5 luxury gadgets and gear to lust over

Sections: Amplifiers, Analog, Appliances, Architectural speakers, Audio, Digital, Features, Multiroom audio, Preamps, Smart Home, Speakers, Streaming, Surround sound, Video

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Yesterday was the Luxury Technology Show in New York, and there were a lot of high-end, not to mention high-ticket, items on display. Here are some of the coolest products from a few of the manufacturers on display for you to buy or covet, depending on your budget.

Astell & Kern AK120 Portable High-Fidelity Audio System

Want your music in the highest possible quality, no matter where you are? The Astell&Kern AK120 portable hi-fi music system from Astell & Kern ($1,299) is capable of studio Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) collective lossless and high-resolution audio source formats, typically in 24-bit/44 to 192kHz of bit/sampling rates. Because MQS delivers about 6.5 times more detail than a conventional CD format (16bit/44.1kHz), you’ll get more realistic sound quality.

Krell’s latest duo of preamps will take your music listening to the next level. The Illusion and Illusion II are $15K and $7K respectively. Pair them with the Solo 375 ($8750) or Solo 575 ($11,250) power amplifier and you’ll really be dialed in. The Illusion line separates the power supplies from the preamp sections, which is signature Krell. Despite it’s high price, this isn’t a snobby line of preamps, either, welcoming all digital sources and scrubbing them up with an internal digital-to-analog converter.


Crestron HD-XSPA 7.1 AV Receiver 

For $5,500, Crestron’s HD-XSPA gives you pro-grade surround sound in any room, according to the company. It’s a processor, multi-channel amplifier, and DigitalMedia room box in one, and offers 7.1 channel audio as part of an integrated whole-house Crestron 4K AV system


The HD-XSPA connects directly to a Crestron DigitalMedia switch, eliminating the need for a separate DigitalMedia receiver in the room. This is a custom solution and you’ll need an integrator to accomplish it, but it fully supports 4K Ultra HD sources and displays through four HDMI inputs, the DigitalMedia input, and the HDMI output, so it works  as part of a Crestron DigitalMedia distribution network. If you want 4K Ultra HD and 7.1 surround in every room, check it out. 


Blendtec Desinger 700

Five hundred dollars might seem like a lot to spend on a blender, but for the ultimate in luxury smoothies and milkshakes, you need a Blendtec. It has an LCD display that is easy to clean (no disgusting food stuck in the crevices of hard-button controls). And it has an incredible commercial-grade 1560-watt motor for even the toughest blending jobs.


Libratone Loop

In a world where wireless speakers are going for around a hundred bucks a pop, the Libratone Loop at $500 bucks is pricey, but good looking with its changeable Italian wool covers that you can change to suit your aesthetics. (Extra covers are sold separately.) To boot, it’s a truly wireless design because in addition to streaming your tunes, it is totally battery-driven.


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