Tech & Gaming
Best Buys – Audio & AV

Best Buys – Audio & AV

Issue 1 - 2020

Best Buys Audio & AV is loaded to the gills with authoritative reviews on all types of hi-fi and home theatre products, from wireless speakers to valve amplifiers, AV projectors and streaming computer audio – it’s a must-read for those looking to assemble or upgrade their home entertainment systems. By publishing easy-to-read, well researched reviews, Best Buys Audio & AV provides at-a-glance summaries together with detailed reviews by Australia’s most experienced hi-fi and AV teams from Sound+Image and Australian Hi-Fi magazines.

Future Publishing Ltd
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2 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the hi–fi headlines

It’s been a busy month at Len Wallis Audio. Firstly we were honoured to receive a ‘Cinema Design Gold Award’ from Sound+Image magazine for one of the dedicated Home Theatres we completed this year. This was a very special project. It is a 13.4.6 Atmos theatre featuring the highest number of Meridian Active speakers used in a domestic theatre anywhere in the world. This project also picked up a Silver award at the CE Pro awards earlier this year in the US. Plus, we have just seen the return of a legend to Len Wallis Audio – we are stocking Technics turntables again, after a hiatus of a few decades. This has been a long time coming, but Technics were obviously content to take their time to get it right, and…

9 min.
epson eh-tw7100

There are such things as native 4K UHD projectors, which have the full 4K’s worth of pixels on a single chip. But these remain expensive, and are often physically large. In the sub-$5000 AV projector market, pixel-shifting is the way to go if you want to achieve UHD resolution. Which brings us to the new Epson EH-TW7100 with its 4K Pro-UHD feature, complete with a dedicated 4K Pixel-Shift processor. EQUIPMENT The Epson EH-TW7100 projector is an attractive and curvy design in white. That means it’s well suited to blending in with most ceilings when mounted thereon, upside-down, though is less suited to darkened dedicated theatre rooms where you’d want everything to be black. So this is more one of those intermediate designs, bringing some features from semi-portable models into the home theatre. For…

8 min.
hisense laser tv

A recent survey in Europe found that four out of five people think a big TV picture makes viewing more enjoyable. And frankly we can’t imagine what the fifth person is thinking — of course it does, and screen size is high on everyone’s wish-list when they’re looking for a new telly. But clearly there’s a transportation problem with big TVs. How would you even get a 100-inch TV into your home? The more common solution for a picture of such a size has long been to have a projector. But a projector isn’t a TV. It doesn’t have speakers (at least, any worth mentioning) or a TV tuner or many of the other usability features of a TV. And it usually has problems with ambient light which leaves it being…

11 min.
bowers & wilkins formation bar

Once upon a time when you’d think of Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers, you’d think of tradition, of leather armchairs in English clubs, of Queen and country. And of solid loudspeakers, engineered to produce fine sound. All that’s still the case with many of the company’s loudspeakers, but occasionally it goes radical. It did that with the Nautilus loudspeakers. It did that with the Zeppelin. And now it’s doing it again with the Formation series. EQUIPMENT B&W Formation is a fully networked active speaker system that works as high end stereo (particularly with the Formation Duo speakers), as a multiroom speaker system, or as a home theatre system. Here we’re looking at a home theatre configuration, consisting of the Formation Bar at the front of the room, a pair of Formation Flex speakers for surround,…

8 min.
krix mx-5

Krix is well-known to Australian music lovers for the many fine loudspeakers for the home it has produced over its 45 years. And many would know that only a few years after opening, Krix started making loudspeakers for cinemas. It still does both. Clearly the Krix MX-5 modular speaker system is aimed at the home — ‘For small to mid-size rooms’ says Krix — but in many ways it is a merging of those two lines of speakers into something quite special. EQUIPMENT How to approach this unusual system? First, let’s take a bird’s eye view. The MX-5 isn’t a full surround system. It’s the front half. It consists of a left front speaker, a centre front speaker, a right front speaker and two subwoofers. Krix, of course, has many other excellent speakers…

10 min.
yamaha yas-209

We had a moment during the unboxing of Yamaha’s YAS-209, turning the soundbar around between our hands, feeling its weight, seeing how the blue-black fabric wraps right around to meet the sturdy base at the back, leaving a top lozenge of surface, lightly textured and studded with nine indicator lights at the front, next to touch icons. We liked it immediately, and even more so when we placed it in front of our TV and found it so very low, 62mm, that we could actually use our TV remote without having to aim it down from a raised position, arm up like a Roman emperor thumbs-downing his displeasure towards the TV’s half-hidden IR sensor. Here we had clearance. A good start. We had a different sort of moment, though, when we…