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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 21, 2015  |  0 comments
Cambridge Audio has unveiled the second-generation of its Minx Air wireless speakers. The Air 100 V2 and Air 200 V2 are claimed to offer an improved, more rhythmic and musical sound, and now come with the addition of Spotify Connect and an update to the design. The V2 models now feature Cambridge-developed and patented fourth-generation BMR drivers – which are also found in the £1,000 flagship Cambridge Aeromax 6 floorstanding speaker tested in HFC 391 – specially designed to produce a rich, smooth and wide, room-filling sound. They use acoustically dampened, rigid cabinets to eliminate vibration and distortion, while a custom-developed Class-D digital amplifier and a bass port are hidden in the carry handle.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 20, 2015  |  0 comments
QED has introduced eight new Reference Series interconnect cables that have been designed specifically for hi-fi enthusiasts and home cinema fans. The new cables complete the company’s premium Reference Series, which includes the award winning Reference Audio 40 (tested back in HFC 387). The new products consist of the £79. 95 Reference Optical Quartz, £124.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 19, 2015  |  0 comments
Audio-Technica has unveiled it latest turntable, the AT-LP5. First revealed to the world at this year’s IFA show in Berlin, the new deck is a direct-drive vinyl spinner that provides playback for 33 and 45rpm discs. Based on an original design from the sixties, the J-shaped 247mm tonearm has a 17mm overhang and is claimed to minimise tracking errors. It comes fitted with Audio-Technica’s lightweight AT-HS10 headshell and the exclusive AT95Ex dual moving magnet cartridge.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 19, 2015  |  0 comments
Welcome to the November 2015 issue of Hi-Fi Choice – the essential guide to getting the best possible sound from your hi-fi, whether you're buying, tuning or tweaking. . . 

 This is a very good time of year to think about buying yourself a pair of stout new shoes.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 16, 2015  |  0 comments
“Striking sound that can both soar and soothe” is how Danish manufacturer DALI describes the ethos that is at the heart of the new Opticon range. Consisting of seven models, the hand-assembled speakers boast a unique SMC-based magnet motor system alongside hybrid soft dome ribbon tweeters and wood-fibre, low-loss cones. The £499 Opticon 1 is a compact standmount with a 26mm soft dome tweeter and a 120mm wood-fibre, low-loss woofer. The slightly larger Opticon 2 (£649) increases the woofer to 165mm and partners it with a 28mm tweeter.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Following on from the success of its excellent Hugo DAC (on test HFC 386), Chord Electronics has unveiled a new portable digital-to-analogue converter aimed specifically at the large number of people that listen to their music on their smartphone. Mojo connects digitally to smartphones and portable devices via either Micro USB (a cable is supplied), optical or a 3. 5mm coaxial input and is capable of playing back all format types, including the hi-res Dop and DSD 64, 128 and 256 options. Mojo utilises a new Atrix-7 FPGA chipset from Silicon Valley's Xilinx, which is a programmable circuit that Chord claims makes Mojo the most advanced DAC on the planet.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Put together to mark the 50th anniversary of The Who,The Track Records Singles 1967 – 1973isvolume three of a four-part set of classic Who singles by labels including Brunswick, Reaction, Track and Polydor. The 15-disc set features classic hit singles including Pinball Wizard, I Can See For Miles and Won’t Get Fooled Again. Housed in a rigid ‘lid-and-tray’ full colour, laminatedouter box,this special boxset also includes a 7in-sized 20-page colour booklet with liner notes about each release and period memorabilia, making it the ultimate Who fans' collector's item. It's available to pre order now here for £109.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 12, 2015  |  0 comments
Ruark’s R4 Integrated Music System (IMS) incorporates a CD player, aptX Bluetooth connectivity, DAB/DAB+/FM tuners with a 2. 1 speaker system. The third-generation R4 IMS looks familiar but, says Ruark, it has a sleeker profile, an OLED display, RotoDial controller and an ergonomically designed remote. The updated slot-loading CD mechanism provides CD text info with compatible discs, and the rear panel has a USB playback port for MP3, AAC and WMA files (which also doubles as a mobile charge port) along with optical digital and RCA analogue inputs.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 09, 2015  |  0 comments
