Benchmark

... The measure of excellence®

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Benchmark ... The Measure of Excellence®

As our name implies, we are committed to excellence.

Benchmark products are designed and built by audio enthusiasts. We are musicians, audiophiles and audio professionals who are passionate about audio quality. We also are passionate about the durability and build quality of our products. Most of our products are designed, assembled, tested, and shipped worldwide from our headquarters in Syracuse, NY, USA.

Our goal is to build top-quality sonically-transparent products that you will enjoy for years to come.

Professional Audio Products with In-Home Applications 

Benchmark products are designed for professional applications, but we include features that make our products well-suited to the home environment. Our products are designed for demanding 24-hour a day use in professional environments but we offer options, such as remote control, to meet the needs of our audiophile customers.

Sonic Transparency

It Begins Here

DAC3

Sonic Transparency

When you see the Benchmark name on an audio product you can be assured that the product has been designed to be sonically neutral and transparent. We lead the industry with our wide-bandwidth, linear-phase, low-noise, low-distortion designs. Transparency can be measured and defined by these parameters.

Independent measurements show that our products continue to define performance "benchmarks" for the entire audio industry. Benchmark products are key components in may of the finest recording studios, but they are also found in many high-end home systems. Over the years, many hi-fi enthusiasts have joined our loyal base of professional customers.

Benchmark ... the measure of excellence®

Benchmark products define the state of the art when it comes to measured performance. 

Is Transparency Right for You?

If you are looking for audio products that will change or enhance the sound of your music, you have come to the wrong place. If you are looking to add the warm sound of even-harmonic distortion, you have also come to the wrong pace. On the other hand, if you are looking for accurate, clean, and transparent audio equipment, you will enjoy Benchmark products.

Listening vs. Measuring

If a product is transparent, this will show in the measurements. A product that measures poorly is not transparent. But, a product that measures well is not necessarily transparent.

It is very important to verify transparency by listening. Many times, we have detected problems in listening tests that didn't show up in basic measurements. Usually this was an indication that the measurements were incomplete.

We have learned that if we hear something that didn't show up in the measurements, then we haven't done the right measurements. Over the years, our listening tests have helped us to refine our measurement techniques. We have learned how to detect and quantify defects that were initially revealed by our ears.

When measurement techniques are adequately refined, defects can be quantified and design changes can be evaluated objectively. Measurements then allow us to refine the product until the defect is reduced to inaudible levels.

Transparency in the Studio, Transparency in the Home

Transparency is essential in a studio monitoring chain but it is also important in a home listening environment. Transparent home systems can recreate the studio experience. If you want to hear your music the way the artists heard it in the studio, you will need a transparent playback system.

Many audio products are designed to euphonically enhance the sound of a recording. These products produce effects that change the sound in an attempt to improve the sound of a recording at playback. With these effects, the home playback may differ substantially from the studio experience. For this reason, Benchmark products do not add euphonic effects. Our products deliver an accurate rendering of the input signal.

Transparency Connects the Listening Space to the Performance Space

If the entire recording and playback chain is transparent, the listener can be transported to the performance space. This is the magic of music. It is enabled by the magic of a transparent audio chain - from the performance space to the listening space.

Transparency Captures the Magic of Music

Enjoy the magic!

Quietest, Cleanest Amplifier on the Planet

132 dB SNR, -118 dB THD+N

AHB2

High-Resolution Audio is More than the Latest Digital Format

1982 brought us the CD and "Perfect Sound Forever". On a top-quality  playback system, the CD can sound stunning. Nevertheless, we have come to understand that the 16-bit, 44.1 kHz, CD format is somewhat less than perfect. For this reason, the recording industry is migrating to a variety of high-resolution audio formats. Recordings are now available in 24-bit PCM at sample rates of 96 kHz and 192 kHz. These recordings promise performance that extends well beyond the limitations of the CD, but formats alone are not enough to gain entry to the world of high-resolution audio.

Rendering High-Resolution Audio 

High-Resolution Audio is a myth unless the entire playback system extends beyond the limitations of the CD format. The truth is that the CD format often pushes the limits of very good playback systems. Very few audio systems are capable of rendering the full capabilities of the CD format. Fewer yet are capable of rendering true high-resolution audio performance.

An Audio System is Never Better than its Weakest Link

If a D/A converter, preamplifier, power amplifier, or loudspeaker is limited to CD performance, the entire system will be limited to CD performance. In such a system, the new high-resolution audio formats will fail to deliver any audible improvements.

High-Resolution Audio Components

Benchmark is focused on building some of the highest-quality audio components available. Audio professionals and home audiophiles have come to appreciate the outstanding performance of our products. Benchmark's products will allow you to experience the full capabilities of the new high-resolution recordings while discovering previously overlooked details in your favorite CDs.

Step Beyond the CD and Enter the World of High-Resolution Audio ...

Experience the clarity of the SMS1

loudspeaker system

SMS1

Audio Application Notes

Interpreting THD Measurements - Think dB not Percent!

November 15, 2017

Interpreting THD Measurements - Think dB not Percent!

Distortion measurements (THD, THD+N and IMD) are traditionally expressed in terms of percent. But what do 1%, 0.1%, 0.01% or 0.001% mean in terms of loudness or audibility?

If you are like most people you just know that 0.001% is the best of the three numbers listed above. If you are a well-trained geek you will recognize that each added leading zero represents a 20 dB improvement. 0.01% is 20 dB lower than 0.1% and 40 dB lower than 1%. The well-trained geek will convert % to dB in order to give meaning to these numbers.

When THD is expressed in terms of dB, we can easily determine how loud the distortion will be in our playback system.

Will my audio electronics produce audible distortion?

Will the distortion produced by my audio electronics be inaudible?

Calculating the Performance of an Amplifier / Speaker Combination - Example 2

October 27, 2017

Calculating the Performance of an Amplifier / Speaker Combination - Example 2

In this application note we calculate the maximum output level and noise level produced by an amplifier/loudspeaker combination.

This application note can serve as an example for calculating the maximum sound pressure levels and noise output levels for any amplifier/speaker combination.

At the 143rd AES conference in NYC, we demonstrated two Benchmark AHB2 monoblock power amplifiers driving a pair of 4-Ohm PMC MB2S studio monitors.

We were extremely impressed by the unusually clean, distortion-free, output of these monitors. They fully compliment the distortion-free performance of the AHB2 to provide a system with outstanding clarity while delivering high sound pressure levels.

In this application note we will calculate the peak SPL produced by this system. We will also calculate the acoustic noise at a distance of 1 meter from each monitor. We will also discuss some of the unique design features of the MB2S monitors that contribute to their impressive performance.