Schiit Audio URD: T.H.E. Show 2023

Nothing is guaranteed in life and that includes delivering a memorable experience at a Hi-Fi show. The eCoustics team are big supporters of Schiit Audio and many of us have supported the brand financially over the past decade. We can’t even remember the last time we listened to one of their products and left disappointed.

We suspect that the lackluster showing at T.H.E. Show was an anomaly and it certainly didn’t help that Jason Stoddard was ill and had to cancel his participation at the last minute.

Schiit Audio has done a remarkable job over the past 10 years not only offering high-end audio components that deliver great performance, but with sane pricing and some of the best marketing campaigns you will find in this industry.

They generally have their schiit together but this felt like a wasted opportunity on their part.

Schiit did bring a sample of the forthcoming URD CD transport; but it was a static display only and they did not have any pre-launch marketing materials to hand out to attendees.

When I asked if I could find more information about the URD on the website, I was told that there would not be anything for at least a month or more.

Why bother bring this product to the show without any supporting materials?

If I were in the market for an affordable CD transport right now, the URD could be a viable option, but the lack of proper information would make me check out the Cambridge Audio CXC instead.

Was the room a total loss? Not entirely.

Schiit Syn

The new Schiit Audio Syn is an impressive little device on paper with a DAC, pre-amp, headphone amplifier, and surround sound processor in a much smaller chassis than one would expect.

Add a remote control and this might be one of the most logical solutions for a lot of consumers right now; on both the desktop or in a home theater system. The $399 USD pricing is very affordable and who can argue with the build quality especially when it is manufactured here in the United States.

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The Bifrost 2/64 is the latest iteration of the DAC that made Schiit famous and extremely popular in the Head-Fi community. One can use the Bifrost 2/64 DAC on the desktop or as the primary DAC in your home stereo system and it is hard to find a better performing unit for the money.

Unfortunately, the Bifrost and URD were static displays and were not available for Demos and the Syn was only being demoed by looping a string of Apple TV+ demos. Unlike some other rooms that had very carefully curated source material to show off their gear, the Syn was left with a diet of Ted Lasso, The Crowded Room, and Argylle to do its work. I’d love to be able to say more about the Syn, but just don’t feel like I really heard enough from it to do so.

Over the years, we’ve come to expect a lot from Schiit because they rarely drop the ball and they always know how to creatively market their wide range of components — more than a few show attendees felt this was not their best effort which was rather disappointing. We still love their gear but not a memorable weekend for them.

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Get more coverage of T.H.E. Show 2023 here.

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