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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.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Top of the class Class D remains a controversial choice for manufacturers – some can get it to sound fabulous and for others it is a huge challenge. In this fascinating video, PS Audio’s co-founder Paul McGowan explains what can be done to get the best from it here. Pressing matters Based in Copenhagen, English photographer Alastair Philip Wiper goes behind the scenes in factories, observatories and places of industrial endeavour. In this fascinating series he shoots the world’s largest vinyl pressing plant in the Netherlands.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Ultimate Stream based in Farnham in Surrey is running a series of listening events called ‘An Evening With’ to allow visitors to experience the latest products from their brand portfolio including: Auralic, Kii Audio, Innuos, Dutch&Dutch, CAAS Audio, Amphion, Hegel and T+A. There’s also the opportunity to join a weekend workshop focussing on ‘Streaming For Beginners’. For more information and tickets call 01252 759285 or visit the website:www. ultimate-stream.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Turntable sales may have stabilised in 2018, but Japanese tech giant Yamaha hopes it can break new ground with the launch of its first MusicCast record player. On display for the first time at Berlin's IFA Show at the beginning of September, the Vinyl 500 is no regular LP spinner. The wireless belt-driven deck is designed to take the classic vinyl replay experience for a new spin by combining classic design with multi-room streaming. Priced at £549, the Vinyl 500 looks traditional enough and offers both 33 and 45rpm playback speeds with a 300mm aluminium die-cast platter, a straight tonearm that's fitted with an unspecified moving-magnet cartridge and is supplied with a dust cover.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2018  |  0 comments
Network music streaming continues to be a convenient way for many of us to listen to music at home, and its appeal is clear to see. With access to millions of digital files at the tap of a touchscreen and CD-quality sound or better on offer from hi-res subscription services like Qobuz Sublime or Tidal Master, streaming is a remarkably slick way of playing music and this month’s Group Testlooks at six low-cost network audio navigators to get you started. Despite streaming being a thoroughly modern way to listen to music, physical formats continue to play on in many systems, with vinyl being by far the most popular for readers to get their music listening kicks, judging by the number of votes that it received in our recent twitter poll asking: “What is your favourite music format?”. It seems that we’re a diverse bunch when it comes to ways to listen, but for those looking for something that combines both worlds, check out Yamaha’s MusicCast Vinyl 500.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Shown for the first time at the Festival of Sound, running from 27 to 30 September at the Novotel London West, AVM’s Inspiration CS 2. 2 4T compact streaming CD receiver will be unveiled by UK distributor PMC. Based on the popular CS 2. 2 reviewed in HFC 425, the CS 2.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 20, 2018  |  0 comments
Expectations ARE HIGH for the next generation of Denon’s CEOL network music systems, but any doubts are short lived asthe latest N10 iteration has already received an award for best compact music system by EISA members, including our sister titles Hi-Fi News and Home Cinema Choice magazines. Priced at £449, the new one-box music system adds Amazon Alexa voice compatibility and HEOS multi-room technology, allowing seamless playback to connected devices throughout the home.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Vienna-based hi-fi specialist Pro-Ject Audio Systems has a firm grip on the turntable market, thanks to its impressive span of models designed to appeal to vinyl fans on every budget. The Primary E is the latest in a long run of new additions to the company’s seemingly continuously growing number of turntable models, and at £149 is currently the most affordable inits 48-strong lineup.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 18, 2018  |  0 comments
Looking to spruce up the vinyl replay chain, UK distributor Henley Audio has introduced the SugarCube SC-1 from Californian-based firm SweetVinyl, designed to digitally remove pops and clicks from any record in real-time – “playing older records like they’re brand new”. Sitting between a phono stage and amplifier, it’s built around a Asahi Kasei analogue-to-digital converter (ADC), digital processor and an ESS DAC. It offers iOS and Android app-based control of the 24-bit/ 192kHz digital process and a Strength dial gives up to 10 ‘clean-up’ levels. The process claims to remove only the unwanted elements on the vinyl and that the audio signal retains all the space, depth and clarity of the original recording.

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