Hi-Fi Choice September 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

After several years of steady growth, the number of newbie and returning vinyl fans looks as though it is finally beginning to plateau and the rate of new entry-level decks being introduced by manufacturers begins to show signs of slowing too. But for those already smitten by the format and looking to take the next step up the vinyl playback ladder, this month's Group Test – starting on p24 – is for you, with six sophisticated players designed to show how a mid-priced deck can bring even greater levels of detail and pace over the entry-level spinner that got many of us started. The turntable market has changed massively in the last few years and, with so many models vying for attention, these are boon times for buyers. I'm confident you'll…

3 min
american dream

PRICE: £6,999, £7,999 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01223 203200 WEB: MARKLEVINSON.COM INTRODUCED AT THE Munich High-End show back in May by parent company Harman Luxury Audio, Californian-based high-end specialist Mark Levinson showcased its new 5000 series of integrated amplifiers with the N°5802 and N°5805. Both models feature fully discrete, direct-coupled, Class AB amplifier channels and claim 2x 125W into 8ohm and 2x 250W into 4ohm. Priced at £6,999, the N°5802 features all-digital inputs with six digital ins including two optical, two coaxial, one AES/EBU port and one asynchronous USB for hi-res content – up to 32-bit/384kHz PCM and DSD to DSD128 – plus support for MQA files and aptX HD Bluetooth wireless. The N°5805 is fully loaded with inputs, including a MM/MC phono stage The N°5805 (pictured right with fellow Harman Luxury Audio brand Revel and its…

1 min
denon av goes stereo

PRICE: £599 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 02890 279830 WEB: DENON.CO.UK BRINGING TOGETHER ITS hi-fi experience and home cinema expertise in a stereo component, Denon has announced its first stereo network receiver with wireless music streaming and TV connectivity. Priced at £599, the DRA-800H claims 2x 100W into 8ohm and is equipped with FM/DAB+ radio, a dedicated moving-magnet phono stage input, plus two analogue line ins, three digital ins (two optical and one coaxial), wi-fi, AirPlay 2, Bluetooth and HEOS multi-room support to take care of audio needs. This is then bolstered by a video connectivity suite that supports full 4K Ultra HD video via four HDMI inputs and one output with ARC (Audio Return Channel). Network connectivity and a front-panel USB port handle FLAC, WAV and ALAC PCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz and DSD up to…

1 min
classé adds delta amps

PRICE: £10,00-£12,500 AVAILABLE: AUTUMN CONTACT: 02890 279830 WEB: CLASSEAUDIO.COM Following the acquisition of Montréal-based Classé by Sound United last year, the high-end specialist has recently unveiled plans for its third-generation Delta series amplifiers with three models sporting new topology and a fresh look with a distinctive chassis and grey finish. First up, the Delta mono power amplifier (pictured right) is priced at £11,000. It’s rated at 300W into 8ohm (600W into 4) and operates in Class A up to 35W. The Delta Stereo power amplifier (left) is priced at £12,500, is rated at 2x 250W into 8ohm (2x 500W into 4) and operates in Class A up to 2x 12.5W. Both models sport channel output level VU meters on their front panels. There’s also an air intake for the active cooling system called ICTunnel…

1 min
audioquest cobalt dac

Known for its award-winning series of USB DACs that launched in 2012 with the original DragonFly, AudioQuest has announced a new addition to the series with its £269 DragonFly Cobalt flagship. Unveiled in early July, the Cobalt is said to be as much as 10 percent smaller than its predecessors and measures just 19 x 58 x 12mm (WxHxD), uses a more advanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC and has improved power supply filtering for increased immunity to external interference. Compatible with Apple or Windows-based operating systems or iOS or Android mobile devices, the Cobalt includes AudioQuest’s new DragonTail USB-A (female) to USB-C (male) adapter to accommodate devices fitted with USB-C ports. Look out for our review next month. AUDIOQUEST.COM…

1 min
the x-tra factor

PRICE: £999 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01235 511166 WEB: HENLEYAUDIO.CO.UK FOLLOWING THE INTRODUCTION of Pro-Ject’s X1 £700 turntable – see review on p33 – the Austrian-based company has quickly unveiled the second model in the series in the form of the X2. Priced at £999 fitted with Ortofon’s 2M Silver MM cartridge or £899 without, the X2 adds extra mass with a heavy MDF plinth structure and weighs in at 10kg. A belt-drive design, the motor is said to be better isolated and is powered by a DC/AC generator to drive the sub-platter and in turn the 2kg non-resonant acrylic platter. The electronic speed selector gives 33 and 45rpm and there’s support for 78s, too. The 9in tonearm is made from a stiff, precisely tempered carbon and aluminium sandwich construction and is said to be inspired…