Hi-Fi Choice Jan-19

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 more ways to listen to music than ever before, the type of products we choose to use differs for many of us. While I always prefer to hear my favourite tunes on my main hi-fi system – comprising floorstanding speakers, pre/power amplification and dedicated sources for all format types – the majority of my friends and family listen to their's via discreet smart speakers. At first glance, some might see my setup as old fashioned, but play an LP, CD or music stream and its doesn't take long to see why I have the setup I do. Here at Hi-Fi Choice we realise that listening to music in this way isn't always possible due to the practicalities of our domestic arrangements, and consumer electronics firms along with the specialist hi-fi…

1 min
wireless world

The LSX wireless stereo speaker system comes in a range of attractive fabric-clad colours as well as gloss white PRICE: £1,000 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01622 672261 WEB: UK.KEF.COM FOLLOWING ITS AWARD-WINNING LS50 Wireless active loudspeaker system introduced in 2017 (HFC 413), respected hi-fi speaker maker KEF looks set to continue to be the go-to-brand in compact music systems with the introduction of its £1,000 LSX wireless stereo speakers. Packing in 200W of Class D amplification (2x 30W + 2x 70W), the smaller two-way standmount design measures 155 x 240 x 180mm (WxHxD). It employs the respected Uni-Q driver array with a 19mm aluminium dome tweeter and 115mm magnesium/aluminium alloy cone mid/bass driver – recognised for its wider stereo imaging over a larger area – and is combined with the company's Music Integrity…

1 min
head stron

Every once in a while, a product category in the consumer electronics industry almost inexplicably seems to come from nowhere before growing in popularity to the point where every manufacturer is jumping on the bandwagon in an effort to get in on the action. Forget vinyl, over the last few years it's headphones that have seen the most surprising growth. Once something used exclusively for enjoying music at home by considerate listeners that didn't want to disturb their neighbours or other members of the household, the growing popularity of mobile devices has meant that consumers started ditching the poor-quality in-ears usually bundled with their kit and thought nothing of spending vast amounts of cash on top-notch replacements. And it appears as though the trend isn't going to die out any time…

1 min
harman’s luxury line

PRICE: £7,000-£8,000 AVAILABLE: NOW WEB: MARKLEVINSON.COM MAKING ITS UK debut at The Hi-Fi Show Live (see Show Report starting on p10), Harman’s Luxury Audio Group showed the first two models from the Mark Levinson 5000 Series with the N° 5805 and N° 5802 fully discrete, direct-coupled, Class AB integrated amplifiers. Both designs claim a power output of 2x 125W into 8ohm and the 5805 has three stereo line-level inputs – one balanced XLR and two single-ended – and a newly designed MM/MC phono stage with front panel selectable gain levels and infrasonic filters, and rear panel capacitive and resistive loading settings. Four digital audio inputs are also provided: one coaxial and two optical S/PDIF, and one asynchronous USB for up to 32-bit/192kHz PCM, DSD128 and MQA support. The 5802 is a…

1 min
xcan with bluetooth

Expanding its portable X-Series range of components, iFi Audio’s £299 xCAN is a pocket-sized analogue headphone amp with the added convenience of Bluetooth to enable quality streaming from compatible digital devices. Housed in a similar lightweight case to the company’s xDSD (HFC 439), it measures 67 x 19 x 95mm (WxHxD) and weighs 127g. It eschews the USB audio connectivity and standalone DAC capability offered by its similar-looking sibling, and is strictly a headphone amp that offer 2x 1,000mW of power output to drive headphones connected to its 3.5mm and 2.5mm TRRS balanced jack sockets. Additionally, there’s a three-position bass control and eight hour battery use per charge. IFI-AUDIO.COM…

1 min
svs prime wireless systems

PRICE: £549-£699 AVAILABLE: NOW CONTACT: 01423 358846 WEB: KARMA-AV.CO.UK UK distributor Karma-AV introduces two new systems from SVS with the Prime Wireless Speaker System and Wireless SoundBase bridge, priced at £699 and £549 respectively. Measuring 160 x 260 x 180mm (WxHxD) and claiming a total of 200W amplification split four ways to drive the individual 25mm tweeter and 114mm mid/bass driver fitted to each standmount, the aptly named Prime Wireless Speaker System handles connectivity via Bluetooth – with aptX support – and wi-fi as well as wired connections from optical and line-level sources. Control is via smart device over wi-fi using the DTS Play-Fi app, which offers multi-room capability for up to 16 zones and supports 24-bit/192kHz playback as well as Amazon’s Alexa voice control. A dedicated output provides a wired connection…