You may not have heard of The Audio Experts, a beautifully appointed specialist retail outlet in the south-eastern Melbourne suburb of Clayton.
You will be familiar with their rich history in the Australian Hi-Fi marketplace though. The Audio Experts is the new name of iconic Australian loudspeaker brand, Whatmough Audio, and specifically, their retail store.
You could even say that it’s the late Colin Whatmough’s legacy; a dream kept alive today by Colin’s wife, Kee Whatmough and her team.
The Audio Experts’ purpose-built store features many dedicated listening rooms, a well-stocked Head-Fi Bar, and a perfect blend of 2-channel and Home Cinema equipment to suit all customers.
Their services also extend to Home Automation, Outdoor Audio, Security solutions, multi-room and distributed audio solutions.
Perhaps unfairly, The Audio Experts fly a little under the radar in the shadow of some of Melbourne’s long established and well-marketed retailers, but just one visit will soon demonstrate the professional outlet that Kee operates.
All the major brands are represented, as well as some of the boutique brands that can’t be readily found across Melbourne.
Two such brands featured at The Audio Experts include PS Audio, the Boulder, Colorado based company, along with one of the most famous names in Headphones (or ‘Earspeakers’), Stax.
A special evening was held on the 14th June, with customers and StereoNET readers invited along for a no-obligation audition.
PS Audio have enjoyed success with their DirectStream DAC, BHK Signature Amplifier, and more recently, the new and more affordable range of amplifiers, dubbed Stellar.
Signalling the Melbourne launch of the new Stellar range, Kee pieced together a wonderful 2-channel system featuring, as you would expect, Whatmough speakers. Listeners all came away impressed at what has already been widely reported as ridiculously good value for money.
While In another room, Stax were highlighting two of their premium headphone systems, the SRS-3100 ($1,399 RRP) and SRS-5100 ($2,999 RRP).
Many commented on the night, “I don’t typically listen to headphones”, of course preferring traditional loudspeakers. One listen to either of the Stax combinations on offer revealed an airy, open soundstage far from typical of headphone listening.
It’s clearly obvious why Stax is still enjoying success today, some 50 years after releasing their first electrostatic headphone (SR-1). While the high-end of headphones is well and truly alive in 2017, it would be worth your while to seek out and audition Stax before committing to any headphone purchase for serious listening.
For more information visit the Stax and PS Audio brand pages.
The Audio Experts are located at 2065 Dandenong Road, Clayton VIC.
StereoNET's Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.
Posted in: Retailer News Hi-Fi Headphones