I mentioned this product in my recent "Headphone News" post, and for some reason I can't stop thinking about PS Audio's Sprout. On one hand, it's really just a simple integrated amp, and doesn't seem like a product that's moving us forward in time. There's no app; no built-in streaming capability; it just doesn't seem "smart" compared to many product being currently released. On the other hand, it's got aptX Bluetooth so it's as smart as your smartphoneand aptX sounds pretty good in my experienceand the USB input makes it as smart as your computer. But it's also got that phono stageI know there's a small surge in vinyl going on now, but how big is that really?
PS Audio is a solid performer in our industry; I've no doubt the price/performance ratio at the expected retail price of $799 will be good. The question I have is who will be buying this product? Part of me wants to think the Sprout is a product that anyone and everyone could usean all-singing, all-dancing, all-in-one unit that would comfortably fit on a desktop, nightstand, or kitchen counter. But another corner of my head nags on and on about so many people having self-powered speakers now; so few having vinyl; so many wanting Sonos rather than a stereo.
I just don't know what to think about the Sprout. It's already blown through a quarter of a million dollars on a $36,000 goal, so obviously there's plenty of interest in the Sprout, but I've got to wonder who exactly is experiencing all that appeal?
I know many of you would like to comment about PS Audio, a well established company, using a Kickstarter campaign to launch a productseems like it might just be smart marketing in this day and agebut I'm much more interested in your poll answer, and more so, your thoughts about the breadth of Sprout's appeal in the comments below.
Pick the answer below that best expresses your thoughts on the PS Audio Sprout's appeal: