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Lee Dunkley  |  Jan 28, 2016  |  0 comments
There are global events that happen in our lifetime, unusual days where you receive news about something so earth shattering that it seems to make even time itself stand still as you slowly come to terms with the reality that the world you knew up until that moment has changed forever. For me, the announcement of David Bowie’s death on Monday 11 January is one of those moments where everything seemed to slow and an already grey winter morning felt just that little bit darker. Things around me appeared to take on a different look and feel as the news unfolded in a hushed and reverent tone from BBC Radio 6 Music and the story began to sink in. I was in the kitchen at the time making breakfast after an early start, and I imagine that I will always be able to recall the sinking feeling that washed over me and stopped me dead in my tracks as the news broke and I began to comprehend the magnitude of what was being revealed.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 23, 2016  |  0 comments
Mention noise-cancelling headphones to anyone on the street and there’s a good chance many will think of brands other than AKG. But the big-name headphone brand owned by parent company Harman is making a big noise (so to speak) in the specialist noise-cancelling headphone sector thanks to its remarkably sophisticated sound optimisation technology built into its flagship N90Q headphones. The growth in hi-res portable music players and the fact that more of us are choosing to listen to music on the move has meant that the once humble headphone has seen a massive growth in recent years. As manyof us struggle to find time to listen to our favourite music through our hi-fi systemsat home, more of us are opting for a set of good-quality cans as our first choice for music listening.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 06, 2016  |  0 comments
2015 will quite rightly be remembered as the year that vinyl made a comeback, but it was also a pretty impressive 12 months for music sales all round with UK consumers spending more on singles, albums and subscription music services than any year since 2011. In fact the only bad news was for music downloads, which suffered a considerable decline. In all, recorded music enjoyed £1. 06bn profit, which is a 3.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 05, 2016  |  0 comments
Heavy metal legends Iron Maiden have teamed up with Onkyo to launch a pair of headphones specfically designed for listening to the band's music. The ED-PH0N3S have been designed to provide fans of Iron Maiden, rock and heavy metal the ultimate way to hear their music, with the clarity and full acoustic range required byMaiden bassist, founder member and co-producer Steve Harris. The official Japanese launch event took place on Tuesday at the Astro Hall in Harajuku, Tokyo and saw the launch of a special companion Maiden Audio smartphone app for both iOS and Android users. The app, which is now available for download in the Apple Store and Google Play Store, includes exclusiveIron Maiden custom EQ settings.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 21, 2015  |  0 comments
As two-channel audio might be seen to be a fairly mature category, moments of genuine innovation are pretty few and far between. That said, Chord Electronics’ Hugo (HFC 386) has a reasonable claim to being of some significance. The combined preamp/DAC in a portable form factor impressed us and has been a significant sales success too. At the same time, Chord hasn’t been blind to some of the limitations ofthe Hugo as a portable device.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 21, 2015  |  0 comments
Launched in October 1983, Audiolab’s original 8000A integrated amplifier was a veritable powerhouse by the standards of the day, with a quoted 50W RMS per channel into 8ohm that virtually doubled into 4ohm. Remarkably, unlike nearly all its rivals, the 8000A could even work into 2ohm loads without going bang. The model was extensively tweaked over the years and by the nineties had become a sort of hi-fi version of the Volkswagen Golf – affordable yet designed and engineered like no others at the price. It lived on for 14 years in its original incarnation, and the 8300A you see here is its latest descendant and arguably most radical departure.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 21, 2015  |  0 comments
Welcome to the Hi-Fi Choice Yearbook 2015 – the essential guide to getting the best possible sound from your hi-fi, whether you're buying, tuning or tweaking. . . 

