Hi-Fi Choice

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 21, 2016  |  0 comments
I own an iPhone but it can’t store half of my digitised music collection or play any of my hi-res DSD, FLAC and ALAC music. I could use a workaround app but I’d need to carry an external DAC and a mains charger to replenish the phone’s battery, which is rapidly drained when playing hi-res music. All this is reason enough to own a separate Digital Audio Player (DAP), never mind the fact that devices like the XDP-100R are built from the ground up. Pioneer’s first hi-res DAP is compatible with just about every hi-res audio format on the planet including DSD 11.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 20, 2016  |  0 comments
It’s Elac Jim, but not as we know it! I have reviewed countless loudspeakers from this established German company over the years, and been impressed by many aspects of the sound, style and design – but the Debut B6 represents a ‘clean sheet’ loudspeaker by a newly hired acoustic engineer, done in a foreign country at a new price point. How’s that for a change of direction? Traditionally, Elac loudspeakers have had a distinctively bright, bracing and detailed sound with a delicate and well resolved treble thanks to the innovative and expensive tweeter. However, the new B6 – designedin Cypress, California – sells at a substantially lower price point than the company’s previous wares – at £299 per pair. For this, says designer Andrew Jones, a completely new approach was required that has meant new, bespoke drive units, careful fettling of less exotic cabinets and a meticulous costing of all the component parts to give the best sound per pound.
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  |  125 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.