Avantgarde’s Zero 1 Speaker Starts at $14,500

This pricey digital loudspeaker promises an integrated processor and amplifier technology.

Feb. 27, 2014 — by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

It’s no secret that a lot of people depend on portable devices as a main source of music these days. There are a lot of i-friendly speakers out there, but some definitely know how to stand out more than others.

Recently, the Zero 1 has caught our attention. That’s because the latest from Avantgarde Acoustic is pretty easy on the eyes. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy on the wallet.

The compact set is currently priced at $14,500 per pair. For that, you get two of these horn loudspeakers. Each one is pretty compact, but promises stellar sound—and at that price, they’d better deliver.

Avantgarde promises to do that by putting a lot of audiophile-type goodies into this all-in-one system. Each cabinet has digital processors, analog-to-digital converters, power amplifiers and the actual loudspeaker. Besides the 24-bit Burr-Brown DACs, each of the two horns inside has its own 50-watt amp and a 400-watt subwoofer amplifier to round out the package.

The one thing it does not have is any sort of wireless connectivity to a source. Instead, the Zero 1 packs in USB, Toslink, SPDIF (2), and AES/EBU inputs to connect your system or favorite portable. However, the setup can be used as a WLAN loudspeaker via the wireless receiver of your choice (such as the AirPort Express).

The speakers to connect wirelessly to each other. “The ZERO 1 provides tonal perfection by transmitting the volume over a dedicated wireless channel, applying it only once it has arrived at the slave. The data transfer rate is 44.1 kHz at 16 bits and is bit-perfect.”

Measuring 19.2-by-40.9-by-12 inches (each), the Zero 1 is available in matte black or matte white. The pair has a starting price of $14,500 per pair because to add in an analog stereo input with a 24-bit 88 kHz AD converter is an extra $900.

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