UPDATE: The Absolute Sound magazine has removed their Golden Ear Club status from Neil Gader's review of the Audiant 80i – it is now freely available for all to read, so get into it.
Two key factors which Neil thought distinguished the Audiant 80i from it's competition was the abundance of inputs (USB, digital, analogue & phono) supporting three generations of formats, and the integrity of it's visual design, likening it to the Apple MacBook Pro.
Even though the power output of the Audiant 80i is rated at 80W, it had no trouble reproducing bass dynamics when driving Neil's notoriously inefficient (83dB @ 2.83V/1m) ATC SCM20-2 loudspeakers.
With higher efficiency loudspeakers, like the Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand SE 2.5-way floorstander, Neil thought the Audiant 80i proved a great match and allowed the Mozart Grands "to make the most of their key gifts – speed and coherence".
Overall he found the Audiant 80i had a natural symphonic perspective, dynamics had vitality and drive, and vocals were full-bodied. When listening to Natalie Merchant's "The Peppery Man", Neil found moments of "such jarring realism that you get the (eerie) sense of musicians actually sitting in the room".
Head to your local magazine store to pick up the May/June issue of The Absolute Sound (TAS213) to read Neil's entire review of the Audiant 80i. Alternatively, check the review out online by joining The Absolute Sound Golden Ear Club or by buying the digital edition of TAS213.
Thank you Neil for a great review. Many thanks also to our US distributor Fidelis AV for supplying the review sample.