Hi-Fi Choice March 2021

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.

Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
AV Tech Media Ltd
Frequency:
Monthly
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
welcome

We used to say that sorry was the hardest word, but it seems like everyone’s saying it these days. Sorry your Valentine’s day card didn’t arrive – the post’s been a ‘mare. Sorry there are no bananas in the supermarket, darn those Brexit teething problems. Sorry you can’t go out for a pint… If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em so here’s a quick apology if you’ve been missing some of your HFC favourites recently. We’ve been unable to run any Dealer Visits lately for obvious reasons, and it hardly seems appropriate to publish Destinations when all the bricks-and-mortar record shops are unable to open. Both of these perennials will, of course, be reinstated as soon as we can but, in the meantime, it allows us more pages to attend to HFC’s…

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2 min
ace of bass

PRICE: £590-£1,980 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: PIEGA.CH/EN/ WITH AN AESTHETIC conjured up by designer Stephan Hürlemann and acoustics developed at Piega’s Lake Zurich factory, the Ace series marks the Swiss company’s most affordable aluminium cabinet speakers to date. Drawing on technology and acoustic development trickled down from its Master, Coax and Premium models, the Ace replaces the Tmicro series. All of the Ace cabinets boast a 14cm-wide and 16cm-deep oval aluminium profile, with no visible seams, angles or fixings specially developed and optimised for the 120mm MDS mid/bass drivers that are utilised in all three models. Similarly, Piega’s AMT-1 Air Motion Transformer is employed across the range. A light, large surface area ribbon tweeter, it’s driven by a neodymium motor assembly. The new series consists of the Ace 30, a bookshelf speaker which is the…

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2 min
devil’s in the detail

PRICE: £900 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: IFI-AUDIO.COM IFI AUDIO HAS launched the iDSD Diablo, its top-of-the-range battery-powered DAC/headphone amplifier. Measuring 166 x 72 x 25mm and finished in ‘fiery red’, the company explains the iDSD Diablo: “sets aside some facilities offered by other iFi DAC/amps – sonic tailoring options and Bluetooth connectivity – to focus on pure sonic power, featuring ultra-high-quality circuit components and the ability to drive any headphones on the planet with aplomb.” The iDSD Diablo’s digital stage incorporates a pair of Burr-Brown DAC chips installed in a custom ‘interleaved’ configuration enabling four pairs of differential signals (two pairs per channel). The XMOS chip that processes the audio data received via the USB and S/PDIF digital inputs is a new low-latency XMOS microcontroller with: “greatly enhanced processing power – compared with the…

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1 min
taking liberties

PRICE: €1,500 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: MYTEK.AUDIO MYTEK AUDIO HAS introduced its new Liberty THX AAA HPA analogue headphone amplifier, featuring THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier technology that’s claimed to deliver: “pure audio”. The New York-based company’s patented feed-forward error correction circuit topology allows the amplifier to reach its maximum output power rating while exponentially reducing noise and distortion levels. The feed-forward topology boasts a maximum output of 1A and voltages reaching 25Vp-p, which means – according to Mytek at least – the Liberty should comfortably be able to drive any headphones currently available to buy. Connectivity includes four line-level inputs – three single-ended RCAs and a balanced XLR – alongside stereo RCA preamp outputs. Headphone connections on the front panel incorporate a four-pin XLR, 4.4mm balanced and 3.5mm outputs. The Liberty THX AAA HPA…

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1 min
ie 300 wired in-ear

PRICE: £259 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: SENNHEISER.COM Sennheiser has launched the IE 300 wired in-earphone, featuring a refined version of the audio specialist’s 7mm Extra Wide Band (XWB) transducer. With an optimised membrane foil designed to minimise natural resonances, the IE 300 boasts a transducer back volume to minimise reflection within the housing and a resonator chamber that removes masking resonances in the ear for more refined and detailed treble. Offering a frequency response of 6Hz – 20kHz, the IE 300 comes with individually adjustable flexible ear hooks, as well as silicone and memory foam ear adaptors in three sizes (S/M/L) to ensure a secure fit, comfort for longer listening sessions and optimum isolation from noise. The IE 300 comes bundled with a 3.5mm cable, while balanced replacements with 2.5mm or 4.4mm connectors are…

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3 min
heads you win!

PRICE: £120-£280 AVAILABLE: MARCH – MAY WEB: UK.JBL.COM US MANUFACTURER JBL is launching a raft of new products including an expansion of its Live Series with the announcement of a set of new models: the Live Pro+, Live 660NC and Live 460NC. The lineup includes true wireless, over and on-ear headphones and all come with Signature Sound and noise-cancelling capabilities with Smart Ambient and hands-free control with integrated voice assistants. The Live Pro+ in-ear true wireless earphone is equipped with Adaptive Noise Cancelling with Smart Ambient, so users can enjoy conversations without removing the earbuds. IPX4 water-resistant, it’s equipped with Qi-compatible wireless charging – 10 minutes equals one hour of instant playback – up to 7 hours of playback in the earbuds (six if using noise cancelling), a compact charging case that…

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