atrium and conference rooms packed to the brim, and the new Press Center flooded with natural light in Atrium 2, the 40th High End pulled out all the stops to put on a successful show. A total of 22,137 visitors from around 100 different countries attended the world’s largest audio show to find out about the new products and innovations of its 550 exhibitors from 54 nations. This was the highest number of visitors ever recorded by the High End. The result far exceeds the expectations of the event organiser, the company High End Society Service GmbH. Alongside the abundance of positive feedback from those involved in the trade show, these figures underline the fact that this anniversary event was the most successful in the history of the High End. They also show that extending the show again to cover two B2B days after doing so successfully in 2022 was very well received in the industry. While trade visitors made up approximately 38 percent of the visitor total in 2019, they represented nearly half of all guests at the High End 2023, which welcomed 10,748 trade visitors compared to 10,860 visitors when open to the general public. These were joined by a total of 529 media representatives from 43 countries reporting on the world’s most important audio show.

The best High End ever
The High End 2023 was a hive of activity characterised by its captivating, positive and emotional atmosphere. According to the feedback received by the man behind the show, Stefan Dreischärf, and his team during this event, it was the best and most outstanding show they have ever hosted. “The response to this year’s show is truly overwhelming. Every single person I have spoken to was impressed by the fantastic atmosphere in the MOC,” reports Dreischärf. “We had hoped to be able to repeat the terrific success of the last High End but didn’t expect to even go one better.” While exhibitors praised the perfect organisation of the event, their impressive world premieres and the large number of product innovations captivated and excited their audience to a huge extent. The diverse programme of events organised by the High End Society to accompany the anniversary show also attracted a great deal of attention and filled the event venues to the max.

The concept of a balanced combination of an industry gathering and interactive exhibition has yet again been a complete success in 2023. The decision to again split the High End into two trade visitor days and two days for the general public ticked all the boxes. The largest specialist show of its kind is the most important marketplace with the highest international involvement for exhibitors from all over the globe. It is only here in Munich that all significant players in the industry come together at the same time. The jam-packed schedule of talks and meetings on the B2B days confirmed that the decision to appeal to both target groups in equal measure represented an important new approach. And indeed, the companies participating in the event were very well prepared for their business meetings at the High End. In fact, discussion areas and meeting rooms are no longer a rarely seen occurrence at stands. The requests for B2B cabins at the event venue came in so thick and fast that the event organiser was also unable to meet them all due to the limited space available.

No other audio show offers as much to discover as the High End. With a virtually endless range of exhibits on show, the event is a true treat for both the eyes and ears of music aficionados, audiophiles and technology lovers. All visitors to the High End were able to immerse themselves in captivating sound demonstrations, enjoy music of all genres, admire both subtle and eye-catching devices and gain an insight into sophisticated state-of-the-art technology. The event shone the spotlight on major international companies, small independent labels and start-ups in equal measure, all of which presented their broad spectrum of new technologies and services. The brand-new products showcased included turntables with active vibration decoupling, innovatively networked hi-fi loudspeakers, modern amplifiers that combine a wide variety of functions with outstanding sound quality, and many other highlights.

A huge selection of models in the World of Headphones
Another proven visitor highlight at the High End 2023 was the World of Headphones, a special area in Hall 1 where manufacturers and distributors presented all kinds of different headphone models. Given that more and more companies are now discovering this market and decided to showcase their products in the World of Headphones, this year’s special exhibition area was twice as big as when it was launched in 2022. It is an attractive addition to the High End that attracted young people in particular and encouraged them to spend time exploring the models on show. “The headphone show is like a magical visitor magnet, attracting people to try out products directly without any interruptions,” states Stefan Dreischärf, delighted about how visitors flocked to the stands on all four days of the audio show. Some of this year’s trends included Bluetooth headphones, in-ear variants and high-quality portable audio players, which can also be used as high-end hi-fi components thanks to their streaming and wi-fi functions.

Another convincing performance was displayed by the audio systems under the SoundsClever label — not only those from individual exhibitors but also, for the first time ever this year, four systems presented by different hi-fi magazines. With this initiative, the High End Society wants to debunk the myth that excellent music reproduction is only available in the luxury price segment. After all, companies that want to appeal to new target groups and encourage them to explore a premium hobby need to take new approaches. At the end of the day, high-quality musical enjoyment not only needs to be fun but must also be affordable. The components of the SoundsClever audio systems have been assembled in such a way that they offer excellent music reproduction with top-quality sound yet cost no more than 5,000 EUR in total.

