The Best of Salon Son & Image 2013


Our “Best of” post-show awards began after the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show -- we published the article featuring the best products and systems at that event in this space on February 1. Our next show stop was Salon Son & Image 2013, held March 21-24 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. SSI is considerably smaller than CES, but is still important enough that many companies use it as a launching pad for new products, and most take the time to set up excellent display rooms to showcase their wares. This article highlights my choices for the best products and systems I saw and heard there.



The E2 loudspeaker from Laboratoire d’Études et Développements Holophoniques (LEEDH), which comes from Acoustic Beauty of France, was the talk of the show, partly because it looked so unconventional, but also because its drivers use a driver motor system that, as far as I can tell, can legitimately be described as “new.” The company reps spoke only French, and I don’t, but from what I could tell, each driver’s pole piece has been eliminated, which is why they call it an “ironless motor,” and the spider and surround are gone as well. The way their motor system works without these things is what makes their technology special. Also gone is the typical speaker cabinet -- each of the drivers in this four-way design is housed in its own small enclosure and held up by rods attached to a small base, which also houses the crossover. The E2 isn’t cheap at $25,000/pair, but it sounded quite good in LEEDH’s modestly sized room. It’s nice to see something that’s decidedly different and shows great potential.


Written by Doug Schneider