Hi-Fi Choice August 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. 452 August 2019 The shape of music setups in our homes is changing. Not so long ago owning a rack of components each dedicated to a specific audio task partnered with a pair of stereo loudspeakers was the only way to go if you wanted to achieve hi-fi heaven with any sense of audiophile credibility. But today's increasingly sophisticated all-in-one speaker systems can achieve astonishingly musical results from a single-chassis design. Take this month's cover star, Naim's Mu-so 2nd Generation, that gets our In-depth treatment starting on p16. Its 'lifestyle' one-box form was once derided by audiophiles, but thanks to advances in digital signal processing techniques and sound tuning input from the company's loudspeaker partner Focal, the re-engineered model is a seriously compact hi-fi alternative to a separates-based…

2 min
art of stereo

Six hi-fi components that aim to strike the perfect balance between value and quality to deliver "great British sound" PRICE: £229-£449 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0207 5515422 WEB: CAMBRIDGEAUDIO.COM THE ALL-NEW AX series from Cambridge Audio, demonstrates the company’s commitment to all things two-channel with the introduction of six new components that aim to strike the perfect balance between value and quality to deliver a pure audio experience that simply reflects the artist’s intentions in what the London-based audio specialists has dubbed its “great British sound”. Consisting of a pair of CD players, two integrated amplifiers and a brace of stereo receivers, the AX range takes design and innovation cues from the company’s existing CX and Edge series components. The AXC25 (pictured) and AXC35 CD players are priced at £229 and £299 respectively and…

2 min
making an impact

Although memorable for sharing the name with one of Stanley Kubrick’s greatest cinematic masterpieces, 2001 is perhaps more significant for an innovation that passed by largely unnoticed at the time. The year that saw the passing of George Harrison and BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Delia Derbyshire and the not so sad demise of The Spice Girls, also saw the birth of a new piece of software by a charismatic California-based entrepreneur. The man in black was Steve Jobs and, although we didn’t know it at the time, his new iTunes software was about to change the way that the world consumed music forever. Turn the clock back a few years earlier to 1999 and the music industry was in a state of mild panic as a 19-year-old by the name of Shawn…

1 min
astell&kern sp2000

PRICE: £2,999 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01279 822800 WEB: ASTELLNKERN.COM FOLLOWING THE ANNOUNCEMENT of its Kann Kube back in the June issue, portable music player specialist Astell&Kern has unveiled its new flagship. Expected to cost £2,999 when it goes on sale this month, the A&ultima SP2000 was shown at Munich’s High-End show back in May and is its most sophisticated model yet, offering support for PCM music files up to 32-bit/768kHz and native DSD512 bit-to-bit playback. The new design is available finished in copper casework (pictured) or stainless steel, and claims greater power output than ever before to both balanced and unbalanced headphone jacks. It employs two AK4499EQ DACs, arranged in a dual-mono configuration and also features an octa-core processor for slick menu navigation and library browsing, a 5in touchscreen, 512GB of…

1 min
auralic adds altair and sirius

PRICE: £1,899 & £5,499 AVAILABLE: AUGUST CONTACT: +1 (302) 3145555 WEB: AURALIC.COM Founded in 2009, Auralic quickly earned a reputation for its range of high-quality streaming models and has now unveiled plans to launch two extra components – which go on sale this summer – and expand its networked digital source range even further. Starting with the more aff ordable of the new additions, the £1,899 Altair G1 is an updated version of the original Altair preamp/DAC/streamer all-in-one built around the series matching Aries G1 chassis with 4in colour display. It claims to benefit from several updates taken straight from the company’s G1 and G2 series designs and is fitted with an ESS 9038Q2M DAC chipset and sports a Tesla G2 processor with 2GB of memory. It supports Tidal, Qobuz and…

1 min
cleer flow headphone

• Californian-based Cleer Audio is new to the UK, but is hoping to make a big impression with its Flow Bluetooth headphone fitted with active noise-cancelling. Utilising 40mm dynamic drivers, the Flow is equipped with two microphones in each earcup and combined with eff ective over-ear passive isolation and active noise-cancelling circuitry, it claims to block out up to 99.5 percent of background noise. Connectivity uses Bluetooth 4.0 with NFC, and 20 hours of use are quoted from a single charge. Ambient control lets the wearer listen to external sounds and playback is automatically paused when the headphone is removed from the head. Costing £249, it’s available in silver or black finishes and comes with interchangeable customisation rings. It has a swivel/folding design for storage and is supplied with a…