September 2021

Yamaha's AVR line-up. Right, top two: Henley's HiFi Rose.

Taking control And when it comes to streaming, consumers today require comprehensive control over all their content on all their devices throughout the home, whether it’s from their smartphone, tablet or even computer. And then there’s audio storage to think about as well. Thankfully, the audiophile-grade Sirius

streaming music server from Leema Acoustics would do the trick as a high-performance solution for the storage and playback of digital music. It brings a completely new operating system and desktop interface with its latest InnuOS 2.0 operating system upgrade. Plus, for the first time, there’s full dedicated app control using the all-new Innuos Sense app for iOS and Android devices. Sirius features a raft of components centred on

a powerful server-grade main circuit board with a high-speed quad-core processor with up to eight gigabytes of system memory, plus huge storage reserves (in 2TB steps) up to an impressive eight terabytes. The system incorporates a high-performance

TEAC optical drive for bit-perfect CD rips to the hard drive. Its straightforward operation makes digitising large music libraries simple.

Deciding to upgrade your audio equipment is

one thing, but doing your research is another. As we have seen over the last 18 months, it was the retailers with online stores and good knowledge of digital marketing that have succeeded. “I think the requirements of a good dealer

website are more important than ever,” says Mr O’Rourke. “Many consumers will do their research online before they buy, so if a website is eye catching and informative about the products which the retailer likes most, this can make the actual sale process so much quicker and easier.” Shopping instore and getting expert advice –

and sometimes a ‘try before you buy’ experience – is now a whole new ball game. The best demonstration is an in-person demonstration… that’s what Henley’s Mr Powell believes. “The first step for retailers,” he says, “is to

create welcoming environments that give consumers the confidence to sit down and listen. Beyond that, excellent Wi-Fi and equally great coffee always help!” It is important that consumers can envisage their

own home equipped with these products, as well as giving them an idea of how the sound will fill their own spaces. Many independent dealers are fortunate enough to have a listening room where customers can sit quietly and appreciate a product’s sound quality and functions. “There are so many elements at play that make

shopping for connected audio products online and in-store incomparable,” explains Mr Thomas. “It is imperative that retailers not only know the product and its key selling points inside and out, but also that they can translate the real-life benefits to the modern day consumer.” Sony says it ensures all its retailers are

supported year-round with dedicated online training sessions; it also includes out-of-hour slots to help make training accessible and convenient. Ms Gaby adds: “This empowers in-store staff to

feel confident in talking to customers and highlight the latest innovative technologies.” Yamaha’s Mr Feben-Harknett agrees, saying

that retailers should find time to test new products and technologies to ensure they are completely comfortable with them. “That personal experience goes a long way and boosts your confidence.” He concludes: “If you are not able to

JBL Tune 130NC

understand or demonstrate the benefits, ask for help and don’t be afraid to open up that channel of communication with your brands.”

Above: Ruark Audio R3. Middle: Leema Acoustics Sirius server.


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