An illustrious visit by our brand ambassador Al Di Meola
Never before has a brand ambassador attracted such a buzz of attention. At the opening press conference with Al Di Meola, there wasn’t a free seat in the house, and even the standing room was fully packed. Wherever the artist went during his time at the High End, a crowd of excited visitors soon gathered. His presence at the “Meet the man” expert interview with Lothar Brandt also received excellent feedback, with the 45-minute talk providing listeners with an interesting insight into the life of the musician who was once the fastest guitarist in the world. The autograph session attracted a long line of patient fans waiting to get their hands on an authentic signature from their star. These fans and everyone who encountered the artist throughout his time at the event were able to experience his friendly and welcoming nature and also his keen interest in all things audio. Al Di Meola also made the most of the opportunity to enjoy the event with all of his senses, to discover the exquisite sound reproduction that he supports as the ambassador of the world’s largest audio show and to confirm why he perfectly embodies this year’s motto, “Loving Music”. His live performances are not the only evidence of his virtuoso ability; many of his albums also take centre stage with their outstanding recording quality. Surrounded by such premium sound, the artist was immersed in an audio heaven: “It has overwhelmed me and is truly stunning,” he exclaimed in his emotional summary of the High End. In the run-up to his visit to the largest audio show, a number of special exhibitor events were already planned in cooperation with his record company Impex Records. Together with his wife Stephanie, who accompanied him to the show, Al Di Meola compared playbacks of his own live recordings on a variety of exclusive audio systems. At the end of the event, he even happened to run into Rick Rubin, who was visiting the High End out of personal interest. The world-famous music producer is now one of 600 owners of the limited-edition version of the album Saturday Night in San Francisco, which was produced by Impex Records, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the High End. What’s more, he is one of just a handful of people to own a copy signed by Al Di Meola himself.

The High End Kolleg shines in a new light
The High End Kolleg series of presentations experienced a revival at this year’s event. It welcomed new stage formats that invited listeners to follow exciting panel discussions or expand their technical knowledge of the audio world. Thanks to the cooperation with the ALTI Association, which presented its ALTI Pavilion as part of the supplier trade show IPS – International Parts + Supply, held in parallel with the High End, the spectrum of topics covered by the presentations was much more extensive than in previous years. Under the title of “Future-fi – what’s next?”, the hosts of the two panel sessions, Olaf Adam from HIFI.DE and the YouTuber Dimi Vesos, dared to take a look in the crystal ball and discussed what they consider necessary to secure the future of the hi-fi industry with their panel partners with various focuses. The guests involved in the English panel discussion hosted by Olaf Adam included Michael Fremer from the USA, Ljubiša Miodragović from Serbia and Stuart Smith from Great Britain. Dimi Vesos welcomed the hi-fi journalist Bernd Weber, the YouTuber Patrik Scholz, the specialist retailer Markus Wierl, and Lars Baumann from the company ELAC onto the stage for his session. To everyone who could not attend the High End 2023 or missed out on the High End Kolleg events: you can watch the live recordings of the sessions on the YouTube channel of the High End Society. You can also, of course, be sure to look forward to the next High End. When? From 9th to 12th May 2024 at the MOC Event Center in Munich.

The IPS – International Parts + Supply complements the High End
As a solely B2B event, the IPS OEM trade show brings together the entire value chain and the supply part industry in one location. In its own area, directly next to the High End, the event will allow trade visitors and audio show exhibitors to establish contact with IPS exhibitors, get to know new partners and expand their existing business relationships. The range of products presented stretches from high-quality electronic components to bespoke loudspeaker systems, high-tech contact solutions and modern cabinet solutions, and right through to packaging solutions for the protected transportation of exclusive goods.

About ALTI

ALTI Association was founded under the name ALMA in 1961 by members of the loudspeaker engineering specialty segment in support of American loudspeaker manufacturers. The mission has expanded and evolved over time to become a global association, and the name was then changed to ALTI to widen the focus to include products and technologies that surround the loudspeaker industry and the audio signal chain. This was done in recognition of the changing landscape in which audio technologies are integrated and connected and will no longer be “stand alone” products. This led to the name change in 2019 to ALTI, Audio and Loudspeaker Technologies International, a name that more closely reflects the times and mission of the ALTI Association.

 

The IPS - International Parts + Supply

The IPS perfectly complements the High End, which has developed into the largest international Hi-Fi show and enjoys tremendous significance and global popularity within the audio industry. Taking place in a separate area of the MOC Event Center in parallel with the High End, the event offers manufacturers of supply parts for the audio industry the ideal platform for establishing direct contact with their customers and showcasing their products in a presentation tailored to their target groups.


About the High End
The High End, the internationally renowned audio trade show, is the undisputed leader when it comes to impressively setting the tone for top-class music reproduction. It has been providing ideas and impetus for producers, sellers and consumers of high-quality consumer electronics for four decades. On the four days of the event in May, the entire world of audio experts and professionals will gather in Munich to visit hundreds of exhibitors from more than 40 different countries as they showcase their latest innovations in the halls and atriums of the MOC Event Center.

 

For further info: to High End website



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