Photos by Hillary Ehlen and Bill Kloubec of HELIOSTUDIO
Imagine that you are sitting in a recliner under a ceiling of stars, watching your favorite action flick on a 156″ screen with surround sound. No, you aren’t at the movies. You are in the Arctic Audio showroom on Main Avenue in Fargo. We sat down with Rod Shafer to talk about his business and their recent trips to CES in Las Vegas and AXPONA in Chicago.
About Rod Shafer
In 2004, Shafer opened Arctic Audio in Fargo. “Audio is why I got into the business. It’s been my hobby for over 30 years,” Shafer said. Outside of work, he is a caring husband and father. Shafer and his family live in a historic home, which he has converted into a smart home without compromising its integrity.
AXPONA Audio Expo
AXPONA is the largest audio show in North America. In April 2018, Shafer attended this three-day event in Chicago, where he was able to experience the newest technology in high-end, consumer audio products. The show featured over 150 listening rooms, and attendees were encouraged to go from room to room, sit, listen and compare sound systems. Shafer enjoyed attending AXPONA and even provided a few tips for those looking to upgrade their own home audio systems.
Consumer Electronic Show (CES)
In addition to attending AXPONA in April 2018, Shafer attended CES in January 2018. CES is set in Las Vegas and plays host to the foremost innovative home technology solutions. There, Shafer saw projectors being integrated into pieces of furniture, voice activated technology and more.
Tips from an Audiophile
- Go listen. You have to go experience it for yourself.
- Find a dealer who will let you try something out.
Shafer explained, “So many people read reviews. Certainly, reviews have their place, but when it comes to audio, you have to go experience it for yourself.” To do this, you can simply visit your local showroom. He also recommended finding a dealer with a flexible return policy, which would allow you to test out a new set of speakers in your own space. For example, you can purchase expensive speakers, but they will sound awful when used in the wrong room.
Local Vs. Online
Our trip to Arctic Audio concluded with a discussion comparing and contrasting local businesses with online retailers. While online retailers may boast competitive prices, they lack the expertise necessary to help you find what is right for your space. Shafer amiably encourages his fellow audiophiles to find local experts who will be able to help them every step of the way when selecting the right home technology.