High End 2024 Final Report

20.05.2024

Press release | The HIGH END 2024, the international audio show, which took place from 9 to 12 May 2024 in the MOC Event Center in Munich, drew to a close last Sunday after four successful days. Brimming with highlights, world premieres, trends and innovations, this key global trade show once again underscored its position and provided many creative new ideas to the industry. In halls and atriums of the MOC, there was a consistently outstanding atmosphere , especially on both trade visitor days, marked by an in-depth dialogue and an exchange of information, not to mention excellent business deals. The exhibitors had positive things to say about the organisation and the visitor traffic to their stands and rooms. “The HIGH END 2024 was a total success for everyone involved, proving that the industry is more vibrant than ever before," said Stefan Dreischärf, Managing Director of the organiser HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH, summing up the event. "For international trade professionals, the HIGH END is a must-attend event year after year that most people don't want to miss. Moreover, audiophiles, music lovers and technology fans also appreciate the trade show because here they can enjoy the entire range of the audio world," added the man behind the event.

Top-flight exhibitors meet international flair
With an unparalleled product variety of high-end audio technology, the trade show attracted a total of 22,198 visitors to the MOC during summer weather on two trade visitor days and two public days. In this, visitor statistics were slightly above the previous year, whereby the share of trade visitors, 11,237, was higher than the public numbers of 10,373 for the first time. Drawing people coming from 108 nations, the HIGH END 2024 was more international than ever before; alongside Germany, the neighbouring countries of Great Britain, Italy and the Netherlands were most heavily represented. In addition, 588 media representatives travelled to Munich to find out about the latest innovations in the industry and not only to report them to the world but to also convey the atmosphere at the audio show.

The HIGH END 2024 saw overwhelming visitor traffic on the first public day, where visitor crowds were so large at times that sections of the atriums had to be temporarily cordoned off to prevent the aisles and rooms from being overfilled. Although the space in the MOC is spread over more than 30,000 square meters in the four halls and three atriums, visitors were particularly attracted to the atrium rooms, featuring fantastic demonstrations of exclusive products. As in the previous year, the trade show was fully booked, with a total of 513 exhibiting companies taking up every last corner of the halls. The two special trade shows, IPS – International Parts + Supply and the WORLD OF HEADPHONES in Hall 1, were staged again this year in parallel with the HIGH END. On a newly expanded space, the latter presented a vast assortment of high-quality headphones, portable audio players and matching accessories for direct, on-ear listening enjoyment. The opening of the trade show saw the unveiling of nine world innovations at the Heidelberg headphone.shop stand. The premiere of the adjacent GAMING ZONE was a success for the cooperation partner konsolenfan.de. Younger visitors in particular frequented the new area, but exhibitors also took notice and expressed an interest in cooperation. In contrast to traditional gaming festivals and expo events, here the focus was on the sound created when playing. With an assortment of headsets, loudspeakers and soundbars, the GAMING ZONE opened up fascinating possibilities for experiencing sound while gaming. At the IPS supplier trade show, all those seeking solutions for manufacturing their products were able to survey the scene. This involved, for example, high-quality electronic components, customised loudspeaker systems, high-end contact solutions and modern cabinet production.

Eye-catching product presentations and brilliant sound experiences
The positive flair at the HIGH END 2024 was once again characterised by enthusiasm for technology and music, expressed in a wide variety of performances, providing sources of joy, amazement and surprise. The opening day kicked off with a spectacular product release from Technics. The German manufacturer, in cooperation with Automobili Lamborghini, presented a special edition turntable featuring the iconic design language of the luxury automobile brand. Technics maintained the suspense right up until the official opening of the HIGH END, when at 10:00am sharp, they unveiled an orange Lamborghini to the eager faces of the many spectators who showed up. As a symbol of the sonic symbiosis of engine noise and music reproduction, the sports car was constantly in the spotlight of the cameras throughout the trade show. In addition to many other outstanding audio systems, the Chinese exhibitor ESD Acoustic also elicited acclaim from the audience, featuring its impressive system with huge horn loudspeakers in Studio E/F, literally towering above Atrium 4.

