AHB2 Award - Stereophile

September 13, 2018

AHB2 Award - Stereophile

AHB2 - Class A Recommended Component - Fall 2018 - Power Amps

In his listening tests, KR discovered "much more apparent low-level detail in already-familiar recordings"—a characteristic he credited to the Benchmark's evident noiselessness—and a tonal balance that "sounded more 'right' than any of [the other amps on hand]."

In measuring the AHB2 and attempting to confirm its specified very high signal/noise ratio, JA observed nonlinearities in his testing equipment that "haven't affected the measured performance of other amplifiers I've tested, but they were detectable with the AHB2's very low intrinsic distortion and noise." His conclusion: "an extraordinary amplifier."

'Class A' is Stereophile's highest classification for recommended components. Very few components receive this elite classification. Stereophile defines 'Class A' as follows:

"Best attainable sound for a component of its kind, almost without practical considerations; "the least musical compromise." A Class A system is one for which you don't have to make a leap of faith to believe that you're hearing the real thing."

Read more at Stereophile →



Also in Reviews

Stereophile 2018 Product of the Year - Editors' Choice Awards
Stereophile 2018 Product of the Year - Editors' Choice Awards

January 03, 2019

Stereophile's editors chose 10 products to receive their top award, the "2018 Product of the Year - Editor's Choice Award". Two Benchmark products made this exclusive list - the AHB2 power amplifier and the DAC3 HGC D/A converter.

AHB2 - 2018 Editors' Choice Award 

"I was impressed by this revolutionary stereo amplifier but it became an obsession when I mated three as monoblocks to a trio of Benchmark's DAC3s."

"The AHB2 is deadly silent, musically revealing, surprisingly compact, and quite powerful."

- Kalman Rubinson

DAC3 HGC - 2018 Editors' Choice Award

"Benchmark has created a long line of DACs (several of which I've purchased) that present recordings with as little embellishment as is possible at their price points. The latest incarnation, the DAC3, is no exception, and excels at presenting the unvarnished truth, as the artist intended."

- Jon Iverson

Read More
AHB2 -
AHB2 - "2018 Amplification Component of the Year - Finalist" - Stereophile

January 03, 2019

Third place, just two points out of first place

The competition in the amplification category was very tight. There was a two-way tie for first place between two amplifiers that cost $30,000 a pair and $13,500 a pair. 

The Benchmark AHB2 was just two points behind the leaders when the Stereophile reviewers cast their final votes. In all, there were 13 amplifiers that made Stereophile's select list of finalists. The Benchmark AHB2 was the least expensive amplifier on the list, yet it received top scores from the reviewers. The list included amplifiers with stratospheric prices. Six amplifiers were priced between $25,000 and $118,000 a pair!

At Benchmark we believe that a great audio system shouldn't set you back by the cost of a sports car.

Read More
HPA4 -
HPA4 - "2018 Product of the Year" - Everything Audio Network

January 03, 2019

HPA4 - Top Product of 2018, All Categories

For 2018, Everything Audio Network has selected just one product for the honor of "Product of the Year". That product is the Benchmark HPA4 headphone/line amplifier.

"One of the most transparent audio products I have ever heard at any price"

"Marvelously open and clean"

- John Gatski, Everything Audio Network

Read More