Hi-Fi Choice April 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

With the clocks springing forward and the urge upon us to get out and about, what better time to take a look at the best affordable, portable headphone amplifiers presently on offer? The Group Test in this month’s issue – the first I have the great pleasure to edit – compares half a dozen excellent DACs. Ranged in price from £70-£400 to account for varying depths of pocket, all were found to pleasurably enhance your experience of music on-the-go so… knock yourselves out! Elsewhere we report back from February’s bustling Bristol Hi-Fi Show. The 33rd such gathering, it was packed with demos and product launches. See p10 for all the info on what you missed. Other issue highlights include an update on the new PMC twenty5i series of loudspeakers plus reviews of…

3 min
top twenty5

PRICE: £2,000-£8,500 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 08704 441044 WEB: PMC-SPEAKERS.COM FOLLOWING THE SUBSTANTIAL re-engineering of its twenty5 series, PMC has launched a new range claimed to reduce unwanted vibrations and remove “anything that detracts from the music”. The twenty5i series consists of four two-way designs – the compact twenty5.21i, with its 130mm bass driver (£2,000), the slightly larger twenty5.22i (£3,000) with a 165mm driver and the corresponding floorstanders: the twenty5.23i (£3,500) and twenty5.24i (£5,000). The range is completed with the three-way twenty5.26i (£8,500), twenty5.sub (£3,800) and a home cinema centre speaker. The new high-frequency 19mm Sonomex soft-dome tweeter is derived from PMC’s flagship fact range, the bass drivers remain unchanged from the earlier twenty5 series, while the 50mm soft dome midrange featured in the three-way twenty5.26i is said to “preserve the essence of the original performance exactly…

1 min
klipsch five

PRICE: CIRCA £800 AVAILABLE: SPRING CONTACT: 01235 511166 WEB: KLIPSCH.CO.UK DEBUTING AT THE Bristol Hi-Fi Show, Klipsch’s Five is a heritage-inspired powered standmount loudspeaker designed to deliver superior stereo audio regardless of source. Featuring an analogue phono input, it accepts line-level signals and can even be connected to a turntable. Digital inputs include optical, USB and HDMI-ARC for hookup to a TV screen as well as wireless Bluetooth. Designed with 25mm titanium tweeters on Tractix horns and a 114mm bass driver, Klipsch describes it as the most versatile speaker on the planet. The onboard DAC is claimed to support sampling rates of up to 192kHz, while a filtered low-frequency output in the form of an RCA phono socket is on hand for easy connection of a subwoofer should you require it. Physical dials on the top…

1 min
new atlas xlr interconnects

Scotland’s Atlas Cables has launched two new analogue XLR interconnects. The Element Mezzo uses an oxygen-free copper (OFC) conductor working with gas-loaded, high-density foamed polyethylene dielectric. It features a high-efficiency braided screen and new copper alloy XLR plug and pins. Starting at £146.25 for 0.5m, it is available at various lengths up to 3m (£188.75). The Equator has Ohno Continuous Cast (OCC) copper with a balanced core for a step up from the Element in terms of performance. The dielectric is gas-loaded, high-density foamed polyethylene with minimal screen distortion for maximum RFI protection. The plug employs OCC pins and Atlas cold weld technology. The Equator XLR starts at £475 for 0.5m with lengths up to 3m costing £600. ATLASCABLES.COM…

1 min
musical fidelity m8xi

PRICE: £5,650 AVAILABLE: APRIL/MAY CONTACT: 01235 511166 WEB: MUSICALFIDELITY.COM Due in the next few weeks, Musical Fidelity’s M8xi integrated amplifier offers a separate DAC, preamplifier and two monoblock power amps housed within one large chassis. One of the most striking aspects of the new amp is the high power output, rated at 550W into 8ohm (870W into 4ohm) with peak output of 1.6kW into 2ohm. With Texas Instruments’ PCM5242 DAC on board, it offers compatibility with LPCM files up to 24-bit/192kHz via its brace of coaxial inputs or USB port and 24-bit/96kHz for its twin optical inputs. Additional connectivity options include six analogue inputs – four of which are unbalanced RCAs and two balanced XLRs. Designed to operate in pure Class A, the bridged output stage efficiency has been increased from earlier models, yielding…

4 min
bristol show 2020

THE ANNUAL GATHERING for all things audio takes place at the Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre during the third weekend of February. Often previously referred to as ‘The Bristol Hi-Fi Show’ during its 33-year history, last year the event dropped the ‘Sound and Vision’ part of the name to reflect the returning interest in traditional two-channel audio. The three-day showcase that ran from Friday 21 to Sunday 23 is the highlight of the hi-fi enthusiasts’ winter/spring events calendar. Eager audiophiles form an orderly queue outside the hotel’s show entrance long before the doors open – usually bracing themselves against the inclement seasonal weather – clamouring to get inside the warm exhibition space in order to experience the hottest hi-fi in town. February greeted this year’s audio extravaganza with high winds rather…