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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Reimagining its hi-res streamingand wireless lineup, Bluesound – the Canadian multi-room music system specialist – unveils its Generation 2i (Gen 2i) platform, with extensive hardware and software updates. The comprehensive redesign sees updates in all Gen 2i models that includes dual-band wi-fi, AirPlay 2 support and two-way Bluetooth with aptX HD support. A 3. 0 version of its BluOS control app is included in the Node 2i network streamer (£499), Powernode 2i network streamer and amplifier – now with two Toslink/3.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 14, 2018  |  0 comments
One of the many demo highlights from last weekend's The Hi-Fi Show Live 2018, the Titan 505 standmount is the latest to join the Kudos Audio flagship series. The two-way isobaric bass reflex design features two new double-coated hard paper cone mid/bass drivers crafted by SEAS in a back-to-back arrangement. Quoted sensitivity is 87dB/1W/1m into 6ohm with a frequency range of 40Hz to 30kHz. The tweeter is saidto be a “precisely tailored” 29mm fabric dome and the loudspeaker’s internal crossover can be bypassed to enable active operation with selected systems including Linn Exakt and Devialet Expert.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 13, 2018  |  0 comments
Known for its mid-priced moving-coil cartridges, Hana has announced a deluxe line with its M-Series moving-coil cartridges. Hailing from Tokyo’s Excel Sound Corporation, the ML and MH cartridges (Low and High output options) are a development of its SL and SH designs that we reviewed in HFC 408, and utilise a Microline nude diamond tip stylus for improved tracking and performance. Both cartridges quote a frequency range of 12Hz to 45kHz with a tracking force of 2g and have threaded fittings built into the top of the cartridge body for ease of mounting. Distributed in the UK by Air Audio Services Ltd.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Following the introduction of its £3,299 SP1000 portable music player last year, Astell&Kern has announced a new flagship in the form of the SP1000M priced at £1,999. Another bold industrial design, the body shape uses the company’s distinctive, irregular split planes to give the SP1000M a similar tactile quality to its upmarket sibling.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Following the introduction of its Ingenium turntable design almost half a decade ago (HFC 379), Cambridgeshire-based AVID Hi-Fi has unveiled the Ingenium Plug&Play. Priced at £1,250 and fitted with a tonearm and moving-magnet cartridge, the packaged deck replaces previous Ingenium models and the company says: “Everything on this turntable has been reworked, from the chassis design that now sports AVID’s trademark oversized A emblazoned into the body, to the new inline power switch – now 5A with dual pole switching to allow total power isolation to the motor”. A new bearing hub has been designed with future upgradability in mind, allowing for the supplied MDF platter to be changed to a precision aluminium version to further enhance sound quality and lower the noise floor. Look out for our world-exclusive review next issue and click here for more.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 08, 2018  |  0 comments
2018 has been a busy year for Audiolab which has seen the hi-fi specialist move into the in-ear headphone market with two M-EAR designs and unveil its £149 M-DAC Nano DAC/headphone amp (below). The company is well regarded for its DACs and traditional components and the arrival of the new 6000 Series shows it hasn't forgotten its roots. The familiar design builds on the highly-regarded 8000 Series with two new full-width components in what it describes as its best value components ever. Priced at £599, the 6000A is a Class AB integrated amplifier rated at 2x 50W into 8ohm that incorporates two optical and two coaxial digital inputs along with three line-level RCA analogue inputs and a moving-magnet phono stage input.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Discover a wealth of memorable sounds at The Hi-Fi ShowLive2018 10th/11th November 2018 at the Beaumont Estate conference centre, Old Windsor Advance Tickets are on sale now! Buy nowand fast track through The Hi-Fi ShowLivereception, or pay on the day Clickherefor the latest ticket and show info and download the in-depthShow Guideand see thefloor planand explore details of every room. See you there! . . .
