Hi-Fi Choice

Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 20, 2015  |  0 comments
Welcome to our January 2015 issue. This month’s group test looks at the latest USB DACs to upgrade your hi-fi and sound on the go, and we also go In-depth with a stunning Primare pre/power combo. Four of the best sounding DAB radios get rated, plus we listen to B&W’s T7 Bluetooth speaker and celebrate Topic Records at 75! Clickhereto buy a copy or become a subscriber by clickinghere. .
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
Headphones have taken over the audio world for all but the cognoscenti (that’s us, we know about sound). And the well established hi-fi brands have all been scrambling to get on the band wagon too, even brands that have previously not been involved with domestic audio are getting in on the act; I even saw some Marshall branded headphones in a Paul Smith store theother day! Focal got its first headphone to market a couple of years ago, that was the Spirit, late last year it added two more models, the Spirit Pro and Spirit Classic. The latter is an audiophile version of the Classic with higher build and, its claimed, sound quality than the standard Spirit. The two models are very similar in appearance, but when you put them side by side the Classic looks positively deluxe with its leather padding and brushed aluminium metalwork.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
One of the best things about Spendor is that when its ranges are refreshed, it’sa worthwhile update. The company’s MD Philip Swift ‘gets it’ that buyers aren’t always taken in by the addition of an alloy trim ring, a five percent more expensive crossover capacitor and set of gold-plated spikes. So when it does something,it’s worth sitting up and taking notice. Any ‘R’ version (as it’s ‘Revised’) really is worth paying attention to.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 15, 2015  |  0 comments
You might be forgiven for gaining the impression that there is really only one option when it comes to portable digital players capable of 24/192 resolution – Astell&Kern. But it was always only a matter of time before other players appeared. Those in search of an alternative to the somewhat pricey players from iRiver pricked up their ears whenFiiO trailed the availability of a more affordable unit using the same Wolfson WM8740 DAC. A similar frisson was felt when it released an excellent portable headphone amp – the E17 – a year or two ago.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
The latest and most expensive Bowers & Wilkins headphones are also the most desirable. The smell of the leather as you open the box, the contrast of chrome and black, it all says luxury. You also get a lot in the box. There are two alternate cables, one for use with Apple portables with inline volume and play/pause control, and another straight wire (without gain) for more discerning listeners.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 14, 2015  |  0 comments
By combining hi-fi sound quality with real world convenience, all-in-one digital music players signify a step-change for the hi-fi industry. Their allure is like that ofCD in the eighties, appealing to both audiophiles and music lovers alike who simply want a fuss-free way to hear music, which in the modern age could be stored on a smartphone, laptop or sophisticated NAS drive. Cambridge Audio clearly gets this and its Minx Xi combines features cherry picked from its affordable separates range, packed into an even more affordable do-it-all single box. So what you get is a 40W (claimed) Class AB amplifier derived from the company’s 351A integrated amp, dual Wolfson WM8728 DACs lifted from the 351C CD player, the streaming functionality of CA’s NP30 network player and Bluetooth connectivity courtesy of the company’s BT100 apt-X receiver.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 13, 2015  |  0 comments
Bit perfection – unleash hi-res music from your computer with these six USB DACs PRODUCT Denon DA-300USB PRODUCT ADL X1 PRODUCT Hegel HD12 DSD PRODUCT Henry Audio USB DAC 128 mkII PRODUCT iFi Nano iDSD PRODUCT LH Labs Geek Out M ORIGIN China TYPE USB and S/PDIF DAC/headphone preamp WEIGHT 1. 5kg DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 170 x 57 x 182mm FEATURES ● 32-bit/192kHz DAC ● Format support: PCM 44. 1-192kHz; DSD64; DSD128 ● Inputs: USB-B port; S/PDIF coaxial; 2x Toslink ● Output: stereo RCAs DISTRIBUTOR D&M Audiovisual, UK Ltd TELEPHONE 02890 279830 WEBSITE denon. co.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
Does the classic NAD 3020 integrated amplifier need any introduction? Most HFC readers will have owned one, heard one orat least known someone else who used one. It came out 35 years ago, for the princely sumof £59 in the UK, and was painfully uncool looking back then; its 3030 predecessor wasa far more fashionable beast with its broad expanse of brushed aluminium, inset with big chunky analogue power meters. By contrast, the 3020 had a dull charcoal grey plastic fascia, a miserly mono LED power meter,and precious few facilities by the standardsofthe day. Worse still, it put out a piffling 20W RMS of power into 8 ohms.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
PRODUCT Primare PRE32/A34. 2 ORIGINSweden TYPEPreamp with mediaboard and Class Dpower amplifier WEIGHT10. 5kg each DIMENSIONS(WxHxD)470 x 109 x 343mm FEATURES ● Preamp withvTuner internetradio, upsamplingDAC, network andaptX Bluetoothstreaming ● Quoted power:150W/8ohms ● Balanced inputs/outputs ● Burr-BrownPCM1792 DAC DISTRIBUTORKarma-AV Ltd TELEPHONE01423 358846 WEBSITEkarma-av. co.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jan 12, 2015  |  0 comments
PRODUCT Stream Magic 6 V2 ORIGIN UK/China TYPE Network streamer/ DAC preamp WEIGHT 4kg DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 430 x 85 x 305mm FEATURES ● Dual Wolfson WM8740 DACs ● Wi-fi, Ethernet and optional aptX Bluetooth streaming ● USB; S/PDIF; Toslink; Ethernet; Wi-fi inputs ● S/PDIF; Toslink; balanced XLR audio outputs DISTRIBUTOR Richer Sounds TELEPHONE 0333 9000093 WEBSITE cambridgeaudio. com ISSUE 393 . . .

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