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Hi-Fi Choice

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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.
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 10, 2018  |  0 comments
Perhaps better known for its full-size headphone models than its in-ear designs, Audio-Technica has been increasing its offerings of late. The ATH-LS70iS is the more expensive of two ‘Live Sound’ models and uses two serially mounted carbon-coated dynamic drivers to reduce its housing size and increase the radiating area.

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