From the moment I heard the news that John DeVore, of DeVore Fidelity, was going to expand his Orangutan line on the entry-level side of things, I knew I needed a listen ASAP. I’ve been waiting patiently for the last few months for the release of these models, even going as far as sending John a reminder that if he needed anyone to review the new DeVore Fidelity O/Baby loudspeaker, well, I was that reviewer. I knew, of course, that the line was going to be long.
At High End 2022, I finally had a chance to listen to the DeVore Fidelity Baby/O. I walked into the Devore room, sat down, and immediately noticed that the O/Baby was not in the system–the highly regarded Orangutan O/96 was. The DeVore Fidelity O/Baby was split up, with each speaker performing sentry duties on opposite ends of the room. That’s okay, I thought. The O/96 is a fabulous speaker on its own, one of those speakers that I hear and instantly think, “this is totally my kind of speaker.” So nice to hear you again, O/96.
I asked John DeVore about the DeVore Fidelity O/Baby, and he smiled and told me to come back at 3:30. I nodded enthusiastically, and then someone in the room told me “they sound just like the O/96s, but just a tiny bit smaller.” Sounded reasonable, I thought–the DeVore Fidelity O/Baby retails for just $5,750 pr USD, less than half of the cost of the O/96.
When I returned, however, I was treated to a smaller speaker, perhaps less lavish in its finishes and details but still an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous little floorstander, just like all the other Orangutan models. But the sound? Nothing small about it, my friends.
In a system that included an Audiomat Aria integrated amplifier and a Thales analog rig, the Devore Fidelity O/Baby immediately asserted itself in the room with a big open sound with plenty of deep bass. When the O/96s in the system, I had reminded of how these two-way high-efficiency designs look modest on the surface but actually sound like a far more complex transducer–in all the good ways, of course. The O/Baby preserves this vision of a relatively simple design that gets right to the heart of the music.
I’ll make a prediction about the DeVore Fidelity O/Baby. It will be a big deal. People will line up to hear them–and hopefully buy them–because they offer so much in a relatively compact and affordable package. I walked out of the room, immediately saw John DeVore, and made some sort of futile and awkward gesture that indicated I had fallen in love. As for as a review? I’m crossing my fingers.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from HIGH END 2022, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.