Monday, May 19, 2014 at 9:36AM

After a fairly easy 9 hour flight back from Munich I'm safely back in the friendly environs of New Jersey. Munich High End 2014Show posters were all over Munich and it was fun to see them, kind of like we got the band back together and were back out on the road. With our announcements of the new Reference line as well as Blade Two, the Munich High-End show was a great success for KEF. Traffic was steady throughout the event, and getting a free table at our Dealer Lounge was a bit of a challenge during show hours - that's not a complaint, that's an observation of a happy problem. In fact, the crowded lounge gave me the opportunity to sneak out of the show for a few hours to hold a scheduled meeting with one of our R&D engineers over some fine desserts in the Old Town.

On the Blog front, look for some very exciting things over the course of the next several months as we improve the style and increase the content of our humble little audio blog. I expect before too long there will definitely be something for everyone who loves music, movies and technology.

The show itself was a real treat for audio-geeks like me, and if you're ever concerned that good-old two channel stereo for music is going away - don't worry, it's not, it's as healthy as ever, and with the resurgence of the popularity of vinyl I would venture to guess it's even a bit healthier. I can truthfully say I didn't hear anything that even came close to the new Model 5 in terms of overall sonic quality and articulation, but it was comforting to see that our industry is thriving.

Streaming devices, some with amplification, some without, were the mainstay of the new technologies, but I'm not yet convinced that streaming is going to take the lion's share of the reproduction pie that many industry watchers are forecasting. Every form of music playback device (excepting 8-Tracks and cassettes) was on display with some very new twists and innovations, so I'd like to think as a music lover that we are in a very cool time of wide-open options no matter how we want to listen.

The High-End show has a pretty interesting set-up, with most manufacturers displaying their product in what could best be described as store-fronts at a real high-end shopping mall. There are also lounges behind each "booth" where manufacturers and dealers can have meetings.

KEF Munich High End

 KEF partnered with ARCAM at Munich High-End. This is our meeting lounge.KEF Munich High End

One of three main halls.

KEF Munich High End

R&D Engineer Olivier Hebert with the Model 1.

KEF Munich High End

Although we were all pretty busy during the show, Olivier Hebert and I did get a chance to sneak out to the Marienplatz for some dessert and a discussion about what it takes to balance a new product like The Reference with Olivier Herbert.

KEF Munich High End

So I'm going to spend the day catching up on my emails and hunting down something for lunch other than a wurst or a schnitzel, while I bask in the glow of the launch of a couple of fabulous new products.

Jack Sharkey for KEF America