What Hi-Fi? Awards 2018

What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home cinema products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the best equipment for your cash, with the magazine's advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies.

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
get it on, bang a gong, get it on…

It never ceases to amaze me how fast things move. It doesn’t seem possible, and yet here we are once again: Awards time. For the past 12 months the dedicated reviewing team here at What Hi-Fi? have been beavering away in our brand new (or at least just a few months old now) test rooms, putting a huge variety of home entertainment equipment through our rigorous testing process. Now is the time for us to put our heads together and decide on our very favourites from all those products. Here, then, we present our pick of the kit at every price point. Every one of the products in our Awards 2018 (p27) is a winner at its own particular price – and one in each category is the Product of the…

1 min
test centre

NEW ROOMS Experience. Heritage. We’ve been helping the world discover the best in hi-fi and home entertainment for more than 40 years, and have more than 100 years of reviewing experience under our collective belts – so you can count on our expert opinion. Dedicated test facilities We test every product against its peers in our brand new, bespoke reviewing facilities in London and Bath. We conduct all our tests as a team – our opinions and conclusions are always the result of collaboration. Reference kit Naim NDS/555 PS/Uniti Core; Clearaudio Innovation Wood; Cyrus Phono Signature/PSX-R2; GamuT D3i/D200i; ATC SCM50; Sony UBP-X700; Cambridge CXUHD; Denon AVC-X6400H; Optoma UHD40; PMC Twenty5.23 5.1; KEF R50; Sky Q…

10 min
8k tv is finally here, so is this the time to upgrade?

Samsung QE85Q900R | Television | £14,999 FOR Native 8K is astonishing; upscales well; spot-on colours AGAINST Native 8K is years away; lacks black depth 8K TV is finally here and Samsung is quick off the mark. But the Q900R can't quite justify that enormous price tag. So why is Samsung pouncing now? Grabbing headlines certainly seems a big motivation, but the company also argues that the increased PPI (pixels-per-inch) combined with super-advanced, machine-based upscaling means the content you currently watch will look even better on its 8K TVs. That’s an enticing proposition, especially when blown up to a huge 85in, which is the size of the Q900R we’re reviewing (it’s also available in 75in and 65in versions). At £14,999, it needs to be the best TV in the world right now, and in some ways it…

3 min
“with the d320s, wharfedale has produced a fine pair of speakers”

View offers Wharfedale D320 | Stereo speakers | £199 | whf.cm/D320 FOR Bold and well integrated; good level of detail AGAINST Not the most exciting listen Wharfedale's Diamond series has been the bedrock of its product output since introduced in the early 1980s, but the 11th generation, released last year, left a gap at entry-level price points. This is where the new D300 range comes in. It consists of two standmount pairs, of which the D320s are the larger and more costly. Though Wharfedale is adamant this series is not a new Diamond range, there's a close relationship between the two. Carefully engineered This is most evident in the D320’s drive units. The 25mm dome tweeter is pretty much unchanged from the Diamond 11.1 we reviewed last year, with its vented design and shaped faceplate, while the…

3 min
“fine sharpness, faithful colour reproduction”

View offers Epson EH-TW650 | Projector | £450 | whf.cm/EH-TW650 FOR Crisp and clear picture; brightness; rich, realistic colours AGAINST Slight image stability issue with SD material Though 4K home cinema projectors no longer exclusively carry eye-watering price tags – you can pick one up for around £1000 – it will be some time before they trickle down to the £500 mark currently occupied by budget Full HD projectors such as the Epson EH-TW650. But technological progression, such as that from Full HD to 4K, puts extra pressure on ‘last-generation’ kit to deliver even more for less. Which is exactly what this modest, yet accomplished, Epson does. Budget belter Apart from its 1080p resolution, nothing about this Epson is second-rate. For anyone looking for a display capable of up to 300 inches on a budget, the EH-TW650…

5 min
“these kefs are way beyond most rivals”

View offers KEF R3 | Stereo speakers | £1,300 | whf.cm/R3 FOR Balanced, entertaining sound; good build and finish AGAINST Nothing at this price Earlier this year, we reviewed KEF’s mighty Reference 1 standmounters. These speakers delivered a performance so complete that even that hefty £5000 price tag started to look entirely reasonable. But no matter how great value it is, such a product will always be out of the reach of most people, so that’s where the new R3s come in. Part of the company’s recently introduced premium R series, the R3s offer a large chunk of the Reference 1’s engineering content and sonic performance at a fraction of the cost. Single drive unit KEF’s distinctive Uni-Q driver array is at the heart of these speakers. While it may look like a single drive unit, it…