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High Performance Audio: a definition by SW1X Audio Design™

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High Performance Audio High End Amplifier

What defines High Performance Audio?


High Performance Audio refers to the High End Performance Audio Reproduction Equipment, which should be able to:

  • involve us emotionally
  • maximise our musical pleasure
  • sound musical, lively natural & organic
  • reproduce the finest nuances of music recorded
  • make us forget that we are reproducing music
  • make speakers “disappear” from the room
  • provide a feeling of music being alive
  • make us feel as if the music performer is in front of us
  • be timeless


High Performance Audio products cannot be both high performance and consumer products (like a smartphone or similar) at the same time as the concept behind both types of products is both counter-intuitive and mutually exclusive!

SW1X Home of High Performance Audio

What makes Real High Performance Audio equipment:

  • Timeless, functional design that may be over 70 plus years old
  • Priced relative to its musical performance and the quality of materials employed
  • Employs only the most refined circuit designs and the finest materials
  • All parts are carefully selected, voiced and harmonically matched
  • Inside of equipment is explained and presented in a transparent fashion
  • The sound Q is more important than specifications, measurements, looks and features
  • Almost no marketing as most of the return is re-invested in to R&D
  • May be not be popular or unknown to mainstream
  • Known mostly to aficionados and connoisseurs
  • Produced on small scale and in limited quantities


High-End Fake Performance audio equipment is characterized by a combination of following features:

  • External looks above everything, otherwise internally cost-driven, lifeless low musical performance (approx. 99% of all products are like that)
  • Eye-catching, expensive designer furniture looking with inexpensive, randomly chosen components and materials hidden inside
  • Loaded with features that matter the least to sound quality (such as displays, numerous inputs and outputs, compatibility with all formats)
  • Priced according to the specs and looks by a great deal of marketing (marketing cost more than 50% of total product cost)
  • Fashion driven by the latest technology, which tends to change all the time
  • Constantly in need to be upgraded for better, more modern and the latest versions
  • Have the most advanced specifications and measure extraordinarily
  • Driven by the impressive complexity of the circuit design
  • Frequently advertised by audio press and on the web
  • Is highly reviewed and regarded
  • Mass-produced


In sum, real high-end performance audio equipment cannot be out of date, regardless when it was made.

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