CES 2024 may be wrapping up, but this year's event has been an amazing insight into what to expect in the world of consumer tech for the year ahead. The five-day monster Consumer Electronics Show held in Las Vegas allows tech industry visitors to gaze into future development plans from all kinds of tech companies ahead of the official product releases.
So far this year we've seen some remarkable tech developments. From massive strides in the world of display technology to artificial intelligence and the robotic invasion that's expected to take over our homes, gardens and workspaces over the next 12 months. More excitingly for me as audio editor though, is the riot of new audio products on the horizon, from the mind-blowing $750,000 (no, that's not a typo) Sonus faber Suprema speaker system, to the latest products helping to streamline our audio setups and deliver the highest quality listening experiences.
Here's a rundown of my favorite audio picks announced at CES 2024 set to energize our ears with great sound in the year ahead.
Luxury speaker system
Sonus faber Suprema
Priced at $750,000 / £695,000 / AU$1,119,980 for the full loudspeaker system, these are without exception the most expensive speaker system I've ever seen. Announced by luxury Italian loudspeaker specialist Sonus faber at CES 2024, they're easily one of the most expensive products at the Las Vegas event, and the new Suprema embodies the height of luxury and the ultimate experience for audio and design enthusiasts.
Tom's Guide readers will already know of the sumptuous $1,999 Omnia wireless speaker system, one of the best one-box music systems available. But by some margin, this is the high-end speaker company's most ambitious project ever.
The lavish Suprema speaker system is built to celebrate the company's 40th anniversary, and demonstrates Sonus faber's dedication to unparalleled audio excellence and meticulous craftsmanship using luxurious materials including carbon fiber, wood, solid aluminum, and genuine Italian leather.
The Suprema system features 2 main lute-shaped columns weighing in at 242.5 pounds each (around 110kg) configured as a 4/5-way system with 8 front-firing speakers plus 2 back-firing drivers. The full Suprema system's matching elliptical subwoofers weigh 227 pounds (around 103kg) each. They are fitted with 2 powerful 15-inch (38cm) transducers featuring forged carbon fiber membranes and a neodymium magnet motor system to ensure it delivers powerful bass notes down to 16Hz.
Lastly, the dual mono and fully balanced electronic crossover manages the integration between the Suprema main columns and subwoofers and offers versatility while maintaining the maximum integrity of the audio signal.
If you have pockets (or a bank vault) deep enough, the remarkable Suprema speaker system is produced on request and available to order from the Sonus faber website.
Best desktop audio solution
Although FiiO launched several new products at CES 2024, the most eye-catching is the flagship R9 desktop streamer and headphone amp/DAC. Aimed at streamlining your digital music and connectivity for home desk jockeys like myself, the FiiO R9 has been designed to work with a host of devices, including wired and wireless headphones, active speakers, smartphones and PCs.
It supports 6.35mm and balanced 4.4mm wired headphones connections and there's a balanced 4-pin XLR output. With a power output of up to 7300mW, FiiO says that the R9 is capable of driving both low-and high-impedance headphones.
Around the back, there's an HDMI ARC port, SD and USB ports, plus optical, coaxial, and ethernet inputs, with the FiiO R9 also supports 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi and has Bluetooth 5.0 on board with support for high-quality codec including aptX HD and LDAC.
With 8-Channel ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DACs, the FiiO R9 is equipped to handle full hi-res PCM audio files up to 32-bit/768kHz, native DSD512, and features MQA decoding. The 64GB of onboard storage is expandable to 2TB via SD card, meaning your personal collection of audio files can be played back using the FiiO Music app. Streaming applications for all the best music streaming services (and more) can be downloaded and installed via either the Google Play Store or FiiO Store apps to deliver audio in its native quality.
The Full-HD 6-inch color touchscreen display on front is designed to provide easy system navigation, and the R9 comes supplied with a Bluetooth remote control too.
The FiiO R9 will be available from mid-January, priced at $1,499 / £1,399 (around AU$2,239). For more information head to the FiiO website.
Best soundbar audio partnership
Klipsch Flexus series
Speaker specialist Klipsch and AV amp maker Onkyo unveiled a surprising partnership at CES 2024 with Klipsch's new Flexus series of soundbars, subwoofers and satellite speakers. The new lineup includes the Flexus Core 100 ($299) and 200 ($499) soundbars as well as the Sub 100 subwoofer and Surr 100 surrounds.
Onkyo is probably most frequently associated with some of the best AV receivers that use power amplifiers and surround-sound decoders, both of which are crucial for soundbars. According to a Klipsch representative, "all of the non-passive components" — amp included — are made by Onkyo, which bodes well for integrated speakers systems and quality control thanks to the company's technical know-how.
The Flexus series of products are due out by April with further innovations to the lineup coming sometime in the future. Read the full Klipsch Flexus story on their debut at CES 2024 and what we made of the new series during a private listening demo.
Best home cinema speaker series
Focal Aria Evo X series
Priced a little less lofty than Sonus faber's made-to-order Suprema loudspeaker system (top), French audio specialist, Focal, unveiled new iterations of its Aria series speakers earlier this week at CES 2024. They're still high-end though compared to majority of the best Bluetooth speakers we cover at Tom's Guide, and the updated series builds on the original Aria 900 passive loudspeaker series launched in 2013.
The new Focal Aria Evo X collection consists of five speakers designed for both music and home cinema, making them ideal options for the best AV receivers, although there's no mention of Dolby Atmos height speakers. The new series of speaker models includes the Aria Evo X N°1 ($2,398 / £1,299) compact bookshelf speaker, Aria Evo X N°2 ($4,798 / £2,999), N°3 ($5,198 / £3,499 ), N°4 ($5,998 / £3,999) floorstanding speakers, and Aria Evo X ($999 / £699) center speaker.
