Audiolab was founded by Philip Swift and Derek Scotland in 1983. They met as students of Imperial College, and shared a common frustration of the high cost of hi-fi equipment and the difficulty of use. The first product was the 8000A integrated amplifier, followed by the 8000C preamplifier, the 8000P power amplifier and 8000M mono-blocks. As the company grew, they developed new products including CD players, transports, radio tuners and digital-to-analog converters.
Audiolab was taken over by TAG McLaren in 1998. The TAG McLaren Audio enterprise suffered adversely from the economic slump in the early 2000s, and announced that it ceased development in mid-2003 followed by a strategic review. The audio operations were eventually sold to the International Audio Group (headquartered in Shenzhen, China), which owns other Hi-Fi manufacturers such as Quad, Mission, Wharfedale and Castle Acoustics. It wasn't until 2005 that Audiolab re-emerged under the leadership of designer Nick Clarke (no longer with Audiolab), with a whole new range of equipment.