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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Acoustic Energy made a great name for itself back in the late eighties and has gone from strength to strength ever since. Following a recent management buy out, the Gloustershire-based company has a renewed sense of momentum with various new speaker designs – several of which I have sampled – including the AE109 (HFC 425), a highly capable entry-level floorstander from its 100 Series.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 06, 2018  |  0 comments
Before we get to the brand new and rather imposing tower you see before you, a little Brit-fi archaeology. You’ve doubtless heard of Falcon Acoustics, not least for its assertion that among the host of latter-day copies, it makes the most authentic and accurate recreation of the legendary BBC LS3/5a standmount monitor. A decent enough claim to fame. But to fully appreciate the provenance of the company, its specialisations and its aspirations, we must dig deeper.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 03, 2018  |  0 comments
The powered speaker market – where a stereo amplifier is built into one of the loudspeakers – has become an increasingly popular area with those seeking desktop music systems. US brand Klipsch is embracing the versatile sector, and the R-41PM is a small powered design that’s closely related to its R-41M passive loudspeaker.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 29, 2018  |  0 comments
Having focused on conventional Bluetooth speakers in the past, Ruark is now moving into the multi-room realm with new models like the wi-fi-equipped MRx before you. Available with a walnut or soft grey finish, it’s a substantial bookshelf speaker, measuring 300mm wide, 180mm high and 180mm deep when lying flat in ‘landscape’ mode – although there’s a metal stand that also allows you to stand it upright if space is tight.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 28, 2018  |  0 comments
You certainly can’t accuse Sonos of resting on its laurels. The company already dominates the multi-room audio market with its Play range of speakers, and it moved quickly to introduce the new Sonos One (HFC 433) last year, adding support for Amazon’s Alexa voice technology, and pitching it as the “smart speaker for audiophiles”. Now, barely six months later, it’s introducing the Beam, which brings Alexa smart tech to the company’s range of television soundbars for the first time.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 21, 2018  |  0 comments
The genuine materialisation of Triangle’s philosophy”, is how the company describes this substantial floorstander – despite not being the flagship line. Instead, the Australe EZ is the top of the Esprit range, which is two below the top Magellan. You might say it’s ideal if you want the best performance and value mix.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 05, 2018  |  0 comments
When Monitor Audio first unveiled its Studio standmount loudspeaker at the Bristol Show in February, I was genuinely intrigued. Unlike pretty much everything else in the company’s extensive loudspeaker lineup, it doesn’t belong to a wider range of products but is instead a design that, for now at least, exists entirely on its own. It has no claims to multi-channel use or smart home integration and it surprised visitors to the show by debuting early, having been planned to launch at the Munich High End Show in May,but instead beingready in time to be on display at Bristol.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Our story starts with Joseph Léon, a man decorated for bravery for his work in the French Resistance during World War II. Later, as managing director of Multimoteur, he began manufacturing loudspeakers called Conques (French for shells, due to their elliptical shape), and then changed the name to Elipson (‘ellipse’ and ‘son’, the latter being the French word for sound).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
It’s all very well reading about loudspeakers that employ exotic materials and techniques in their construction, with special driver designs and radical ribbon tweeters, but most of us own models that are basically two or three moving-coil drive units in a fibreboard box with some acoustical damping and a shiny external finish. I’m quite fascinated by affordable loudspeakers.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 03, 2018  |  0 comments
There is a school of thought among some loudspeaker buyers that standmount designs are a bit of a waste of time. To be clear, this is not referring to those small speakers mounted on wall brackets or tucked away on a shelf, but rather those that are positioned in their own space on the floor atop a pair of stands.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 17, 2018  |  1 comments
Few hi-fi components read from a more conflicted job sheet than the standmount speaker. Put yourself inits place. Number one, you need to persuade your owner that, however tempting, being tucked away on a bookshelf isn’t that great an idea if you’re expected to give your best performance. Second, having avoided that dusty corner cosying up to Ian McEwan, the stout pillar you’re now perched on eats up as much floorspace as a floorstanding tower so, yes, the pressure’s on to deliver sonically.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  0 comments
Has hi-fi got better in the past few decades? Take loudspeakers for example; low-cost designs from the seventies were somewhere between dreadful and dire, but improvements in design and manufacturing now make it possible to do so much better. This point is beautifully illustrated by the new Monitor 300. To be frank, the price has you wondering if the company has inadvertently left off a zero. From a distance it looks like a swanky high-end floorstander – indeed, you could say the same from moderately close up.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Sep 11, 2018  |  0 comments
A clue might be in the name, but to be honest, it isn’t much of a clue. Fyne Audio. Considerable pun potential apart, a manufacturer with a Scottish HQ seems a fair bet – not unlike legendary Scottish loudspeaker maker, Tannoy. More than just a coincidence? Absolutely.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Producing a concept unit especially for a show or event is a relatively common practise in the car industry, but rather less so in the world of hi-fi. Most companies tend to consider the business of creating items for production to be work enough, but one noble exception is KEF. Having done exactly this with the Muon floorstander, it repeated the process with the Concept Blade, and then managed to get both speaker prototypes into series production. In the case of the Blade, the result was an extraordinary speaker and one we liked very much.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 15, 2017  |  0 comments
It is hard to believe that it is now over a decade since Q Acoustics first began selling speakers. As a brand developed under the banner of Armour Home Electronics in 2006, it has successfully managed to swiftly migrate from newcomer to become the new benchmark for entry-level speakers (see our Group Test starting on p24). Even when it pushed its designs slightly upmarket with the arrival of its first Concept models in 2014, it delivered speakers that remain some of the best at their price points today. With barely any speaker markets left to conquer under £1,000, it was inevitable that eventually the brand would move more upmarket.