As you'd expect from any new loudspeaker series, the next-gen Evo X incorporates sonic improvements said to upgrade performance including a woofer redesign for more powerful lows. The new line’s midrange and bass speaker drivers are all made from Focal’s iconic flax cone said to achieve a natural sound and a rich, immersive listening experience, and includes that ‘M’-shaped inverted dome tweeter for extended high frequency performance.
The Focal Aria Evo X speaker range is available already in black high gloss, walnut and moss green high gloss finishes. More information can be found at the Focal website and via specialist dealers.
Best wireless streaming turntable
Victrola Stream Sapphire
The new Victrola Stream Sapphire record player comes with a modern day tech twist that offers better-than-Bluetooth wireless integration with high-quality vinyl playback to wirelessly connected speakers and devices over Wi-Fi. It looks like an ingenuous solution that will further the joy of playing records to a whole new audience, as well as possibly enticing a few vinyl fans to return to the format, too.
Building on the DNA of its flagship Stream Carbon turntable, the Victrola Stream Sapphire includes multiple wireless connectivity options (as well as wired Ethernet connectivity) — all controlled via the Victrola app. There's the ability to stream vinyl to a Sonos speaker or multiple Sonos speakers simultaneously around the home. You can also opt to stream to UPnP networked devices such as KEF's LSX II Wireless Hi-Fi speakers (pictured) and Roon systems (a music management solution that integrates networked storage devices and music streaming service to connect via AirPlay, Chromecast, and Roon Ready connectivity) with support for up to 24-bit/48kHz lossless FLAC audio.
Despite offering comprehensive wireless connectivity, there are also RCA outputs at the back that allow you to connect the Victrola to wired systems or powered speakers. The Stream Sapphire turntable has a traditional MDF plinth with walnut veneer and is fitted with adjustable-height aluminum feet with vibration isolation. There's an upgraded motor design, too, that powers the belt-driven record platter. A carbon-fiber tonearm with removable head shell and an audiophile-grade Ortofon 2M Blue cartridge (worth $240) complete this turntable's audiophile credentials.
Victrola says that the Stream Sapphire is for the vinyl lover seeking more options for high-quality wireless audio fused with beautiful design and premium components. It's expected to sell for $1,499 (around £1,180 / AU$2,800) when it goes on sale in spring 2024 at Victrola.com.
Best wireless earbuds with audiophile sound
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4
Sennheiser unveiled three new products at CES 2024, but the most interesting to audiophiles like myself is the Momentum True Wireless 4. The new premium earbuds will bring the popular series bang up to date for 2024 with stacks of new features and audio enhancements incorporated into a slightly smaller design. Sennheiser bills the new version as its most capable earbuds yet, and from what I've seen, they could easily be set to rank among our best audiophile headphones of 2024.
With improved connectivity that's built on the Qualcomm S5 Sound Gen 2 platform and Snapdragon Sound Technology with aptX lossless sound quality and ultra-low latency, the new flagship will be able to stream music at higher quality via compatible devices, beating the AirPods Pro 2 in the race to lossless audio. There's Auracast support too, along with improved Adaptive ANC, evolved signature sound tuning, and an upgraded battery system. Plus, there's a Qi charging case and quick charging over USB-C.
The Momentum True Wireless 4 wireless earbuds are expected to be available to pre-order from the Sennheiser website from next month, and will cost $299 / £259 (approx. AU$499).
Best bone-conduction headphones
Mojawa HaptiFit Terra
Straddling the line between audio, fitness and AI verticals, the Mojawa's HaptiFit Terra is an integrated smart sports device that combines haptic technology, bone conduction audio and AI Sports Trainer. As someone who's always listening to a motivational playlist when training at the gym, this Mojawa could help fitness fans to the next level.
Although I haven't managed to try them out just yet, I am intrigued by Mojawa’s claims that the HaptiFit Terra delivers a first-of-its-kind integrated smart sport experience for athletes to up their game, shifting fitness tracking from post-workout to real-time. The over-ear design is said to be lightweight and comfortable, providing dynamic sound and sports tracking. Mojawa says: "The audio-haptic interaction enables runners, swimmers, and cyclists to improve on and crush their fitness goals with insights such as heart rate, pace, step count, calories, swimming lap and distance, and more for users to adjust their speed, set new personal records, and achieve more."
Like the new Shokz OpenSwim Pro that I mentioned in my best headphones and earbuds at CES 2024, the Mojawa connects via Bluetooth and has 32GB of storage so users can train without their phone, and it's protected to IP68 making it a useful all-in-one option for swimmers. Battery life runs to 8 hours and recharges are said to complete in just one hour.
The Mojawa HaptiFit Terra will be available in March for $299 and is available for pre-order now via the Mojawa website with $100 off.
Check out our CES 2024 hub for all the latest news from the show as it happens. Follow the Tom’s Guide team in Las Vegas as we cover everything AI, as well as the best new TVs, laptops, fitness gear, wearables and smart home gadgets at the show.
And be sure to check out the Tom's Guide TikTok channel for all the newest videos from CES!
More from Tom's Guide
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
As a former editor of the U.K.'s Hi-Fi Choice magazine, Lee is passionate about all kinds of audio tech and has been providing sound advice to enable consumers to make informed buying decisions since he joined Which? magazine as a product tester in the 1990s. Lee covers all things audio for Tom's Guide, including headphones, wireless speakers and soundbars and loves to connect and share the mindfulness benefits that listening to music in the very best quality can bring.