Sort By:  Post Date TitlePublish Date
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 08, 2019  |  0 comments
On test in the February issue: KEF LSX wireless speaker system, Rega Aura MC phono stage, Naim ND5 XS2 networked music player, Reloop Turn5 direct-drive turntable, Falcon Acoustics RAM Studio 20 standmount loudspeaker, plus a six-way integrated amplifiers Group Test with models from: Audiolab, Cambridge Audio, Musical Fidelity, NAD, Rega and Yamaha.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  0 comments
The Vena II integrated amplifier looks almost identical to its 2014 predecessor finished in Lancaster grey, save for the model number and updated input labelling to the front panel. Priced at £649, Quad’s entry-level integrated comes in the standard grey finish, but for an extra £100 is also available wrapped in a choiceof three veneered or lacquered-wood finishes, including sapele mahogany, gloss black or white.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  0 comments
A US brand distributed in the UK by Decent Audio, Aesthetix has announced the introduction of Mimas, the first integrated amplifier from the high-end component manufacturer. A hybrid design combining a valve preamp stage – using a single 6DJ8 valve per channel in a fully differential, balanced configuration – with a solid-state power amp section, it’s power output is rated at 2x 150W into 8ohm and claims to almost double that into 4ohm. Hand assembled in California and priced at £8,725, it offers five line-level inputs as standard, with a variable gain MM/MC phono stage and/or DAC module with two coaxial and two optical inputs and a USB port for an additional £1,500 each. Click here for more info.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
Distributed in the UK by Decent Audio, Colorado-based Ayre has introduced the first product from its entry-level 8 series. The EX-8 integrated ‘hub’ is available in five variants with a different array of input modules priced from £5,750 to £7,750. It’s rated at 2x 100W into 8ohm and is built around fully balanced, zero-feedback circuitry. With the Net module installed (from £7,500), it provides six digital inputs (Ethernet, USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and two Toslinks) and has embedded support for Spotify, Qobuz and Tidal streaming services as well as being Roon-ready.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2019  |  0 comments
The premier of the monster ULTIMA preamp and monoblock power amps from Chord Electronics certainly drew big crowds eager to geta first look at the newest beasts to arrive from the Kent-based specialist audio brand at last year’s Hi-Fi Show Live held in Windsor. Launched to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary with two ground-breaking introductions to its Reference range, the ULTIMA preamp (above) and twin mono power amps dominated one of the show’s largest demo spaces in a spectacular showcase that was joined by the company’s Blu MkII CD/ digital transport and DAVE DAC/preamp and partnered with probablythe world’s most striking loudspeaker – supplied in the shape of KEF’s Muon flagship. A single ULTIMA power amp measures 480 x 350 x 670mm (WxHxD) and weighs in at 86kg. It’s rated at 780W into 8ohm (for 0.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Danish loudspeaker company Dynaudio has introduced its five-strong Evoke Series, which includes two standmounts, two floorstanders and a dedicated centre for multi-channel setups. Designed at its purpose-built R&D facility in Skanderborg, the series fits the same new 28mm Cerotar tweeter with Hexis inner dome to all models. All Evoke drivers were developed alongside the company’s more upmarket Contour and Confidence loudspeaker designs and employ strong ferrite+ magnets as well as the company’s proprietary MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) cones to its bass drivers. The Evoke 10 (£1,250) is a two-way standmount with a 140mm mid/bass driver, while the 20 (£1,800) employs a 180mm mid/bass driver.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Wales-based Leema Acoustics has unveiled its Elements Streamer, billed as a space-saving DLNA/UPnP network music player with a built-in DAC, offering integrated Spotify Connect, Deezer, Qobuz and Tidal streaming services alongside USB drive playback. Priced at £1,295 and conceived by Leema co-founder Lee Taylor, the player is based on the streaming module found in the company’s £2,995 Quasar integrated amplifier (HFC 425), and control is via a free app available for Android and iOS devices. Connectivity options include both balanced and unbalanced outputs, optical and coaxial digital outs, as well as a USB input and Ethernet network port. Twin wi-fi antennas aim to provide increased signal stability.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2019  |  0 comments
