Yesterday, I was invited to meet Aseem Hussain at his HiFi store in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham. HiFi heaven is tucked away in the Lanes Shopping Arcade but once inside you are immediately made welcome with a firm handshake, a big smile and then (as an invited guest) a rather nice cup of coffee.
HiFi heaven is tucked away in the Lanes Shopping Arcade, Sutton Coldfield
I’m not going to call the Hifonix store a shop because all I heard Aseem say, over and over again, was that he was in the customer service business and finding solutions for HiFi lovers was his mission. “Not sales, but representation” seems to be Aseem’s motto. And as a HiFi lover, of course, this is what we want. With infinite knowledge, Aseem skipped through his portfolio of partners that included MOON, Sonus Faber and Focal. Benchmark and Chord are here too with Astell and Kern; I won’t repeat his brilliant description of the new A&K player but suffice to say he described the new KANN Cube as… big. It sounds like he’s sold a couple already.
“Not sales, but representation”
Also, partners with Hifonix are Meze, Audeze and Stax. In the demo suite, these brands are available to listen to in comfort with an array of headphone amplifiers and it was here I got Assem’s full attention to my ears. When I mentioned I thought the Focal Utopias were probably the best headphones I had ever heard (we agreed the Meze Empyrean headphones are similarly amazing) he suggested to me that not all headphone amplifiers are the same. Well, I know this, but to have it so clearly demonstrated, hands-on, with the Utopias was a revelation. First, he bid me listen to the Utopia headphones (with Xeno cables) with the incredible Chord Dave (around £8,000 of DAC/HA). Then we put the same headphones with the Benchmark HPA4, same track, 60% cheaper. I preferred the Benchmark HPA4 with the Utopias and Aseem had made his point, finding me a perfect solution as if I was a customer. That is not sales, but representation. That is also why happy customers and after sales care will hopefully keep Hifonix going for a good while yet.
Notable absentee, having just reviewed and given back the incredible P8 turntable with the Aura, in the store was Rega, though Hifonix had a rather nice VPI turntable I noticed. Also not there was Naim, what is going on with them?
Finally, after I took a few pictures, I had a sneak preview of the new Meze in-ear monitors that were being run in. With an Audioquest Dragonfly, they were truly very special indeed. Indeed as you will hear in my Meze Neo 99 review, Meze is going places
Hifonix has an installation service and a full AV range too. Demos of just about any HiFi equipment can be booked through the site or with a phone call.
Hifonix has an excellent website which is here.