By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Beijing-based Auralic, which entered the U.S. market earlier this year with hand-built computer- and headphone-oriented audio components, will establish a U.S. sales office and warehouse facility in the coming months to expand its dealer base, co-founder Xuanqian Wang announced.
The company, founded in 2009, has already established distribution in Europe, South Korea, Japan and Thailand but does not sell its products in China, where Wang said consumers snap up foreign high-end audio brands because of the status associated with imported brands.
Auralic exhibited for the first time at an International CES in January, has begun advertising on the web, and plans its first ads in the coming months in consumer print publications.
The company designs its own products and positions them as offering higher performance and build quality than competing products at the same price point, said Wang. He and co-founder Yuan Wang described their mission as producing high-end audiophile products that are reliable, upgradable, and user-friendly.
Although other Chinese audio brands are available in the U.S., those brands offer only tube-based components, whereas Auralic offers solid-state electronics with digital inputs, Xuanqian Wang said.
Current products available to U.S. dealers include the:
--$1,899 Taurus MK II headphone amp with balanced Class A output, said to be able to drive any headphone pair;
--$3,499 Vega DSD/PCM DAC/preamp with multiple digital inputs, asynchronous USB input, double-rate (5.6MHz) DSD decoding, and PCM up-sampling to 1.5MHz and 32 bits;
--$2,100 Taurus Pre fully balanced line-stage preamp with balanced and unbalanced analog inputs, Class A output, and headphone output; and
--$2,499 Merak monoblock hybrid Class A amp with output of 200 watts into 8 ohms or 400 watts into 4 ohms. Two can be bridged together to deliver a combined 800 watts into 8 ohms.
All products are compact models featuring aluminum chassis.
The amp will appeal to custom installers for home audio and home-theater use because of their compact size and their efficiency, Xuanqian Wang said.
In October, the company will add two combination DAC/headphone amps at $999 and $1,999. Details weren’t disclosed.
For products that connect to a PC, Auralic is looking for dealers who understand computer audio and can advise customers on how to adjust computer hardware and software settings for optimum music quality, he said.
Both founders described themselves as audiophiles. Xuanqian Wang is an electronics and recording engineer and pianist. Yuan Wang started a precision instrument manufacturing business in China.
Xuanqian Wang can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Auralic co-founder Xuanqian Wang
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.