High-profile song-making algorithms from Google and Sony have produced promising attempts at pop songs (including an entire album from Sony’s Flow Machines coming Jan. 10), but neither has a publicly usable platform yet. That’s what sets up-and-comer Amper AI apart: Anyone can use its intelligent platform to tinker with an AI composer immediately. Trained on the work of actual musicians, Amper’s AI has soundtracked video games and podcasts and worked with YouTube artists; look for more real-world collaborations yielding singles in 2018.
-- Nathan Mattise
SUPER-LUXE AUDIOPHILE LOOT
Featuring electrostatic transducers -- the rarest and most expensive driver design -- these swanky MrSpeakers cans reveal everything that lesser models either gloss over or miss entirely -- like the sound of an orchestra’s conductor turning pages.
Available in January, $3,000; mrspeakers.com.
Ultima 3 tape deck
United Home Audio painstakingly crafts bespoke tape decks to order. Its Ultima 3, which comes with a fancy outboard power supply, runs completely on DC current, resulting in remarkable sound reproduction and extremely low distortion.
Available in January, $29,000; unitedhomeproducts.com.
The gold standard for high-end turntables, Technics changed the game with its ultra-accurate SP-10; now, the SP-10R will combine innovative digital and analog technology to offer some of the best turntable specs in the industry -- all
sans plinth, arm, cartridge and stylus.
Expected summer 2018, approximately $10,000; technics.com.
-- Rene Chun
This article originally appeared in the Jan. 13 issue of Billboard.