July issue coming soon

In a world peppered with single-box speaker systems, it can sometimes seem as though today's music fans have forgotten all about stereo. As a child of the seventies, the importance of a stereo soundstage – achieved by placing a pair of speakers apart and positioning yourself equidistant from both in the optimal listening 'hot spot' – is something that still dictates my cabinet placement at home and remains my preferred way of engaging with music. Although many one-box designs do a good job of creating a room-filling sound, thanks to sophisticated DSPs, for me nothing comes close to a two-speaker setup. Some designs generate a musical soundstage better than others, but Kudos' £7k Titan 505 reviewed in Exotica, creates one of the most believable 3D soundscapes from a standmount that we've heard.

Alternatively, if up close and personal is the way you like to listen, this month's in-ear headphone Group Test deserves your attention. These ultra-portable designs use miniature driver tech to achieve some of the most engrossing soundscapes we've experienced. Find out which of these six upmarket in-ear headphone designs from Audiolab, Audio-Technica, Grado, Klipsch, Oriveti and Westone engage the most.

This month's final word goes to our friend, colleague and fellow hi-fi enthusiast Simon Dunn, who sadly passed away last month at Hospice in the Weald, Tunbridge Wells. As HFC's engaging ads sales executive and a talented musician, Simon shared our passion for sound and his contributions and wit are greatly missed.

Lee Dunkley, editor

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