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PS Audio Seeks Out Younger Crowd For High-Performance Audio With Sprout

Component-audio supplier PS Audio is trying to attract younger consumers to high-performance audio by repricing a component that was designed specifically for them.

The component is the Sprout, a novel-size integrated amplifier with USB DAC and Bluetooth designed to attract entry-level buyers, millennials and people in their 30s. Shipped late last year at $799, the Sprout has been repriced to $499.

The device connects to such new music sources as computers and smartphones, the favored music-storage devices of younger music enthusiasts.

 “Sprout was a hit with our customers, but it wasn’t a home run with the target audience,” said CEO Paul McGowan. “We haven’t made as much headway into the new market as we’d hoped, and we’ve seen that for entry-level consumers, $799 was just too expensive.”

Building Sprout “was a leap of faith on our part and required a major investment that we’ve repaid, paving the way to restructured partner pricing,” he said. “To us and our dealers, developing the future of our industry is far more important than maintaining standard margins.”

The price change goes into effect today and is permanent, he said.

The compact component is made of stainless steel, extruded aluminum and walnut. It features 2×50-watt amplification, 192/24 fully asynchronous USB DAC, passive EQ moving-magnet phono input, analog preamplifier, and low-output impedance headphone amplifier. With a headphone output of 16-ohm 500mW to 300-ohm 425mW, Sprout drives all headphones, PS Audio said. Besides the USB input, it also features digital coaxial input, analog input and stereo Bluetooth input with AptX.