Hi-Fi Choice July 2019

Hi-Fi Choice is the essential guide to audio excellence in the home. It is a no-nonsense guide to the finest products available, from vinyl and valves, to multi-channel digital audio and high-fidelity video. Hi-Fi Choice sorts the best from the rest with rigorous test processes and a highly experienced team of reviewers.

United Kingdom
AV Tech Media Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min

www.hifichoice.co.uk Issue No. 451 June 2019 In a world peppered with single-box speaker systems, it can sometimes seem as though today's music fans have forgotten all about stereo. As a child of the seventies, the importance of a stereo soundstage – achieved by placing a pair of speakers apart and positioning yourself equidistant from both in the optimal listening 'hot spot' – is something that still dictates my cabinet placement at home and remains my preferred way of engaging with music. Although many one-box designs do a good job of creating a room-filling sound, thanks to sophisticated DSPs, for me nothing comes close to a two-speaker setup. Some designs generate a musical soundstage better than others, but Kudos' Titan 505 reviewed on p42, creates one of the most believable 3D soundscapes…

3 min
totally connected

Offering 2x 250W power output, the H390 has the same streaming platform as Hegel’s flagship H590 PRICE: £4,900 AVAILABLE: SEPTEMBER CONTACT: 0047 22605660 WEB: HEGEL.COM Norwegian brand Hegel has something of a reputation as a maker of outstanding power house integrated amplifier designs, and quite rightly so. After reviewing its £9,000 flagship H590 just a couple of issues ago in HFC 449, we're intrigued to hear of the introduction of the £4,900 H390 integrated streaming amplifier, announced at Munich’s High-End show held in May – see full Show Report starting on p10. Set to replace the H360 integrated amplifier when it arrives in early autumn, the H390 is said to offer a power output rated at 2x 250W, include the same streaming platform found in the top-of-the-range H590 and will additionally offer AirPlay…

1 min
chord ultimas

PRICE: £11,000-£18,360 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01622 721444 WEB: CHORDELECTRONICS.CO.UK SHOWCASED AT MUNICH’S High End event last month – see full show report starting on p10 – Chord Electronics has unveiled two mono power amplifiers that utilise the company’s Ultima technology, which first appeared in its flagship mono power amplifier design launched last year. The Ultima 2 and Ultima 3 – priced respectively at £18,360 and £11,000 each – are both smaller mono power amp designs featuring trickle-down tech from the £30k flagship that’s claimed to be one of the world’s most advanced amplifier topologies. Rated at 750W and 480W respectively, the Ultimas use 32 proprietary MOSFET power devices inside an aluminium casework and come fitted with balanced and unbalanced connections and high-quality loudspeaker terminals.…

1 min
ifi audio adds all-in-one

Better known for its extensive range of digital-to-analogue converters, iFi Audio has announced the introduction of a multi-room music streaming one-box system called Aurora. Priced at £1,299, its name is said to be inspired by its room-filling sound and it comes clad in bamboo with an aluminium frame. Behind the ‘fins’ that curve around its front and sides, it’s fitted with six drive units – four 130mm mid/bass drivers with two 28mm silk-dome tweeters – plus two passive bass radiators located underneath. Aurora connects via wi-fi and offers support for music files up to 32-bit/192kHz. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity with aptX support and it can tune its sound for optimum performance in any room. It goes on sale in August. IFI-AUDIO.COM…

1 min
technics’ network sacd

PRICE: £TBC AVAILABLE: SUMMER CONTACT: 0333 2228777 WEB: TECHNICS.COM/UK Following Technics’ glorious return to hi-fi in 2016 with the reimagining of its iconic SL-1200G direct-drive turntable – reviewed in HFC 418 – and its more recent retro-feel Class D SU-G700 integrated amplifier – shown below and reviewed in HFC 427 – the Japanese giant continues to demonstrate its commitment to two-channel with the introduction of the Grand Class SL-G700 universal music player. Previewed at Berlin’s IFA show last year, the SL-G700 is built to take care of all of today’s digital media, combining a CD and SACD player as well as a network music player capable of handling hi-res files up to 32-bit/192kHz and access to music streaming services such as Qobuz and Tidal – with MQA support for Tidal Masters…

5 min
munich high end show 2019

THE 15TH MUNICH High End show took place from 9 to 12 May and its scope once again confirmed its reputation as the leading global audio event for both the industry and audiophiles alike. As well as new arrivals from the ultra high end (of which there were plenty), there was also a considerable amount of products announced at real-world prices. The effective layout of the MOC exhibition centre attracted 551 exhibitors to this year’s four-day event and saw an impressive 21,180 visitors to its spacious lower halls with products on display in booth and stand setups, while the upper levels offered dedicated demo rooms. With plenty of new products on show, there wasn’t an obvious direction to this year’s showcase, but some patterns emerged. Integrated amplifier designs continue to offer features…