Even though audio technology has taken leaps and bounds over the past half-century, it seems to move more towards convenience and away from the pure listening experience. Audiophiles are all too commonly putting on their boxy retro headphones and dropping the needle on a vinyl record to get the sound they want. Sprout is a simply designed, intuitive stereo amplifier that features all the necessary inputs in the back, but just two dials and a headphone jack in the front. Working with both home audio systems or simple headphones, Sprout is designed to bring back powerful audio fidelity into homes around the world. Sprout takes the stage in October 2014 for $499.
Even though most people today keep their favorite songs on their phones or tablets, access to a nice, high-quality audio system to really enjoy that music can be hard to set up. Freer is a simply Wi-fi bridge that allows devices to be connected to any DAC wirelessly, and then provides a USB output to connect that bridge to quality home audio equipment. With built-in, easy to use compatibility with both Android and iOS devices as well as with home Wi-fi networks. Freer is expected to ship out to supporters in September of this year, and is available for a pledge of $49 or more.