Sound + Image November - December 2021

SOUND + IMAGE magazine offers a comprehensive package focused on lifestyle home electronic entertainment. It provides easy-to-read information about audio and video equipment and how ordinary consumers can assemble extraordinary systems that look and sound fantastic.

Future Publishing Ltd
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8 Issues

in this issue

5 min
big screen, or big sound?

The Editor decides to go upstairs. Question for you. When you’re watching a movie, what’s more important for a feeling of full entertainment immersion — a big screen, or a big sound system? Hands up, then — you at the front. A big screen? Yes, that’s how most people are likely to vote. It’s certainly what goes rolling out of the doors most rapidly in your big chain stores, where dozens of ever-enlarging 4K and 8K tellies are flashing their over-bright showroom-setting screens at every passer-by. Meanwhile the audio systems are huddled somewhere over in the corner, mostly shelves of wireless speakers and soundbars these days, with a few actual floorstanders plonked on display against a wall, usually unable to perform, unless there’s a dark corner tucked away acting as a…

19 min

Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series grows wings The 800 Series Diamond range is the iconic height of the UK-based brand: “everything we know, and everything we are”, as the company says. The new D4 incarnation continues the 800 Series’ reputation since John Bowers introduced the original 801 back in 1979, with the ‘D4’ indicating the fourth set to employ the company’s diamond tweeters, which sit in the decoupled ‘Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top’ housing. In the new series this has a longer tube-loading system, while the aluminium, milled from a single solid block, now has an anodised finish, either dark or light depending on the cabinet colour. There’s an extra one of those too — a new satin walnut finish (shown on the 802 D4 above, second from left). This joins the gloss black,…

16 min
eisa awards 2021/2022

Sound+Image and Australian Hi-Fi are EISA’s representatives for Home Theatre and Hi-Fi respectively here in Australia, part of the Expert Imaging & Sound Association which each year pools the editorial review experience of 60 special interest magazines and websites across 29 countries to agree on a final list of global EISA Award Winners. With little travel possible in 2021, EISA’s annual convention became a series on online webinars, followed by judging sessions held via Zoom in what was, we must say, an extraordinarily efficient process. EISA members and winners would then normally gather together in Berlin during IFA in September for celebratory sherbets and a posh gala presentation ceremony. This year, alas: no IFA, no gala, no sherbets... This being a global group of winners, occasionally our outlying region gets a significantly…

12 min
coast with the most

If you were fortunate enough to have a home in a stunning ocean-side location such as this, wouldn’t you want the best in home entertainment to supplement the natural environment around you? This home’s owner had recently purchased the three-bedroom property when they contacted Len Wallis Audio’s custom installation team to gain their input on a major planned renovation. High-end architectural fittings and finishes in the interiors were to be handled by a renowned local design firm, complementing spectacular uninterrupted views of the local surf beach. So while the client wanted high-performance audio available throughout the home, space was going to be relatively limited. He preferred the entertainment to be ‘hidden’, rather than detract from the stunning location or design. While large displays were requested for every video zone, these were…

15 min
yamaha aventage rx-a8a 11-channel av receiver a perfect 10?

It’s the big one – Yamaha’s very toppermost one-box model in its latest Aventage series of AV receivers, with the company also celebrating 10 years of Aventage, or spilling into 11 years given the trials of the last 18 months. Yamaha has one of the longest track records in modern surround sound, and has consistently topped awards listings, including the Sound+Image Awards, with previous models. No pressure, then. Inputs & layouts The Aventage RX-A8A offers 11 channels of amplification, the first Yamaha model to do so since the RX-Z11 back in 2007 when the whole Aventage concept was still a twinkle in the eyes of its engineers. With all 11 channels and two subwoofer feeds available via pre-out sockets as well as via 13 sets of speaker outputs, that’s vast flexibility both…

7 min
sonic partnership

Back in the earliest days of soundbars, they were made exclusively by audio companies – Altec Lansing, Cambridge, DefTech, Yamaha, and the outlying specialist ZVox. It was, after all, a sonic challenge to redesign a large traditional speaker box into a long thin enclosure that could fit below or under a TV. But as time moved on, TV companies themselves saw the benefit in making their own, able to offer package deals, and to guarantee compatibility in both connections and styling between TV and bar. Today many best-sellers come from LG, Samsung and Sony, although the audio companies are hardly letting go – JBL, Klipsch, Sonos, Yamaha and many others are also vying for a slice of a healthy soundbar market. There’s no clear divide in sonic success between the two camps.…