January 2020 issue on sale now!

Welcome to the January 2020 issue
With a rapidly expanding music collection, I recently took the plunge and subscribed to Roon’s playback software to integrate and manage my home networked library with subscription streaming services Tidal and Qobuz. It’s been something of a revelation in my household, having everything available in a seamless library with a compelling user experience while the recommended further listening suggestions only broadens the appeal. Launched in 2015, Roon has grown to become the must-have certification on any new network audio component, and the latest update takes its music management algorithm software even further by learning about our personal tastes and comparing them with 100,000 other Roon listeners to make more individually tailored suggestions in its latest 1.7 Valence update. This looks set to enhance my musical journey, and I look forward to seeing where it takes me.

It’s been a busy month here at HFC Towers, with The UK Hi-Fi Show Live kicking off the start of our four-week schedule in grand style at Ascot racecourse over the weekend of 26 and 27 October – see our four-page Show Report inside. The spectacular two-day event was filled with plenty of high-end highlights, but it was Focal’s new Chora loudspeaker series that caught our eyes and ears and so it was quickly secured for an In-Depth test. Find out what we thought of this great-value floorstander inside this month's issue.

Also inside the January issue:
Exclusive reviews on Rega’s Aethos £3k integrated amplifier, PrimaLuna’s EvoLution 200 integrated valve amp, Fyne Audio’s F500 standmount, Meze Audio’s RAI Solo in-ear headphone, REL Acoustics’ S/510 sub-bass system and Quad’s Vena II Play streaming amp. Also, Insider talks to HMV’s new owner Doug Putman on the opening of Europe’s largest record store in Birmingham, while Music Legends celebrates the music of blues maestro BB King and Beautiful System showcases the talents of Luxman and DALI. This month’s Group Test looks at six noise-cancelling headphones from: AKG, Bose, Cleer, JBL, Master & Dynamic and Sennheiser.

Lastly, it is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Marantz brand ambassador Ken Ishiwata. Ken leaves a lasting audiophile legacy and his passion and legendary hi-fi demos will be greatly missed.

Lee Dunkley, editor