What Hi-Fi? July 2019

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
“here comes the sun”

FREE! Anker Powerwave charging pad worth £32 – when you subscribe! p22 Finally, it’s that time of year: time for gin and tonic (okay, a beer for me) on a sun-drenched patio; a picnic in the park; a day lazing on the beach; or a barbecue with friends and family in the back garden. Summer, in all its fickle glory, is here. And with it, the chance to enjoy our music in the fresh air. In this month’s What Hi-Fi? then, we take a look at the equipment that will enable you to take your tunes out and about. From true wireless headphones (p28) to portable DACs (p42) that will make the most of your mobile device’s sonic chops, wired-headphones (p48), upgrades to those bundled buds (you deserve more than that…), and portable…

1 min
how we test

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. HOW WE SCORE All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole – not an individual reviewer. Each product will be listened to and/or viewed by several members of the test team, who will then discuss the final verdict before it appears in the magazine or on the website. This avoids…

10 min
lg oled65c9pla

FIRST TESTS EXCLUSIVE, IN-DEPTH VERDICTS ON THE LATEST KIT View offers 4K Television | £3299 | whf.cm/OLED65C9PLA Despite all of its What Hi-Fi? Awards, LG is in a tricky position with its OLED TVs. According to accepted wisdom, OLED panels hit their performance limits in 2017 and, from a hardware perspective, these 2019 OLEDs are similar to models from back then. LG has also put many of its eggs in the OLED basket – not only is the upper end of the company’s own range entirely OLED-focused, but it also makes panels that all other manufacturers use in their OLED models. All of which is to say that LG has more invested than anyone else in the continued supremacy of OLED as a TV technology. Releasing the same sets every year won’t keep OLED on top,…

5 min
cowon plenue d2

View offers Personal music player | £259 | whf.cm/PlenueD2 The demise of the Apple iPod (only the Touch remains from the original five-strong line-up) may not have left Apple fans best pleased, but it has opened up the market for other portable music player brands. Cowon is among those to have caught, and held, our attention in recent years. Its budget hi-res players have been notable for their vast file support, pocket-size practicality, accessible price, and sonic superiority over smartphones. Anyone looking to transfer music duties from their multi-tasking phone to a dedicated device, but who doesn’t have the budget for a higher-end Astell & Kern or Sony, should have Cowon high on their list. The Cowon Plenue D2 (or PD2) is the next-gen version of one of the most impressive budget players we’ve…

3 min
roberts stream 67

View offers Network streamer | £600 | whf.cm/Stream67 ‘Consistent’ is not how many of us would care to be described. At best it means you’ve made the most of a limited talent. At worst, you’re euphemistically being labelled perennially useless. When we describe Roberts as being consistent, it’s a genuine compliment – and not just a reference to its cabinet full of What Hi-Fi? Awards. Whenever one of its radios or speakers arrives in our test room, we feel safe in the knowledge there will be much to praise and relatively little, if anything, to criticise. That is the case with the Stream 67, Roberts’ one-box solution to all your streaming, radio and CD listening needs. At £600, it isn’t cheap, but there’s plenty about this ‘Smart Audio’ system to tempt us to part…

3 min
q acoustics concept 300

View offers Stereo speakers | £3000 | whf.cm/Concept3000 Q Acoustics has produced a handful of flagship Concept speakers in the range’s six-year lifetime, but none reflects the ‘concept’ name quite as much as the Concept 300 standmounters. The spindly-looking tripods upon which these speakers sit wouldn’t look out of place in a modern art exhibition, but they were designed exclusively for the 300s, and are included in the price. The self-supporting structure aims to reduce the transmission of external vibrations with a low, omni-directional surface area and high strength-to-volume ratio. Each speaker has a spring-loaded plate at its base into which the stands fit. Any vibrations in the springs are converted into heat by a special damping material. Reassuringly stable You may approach the speakers cautiously, but they are reassuringly stable. Their suspension means there’s…