You don’t have to be an audiophile to want to take your audio experience to another level. As a music enthusiast, acquiring hi-fi audio equipment means you can hear your favorite albums and songs from your favorite performers with precision engineering and advanced technologies. This opens up a whole new world of sounds for you, including those you never even thought were already present in those songs you’ve heard and played repeatedly.

The market nowadays is full of options of cutting-edge products from some renowned brands from around the globe, and the quest for hi-fi audio can be traced back to the early 20th century. The recording technology and the playback systems opened up a path for music lovers that hadn’t been trodden up until then. The 1950s were a decade marked by the “hi-fi” term, and the reputable Audio Research is one of the companies that certainly contributed to popularising it.

When it comes to music reproduction at its finest, this is a name you can trust for its attention to detail and dedication to creating outstanding designs for each of its components, meticulously crafted with some of the best materials. In short, exceptional performance and long-term value are a given with this company.

Is Audio Research a Good Brand?

As an American-based company founded in 1970 in Minneapolis, this brand is one of the oldest in the industry, still operating, and offers the same quality as it did decades ago. We all thank founder William Z. Johnson, especially for his year-long experience designing custom audio electronics and operating specialty audio retail stores throughout the 50s and 60s.


In addition to investing a lot in the design concepts and the choice of material for each component, the company still prides itself on manufacturing. So much so that you can count on their very talented technicians to repair, refurbish, or restore most of the products (including those made decades ago) to their original standards to this day, extending their lifespan and their sound performance quality. In other words, you can have high-end Audio Research equipment for as long as you wish.

As word of their quality has reached all corners of the world, the value of their products continues to grow in appreciation, including turning some of the models into collector’s items. Good-sounding and long-lasting gear is what this brand is known for! Even though it’s had its financial ups and downs over the years, marked by changes in the operating boards and the companies it becomes a part of (recently joining the Canadian Acora Acoustics), the company continues to exist, grow, and create new products 53 years later, much to the pleasure of audiophiles and music enthusiasts alike.

State-of-the-Art Music Reproduction Equipment

There’s no doubt they’ve produced top-range components since the beginning, but what truly made them stand out from the rest was their particular attention to creating exceptional Audio Research amplifier, preamp, and phono stage products. This was mainly due to their vacuum tube technology, used at a time when this was considered obsolete due to the popularity of solid state instead.

The purest sound reproduction result from these products made other brands reconsider the vacuum tube technology, which helped establish the brand as a leading high-performance hi-fi audio equipment manufacturer. From the pricier award-winning Reference series for the true audiophiles into the most natural sound experience, with the budget to back their audio wishes, to the newer and more affordable Foundation series sharing most of the design characteristics and quality – rest assured there’s the right piece of equipment within the range of this brand.

Each of their models also has an incredible design so that you can bet on the aesthetics just as much as the sound reproduction. Whether it’s the sleek mix of modern with retro style or the brushed aluminum finish, you’re in for a treat- so much so that the hi-fi gear can become part of your décor game.


There’s a whole line of amplifiers from this well-known name in the hi-fi industry for you to love and choose from, each impressing with its design, layout, and performance.


With every new model, they implement some features that contribute more to sound quality, even if they’re minor details like the change of the 15A cord to the 20A version of the VS115. They go to such perfection in the pursuit of improved sound outcomes; they also use small capacitors instead of big ones in the power supply – all to please their audiophile customers. With this in mind, even their power amps can give you that much-needed bouncy and tuneful presentation.


It’s no secret that the company became a success with its SP-3 Audio Research preamp back in 1973. To this day, it’s the missing link to improving sound for an already well-put-together audio system. It was the first in a line of many preamps that would continue with the traditionally exceptional and promising design and components.


When you put all the quality pieces together, you get preamps that provide refined, truthful, and textured sound that would please the most hard-to-please of audiophiles. The audio quality is especially noticeable in the vocals, with great natural tonality, as you can expect from a tube design, which isn’t the case with the solid-state alternatives. The realistic rendering of instrumental parts would also transport you to another dimension sound-wise, making it seem like the performers are right there before you.

Phono Stages

Much like any product from this brand, you can expect cutting-edge design, details, and quality to be invested in their phono stages. They’re truly the whole package, from the user-friendly layout with a front panel and remote control operation to the low-noise floor and aesthetic design. No matter how complex your music choice, your songs will sound amazing! As the true missing link between the record player and amplifier, a phono stage isn’t a piece of equipment to be overlooked when seeking superb sound, especially if it’s from a hi-fi brand like this.