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AXPONA 2020: Sneak peek of the Audio Expo North America

Take a look at what to expect from this year’s show.
By Ben Jacklin

UPDATE: Please note that AXPONA has been rescheduled from April 17-19 to August 7-9, 2020 in response to the growing COVID-19 situation.

AXPONA is North America’s biggest high-end audio show, taking place later in the summer. So what does the expo have in store? What can audiophiles who are attending look forward to? AXPONA has grown massively, and those attending this coming convention have even more to be excited about.

The event takes place at Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel & Convention Center | Schaumburg, IL, and attendees can tie in a trip to nearby Chicago, or stay on site in one of the many rooms in the hotel itself.

AXPONA is a weekend event, consisting of talks, demonstrations, workshops and live performances, all celebrating high-end audio. You don’t have to be an industry professional or a music tech aficionado in order to enjoy the event, and newcomers to the world of ultra high-fidelity audio can get just as much out of the convention. Arguably, newbies can get even more out of attending as they open their eyes (and ears) to the growth in consumer audio.

Among the live performers at the event is Chicago blues pioneer, Toronzo Cannon, as he will whisk through a set of soulful rock and blues. Toronzo performs on the Friday night of the convention.

On Saturday night, Rickie Lee Jones plays a set spanning her fascinating and varied career, with renditions of influential songs and her own compositions. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter is sure to wow crowds with her stunning voice and unique slant.

These live performances are a great way to stay entertained through the evenings, but they are a bonus, really, while the main draw for many people is the huge exhibitor list. Big hitters in the world of HiFi and audio technology are attending the event. In fact, there are hundreds of different exhibitions.

From smaller, boutique operations and musical manufacturers to audio powerhouses like Audio Technica and Cambridge Audio, the exhibitions allow you to experience the newest advances in headphones, record players, speakers, immersive audio and surround sound systems, and more.

A full list of exhibitors can be found here. There are even special offers, promotions, competitions and exhibitor specials and demos. You can find out more about those here.

AXPONA is not just a big wall of noise. You may have been to audio conventions before where you can’t hear yourself think, but the venue has been selected to avoid this issue, and you can actually experience the technology on offer. The venue is split into over 200 different listening rooms. This means you can hear clearly, in a confined environment away from the overspill of the noise from some of the other exhibitors and concerts.

The huge variation means you can experience new tech in everything from vinyl and record players, SACDs, amplification, HiFi systems, streaming tech and more. Virtually every area of consumer audio is covered, and you can learn about the latest products. Some manufacturers also use AXPONA as an opportunity to launch their latest models.

A number of talks are designed to show you how to get more out of your listening experience. Talks include “Affordable & HiFi? Yes, it’s possible. Here’s how!” and “Music Streaming: Comparing Protocols and Methods to Achieve Hi-Res Sound.” Each of the seminars over the three days of AXPONA 2020 can show people how to improve their listening experience, making it a great choice for experienced audiophiles and those just looking to get a bit more out of their home system.

AXPONA 2020 promises to be a huge and exciting event for the audio industry. The event has already been booked in for 2021, and there is plenty for music lovers to do at the 2020 convention. An opportunity to treat your ears to the very best.

About the Author

Ben is a writer and musician from the UK with a background in music technology. He writes about engineering and production, musicianship and music equipment for a number of publications including his own site, subreel.com