Is Kyron Audio's Kronos the Best Sounding System You Will Ever Hear?

Kyron Audio's Kronos system consisting of a pair of open baffle 3 way speakers and a dedicated amp/preamp in a single box is everything I can honestly say I hate about audio: the amplifiers are Class "D", the system uses DEQX™ digital room correction and there's enough processing going on here to befuddle a mainframe.

Yet this designed and built in Australia system (the company's less expensive system) produced some of the best sound I have ever heard anywhere from an audio system.

I don't usually use superlatives and I'm usually most cautious around a digitally equalized system and especially one using full-range Class D" amplifiers (these NCore® power amplifiers from Hypex Audio in The Netherlands were designed by Bruno Putzeys, whose Mola Mola preamplifier we wrote about in RMAF coverage).

Everything about this screams at me "you should hate this!" but readers, I sat down and went through track after track ripped from the Caliburn turntable at 96/24 resolution—songs I've played dozens of times at shows and of course live from the turntable—and what I heard from this system absolutely astonished me. There was nothing 'digital' about the presentation. Nothing. The top end was about as perfectly rendered as I've heard from all of these tracks as was the detail resolution. Response was top to bottom full-bodied though the speakers did not go all the way down. The bigger system does that. This one though is good to well below 30Hz and with no box, it was fast, ultra-clean and spectacularly transparent.

Instrumental textures and timbres were as accurate and realistically portrayed as I've ever heard them. The amount of true detail revealed in very familiar records was unprecedented. I swear I don't usually blather like this as anyone who knows me can attest but there was no denying what I heard.

I went back to be sure and I'm sure. I played the rip of Richard Thompson's "The Angels Took My Racehorse Away" from Henry The Human Fly his first solo LP (UK Island) recorded by John Wood at Sound Techniques and I've never before heard the drum sound so realistic and life-like and I mean never. But that was just the start of what I heard from the many tracks I played. The rip of a lacquer of "Night in Tunisia" from the Blue Note album of the same title was downright astonishing. "Can't You Hear My Knocking" just about made me faint. I'll stop now.

The designers Leon Suter and Lee Gray combine technical and musical experience and have produced something that is extraordinary and very, very special. The Kronos system complete with amplifiers, speakers and cabling will cost around $100,000 when it comes to America. When that is, is not yet clear but it will be soon. You will need to hear this. And I will need to hear what "live" vinyl playback sounds like before I would know if it's really as transparent as it sounds here.

I am blown away but fortunately my jaw didn't drop (string together your least favorite audiofool clichés here).

JohnnyCanuck's picture

Did you omit a word here, Mikey?

"Response was top to bottom full-bodied though the speakers did go all the way down."

Michael Fremer's picture
Fixst. Went back again and equally astonished...
Waxxy's picture

Sounds interesting, but would you play your turntable through it Mike? I mean, could the A/D converters be good enough to not worry about losing all the analog 'goodness'?

Michael Fremer's picture
There's a Caliburn here and a Ypsilon phono preamp and it was almost wheeled over to test exactly that but in the end that proved too difficult but it's something I'd like to find out at home. This is a product definitely in need of a review and even if it is not ideal for a vinyl based system those who don't have vinyl should know how it performs.
Frenchvintagehifi's picture

I discovered Kyron Audio in Sydney in 2012 when they introduced the Gaia. See what I had to say at the time here
I have since followed their evolution and the introduction of their lower cost but overall, I think, better system the Kronos. Read what were my first impressions in Melbourne last year:
They are a bargain at the price, just add a turntable and you are done!

Michael Fremer's picture
I hadn't read what you wrote, which makes better what I wrote since I essentially drew the same conclusion. Wilson XLF killer? Not convinced yet but what it seemed to to correctly, which was just about everything, made it easily among the most impressive products upon first encounter that I've ever heard. Another was the Ypsilon SET 100 amplifier. First time I heard it, from a company I'd never heard of driving a pair of speakers I'd never heard of: DOYNG!!!!!!!!
dallasjustice's picture

If you buy one, it will greatly reduce your review workload. :-)

Halcro's picture

Mark Doehmann (of Caliburn fame) dragged me in to hear them and meet Leon and Lee...
The sound and technology of the speakers were impressive as was the enthusiasm of the two designers...
If these new speakers are better and more affordable....then I can understand your reaction Mikey...

