The Listeners by Kudos Audio – Meet Harry

Posted on 25th October 2023 in Category: Blogs

Welcome to Episode One of The Listeners! A brand new video series from Kudos Audio

People who listen with Kudos tend to be united by one thing; a deep, unbending passion for music. They may have wildly different lives, systems, listening rooms, and musical preferences, but all of them share an uncommon dedication to getting as close to the music they love as they possibly can.



We wanted to get out and meet these dedicated music lovers in person. We wanted to hear their systems, see their spaces, and find out how and why they listen with Kudos. In our first episode, we were given the great privilege of spending an afternoon with Harry and his Kudos Titan 808s. We couldn’t have asked for a better listener to kick off our series. 

This is Harry’s Kudos story. 


Harry is a retired anaesthetist, living with his family in a bustling suburb of Newcastle, UK. About a year ago, Harry completed a top-to-bottom renovation of his music system, an upgrade that included a brand new pair of Kudos Titan 808s. We were understandably eager to sit down with Harry and find out what effect this new system has had on his listening experience. And so it was that one balmy July afternoon, Harry – along with his two labradors Otis and Freddie – welcomed us into their beautiful, double fronted Victorian terrace home, and up the staircase to his first floor listening room.

Kudos Audio Listener HarryThe first thing that strikes you about Harry’s listening room is the light, and the space. It’s a beautifully open room, with cavernously high ceilings and windows that stretch the full length of the outer wall. Comfy looking couches and lived-in armchairs tempt you towards an almost horizontal seating position, as Harry’s dogs settle on the rug in a shaft of sunlight streaming in through the windows. In short, it’s a space you want to spend a long time inhabiting and enjoying. The perfect space for really listening to music. 

Harry greets us with a beaming smile, a mug of tea in hand. David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ plays at a subtle volume through the Titan 808s. We start at the beginning. When did Harry’s love of music take shape?

“I first started collecting music probably when I was 12 or 13”. “The first record I ever bought was The White Album. I’d been on an exchange over in France and they had it on the entire time…I came home and bought it straight away”.

Harry’s listening dates back even further, however. “I used to record the Top 40 off the radio on a Sunday afternoon, cause it was on during tea time and I couldn’t listen live…but there was always music on in the house.”

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Harry was an early adopter of HiFi,  too. “In the living room, my Dad had a Garrard turntable, a Yamaha amplifier and a couple of big B&W speakers…I actually ran some wires from that, out the window, and up to my bedroom. I had two little speakers on the windowsill so I could put a record on downstairs, run upstairs and listen from my bedroom”. 

By the time Harry got to university and invested in some of his own gear, the music listening bug had well and truly taken hold. “From that point, the record player was always on.”

And what was he listening to? “Prog Rock stuff, Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd…David Bowie, always…a bit of soul stuff, too, like Aretha Franklin…hangovers from my mother’s record collection!”. 

Live music, though, has always been Harry’s first and truest love. “It’s the top level for me,” he tells us. That love for live music isn’t just reserved for listening, either. Harry is an avid amateur musician and plays live as the bassist for a local jazz quartet called ‘Four’, performing regularly around Newcastle. 

His love of live music extends further still. He sits on the board of trustees for The Globe, a community-run live music venue housed in an old pub just outside Newcastle city centre. His fascination with all things live music drew him towards the stageside, and Harry now gives up his time as Technical Director for the venue – running front of house for local and touring bands on a regular basis. 

Harry spends so much of his time and energy engaging with live music. How is this reflected in his HiFi listening? 

“Part of the reason for having HiFi at all is that it allows me to hear what the artist wants to portray better…I like to know what it is they really meant”. This is what drew Harry to the Titan 808s. “That was the definition of ‘what is a good speaker?’…does it allow me to hear more of what the artist meant. Compared to every other speaker, they [the Titan 808s] were different purely from that respect.”

Kudos Audio Titan 808 closeup

“I wasn’t listening to the speaker”.

For Harry, and many other champions of Kudos loudspeakers, this is the fundamental magic of Kudos. “I don’t listen to them.” Harry explains with a smile. “I’m listening to the artist and the musicians…I don’t want it to sound of anything. I want it to sound of the artist. They are the best for that.”


I first heard the Titan 808s at the beginning of last year. I had been looking to upgrade something in the system for a while…though it probably would have been the source.”

But around that time, Harry’s father passed away. “It was a long life well lived, and a very peaceful end”. Investing some inheritance into his listening setup seemed a fitting tribute to their shared love of music – and so Harry began exploring the possibility of upgrading the system wholesale. 

Harry headed to his local premium HiFi dealers. He booked himself in for a demo session, taking his own, well-used pair of Linn Keltik’s along for a like-for-like comparison with a number of potential modern replacements. 

“We got lots of different speakers and lugged them in and out the room for a whole day…I was there so long I got a parking ticket!”

How did the Kudos Titan 808s stack up against the other loudspeakers Harry sampled? “All the other speakers were okay…but none of them were better. These [Harry gestures towards the Titan 808s] were just…better”.

