What Hi-Fi? May 2021

What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home cinema products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the best equipment for your cash, with the magazine's advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
USD 5.62
USD 39.41
13 Números

en este número

1 min.
don’t judge these books…

When is a pair of speakers not a pair of speakers? When it’s a fully blown 21st Century hi-fi system. The arrival of properly working wireless protocols, and some product miniaturisation, has meant that all-in-one systems (p28) can now stand hidden in your room in plain sight, masquerading as that most old-school of hi-fi kit, the stereo loudspeaker. You can even plug your turntable into them if you feel the need for a vinyl fix. In this issue, and with the easing of the past year’s lockdowns upon us, we also feature our favourite noise-cancelling headphones (p41) from around £200 and up. While we’ve all missed the company of our fellows, one can have too much of a good thing – and these wonders will allow you to enjoy the best…

1 min.
how we test

EXPERIENCE. HERITAGE. We’ve been helping the world discover the best in hi-fi and home entertainment for more than 40 years, and have more than 100 years of reviewing experience under our collective belts – so you can count on our expert opinion. DEDICATED TEST FACILITIES We test every product against its peers in our extensive, bespoke reviewing facilities in London and Bath. We conduct all our tests as a team – our opinions and conclusions are always the result of collaboration. HOW WE SCORE All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole – not an individual reviewer. Each product will be listened to and/or viewed by several members of the test team, who will then discuss the final verdict before it appears in the magazine or on the website. This avoids…

12 min.
samsung qe65qn95a

View offers 65in Mini LED TV | £2999 | whf.cm/QE65QN95A This year looks very much like the year of Mini LED. The technology, which sees the traditional LEDs of a TV backlight miniaturised in order to increase contrast, is a feature of the 2021 line-ups of most major TV brands, including LG and Philips. For those brands, Mini LED TVs sit below their OLED models, but for Samsung, Mini LED is its flagship technology. The company has developed its own Mini LEDs, which it says are even smaller and more efficient than those of its rivals, and combined them with its existing Quantum Dot tech to create a range of premium TVs that it calls Neo QLEDs. The QE65QN95A is the first Neo QLED we have tested. It’s the top 4K model in Samsung’s…

5 min.
wharfedale diamond 12.3

View offers Stereo speakers £499 | whf.cm/Diamond123 Mention the words ‘Wharfedale Diamond’, and the image that comes to mind is that of a small, talented budget standmounter. That description applies to the original speakers from 1982, as well as the star performers from subsequent generations. What of the various Diamond floorstanders? As a breed they have proven to be solid over the years, but they have remained relatively unremarkable on the whole. Wharfedale, like pretty much every other speaker brand out there, has struggled to make a properly musical budget tower. Until now that is. While these new 12.3s can’t truly be called budget speakers, they do sit at the more affordable end of the market. Most importantly, they have a musical performance that, if anything, impresses us even more than that delivered by…

4 min.
austrian audio hi-x50

View offers Headphones | £199 | whf.cm/Hi-X50 Austrian Audio isn’t the most interesting of names for a new hi-fi manufacturer, is it? Though it shows a certain lack of imagination, it also has the air of a belt and braces company and we like that. Austrian Audio is a company new to this market, but the people behind it are ex-AKG employees and are some of the most experienced in the industry. That maturity shines through in the new Hi-X50 on-ears. The brand has launched with two headphone models. There’s the on-ear Hi-X50 here and a slightly larger over-ear model, the Hi-X55. There’s much commonality between the two, from the shared aesthetics and closed-back design to the use of the company’s new high excursion 44mm driver. Even the difference in weight is marginal…

4 min.
jbl bar 5.0 multibeam

View offers Soundbar | £349 | whf.cm/Bar50MultiBeam Earlier this year, we reviewed one of JBL’s premium speaker systems and ended up thanking it for offering some of the rumble and spectacle we’ve missed since cinemas shut their doors last year. But, thankfully for those who cannot afford to spend nearly a five-figure sum on a sextet of speakers you’d struggle to get through the front door, JBL has taken that same big-screen approach and distilled it into an affordable and compact soundbar. There’s nothing about the JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam to explain immediately why it has such a reasonable price tag. Take a glance at its impressive features list, or indeed pick the soundbar up in your hands, and you’ll be reassured that the company has put as much care into its entry-level soundbars…