SimonH's picture

Wow, it is great to see "The Angels Took My Racehorse Away" - I love that record (and seeing the man solo in concert)

On another point and picking up on Waxxy's question I have been using a well know french amp that digitises the phono signal before ampifying it and I think it wonderful - and you certainly can hear big differnces between pressings and recordings. It does make you wonder where the issues are with digital - I still prefer Vinyl to CD's.

Jazzfan62's picture

I went out to Amazon after reading this and found an unopened LP of this album. One of the really cool things I liked about the show was exposure to new music. I was in one room where they played "Woman in My Dreams" by the Pousette-Dart Band. Snagged a copy on CD of that as well.

dlaloum's picture

The Osbornes were impressive, the Kronos was stellar, I though the Osbornes easier to listen to, but the Kronos seemed more detailed.... They were the two top sounding speakers I heard at the show (my opinion) - the other one that sounded interesting was German Physiks.

I think the Kronos was best set up in terms of room... and given equal setup optimisation I wonder how the others would come up....

Most definitely worth a listen!

bye for now

vince325's picture

Excited to hear this system, do you have a cost for the system as listened too?

applebyter's picture

I'll agree with Michael. To me this was the best sounding room at the show. I was also impressed by the enthusiasm and knowledge of the designers. They provided concise but very informative answers to my less than simple technical questions. I also think they did a very good job of setting up the room and running their demos.

There were three other systems at the show I wanted to see, and two of those were demoed pretty poorly.

RonLev's picture


The Kronos is yet another example that open baffle speakers give the best performance at the least cost. One can spend vast amounts to construct the ultimate box enclosure (e.g., Wilson or Magico) but why bother? It's true that without box loading, the open baffle speaker requires significant equalization, but that is a small price to pay for its enhanced performance, and it really doesn't matter whether that equalization is analog or digitally based. The "father" of this concept is Sig Linkwitz, best known as the inventor of the Linkwitz-Riley filter (check out his wonderful tech website who has some DIY open baffle designs that are even better than the Kronos. This is not a plug, I just love guys who strip away the BS and really advance the state of audio without throwing money at every real and imagined problem that appears in the audio press.

Ron Levine

RonLev's picture

Whoops! I just saw that the Kronos is slated to cost $100,000 when it comes state-side. It looks like a fine, cost-effective idea has already been polluted by high-end hyperinflation even before it arrives here. Consider DIY alternatives I just mentioned that give the same performance but cost under $20,000.

Ron Levine

Leon Suter's picture

Thank you for the kind words Michael. I can't wait for you to audition our flagship Gaia too. It has taken an enormous effort over many years of R&D, testing, refining and building relationships to get Kronos and Gaia looking and sounding as they do. We built these for people who listen objectively to the sounds of real acoustic instruments and long to hear the timbre and attack that makes things sound right. Thanks for listening and telling the world.

Leon Suter
Kyron Audio

earsrule's picture

Apologies for coming a lot late to this party...

There is nobody in the audiophile universe I can name more closely identified with the glories of analog sound. To openly confess before God and a readership seemingly vested in analog that this DSP-based system "produced some of the best sound I have ever heard anywhere from an audio system", speaks incredibly well of you, Mr. Fremer. Intellectual, personal, and professional integrity on display.

The curious comment to me, after it was stated by Mr. Fremer that this was one of the best audio systems ever, was "could the A/D converters be good enough...".

Refer back to the original statement: "best sound I have heard anywhere from an audio system." Apparently the A/D converters were good enough to result in one of the best audio systems MF has ever heard.

Wow. So impressed with you Michael Fremer.


Michael Fremer's picture
At an audio show. I'm more interested to hear what long term listening produces! But that is what I heard so that is what I wrote...
2395's picture

Please advise
Can't You Hear My Knocking that Can't You Hear "Me" Knocking...please advise album details
again, many thanks