"Thanks to the special, discrete analog circuit/relay attenuator, this may be the most transparent line-stage preamplifier in the audiophile world."
"If you got a great-sounding source, the LA4 presents the audio in its original state — with gain or attenuation to the amplifier."
"I have never heard such low-level detail from a pre."
"The better the DAC, the better you hear it through a quality amp and speakers. It is quiet as a top-notch DAC, with S/N exceeding -135 dB and, feature-wise, it comes with unbalanced/balanced I/O and a really slick user interface."
"I use the four-input LA4 for audiophile A/B testing of DACs, monitoring my Hi-Res home recording/editing/mastering projects, as well as just listening how good my vast collection of 24 bit and DSD music sounds through an accurate amp and speakers."
"Open, smooth detailed sound with that recording studio accuracy that I am used to from Benchmark."
"I cannot say enough about the DAC3-DX’s sonic character of transparency and accuracy."
"My DSD DSF rip (of the often played) Warren Bernhardt - So Real SACD sounded incredible through the MartinLogans using this DAC. The audible cymbal splash sheen detail is like hearing the cymbal in the front of your listening room."
"Same with the Steinway piano tone. Upper register notes are so live sounding. The “air” and “space” around and between the instruments is simply stunning when played on the best gear."
"On numerous hi-res tracks, the opinion was the same: sonic excellence!"
DAC2 DX -"Home Recording/Audiophile D/A Converter Product of The Year"
"Take the ultra accurate PCM/DSD DAC2 converter add AES/EBU and dual buss output and you now have the ideal studio or hi-fi DAC for headphone or speaker listening — the $1,995 DAC2-DX. And no DAC measures any better."
DAC2 DX - "Clean, Transparent, Yet Smooth and Detailed"
"Ever since Benchmark released the DAC2 Series a few years ago, the D/A’s measured performance, ultra-accurate smooth ESS-chip audio delivery has made, it, er, the Benchmark of D/A converters. Every DAC I get in for review, I always compare to the Benchmark."
"If you like a clean, transparent, yet smooth and detailed D/A converter for your home pro (or larger separate pro facility) or hobbyist studio, the DAC2-DX should be on your short list of DACs to consider."
"I cannot emphasize enough the DAC2's sound quality. If your only experience has been with the old DAC1 Series, you are in for a treat. The DAC2 blows it away in terms of listenability. Significantly smoother, especially with Pop music."
"Like the DAC2-HGC, the DAC2-DX receives our Stellar Sound Award and an 2015 EAN Product of The Year Award nod in the home recording studio category."
"The SMS1 is an excellent pro-caliber passive monitor. It’s what I expect from a Benchmark product."
"The compact Benchmark SMS1 is an impressive, two-way crossover speaker with Benchmark’s typical attention to quality. Its compact size makes it easy to place, and it is suitable for many kinds of listening environments. Standout characteristics include vocal clarity and imaging."
"The Benchmark SMS1 is a first rate speaker. It goes on my list of recommended small speakers and recipient of the Everything Audio Network Stellar Sound Award."
"The Benchmark AHB2 gets the award because its design pushes the spec envelope of power amplifiers."
"It is no longer enough to have 100 dB S/N ratio (or worse) spec’d amplifiers when you have the Benchmark measuring in excess of 130 dB! That is better than the majority of DACs can perform. It is digital performance from an analog amp."
"And the amp sounds great as well — a very neutral analog sound with tight bass and gracious stereo image."
"Throw in the reasonable price tag, and its award status is a no-brainer."
AHB2 -"Dynamic, open, with quick, taut bass - yet with the silky ease of the best tube amp"
"Like the Benchmark D/As and A/D, the company believes that great measurements correlate to great sound. In the case of the AHB2 I totally agree."
"The AHB2’s sonic character is dynamic, open, with quick, taut bass - yet with the silky ease of the best tube amp. But tube amps don’t have the energy and speed in the transients, nor bass, that the Benchmark possesses."
"I can’t wait to get two more for a full-high-end home cinema amp test in my big A/V room. For now, based on mostly stereo listening, it receives, with certainty, an Everything Audio Network Stellar Sound Award."
AHB2 -"Lowest Noise and Distortion Power Amp I Have Measured"
"The new Benchmark AHB2 is the result of considerable research and patents on its resultant circuitry. The intent was to make it an ultra low distortion design. I would have to say they succeeded as it is the lowest noise and distortion power amp I have measured and I have measured a LOT of power amps in my career."
"The S/N ratio was about 131.6 dB. Pretty impressive, and this is the lowest output noise level I have seen in any power amplifier I have measured! (Editor's note: Benchmark measured 3 dB better when input was terminated with 60 Ohm impedance input.)"
"When connected in bridge mode, power was close to 400W into an 8 ohm load."
"Those who are used to the tight, bright and hard edge of the previous generation of DACs will be tickled by the DAC2 HGC’s silky smooth sonic signature."
"The DAC2‘s audio performance is stunning — in that it projects a smoother texture, with increased accuracy in the bass and mid-frequency soundstage. But the top-end is full of energy and detail. Usually, a DAC’s subjective improvements are subtle, but the DAC2 HGC’s audible improvements are obvious on first listen."
"Benchmark has ensured compatibility with DSD by adding the DoP-decoding capability. Through computer software player programs, such as Pure Music, JRiver and Audirvana, computers can relay the DSD-on-PCM signal to the DAC2 HGC."
ADC16 - "I am So Impressed How Real Sounding These Benchmark Converters Are"
"Benchmark Media has designed reference quality professional and audiophile products for nearly 20 years. The reference quality ADC1 and DAC1 series of converters are some of the best digital converters on the market."
"I played a Gibson Custom Shop ’59 Les Paul, which has a fantastic warm humbucker tone. I have recorded this rig with other converters, but the Benchmark ADC16-recorded tunes played back through the DAC1 USB (or even my Apogee DAC) blew them all away. I have never heard my guitar rig sound this good..."
"If ever an audio product deserved the Everything Audio Network Stellar Sound Award, it is indeed the Benchmark ADC16."
ADC16 -"Numbers That We Come to Expect From This Engineering-Driven Company"
"The noise floor is an impressive approximate -120 dBFS but the distortion takes quite a reduction of input level to get there – approaching 0.0001%!"
"All in all, the basic measurement parameters of the Benchmark ADC16 are in or near the top of A/D converter performance standards — numbers that we come to expect from this engineering-driven electronics company."