NAMM 2021: The best new pro audio gear from Antelope Audio, Radial, KRK & more

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NAMM 2021: The best new pro audio gear from Antelope Audio, Radial, KRK & more

Words by Will Brewster

All the studio gear we can't wait to arrive in 2021.

Following last week’s onslaught of product launches, NAMM is officially behind us for 2021 – but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep frothing over all the new gear set to land this year. After looking at all the best new pedals to launch last week, we’re now shining a spotlight on some of the most tantalising pro audio and studio equipment slated for release this year, featuring gear from Antelope Audio, KRK Systems, Radial, Ashdown Engineering and more.


  • Featuring onboard DSP effects and a similar price-point, Antelope Audio’s Zen Go Synergy Core seeks to compete head-on with Universal Audio’s Apollo range.
  • UK bass amplifier titans Ashdown Engineering have stepped into a new niche with the launch of the BBC-inspired NF-1 and NF-2 nearfield monitors
  • Other notable launches come from KRK, Radial, Black Lion Audio and more.

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Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core

Essentially acting as a more compact version of last year’s 18i/24o Zen Tour interface, the Antelope Audio Zen Go Synergy Core looks to provide a viable option for anyone seeking top notch sound quality without needing excessive inputs and outputs. With two XLR/TRS inputs, two headphone outputs, 1/4 and RCA monitor outputs and S/PDIF and twin USB-C ports – one to provide USB bus power to your recording device, the other for powering or charging other USB devices – the Zen Go is a nifty recording solution for producers on the go, but it’s the other specs that really take the cake here.

Antelope Audio claim that the Zen Tour Synergy Core packs twice as many real-time DSP effects per channel than the UAD Apollo Solo, with 37 amp and effects emulations bundled with the unit offering a myriad of sonic possibilities. Other specs include class-leading AD/DA converters, discrete preamps with up to 127dB of headroom and 64-bit Acoustically Focused Clocking technology, rounding out what looks like a formidable addition to any producer’s bag of tricks.

KRK Systems S4 Subwoofer Range

Yellow-coned speaker icons KRK Systems have launched their latest take on their S series of subwoofers, introducing the fourth generation of units for bass lovers the world over. The new eight-inch KRK S8.4, ten-inch S10.4 and twelve-inch S12.4 subwoofers are expected to arrive in the first half of 2021, with new additions to the series including improved porting and low-frequency extension for superior phase response, plus a reduced overall size and enforced MDF enclosure to boot.


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Ashdown Engineering NF-1 & NF-2 studio monitors

Ashdown Engineering dipping their toes into the world of studio monitors might come as a bit of a surprise, but the brand’s new NF-1 and NF-2 nearfield monitors certainly make it look like they know what they’re doing. Taking design cues from the BBC’s legendary Rogers LS3 and LS5 broadcast monitors, these new units boast twin 120-watt Class A/B amplifiers with built-in optical compression and subsonic filters to protect the speakers from harsh noise peaks.

Each unit is fitted with soft-dome tweeters and five-inch woofers – the NF-1 houses one woofer, while the suitably named NF-2 packs two – and forgo bass ports in favour of closed housings to minimise any build-up. Elsewhere, Ashdown have stuffed the monitors with sheep wool insulation to reduce resonance, and there’s a nifty VU meter on each speaker to make for a visually striking – and deceptively useful – design quirk.

Radial JX42 V2, JX44 V2 & EXTC Stereo

Canadian DI wizards Radial Engineering have announced a trio of pro audio products that should serve useful to any studio or live setup. The JX42 V2 provides guitarists with a 1U rack-mount amp switcher, with four buffered guitar inputs, two tuner outputs and two amp outputs allowing for noise-free switching for use in live scenarios.

If you like the feature set of the JX42 V2 but need a little more versatility , Radial have also shared details of the JX44 V2, which adds two amplifier outputs, a master mute control, polarity switching, ground listing and a stereo effects loop.

Last but not least is the EXTC Stereo, a twin channel re-amper and pedal interface that looks to streamline your re-amping process. It features stereo inputs and outputs with seperate gain controls for both inputs and outputs. Check out everything new to the Radial lineup in 2021 below.

Black Lion Audio Revolution

Touted by the manufacturer as being ‘modded straight out of the box’, the Black Lion Audio Revolution promises a top-tier home audio interface – the very first the brand has ever produced from the ground up. Offering two analogue high-headroom inputs and two outputs, it’s a USB-C bus-powered interface with 192kHz/24-bit recording quality, plus Macro MMC clocking and optimised internal gain staging for a minimal signal-to-noise ratio.

Black Lion Audio also make a point of the Revolution featuring fully decoupled and balanced inputs and outputs – even the core of the convertor – to eliminate excess noise. Elsewhere, the interface features a headphone output and monitor mix knob for latency-free listening, while the front panel boasts an eight-segment level meter to keep an eye on your levels while recording.

Missed all the action from NAMM? Head to our Product News page to check out all the latest gear announcements today.