This instinctive, almost holistic approach to choosing loudspeakers is indicative of Harry’s whole philosophy towards experiencing music. Crucially, it’s not about the numbers for Harry. Measuring the quality of a system doesn’t involve analysing the frequency response or low end resonance. It’s so much more personal than that. “It’s all about whether I can hear the music”. He explains. “Do they allow me to go back to that moment when the musician was in the studio or live…and experience it as if I was there”. 

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Explaining this further, he gives us an example from his first time hearing the Titan 808s. Sitting in the demo room at his HiFi dealership, Harry pressed play on ‘Hand in my Pocket’ from Alanis Morrisette’s debut LP ‘Jagged Little Pill’. Through the Titan 808s, he heard a song he knew intimately in a whole new way. In fact, it was as if he was hearing it for the very first time.

The moment of magic came to life as a rasping, Dylan-like harmonica solo flows over the back end of the second chorus. In a moment of clarity, Harry exclaims “I’d never realised it before…but that’s Alanis Morrisette playing that harmonica. I didn’t need to look, I just knew it was her”. And why are moments like this so important to Harry? “There’s a reason she played that harmonica rather than getting in a session musician…she wanted that sound”. 

This experience had a powerful resonance with Harry; hearing something new and wholly unexpected in music he’d been listening to for many years. It wasn’t a ‘lightning in a bottle’ moment, either. With the Kudos Titan 808s “there’s lots and lots and lots of these moments”. To double down on his point that listening to music is about so much more than frequency range, Harry leans forward and explains, “It’s a question of, can I hear what the musician wanted to say to me? And it’s so much easier with these speakers. It’s just easy”.


The music continues to flow, from Bob Marley to Creedence Clearwater Revival, via Amy Winehouse and Chet Baker. It’s an eclectic mix, brought to life by a genuinely world-class sound system.

We ask Harry to take us through the setup in more detail. Opening up a long, stainless steel cabinet reminiscent of an Airstream trailer, he reveals an absolute treasure trove of audio hardware. 

Kudos Audio Listener Harry uses Qobuz to stream music

With an iPad in hand, Harry explains that he mostly listens to high quality streams via a subscription to Qobuz. Given his dedication to prog, rock and classic jazz, we’re a little surprised to find there’s no turntable present in the front end of Harry’s set up. “I got rid of all my vinyl a few years ago” he concedes. “I just found I wasn’t listening to it anymore…I do miss the ritual of it though”. 

Harry enjoys and appreciates the convenience and accessibility of Qobuz’s 100 million plus tracks, and the availability of high resolution streaming. “It is becoming increasingly popular and it does make a difference”. 

“That then comes in via the internet to a Linn Klimax hub”. That’s Linn’s new, top of the range Next Generation Klimax DSM. The signal is then sent digitally to a Linn Klimax Exaktbox, a digital crossover that splits the signal into treble, mid and bass. Each frequency range is then in turn passed to one of six Linn Klimax Solo amplifiers (three per loudspeaker), before reaching the Kudos Titan 808s. 

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Harry uses the Titan 808s in active configuration “but they’re very easy to swap back and forth, if you want to”. 

Why active? “In all the years I’ve been using HiFi, I’ve never heard a passive setup I prefer to an active version” he explains. “With an active system there’s more detail, more frequency range…there’s just more music available for you to hear.”

This impressive system is then extensively wired by AudioQuest. AudioQuest William Tell’s make up the system’s speaker cables “I’ve got two William Tell ZEROs on the top, and a dedicated William Tell bass cable on the bass unit”. The big surprise for Harry came from the AudioQuest Diamond digital ethernet cable, running between the Linn Klimax hub and the Exaktbox crossover unit. “Beforehand I thought ‘an ethernet cable is an ethernet cable’…but we plugged them in, and they were just better”. What was it about this new cabling that elevated the audio experience? “It improved that clarity…that lack of obstruction between me and the musician…I was very surprised”. 

It doesn’t just look the part. Harry’s system sounds as good as any you’re likely to hear. There’s stunning sonic clarity and low end presence, even at very low volume. Power is delivered cleanly and evenly via the Linn Klimax Solo amplifiers – elevated further by the inimitable presence of those AudioQuest cables. 

In active configuration, the Kudos Titan 808s deliver an absolutely magical end product. Every track Harry plays feels alive, like Winehouse or Baker or Marley are sitting in the corner of this beautiful listening space, sharing their songs with us like a well kept secret. It takes all of our collective willpower not to get completely distracted by the music on offer. Although we do get frequently sidetracked from our conversation. Each of us in the room is excited to hear a piece of music we know well, brought to life in a wholly new and exciting way. 

AudioQuest cables in the back of a Kudos Audio Titan 808 loudspeaker

As our time with Harry comes to an end, and we reluctantly tear ourselves away from the music for a few final thoughts, we ask Harry if he has any advice for people considering a pair of Kudos Titan 808s? He pauses for a moment before looking at us with an earnest seriousness.

“If you’re thinking about speakers, go and listen to them and compare them to other speakers. Do it properly, in a proper demonstration room, with someone who knows what they’re doing, and make your own mind up.”

Then, with a glint in his eye, Harry adds, “If you haven’t got time to do that, just buy a pair of Titan 808s, you’ll enjoy them. They’re good!”.

Thank you to Harry and his family for their time, patience, music, and multiple cups of tea. 

Interview and article by Lee Broderick for Kudos Audio.