Art was on display everywhere.
As much as audiophiles may hate to admit it, sound absorption panels as an alternative to home decor will not pass the spousal acceptance muster. Invest in both (art and sound) and life will be richer. Even fashion made it here this year, in gorgeous color and style to keep the proceedings fresh. The hopeful young designer looked as lovely as her creations. And for something totally different, there were two lone young entrepreneurs from the Cupcake Line adding some sweet sustenance to the mad dash of exhibitors and audience. They were provided complimentary and did wonders to boost my own flagging energy levels.

The media and press were out in full force with television crews covering the event as well as the audiophile reviewing brigade of best and brightest.

Chris Jameson, Inner Ear

Ernie Fisher, Inner Ear

Gerard Rejskind, UHF Magazine

Michael Dallaire, TED Magazine

Rick Becker, EnjoyTheMusic

Robert Deutsch, Stereophile

On the technology frontier, Virtual Reality was drawing interest from young and old. Miniaturization and sheer computing horsepower have pushed the abilities into the portable domain. ARAIG were demonstrating body vests with built-in stereo audio with subs plus tactile functions with electric muscle stimulation in T.E.N.S. mold. 4D VR is about to hit and may prove to be the next big wave. In another open area, a full-scale digital landscape had players wearing CGI style sensor suits interact in real time. While amusing for the spectator, it was an intoxicating experience for the participants. Lest you think it was all fun and games, there were seminars and hands-on computer programming  to delve further into the technological wizardry. For those wondering about the audio element in VR, it was fascinating to discover the hurdles involved in fusing the aural experience with the visual because of the necessities involved in applying both audio and video in the context of realistic movement. Audiophiles will be proud to know that binaural has found a new ally in this technology. Robotics have gone from the pages of science fiction to commonplace circumstance. The technology exhibits allowed youngsters to build from the ground up or play with the bigger toys. On display was a simple humanoid robot that could go through full Tai Chi manoeuvres. While on the surface amusing and simple, it was in reality a marvel of sophisticated programming and real time balance. The little guy proved better at it than I.

The video element was a little threadbare this year with only two exhibitors pushing the 4K frontier. Kenwood/JVC were demonstrating their mid-line $8'000 DLA-X750 R projector which uses its e-shift technology to play in the 4k realm. Contrast ratio, brightness, color fidelity and black level were all top drawer and the JVC remains a superb choice in the present 4k projector marketplace.

Update TV and Stereo which had a big audio presence at TAVES 2015, bringing out some heavy HighEnd hitters, chose to concentrate on video this year,with a number 4k flat screens. They were doing parallel live displays of a line of colourful sports jerseys to demonstrate the attributes of the Samsung Quantum dot system.

The headphone brigade was handled largely along the two main corridors of the Sheraton, with most of the traditional High End stalwarts in evidence, although some offerings were to be had in the Woo Audio room and a few other locations.

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