Sound + Image December - January 2016

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

1 min
awards 2016

The 2016 Sound+Image Awards were announced at our Presentation Dinner held this year at The Grace Hotel in Sydney’s CBD. Pictured here are Sound+Image’s Editor Jez Ford and Australian Incar Entertainment Editor Edgar Kramer, plus awards recipients (from left to right) Michael Di Meglio from Advance Audio & Kedcorp, Simon Goldsworthy from Yamaha Music Australia, Brad Serhan from Axis Loudspeakers, George Poutakidis from BusiSoft AV and Michael Henriksen from QualiFi , . Our thanks to all who attended, and to our The Platinum Chester Partner for the evening, Group, organisers of the Australian Hi-Fi>AV Show! And congratulations to all the winners — the stars of our Awards issue, being the best and best-value hi-fi and AV in Australia today...…

3 min
tcl u55h8800cds

If you’re considering an Ultra High Definition (4K) television, you might be expecting to pay a significant premium over full-HD tellies given that this is a relatively new technology — the first 4K TVs only landed last year, and there is, as yet, not a whole bunch of 4K content easily available. Yet here is a 55-inch curved UHD screen which we found to deliver very good TV performance, the right connections to be as future-proofed as possible against incoming 4K standards, and as a bonus, brilliant performance for gamers. All for a remarkable $2199. And it’s handsome, its speaker section doubling as a stand, conforming to the gentle curve of the screen, plus what looks to be a panel of real wood veneer centred between two black speaker grilles. You…

3 min
lg 55eg960t

If you asked us for our biggest ‘wow’ moment over the last year, our answer would be the day we took home LG’s original OLED telly — the 1080p one, not this even more stupendous Ultra High Definition version. Only when you’re settled in a softly-lit room do you truly appreciate the extraordinary image quality of LG’s OLED panel technology — no back-lighting, the illumination comes from the pixels themselves, so that when they’re off, they are off, with true black as the background over which colours consequently shine. We were thrilled. Even the missus was thrilled. We watched Blu-rays for days until they took it away again. We could give that full-HD model an award, but now that the UHD version has arrived here, we should rise to enjoy the…

2 min
the hi–fi headlines newsletter no.223

One of the roles of any good consumer-based business is to seek out the best solutions for their client base. As audio retailers, our job is to seek out the best products in our specific market place, and then present them to our customers. This is the main thing that separates specialist audio retailers from the mass marketers – we take the time to listen and evaluate, and then promote accordingly. The alternative is to leave the buying to the deal makers where products are selected on profitability, exclusivity or marketability, usually generated by the brand itself. Performance is rarely a consideration. It was refreshing to see our choices validated at the recent Sound+Image Awards held in Sydney. A great number of the products that we carry were honoured on the…

2 min
cambridge audio tv5

Let’s be honest — the rise of the soundbar hasn’t been an entirely positive experience. Their raison d’etre was neatness (compared with an AV receiver and 5.1 speaker package), but the worst of the breed (often the lowest-priced) are simply too small to deliver high-quality sound. But if it’s a soundbar you want, we’re here to make sure you get one of the good ones. At entry-level prices, we’ve found time and again that the base designs — a platform speaker on which you put your TV, rather than a bar that sits in front — perform best, and this year Cambridge Audio confirmed that again with its excellent $649 TV5. A base allows more internal volume than a bar, the TV5 including 100W of internal amplification feeding a proudly stereo…

1 min
yamaha ysp-1600

This winner appears twice in these pages, because the Yamaha YSP-1600 is not only a capable soundbar, it is also equipped with Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless multiroom technology. That adds all manner of streaming abilities for internet music services and network music sharing, including being able to receive and send via Bluetooth. More about that on p84. We say ‘soundbar’, of course, but Yamaha prefers the term ‘Digital Sound Projector’ to reflect the cunning technology used in all but its entry-level soundbars, where multiple small speakers are used to ‘direct’ the discrete surround channels around your room in an effort to achieve a wide spread of sound. While this does not, in our experience, replace the effect of real rear speakers, Yamaha’s DSP technology does better than most at achieving a wide…