 Wow! What a 12 months it has been for discerning audio fans, as well as a milestone year for your favourite hi-fi magazine as we hit 40 years old and 400 issues back in August.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 21, 2015  |  0 comments
Despite huge success inthe wireless multi-room market, Sonos has not always been that warmly embraced by audiophiles. That’s partly because for hi-fi kit to work with its networked wireless speakers you need its Connect box, which has optical and coaxial digital inputs, plus RCA stereo phonos. And you’ll need a phono preamp for your turntable. Then there’s the matter of hi-res files, as it won’t play anything over 16/48.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 14, 2015  |  0 comments
Developed in-house at Arcam, the recently updated MusicLife app has been designed to be easier to use, faster and more stable than similar streaming apps. In addition to standard UPnP functions, MusicLife plays media from servers to anyBluetooth device, enabling streaming to almost anything that's paired with an Arcam miniBlink or rBlink Bluetooth DAC. Features include the ability to stream from your server or computerto connected Arcam hi-fi or home cinema component, from an iPhone / iPad to connected Arcam hi-fi or home cinema component, from your server or computer to an iPhone / iPad, from your server or computerto any Bluetooth device or from an iPhone / iPadto any Bluetooth device. Complete control of the Media Player in an Arcam network-based music systems, includes advanced features such as playback of content stored on iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, library searching, sorting and shuffle & repeat playback.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 11, 2015  |  0 comments
Perfectly suited for those that like to listen to music while they exercise, Gibson Innovations has teamed up with the fastest man alive Usain Bolt to producethe Ti100in-ear. Designed to offer style, freedom of movement and superb sound, the wireless sport in-earphones utilise wireless Bluetooth technology to make it easy to listen to music while training. The Ti100 features a unique Aeroflex system that allows users to switch between in-ear and a more secure ear-hook style depending on the planned intensity of their training session. And as with the TH100 on-ear model, safety and visibility have been made a priority for when training at night, with both models featuring NightNav technology which includes LED lighting at the back of the earphone to make the user more visible.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 09, 2015  |  0 comments
Meridian has unveiled its new DSP5200. 2 and DSP7200. 2 speakers with proprietary Digital Signal Processing (DSP) technology. Both new models house not only smart processing, but also three 75W amplifiers with a claimed maximum output level of 116dB at 1m.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 08, 2015  |  0 comments
Linn has announced its Series 5, 520 and 530 Exakt customisable music systems. The 530 speaker boasts 300W of power, while the smaller 520 boasts 200W. Both have jewel-cut glass stands and top plates in a choice of grey, white or black. The Akurate Exakt DSM has connections for all music sources, including streaming from online services.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 07, 2015  |  0 comments
Introducing DALI’s zensor AX series, which comprises two models – the floorstanding ZENSOR 5 AX (pictured) and the bookshelf ZENSOR 1 AX. Two 50W fully optimised digital Class D amplifiers have been integrated into the left-hand speaker, with a cable carrying the output to the partnering passive model. Both speakers have 5mm wood-fibre, soft dome tweeters partnered by a pair of 133mm low-frequency drivers on the ZENSOR 5 and just one on the ZENSOR 1. Wireless connectivity comes via aptX Bluetooth and for a more traditional hookup, an optical Toslink (able to accept up to 24-bit/96kHz) and a pair of stereo analogue inputs are included, while a subwoofer output is on hand to give a little extra low-end grunt.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 04, 2015  |  0 comments
TEAC has underlined its commitment to hi-res with the release of the UD-503 dual-monaural USB DAC/headphone amplifier and the NT-503DAB USB DAC/network player (above). The UD-503 boasts support for 11. 2MHz DSD and 32/384 PCM formats. With a set of analogue inputs also provided and a 256-step QVSC (Quad Volume Control System), it can act as a standalone preamp, either partnered with power amps or active speakers.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Dec 03, 2015  |  0 comments
Introducing a new phono stage from Cyrus, the Phono Signature has been designed to exceed the expectations of serious vinyl audiophiles, particularly in areas of dynamic performance, accurate cartridge matching and flexibility of use. By adding IR remote control of cartridge matching, for the first time ever the manufacturer is able to provide tonal control to rebalance vinyl that is less than perfect. Each of its four inputs can be accurately matched to the exact specification of the cartridge and the acoustic preference of the user. Adjustment is provided for MC cartridges in gain, resistance and capacitance, facilitating a possible 160 combinations.