PRESS RELEASE: British brand connected-fidelity may be a ‘new’ name, but the company’s founder, Michael Osborn, brings a wealth of industry experience amassed over 30 years in audio design, manufacture and distribution.
connected-fidelity is a new British hi-fi company that focuses on “bringing you closer to the music you love” with a selection of audiophile cables, fuses, RF filters and the AC-2K balanced power supply.
The man behind the brand is audio industry ‘veteran’ Michael Osborn. In 2004, Michael founded the Astin Trew brand which became known for its affordable audiophile electronics. Later, he branched out into distribution, launching Air Audio Services in 2009 and bringing brands such as Astell & Kern electronics and Hana cartridges to the UK. Michael eventually sold Astin Trew in 2017, “but I’ve never stopped designing and developing audio products,” he explains. While continuing to run Air Audio, Michael continued to conceive and create his own products behind the scenes, sharing the fruits of his labours with a fortunate few friends and associates.
“I didn’t set out to create a new brand,” he admits. “It began as a personal quest, borne of every audiophile’s ongoing pursuit of ever-better sound! Whenever something in my system needed tweaking, perfecting or improving and nothing on the market could quite hit the mark, I’d set about developing my own solution.” Word soon got out, and Michael found himself being approached by fellow audiophiles. “Increasingly, I found myself replicating my own creations for others, and so it made sense to make these products more widely available. connected-fidelity is the result.”
All connected-fidelity’s products have undergone long hours of research and development to get right, “sound-wise, looks-wise and price-wise,” says Michael, who is still as determined as ever to hit the ‘sweet spot’ where high-performance musicality and good value meet.
Take the AC-2K balanced power supply, which Michael initially developed for his own use after hearing what balanced mains power could do in a recording studio. In perfecting his design for the home audiophile market, “The key for me was to find a way of maximising the performance, of achieving something akin to the sound qualities I heard in that professional studio, but in a package that could easily fit into in the home listening room.” The AC-2K is therefore not simply another form of mains power cleaning or ‘noise control’, but a fundamentally different approach.
“It effectively delivers a full system upgrade,” says Michael. “Music sounds more natural. Both digital and analogue sources flow more musically. Silences in the music seem blacker because the noise floor has dropped, while the space around instruments and the ‘holographic’ impression of the soundstage are all expanded. With AV equipment, clearer images and a greater depth of colour is seen, alongside improved sound.”
connected-fidelity’s UNITY range of cables, meanwhile, has been perfected over 20 years of experimentation for Michael’s own use, to offer as near to a ‘see through’ sound quality as possible at their price points.
Other products designed to support and enable audio and AV systems in delivering more of their full potential include the RF Blocker, a wide band radio frequency filter designed to improve audio fidelity, and audiophile fuses for optimum power integrity.
“Everything makes a difference,” says Michael, on his approach to audio design. “Every single part will change the performance of the whole,” which is why he has spent so many years seeking out the best quality components and delving into the detail of every process. And, while many designers like to keep their methods close to their chest, Michael is refreshingly open about his design decisions.
“Yes, I’m launching connected-fidelity as a brand, but for me it’s still very personal, so I’m always happy to chat,” he says. “Drop me a line. Ask me anything. I’m not shy about talking about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of these products.”