While newcomers were given a forum in the Start-up Area, established companies have been around for so long that they presented anniversary edition models at the HIGH END. In addition to an anniversary edition turntable, Clearaudio presented another eye-catcher: the Al Di Meola turntable in the shape of a guitar body, inspired by one of the musician's original instruments. Collaboration with Di Meola, the Impex Records label and Clearaudio originated over the course of the last HIGH END, for which the guitar virtuoso was on site as a brand ambassador.

Top-notch guests of honour from the music scene are an enrichment to the trade show
In its public communication, the HIGH END 2024 placed a focus on diversity, which was reflected not only in the unparalleled range of products on display and participating companies. Whereas in the past four years the testimonials were a cause for celebration at the audio show, this year's event featured several renowned artists. Steven Wilson, brand ambassador of the HIGH END 2019, invited visitors to immersive sound experiences on all four days in cooperation with loudspeaker manufacturer PMC and the organiser HIGH END SOCIETY Service GmbH. Without a doubt, this was an unforgettable highlight of the trade show visit for many participants. Wilson demonstrated the sound of spatial audio and explained the difference between stereo, Dolby Surround and immersive audio by playing music from various musicians, genres and decades in the fully packed sessions. A native of Britain, he delighted his listeners not only with his fantastic sound and goosebump moments, but also with the relaxed, friendly manner in which he interacted with the audience.

Musician and producer Leslie Mandoki, who released the Mandoki Soulmates' new album "A Memory Of Our Future" on May 10, and thus almost in sync with the trade show, also brought star appeal onto the stage. Together with his soulmate band members Tony Carey from Rainbow and John Helliwell from Supertramp, at a special press conference he provided fascinating insights into the creation of the new album, which was recorded and produced entirely in analogue format. At the merchandise stand, visitors were able to purchase the masterpiece, which Mandoki himself describes as a "hand-written love letter to his listeners”, and have it autographed by him.

There were encounters of other star guests at various exhibitors. Nick Getz, the son of jazz legend Stan Getz, presented the 60th Anniversary Edition 1STEP of Getz/Gilberto at Audio Reference. He also shared with the visitors some personal experiences and insider knowledge from his father's eventful life. Moreover, Boris Blank, founding member of the Swiss electropop band Yello, was also a guest at the Horch House company stand, where Yello's music was presented on tape for the first time. The exclusive tape machine on which it was played is a limited edition masterpiece, of which only ten units were produced.

Variety on the X-PERT STAGE
Anyone wanting to get away from the trade show crowds found a somewhat quieter place in the rows in front of the X-PERT STAGE, the new talk and lecture program at the HIGH END. Fascinating knowledge was provided by Ellis Blackford Stroud, who explained the requirements for intelligent amplifiers in modern audio systems. This was supplemented by the panel events on the X-PERT STAGE, characterised by an exchange of opinions and discussions with various stakeholders on the stage. The topics were geared to discussions on current events in the hi-fi business, whereby experts were also asked to venture a look into the future. In the English-language event, hosted by the American hi-fi journalist Michael Fremer, seasoned analogue experts fielded the question as to whether the limits of what is technically possible in the reproduction of records have already been reached. Among the panel participants, representing the manufacturers, dealers and media, there was a lively discussion on the second topic, Where will the hi-fi business be in 10 years? The third round of panel discussions wrapped up with the discussion of hi-fi streaming and offered informative insights into the technical possibilities of streaming.

The positive response from all those involved and the high visitor turnout at the HIGH END 2024 have made it clear: There is unabated enthusiasm for music reproduction excellence, and high-quality audio technology continues to reach a large number of people. The trade show offers promising opportunities, sends a positive signal and continues to provide vital impetus to the entire audio industry. The next HIGH END will take place from 15 to 18 May 2025 in the MOC Event Center Messe Munich.

Figures
11,237 trade visitors from 92 countries
10,373 visitors from 72 countries
588 media representatives from 43 countries
22,198 visitors in total
513 exhibitors from 41 countries without nearly 1,000 brands
30.000 qm exhibition space at the MOC

Download the HIGH END 2024 Key Note Press Conference here


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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