Hi-Fi Choice March 2020

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

Floorstanding speaker Group Tests are one of the most disruptive roundups HFC puts together. The physical size of the cabinets, logistical demands in gathering models within a time frame and securing a reviewing space that’s large enough to store, run-in and audition six comparable pairs is one of our biggest challenges – but a hugely worthwhile one as it often results in our bestselling issue of the year. The low-cost designs that featured in our last floorstanders Group Test (HFC 447), demonstrated a variety of ways listeners can achieve hi-fi sound on a relatively tight budget, but this month’s selection moves things on with six next-step models to show potential buyers what superior sonic gains can be had when you dig a little deeper. Priced from £2,000 to £3,300, each of…

3 min
hugo 2go

PRICE: £995 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01622 721444 WEB: CHORDELECTRONICS.CO.UK AS ONE OF our ‘Top 100’ must-hear components, Chord’s Hugo 2 portable DAC/headphone amp (£1,800) is applauded for the organic way it goes about making music. Its class-leading proprietary DAC technology is arguably the reason it sees greater use as part of a home hi-fi setup rather than on the go, and unlike the company’s Mojo DAC with its Poly 2 wireless streaming module, Hugo hasn’t offered similar support. Until now. Showcased in Europe for the first time at the UK’s Bristol Hi-Fi Show, the Kent-based company unveiled its £995 2go streamer/server, a wireless (2.4GHz wi-fi and A2DP Bluetooth) and Ethernet-enabled battery-powered module that turns Hugo 2 into a Roon Ready streamer with two SD card slots (rated up to 2TB each) for networked…

1 min
fidelio x3 headphone

PRICE: £300 AVAILABLE: JULY WEB: PHILIPS.CO.UK LAST SEEN BACK in HFC 394, Philips’ open-back Fidelio headphone (back then it was the X2) is making a welcome return in the shape of the luxurious X3. Described by the Dutch company as being designed to offer accuracy with generous bass and a warm midrange, the X3 employs multi-layer 50mm polymer drivers that are gel filled for better damping combined with a neodymium motor system. Double layered, the enclosures incorporate an internal ridge construction to reduce vibrations and are pre-tilted to 15° – the optimum angle to ensure audio is directed into the ear canal explains Philips. Boasting a claimed bandwidth of 5Hz to 40kHz, the Fidelio 3 can be used in balanced mode to reduce crosstalk and improve stereo separation. A balanced, twisted-pair cable…

1 min
naim adds qobuz support

Naim Audio has announced that it will be adding native Qobuz support to its family of music streamers. Available as a free firmware upgrade, the new update ensures that owners of Naim products will now be able to enjoy seamless access to the French music streaming service. Boasting the largest selection of albums available to stream in true high resolution, Qobuz won our music streaming service Group Test back in HFC 455 and claims the most comprehensive CD-quality catalogue currently available. The update is for Naim’s Uniti Atom, Star and Nova systems, plus ND5 XS2, NDX 2 and ND 555 network players. An update for Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation and Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation wireless speakers is expected to follow in “Spring 2020”. NAIMAUDIO.COM…

1 min
wharfedale’s new elysians

PRICE: £4,500-£6,500 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01480 452561 WEB: WHARFEDALE.CO.UK As Wharfedale’s new flagship range, Elysian captures everything the British loudspeaker company holds dear in one stylish cabinet – providing trickle-down tech to other speakers further down the range including the Evo4.2 standmount reviewed on p46. Introducing the new family with a large standmount and floorstander, both models are three-way designs sporting an Air Motion Transformer (AMT) high-frequency driver for low distortion and claimed scintillating speed and dynamic ability. These are partnered by glass fibre cone drivers – 150mm midrange and 220mm bass driver (two in the case of the floorstander). The £4,500 Elysian 2 standmount offers 89dB sensitivity while the £6,500 Elysian 4 floorstander claims 92dB (at 8ohm) and both come in a gorgeous bass reflex, slot-loaded cabinet available in a…

1 min
denon’s home run

PRICE: £220-£600 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 0208 1034770 WEB: DENON.CO.UK SOUND UNITED AUDIO brand Denon has unveiled three all-new wireless speakers compatible with its Heos multi-room platform. The Home 150 (pictured), 250 and 350 are priced at £220, £450 and £600 respectively and boast file support up to 24-bit/192kHz as well as DSD128. Streaming service support is offered as is wi-fi and Bluetooth along with AirPlay 2 and physical connectivity in the form of a USB-B port and 3.5mm audio output. The range incorporates a proximity sensor that illuminates touch controls when a hand moves near, while two Home speakers can be paired in stereo and integrated with Denon’s DSW-1H wireless subwoofer. Available in a choice of white or black finishes and dressed in a water and stain-resistant material, the Home 150 has…