Smart Speakers

Yasu + Junko

Audioarts focuses on two-channel audio, sourcing equipment from around the globe.

At Audioarts, a serene temple of two-channel audio in New York City, there are just two rules, says owner Gideon Schwartz. “You have to come in and listen,” he says. There are no shopping carts on his website; he will not sell over the phone. And “you bring your own music.” In other words, you won’t get a brisk salesman’s patter as Dark Side of the Moon is blasted at you through a succession of daisy-chained speakers hanging from the wall. What Schwartz provides is a serious exercise in “active listening,” as he calls it, in a warm Belle Epoque room. (When’s the last time you were in a stereo store that had a fireplace?) For a typical project, Schwartz and his client will spend several months evaluating different configurations of equipment. What, in the end, is optimal? “I tell people, ‘Do you have goose bumps? Yes? Buy it. No? Don’t buy it.’?” Projects start at $5,000; 210 Fifth Ave.;