Sound + Image December 2018 - January 2019

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

4 min
netflix nine

Oh the wonders of today’s streaming and multiroom platforms! As you’ll see from the products selected by the awards judges in this issue, many of the most interesting new components have streaming platforms built in; they’re capable of app-controlled and now often voice-controlled access to music from Spotify Connect and/or Tidal and/or many others… And often able to command or receive to and from other devices in the home, delivering a multiroom audio system and more — all linked and controlled from your phones and tablets. There’s a cost to these technologies being included, of course, but it’s invariably worth it for the significant extra abilities, and not least because the quality of most streaming services when received direct to a piece of decent hi-fi is a firm step-up from your…

2 min
the hi–fi headlines

Duntech Senator. Duntech holds a very special place in the heart of many Australian audiophiles. Not only were they undisputedly one of the finest speakers ever built, they were designed and manufactured here in Australia. Unfortunately the company folded late last century and the name languished for some time, until local speaker manufacturer Kiat Low from Orpheus Loudspeakers acquired the company in 2008, and spent many years improving on the original design. Kiat has produced something special with his new Duntech Senator. We are not sure what impresses us most about this speaker. They are in every way worthy of carrying the Duntech badge. Just as impressive is the price – the Duntech Senator sells in Australia for $20,000 the pair, this is a remarkable speaker for the price. When you…

2 min
lsx: how kef shrank the wireless ls50w...

KEF has popped out a colourful family of LSX wireless stereo speakers, which roughly halve both the size and price of the company’s successful LS50W model. It’s even less in volumetric terms, indeed — the LSX is 24cm high rather than the LS50W’s 30cm, and its width is more than halved, making it slightly slimmer from the front, and reducing its final volume to around a third that of the LS50W. But it is “not simply a baby LS50W”, insists Ben Hagens, KEF Product Specialist (pictured below), who spoke at the launch of the LSX in the trendy Smart Artz Gallery in South Melbourne. This is about KEF changing what hi-fi can be — a product for the 95%, not the 5%, he said, noting wisely that “You shouldn’t have to…

1 min
hisense brings oled

Hisense has made good on a promise from CES in January that it would have OLED TVs here by the end of the year. The new Hisense OLED is now available in 55-inch and 65-inch models at $3499 and $4999 respectively. They deliver Wide Colour Gamut, High Dynamic Range (HDR10 but not Dolby Vision) and a 200Hz Smooth Motion Rate from a slim metal-framed UHD panel. But the company is keen to differentiate OLED from its ULED models, which may remain a better pick for use in open-plan well-lit rooms. More Hisense OLED info at…

3 min
smart speakers get screens

Google’s Home Hub (above left) will be bringing the idea of a screen-equipped smart speaker right to the forefront of Australian consumers’ minds heading into Christmas. Promoted as a ‘Connected Home Display’, it delivers useful (hopefully) visual information via a seven-inch touchscreen. But it is far from alone. JBL/Harman previewed its JBL Link View (below) at IFA in Berlin back in September, and as our Award in this issue indicates, we reckon it’s got the edge in at least one key area. Amazon has just made the Echo Show officially available here in Australia (pictured above right), joining the Echo Spot, with its small circular screen. And outlier Lenovo in fact beat them all to market here with its large 10-inch Smart Display; an 8-inch version is also available. GOING GOOGLE The Google,…

1 min
sonus faber’s amator iii

Italian high-end loudspeaker manufacturer Sonus faber took the opportunity afforded by the Rocky Mountain Audio Fair to show its new Sonus faber Electa Amator III to audiophiles for the first time. Developed to commemorate the company’s 35th anniversary, which took place earlier this year, the Electa Amator III is a small (375 × 235 × 360mm) two-way bass-reflex stand-mount design that features a newly-developed 180mm-diameter bass/midrange driver (MW18XTR-04) that has a real-time air-dried cone that’s made with a blend of traditional cellulose pulp, kapok, kenaf and other natural fibres. This driver is crossed at 2.5kHz via a first-order crossover network fitted with Clarity Cap polypropylene bipolar capacitors and low resistance Jantzen inductors to a 28mm diameter silk dome tweeter with what Sonus faber calls a ‘damped apex dome’ (DAD). The bass reflex…