Hi-Fi Choice July 2021

Hi-Fi Choice is the essential guide to audio excellence in the home. It is a no-nonsense guide to the finest products available, from vinyl and valves, to multi-channel digital audio and high-fidelity video. Hi-Fi Choice sorts the best from the rest with rigorous test processes and a highly experienced team of reviewers.

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United Kingdom
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English
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AV Tech Media Ltd
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13 Numéros

dans ce numéro

1 min
welcome

www.hifichoice.com Issue No. 477 July 2021 “It’s like trying to review a gig, with Marvin Gaye, The Who, Miles Davis and The Smiths on the same bill!” That’s the conclusion of an email I received recently from HFC contributor David Price trying to explain why copy for this month’s Group Test was taking a little longer to arrive than previously arranged. Beats the dog eating his homework, right? As it turns out, David had so much fun dealing with the sheer variety of excellence on display once he got down to playing with his chosen turntables that we were moved to add an addendum Opinion column so he could explain the many intricacies he encountered reaching his verdict. It was one heck of a tough choice according to David, with all competitors…

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1 min
famous five

PRICE: £1,250 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: RUARKAUDIO.COM BRITISH HI-FI SPECIALIST Ruark Audio has introduced a new Signature Edition of its R5 all-in-one desktop system with an aesthetic upgrade and enhanced performance. It comes with a Piano Lacquer sfinish and machined alloy Rose Gold detailing and features Ruark’s proprietary algorithm and digital filtering, but with further tuning. The function has been enhanced, which the company says: “creates a cleaner soundstage with greater depth and realism.” The end result is Ruark’s STEREO+ feature. Internally the R5 Signature uses the original R5’s high-fidelity Class A-B amplification paired with Ruark’s own neodymium NS+ drivers, but with revised routing of key signal paths and the use of high-purity oxygen-free speaker cables for extra sound clarity. Offering wi-fistreaming of Spotify and support for Tidal, Deezer and Amazon Music,…

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1 min
direct action

PRICE: £800 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: TECHNICS.COM TECHNICS HAS UNVEILED two new direct-drive turntables, the SL-100C and the SL-1200MK7. The former is a high-quality plug and play model that features an iron-coreless direct-drive motor and high-precision S-shaped aluminium tonearm, and comes in at a more affordable price point than Technics’ SL-1500C. The SL-100C also comes with an on-board pick-up in the shape of Audio-Technica’s VM95C – with a conical stylus – which the company says: “ensures precise tracking and detail retrieval from the vinyl grooves, while the cartridge’s technical characteristics mean it is widely compatible with typical Phono MM (moving magnet) inputs found on hi-fiamplifiers.” Built on a solid two-layer chassis to ensure meticulous tracking, Technics says it’s free from external vibrations while the automatic tonearm lift (which can be turned off) activated at…

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2 min
one hundred and eighty!

PRICE: £1,400 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: ASTELLKERN.CO.UK ASTELL&KERN HAS INTRODUCED its new SE180 portable hi-res audio device, the third model in its A&futura series and the first to feature interchangeable all-in-one DAC modules. Expanding on the multi-DAC innovation first introduced with the SE200, listeners can now customise their sound with different audio-flavoured converters to find the hi-fi-grade sonics that best suit them. The interchangeable DAC design separates the main body from the all-in-one module so A&K claims any power and RF noise generated by the main unit is completely blocked, creating an independent structure that prevents noise from interfering with music. The A&futura SE180 comes with a default module featuring the SEM1 ESS ES9038PRO, an eight-channel DAC capable of playing up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and native DSD256 files. An optional module is offered in…

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1 min
ear ye! ear ye!

PRICE: £200-£350 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: BOWERSWILKINS.COM B&W has unveiled two new true wireless in-ears: the PI7 and PI5. The flagship PI7 supports Qualcomm aptX Adaptive wireless transmission from compatible mobile devices, allows hi-res music transmission from suitable streaming services and backs that capability with 24-bit/48kHz wireless transmission between each earbud. The buds themselves feature a 9.2mm bespoke drive unit, joined by a high-frequency balanced armature driver. Each of the units (two in each bud) are actively driven by their own amplifier. The PI7 boasts Adaptive Noise Cancellation paired with six microphones – three in each bud – for clear sound quality with phone calls. The PI5 uses TWS+ technology for earbud-toearbud synchronisation, coupled to a single 9.2mm bespoke drive unit in each earbud. It supports aptX, user-selectable noise-cancelling (plus an ambient pass-through mode)…

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1 min
blast off!

PRICE: £52 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: TECHNAXX.DE FRESH OUT OF Frankfurt comes the wireless MusicMan LED SoundBlaster BT-X56. Equipped with an integrated 3600mAh battery, which promises three hours of playback time (at full volume), it also serves as a portable charging station for tablets, smartphones and other devices. Offering FM radio, Bluetooth V4.2 and voice assistant as well as an Aux input, it comes with a shoulder strap and is IPX6 splash-proof. It boasts two 14W loudspeakers, an RGB LED-light around the speaker membrane, weighs in at 1.74kg and measures 283 x 123 x 126mm (LxWxH).…

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