HRA System - "I loved the open, colorful, well-balanced, and immediate sound of this system."
"I was happy to have finally heard the Benchmark AHB2 power amp that Kal Rubinson and so many others have raved about."
HRA System - "I was impressed with the sense of space"
"I was admittedly quite cruel with my initial choice of listening material ... Vladimir Homyakov playing Bach organ works on the Eule organ at St. Alexander Church in Cheylyabinsk. Yes, we're going to try playing organ music on a modestly-sized pair of bookshelf speakers! And my jaw dropped. Unexpected depth there is, and natural it sounds too. I was also impressed with the sense of space the system created; it felt uncannily as if I was in the church"
"Benchmark ... has managed an impressive feat. If you want a large-scale yet musical sound but don't have the space for big boxes, they're well worth checking out."
HRA System - "My favorite true sub $10,000 system"
"The best 'budget' system at the show ... my favorite true sub $10,000 system was a great offering from Benchmark Media Systems, at just $7,500 dollars for a very capable system cables and all, this system takes the cake."
- Rick LaFaver, Enjoy the Music.com
SMS1 - "I easily preferred the Benchmark"
"I easily preferred the Benchmark SMS1 to the other three loudspeaker systems, for both the classical and the popular recordings. It provided the largest and most spacious soundstage, the most precise imaging, with solo vocals accurately placed in the center of the stereo image."
"If you’re in the market for a small, accurate monitoring system, the SMS1 deserves serious consideration."
- Gary Galo, Audioxpress
HRA System - "One of the most rewardingly clean, natural, and engaging sounds at the show"
"At under $10,000 total, this system offered one of the most rewardingly clean, natural, and engaging sounds at the show."
"From the soup of the DAC2 HGC, AHB2 amplifier, and SMS1 monitors to the nuts of the speakers stands and system cabling, everything in the room was produced and sold by Benchmark. This was my first experience of listening to how the company actually intends their gear to sound."
"AXPONA presented me with my first chance to sit down and listen to something familiar. A neat Bruce Brown reworking of Neil Young’s “Old Man” hit the hard drive, and we took the system for a tear-jerking spin."
"Hearing it all put together makes clear just how massively Benchmark has refined their skills."
- Mal Kenney, Part-Time Audiophile