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Like many readers, I am lucky enough to have a well thought-out hi-fi system in my lounge that plays CDs, hi-res files and vinyl for any serious listening while sat in comfort on my sofa. But for background music in the office, kitchen or even the garden, I tend to use smaller music systems to give a musical backdrop to my daily routine. Let’s face it, as the most popular wireless streaming tech out there, several are Bluetooth speaker setups that enable me to play my favourite tunes from a paired device. The short-range wireless transmission standard has long been derided by audiophiles for its poor audio quality, but continuous codec development has enabled significant improvements and many of the latest batch of Bluetooth speakers are capable of great sound.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Italian maestro Sonus faber has announced a new loudspeaker collection. Like all its models, the Sonetto range is handcraftedin Vicenza, and the new lineup sits between the company’s existing Venere and Olympica loudspeaker collections. With five models sold as stereo pairs, it includes two standmount and three floorstander designs, plus two home cinema centre speakers and an on-wall model for multi-channel installations. Starting with the Sonetto I (£1,450), the smallest standmount is a two-way configuration ported cabinet measuring 219 x 359 x 305mm (WxHxD) fitted withthe company’s 29mm DAD (Damped Apex Dome) tweeter and a 150mm mid/bass driver that claims 87dB sensitivity and 4ohm nominal impedance.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 18, 2018  |  0 comments
Following the Kanta N°2 floorstander launched last year (HFC 435), French brand Focal has introduced two new stereo models to the range featuring the same bold design – available in eight colour finishes – with flax fibre cone driver tech partnered to its IAL3 27mm beryllium dome tweeter. The £4,499 Kanta N°1 (above) is a two-way design described as being suited to both stand or shelf placement, thanks to a tunable port.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Having played a big part in the low-cost DAC revolution with the likes of its acclaimed xDSD portable DAC/headphone amplifier (HFC 439), iFi Audio has turned its attention to the home and studio market with its latest addition to its flagship audio component series. The Pro iDSD DAC/headphone amp/preamp brings together tried-and-tested techniques combined with cutting-edge, 21st-century technology. A hi-res DAC/preamp, wi-fi streamer and headphone amplifier, it claims an array of sonic tailoring facilities including DSD remastering, which upsamples PCM and DSD files to DSD512 or DSD1024, and a switchable valve/solid-state output stage. Input decoding is handled by an XMOS XU216 X-Core 200 Series processor and the chassis has a comprehensive range of galvanically isolated digital inputs, including USB (Types A and B), S/PDIF (optical/coaxial) and AES-EBU, plus Ethernet and microSDHC card support.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 16, 2018  |  0 comments
In the competitive world of entry-level loudspeakers, Wharfedale has an enviable heritage for its high-performance, low-cost designs. Its D300 Series looks set to continue to challenge expectations of just how good a budget speaker can be, with three new stereo designs plus a centre speaker that make up the new series. Not to be confused with the company’s existing Diamond 11 Series that runs concurrently, prices start at £159 per pair for the D310 (pictured) – a two-way standmount with a 25mm textile dome tweeter and 100mm mid/bass driver. Costing £199, the D320 is a larger standmount that employs the same tweeter with a 130mm mid/bass driver, while the 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 15, 2018  |  0 comments
Designed and built in the UK, Mitchell & Johnson has announced the launch of its 800 Series of hi-fi components. The first two products to be unveiled in the new flagship series are the S800 preampwith multi-input DAC and phono stage, and matching S815 power amp – both priced £1,299 each. A matching CD player is expectedto follow in November.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 15, 2018  |  0 comments
Following the introduction of its MA Series of Bluetooth wireless in-ear headphones last year, Glasgow-based RHA has announced an all-new wireless in-ear model called TrueConnect. Priced at £150, the low-profile design does away with the MA’s neckband and uses a stem on the earpiece to house the antenna. Supporting Bluetooth v5. 0 from a playback device, the stem also contains a microphone to enable smartphone calls.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 12, 2018  |  0 comments
Loudspeaker maker KEF has unveiled its redesigned R Series that employs trickle-down design and tech developments usually found on the Kent-based company’s flagship Reference Series. With 1,043 individual changes to the revamped series, highlights include the latest generation of the company’s Uni-Q driver array – now in its 12th iteration – featuring Shadow Flare trimring design for more transparent sound, smaller bass drivers with greater excursion and a sophisticated internal bracing system, all aimed at bringing higher levels of performance to the series. Focusing on the stereo models, all are three-way ported designs and the £1,300 R3 standmount has a 165mm bass driver partnered to a Uni-Q array with 125mm midrange and 25mm aluminium dome tweeter with sensitivity of 87dB at 8ohm. All three floorstanders use the same Uni-Q array, but the £2,000 R5 has 2x 130mm bass drivers to the same electrical specification, while the £2,600 R7 has2x 165mm and the £4,000 R11 employs 4x 165mm bass drivers and claim 88dB and 90dB into 8ohm respectively.

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