Hi-Fi Choice

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  0 comments
Following Apple’s move to drop the headphone jack from the iPhone and the news that Samsung will follow suit with its flagship Galaxy models in 2019, the portable headphone market has gone wireless crazy. Like many brands, 1More has been quick to respond and takes its £100 wired Triple Driver in-ear headphone design – reviewed in HFC 425 – and adds wire-free connectivity and noise-cancelling for just £20 more than its wired counterpart.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  Published: Feb 08, 2019  |  0 comments
As Oscar Wilde once observed, “…but some of us are looking up at the stars. ” Actually, for budget-conscious audiophiles, it’s kind of mandatory. Personally, I fantasise about being able to drop £16. 5k on Bowers & Wilkins’ flagship 802 D3 floorstander – undoubtedly the thing my larger listening room has been missing out on for years.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  0 comments
There’s much debate about the direction the UK economy will take post-Brexit, but we’re already seeing a shift to things being made in Britain again. With this in mind, it’s good to discover that this flagship pre/power amplifier combination is made here in Blighty. While we expect Bremont watches and Aston Martin cars to be manufactured here, it comes as something of a surprise to learn that Mitchell & Johnson is turning out this £2,598 amplifier combo from a factory based in the Midlands. As the first two pieces in the company’s new top-of-the range 800 Series, they are entirely designed, engineered and built in the UK and company boss David Johnson says that making its top series here means better control of product quality.
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
It must be great to be Italian. For all the country’s quirks, it’s one of the richest seams of European culture and so much beauty has come from within its borders. Whereas we Brits can congratulate ourselves for inventing most of the essential tools for modern life – from the steam railway and the jet engine to the worldwide web – Italy has made things of great beauty, in so many forms. The sonnet is one such example – 14 lines of verse in iambic pentameter.
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
Known for its specialist tonearms, Jelco – distributed in the UK by Divine Audio, but supplied here by ISOkinetik – has made its SG-1 digital stylus pressure gauge available as a separate item priced at £79. Previously supplied with its flagship TK-950 tonearm (HFC 438), the SG-1 is a well-made gauge with a non-magnetic stainless-steel bracket fitted to the sensor plate. Pressing the on button illuminates the green backlit LCD display and zeros the balance.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
As the smaller of a brace of powered speakers, the MusicCast 20 represents the entry point of Yamaha’s wireless speaker range. MusicCast is the company’s ambitious multi-room system and as well as working on its own, the 20 can also be integrated with other MusicCast products as part of a multi-room or multi-speaker setup with products detecting one another for full flexibility and seamless integration around the home.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
As last month’s Group Test of entry-level network audio players showed, the streaming sector is hotting up with a wide selection of easy-to-use players to choose from at some very attractive prices. As if to further demonstrate the growth in the market, Yamaha has introduced its keenly priced MusicCast NP-S303 music streamer that’s designed to be an easy network audio add on to an existing hi-fi setup, or to partner with its matching full-size integrated amplifiers as part of a unified system.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
There is a school of thought among some loudspeaker buyers that a standmount design is a bit of a waste of time. The reason being that, as long as you aren’t intending to pop said loudspeakers onto a bookshelf, then by the time you have located them in your room and perched them on some suitable stands they take up roughly the same amount of room as some floorstanders, so why not just opt for them in the first place? While things are more complicated than this, you can see the logic.

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