The newly launched TX-8150 and TX-8130 stereo receivers from Onkyo offer 2x 135W and 110Wper channel respectively. Touted as hi-res network receivers, they both use a 32-bit/384kHz DAC to decode any digital two-channel source, be it wireless (TX-8150) or wired (TX-8130), including 24-bit/192kHz FLAC or DSD 5. 6MHz music files over a home network. Deezer, TuneIn, and Spotify Connect streaming services are onboard with song selection available via a free remote app that can integrate with music libraries stored on PC or media server to control playback.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2015  |  0 comments
Announced at the IFA Show in Berlin, Sony’s new CAS-1 Compact Audio System comes with support for 24-bit/192kHz hi-res and DSD 2. 8MHz audio. We’re told it has independent amplifier sections – one to drive the partnering speakers using Sony’s proprietary S-Master HX high-resolution audio amplifier, while the other drives the headphone output section and has a dedicated adjustable gain control to accommodate different headphone impedances. Connectivity includes the facility to attach your smartphone via Sony’s SongPal app and stream your music using LDAC-supported Bluetooth and NFC.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 07, 2015  |  0 comments
The Elixir amplifier from Heed is the first model to kick start a new range that’s aimed at music lovers seeking slimline yet flexible component solutions at a reasonable price. An integrated amplifier with a built-in MM phono stage and Class A headphone amp, it claims 50W per channel output (into 8ohm), and is flexible enough to drive a wide range of loudspeakers, says Heed. Connectivity includes four stereo RCA line-level inputs, a MM phono input and stereo preamp output. The flexible specification is designed, says Heed, to be simple for hi-fi newcomers but is flexible enough to expand your system.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 06, 2015  |  0 comments
Audiolab’s 8200CD CD player won a well-deserved Recommended badge back in HFC 340, and now its long-awaited successor, the 8300CD, spearheads the all-new 8300 Series, which also includes the 8300A – a completely redesigned update of its original integrated amp. Available in silver or black, the 8300CD is built around the Sabre32 9018 DAC which, it’s claimed, reduces jitter to the levels expected from a much more expensive player. It processes data up to 32-bit/384kHz via USB, and also accepts DSD files, while a full range of inputs and outputs have been retained from the original models, along with an AES/EBU digital input and XLR digital output. The 8300A has a dual-mono power amplifier section delivering 75W into 8ohm and is powered by a 300VA toroidal transformer.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 05, 2015  |  0 comments
The new compact OTTAVA SC-C500 system from Technics combines an all-in-one network CD stereo amplifier and speakers. It’s perfectly suited to homes with limited space, and delivers an audio experience more typically associated with larger amps, or so Technics claims. Digital input formats include PCM (24-bit/96kHz); FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC (24-bit/192kHz); MP3, WMA; AAC and DSD (2. 8MHz, 5.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 02, 2015  |  0 comments
Want to find a way of getting your music distributed around the home without going down the Sonos (or the like) route, yet desire the same kind of multi-room integration using more traditional audio components? Yamaha's MusicCast range of products has arrived with the aim of doing just this. With its own multi-room standard integratedinto its new series of hi-fi components, soundbars and AV receivers, it allows audio to be shared over wired and wireless networks as well as using Bluetooth and AirPlay through connected devices. If the MusicCast name sounds familiar, it's because it is the monicker (but not the tech) that was also given to the brand's hard-disk-based system launched in 2003. With 23 MusicCast products announced – including the MCR-N670D micro system (£700) pictured – there looks to be plenty of component options to enable customers to quickly establish a multi-room setup and share any input on any MusicCast device with any other around the home.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 01, 2015  |  0 comments
Gibson Innovations, part of Gibson Brands, best known for its musical instruments, consumer electronics and audio, has announced details of its new headphones, called Trainer. The company's first foray into the headphone market has been developed in partnership with Usain Bol and incorporates a range of features specifically designed for fitness enthusiasts. The headphones offer what Gibson describes as: "unparalleled sound quality with practical functionality, culminating in the ultimate sport headphone" and are available in black or white. The wireless headphones switch between an active mode and a lifestyle mode.