February issue on sale now

Welcome to the February issue

There’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to next-level integrated amplifiers, as this month’s collection of mid-priced models in our Group Test clearly demonstrates. Once regarded as the poor relation by serious audio fans who proclaimed that pre-power amplification was the only way to go if ultimate sonics are the goal, today’s integrated amplifiers have become smart, high-functioning and flexible solutions catering for modern hi-fi sensibilities.

Our six contenders offer everything from purist minimalism to feature-rich connectivity and future-proofing, but the core appeal remains: a powerhouse system hub that doesn’t take up too much space on the equipment rack. It’s a talented bunch. Some offer analogue inputs only, while others boast digital and numerous extra facilities. Each has enough power and hi-fi cred to make it a worthwhile upgrade over an entry-level integrated, but one design takes the group by storm.

Also inside this issue: exclusive reviews of Piega’s Premium Wireless 701 2.5-way active speaker, MartinLogan’s Motion 20i three-way floorstander and Anthem’s STR Integrated Amplifier. Plus, Novafidelity’s HA500H headphone amp/DAC, MoFi’s UltraDeck+M packaged turntable, Chord Electronics’ Huei MM/MC phono stage and Bowers & Wilkins PX7 wireless noise-cancelling headphone. Insider talks to John Bagby, the man behind Canadian audio brands Paradigm, MartinLogan and Anthem, while Music Legends celebrates Damon Albarn, Britain’s most intelligent, creative and enduring popstar since David Bowie and Dealer Visit heads to Yeovil’s Mike Manning Audio in South Somerset.

Regular readers will notice that we’ve expanded our editorial pages and introduced a Buying Guide. This new regular 11-page section is an essential round up of the best hi-fi we’ve seen over 10 product categories and provides a definitive guide to Hi-Fi Choice’s ‘Top 100’ must-hear components. Each product is applauded by our team of experts for its outstanding performance and value for money. Prices are from the time of original publication.

Lee Dunkley, editor