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All-In-One Systems

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
With its ‘Smart Line’ portfolio Sonoro’s aim is to provide a range of loudspeaker systems suitable for use in different rooms around the home, and the Meisterstück – ‘masterpiece’ – is the top of the range model, designed to form the centre piece of your main music system.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 04, 2018  |  0 comments
A new kind of music system for a new generation”, it says here. Well, in truth the AiOS isn’t that different to other all-in-ones I have reviewed over the years, but it’s still an interesting proposition at its price. Billy Wright, the President of Cary Audio, says that he hopes both audiophiles and young people will look at the AiOS with interest.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
Tibo has been making something of a name for itself in the world of smart speakers of late, but the SIA75 streaming amplifier is one of its first forays into the rather more demanding arena of integrated hi-fi solutions. It certainly looks the part, with a full-width chassis and a decent level of build quality. Its simple layout reflects the Scandinavian aesthetics of its Danish founder, with a front panel dominated by a series of presets, a dedicated button for grouping with other Tibo smart products and a multi-functional central dial that adjusts the volume, selects the inputs and turns the amp on and off.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Billed as the ‘complete all-in-one super integrated amplifier’, Gold Note’s IS-1000 is an ambitious design to bridge the gap between a traditional standalone integrated amp and an all-in-one music system with network streaming in an almost imperceptible way. At its heart it’s an integrated amplifier with a Class A/B output section, claiming a healthy 2x 125W into 8ohm that doubles to 250W into 4ohm. The model reviewed here is priced at £3,820, but if your setup demands even greater power Gold Note offers a 2x 150W output version into 8ohm, taking the cost to £4,370. Connectivity is impressive and analogue sources are catered for via three inputs; one via XLR and two using RCA phonos.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  0 comments
“A whole new thing”. That’s what a car magazine colleague called McLaren’s P1 hybrid hypercar when he experienced it for the first time. In fact, so frequently were his usual ‘supercar’ frames of reference being pulled out of shape or simply blown apart as he drove it round the Yas Marina Grand Prix circuit in Abu Dhabi, he couldn’t stop saying it (he was being filmed). It would make an apt strap line for Devialet, the Paris-based high-end audio brand.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jul 25, 2017  |  0 comments
Perhaps one of the biggest compliments I could pay an audio product on loan for test would be to tell whoever came to collect it they were most welcome to take it away but first they’d have to grapple it from my white-knuckled bear hug grip. Although a tad Walter Mitty, the thought did mess with me come the time to give back the Entotem Plato last year (HFC 400). I think the problem was that this early example of arguably the ultimate one-size-fits-all media server had settled itself so comfortably into my hi-fi world, it was only a matter of time before it slipped on a pair of fluffy slippers and started smoking a pipe. Its sudden but inevitable departure hurt.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 12, 2016  |  0 comments
To say that the Core is a little speaker that packs a big punch is something of an understatement. It’s not without flaws, but the sheer power, audio quality and versatile high-tech features that Mass Fidelity has crammed into this little black box are undeniably impressive. Measuring just 150mm wide and deep and 100mm high, it will sit comfortably on any shelf or table without taking up too much space. It’s a little chunky to carry around in a backpack – not to mention fairly heavy, at around 1.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 25, 2016  |  0 comments
These are curious times for two-channel audio. On one hand, we have vinyl staging a comeback that makes Lazarus look half hearted. On the other, we have the integration of streaming services and home networking pushing audio into new forms with a series of products taking advantage of it. At first glance, Yamaha’s MCR-N870D system looks like it is part of the ‘old guard’ of conventional hi-fi systems, but in reality this is a very ambitious product and firmly part of the new wave.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Apr 21, 2016  |  0 comments
Being un-square is good, and being a single unit that’s a doddle to accommodate – whether on a sideboard or, as here, it’s dedicated £149 single-column stand – takes us back to the days of mono when having to find the room for two loudspeakers was an inconvenience yet to come. Not that the AeroSphère Large is mono, of course. It isn’t even stereo in the conventional sense. As you might well imagine, pulling a quart-sized soundstage out of a pint-sized pot requires a degreeof trickery and psycho acoustic manipulation.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 26, 2016  |  0 comments
While all-in-one systems come in many shapes and sizes, generally they follow a similar set of conventions with smaller scale woofers, tweeters and amps packed together underthe same roof, trading levels ofsonic output for greater degrees of convenience. But as we saw withits Ensemble package last year(HFC 386), following conventionsis not really the Devialet way. From the outset the distinctive Silver Phantom’s egg-like case immediately challenges your preconceptions of what a hi-fi system should look like. Each one housesits own internal amp, DAC, wi-fi streamer and speakers, allowing itto fly solo as a standalone systemor work alongside more Phantomsas part of a two or more channel installation through Devialet’s free Spark app and Dialog wi-fi controller (£249).