One event that really caught our eye at last year’s busy Hi-Fi Show Live was the unveiling of Copland’s CTA408 hybrid integrated amplifier that utilises both valve and solid-state circuitry. Unlike many other manufacturers, Copenhagen-based Copland prefers to do things differently and the CTA408 is based around an arrangement usingthe latest KT150 output valves and its own output transformers, offering a power stage rated a 2x 75W into4 and 8ohm that’s equipped with a special startup procedure designed to prolong valve life. Measuring 435 x 220 x 460mm (WxHxD) and weighing 26kg, it offers four line-level inputs and a tape loop, plus a fully shielded phono stage that has dedicated moving-magnet and moving-coil inputs and a solid-state circuitry design said to use 100+ discrete components. A dedicated Class A headphone amplifier is also built in, and the 6.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Acoustic Energy introduced its 100 Series in 2017 – the Cirencester-based company’s 30th anniversary year – with the launch of the AE109 (HFC 425), the new series’ top floorstander at the time priced at £600. The AE120 (pictured above) is the latest addition to the entry-level series and is a true three-way floorstander with sensitivity rated at 90dB. The slimline floorstander measuring 200 x 900 x 300mm (WxHxD) sees the new addition to the 100 Series continue to focus on traditional design values for a modern setting that have been carefully thought through. Twin 110mm bass drive units underpin the AE120’s performance, partnered with a dedicated midrange driver that’s housed in its own enclosure designed to mitigate the harmful effects of rear wave reflections, the company says.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 01, 2019  |  0 comments
Releasing a trio of standmounts for the first time on UK shores, Definitive Technologyis part of the Sound United group that also includes hi-fi specialists Denon and Marantz. Designed in California, the baby Demand 7 measures 140 x 248 x 222mm (WxHxD) and claims 85dB sensitivity. It’s priced at £529 and employs a 114mm mid/bass driver partnered to the same offset 25mm aluminium dome tweeter that’s fitted to each Demand model along with the company’s 20/20 Wave Alignment Lensfor improved stereo imaging and dispersion. Priced at £799, the Demand 9 is the mid model measuring 165 x 297 x 300mm (WxHxD) with a 133mm mid/bass driver and 229mm passive bass radiator, and claims 88dB sensitivity.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 31, 2019  |  0 comments
Few loudspeaker designs use complete metal mid/bass drivers, and fewer still combine them with ribbon tweeters. Monitor Audio has always gone its own way and like its predecessor, the latest Gold Series iteration balances the company's established C-CAM driver and MPD high-frequency transducer and introduces tech derived from its flagship Platinum II Series. Reduced to six models in this revised lineup,it includes three hi-fi pairs – a standmount and two floorstanders, plus a centre speaker, rear/FX speakers and a subwoofer for multi-channel installations. Priced at £1,400 the two-way Gold 100 standmount is fitted with a 165mm C-CAM mid/bass driver and rated at 86dB sensitivity.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 29, 2019  |  0 comments
Welcome Audio products with more than one function used to be derided by serious audiophiles. Think music centres in the seventies combining record player, cassette deck and FM radio tuner that took up most of the sideboard, and were often too easy on the pocket and not so easy on the ear. A dedicated component that's built for a specific audio task has always been the audiophile approach, but the all-in-one music system looks to be making a bit of a comeback in 2019. Take a look at KEF's LSX wireless music system reviewed on p16.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 02, 2019  |  0 comments
Happy New Year! What an amazing year 2018 has been for all things audio. With everything from amplifiers to turntables evolving to embrace the way we want to consume music today, this bumper 164-page special issue celebrates the hi-fi high-points from the past 12 months. Flicking through the review and system pages demonstrates the strength of today’s audio industry and the diverse range of products available to cater for all kinds of music listener – from those just starting out to seasoned audiophiles – and feeding our passion for sound in increasingly innovative ways. Each of the products selected for this ultimate product guide is a coveted Hi-Fi Choice badge winner applauded by our team of expert reviewers for a winning combination of outstanding sound quality and value for money – prices shown are from the time of original publication.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Expanding its portable X-Series range of components, iFi Audio’s £299 xCAN is a pocket-sized analogue headphone amp with the added convenience of Bluetooth to enable quality streaming from compatible digital devices. Housed in a similar lightweight case to the company’s xDSD (HFC 439), it measures 67 x 19 x 95mm (WxHxD) and weighs 127g. It eschews the USB audio connectivity and standalone DAC capability offered by its similar-looking sibling, and is strictly a headphone amp that offer 2x 1,000mW of power output to drive headphones connected to its 3. 5mm and 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 10, 2018  |  0 comments
Making its UK debut at The Hi-Fi Show Live, Harman’s Luxury Audio Group showed the first two models from the Mark Levinson 5000 Series with the N° 5805 and N° 5802 fully discrete, direct-coupled, Class AB integrated amplifiers. Both designs claim a power output of 2x 125W into 8ohm and the 5805 has three stereo line-level inputs – one balanced XLR and two single-ended – and a newly designed MM/MC phono stage with front panel selectable gain levels and infrasonic filters, and rear panel capacitive and resistive loading settings. Four digital audio inputs are also provided: one coaxial and two optical S/PDIF, and one asynchronous USB for up to 32-bit/192kHz PCM, DSD128 and MQA support. The 5802 is a digital-only design with six digital audio inputs and offers the same USB file support plusBluetooth connectivity with aptX HD.