 |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments
There have always been mass market consumer audio products, and there has always been hi-fi. Several decades back the two were clearly delineated, but nowadays we’re seeing the mass consumer electronics market – now catered for by the likes of Apple – moving upmarket and eating into entry-level hi-fi products. Hi-fi manufacturers are now fighting back, making quality ‘lifestyle’ products like this one. Traditionally, the high-end audio (as opposed to ‘hi-fi’) market was the sole province of Bang & Olufsen, with a minor supporting role played by Bose.
 |  Feb 05, 2015  |  0 comments
If you’re looking for a compact, micro hi-fi system that covers all the bases, then the Yamaha CRX-N560D could well be the answer. It’s petite in size, but manages to pack a lot of functionality into its rather diminutive frame. The N560D is a new model in Yamaha’s PianoCraft series and comes with an onboard CD player and DAB/DAB+/FM tuners, but its network streaming capabilities are what really sets it apart, greatly expanding your listening options beyond these more traditional formats. Its Ethernet socket gives you access to the online and networking world, but it lacks the built-in wi-fi I was hoping to see.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
The small system isn’t a new idea. Indeed, those outside the rarefied climes of separates hi-fi would probably regard it as the norm. After all, do we really need yards of pressed steel casework, acres of cables and multiple power plugs? For that reason alone, since the late seventies when Aurex sold its first microsystem, many folks wanting decent quality sound from a system taking up only a small space have eschewed traditional hi-fi. In the case of the new McIntosh, there’s an extra dimension – if you pardon the pun.
 |  Jan 29, 2015  |  0 comments
Looking a little bit like a piece of furniture you might find back in a seventies living room housing a radiogram, JBL’s Authentics L16 is anything but old school. The design of this one-box audio systemis actually based on the company’s Century L100 bookshelf loudspeaker and utilises foam grilles similar to those found on the popular seventies model, giving the L16 a retro feel that is very much on trend today. Measuring over 800mm wide, the walnut-veneered unit is a thoroughly modern one-box audio system with more wireless connectivity options than you can shake a smartphone at, including AirPlay for iTunes and iOS, DLNA for Android and Windows devices and Bluetooth – although there’s no mention of the aptX codec. As well as extensive wireless options including Near Field Communication (NFC), the L16 also has two USB inputs beneath the removable top plate for charging devices – sadly wireless charging isn’t available on European models for Qi-compatible devices.
 |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments
Challenging hi-fi’s conventions has been at Devialet’s core since the French high-end maker launched its groundbreaking D-Premier amp back in 2010. Concepts including customising settings via an onboard SD cardand online configurator, along with firmware releases ensuring your amp stayed up to date brought fresh thinking to long-term ownership. Devialet’s range has since expanded into four models, and with each comes increased connectivity, power and configuration options. At the heart of all Devialet ampsbeats the same ADH (Analogue Digital Hybrid) amplification, which is a moderntake on Quad’s Current Dumpers of yesteryear that uses analogue Class A voltage amplification working in parallel with digital Class D dumpers.

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