What Hi-Fi? July 2020

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
note perfect – or too many notes?

What is the value of music? It’s an impossible question to answer in monetary terms, of course – unless you’re talking the cost of a vinyl record or a download. But in our world of lockdowns and restrictions, it has become clear to many people that music is a hugely important part of their life. And, to hear it at its best, it certainly pays to invest in the best equipment you can afford. I’m not suggesting sacrificing even more important things, of course – but sometimes it’s nice to dream; and certainly feeding the spiritual side of ourselves is becoming increasingly important. To that end, in this issue we give you the pick of the kit that, while undeniably expensive, we yearn to own. From streamers (p26) through to headphones (p60)…

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…

12 min
lg oled65gx

View offers 4K television £3499 whf.cm/OLED65gx In our world, few things are more exciting than the arrival of the year’s first LG OLED TV. An LG OLED has taken the top TV prize in our Awards for the past three years, so there’s a good chance that the first new model of the year could be a future Award-winner. What’s more, with almost every model in LG’s OLED range having the same picture performance, the first one gives a good indication of what to expect from the brand for the year ahead. On top of that, because LG sells its OLED panels to almost every other TV manufacturer, we also get a good look at the broad state of the TV landscape. We would usually like to start the year with LG’s C-class OLED, which for…

6 min
disney plus

View offers Streaming service £5.99/month whf.cm/DisneyPlus Once upon a time, a man called Walt Disney founded Walt Disney Studios with his brother and became one of the best-known motion-picture animators in the world. Fast forward nearly 100 years, more than 400 movies and more than 60 Academy Award wins and, thanks to Disney Plus, nearly every Disney title ever committed to celluloid is now available to stream in one place. Disney Plus (Disney+) is a natural rival to the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+, and is now available in the US, Canada, the UK and several European countries. It offers a rich catalogue of films and TV shows from Disney and its subsidiaries – Lucasfilm, Marvel, Pixar and National Geographic, as well as a slate of new Disney+ Originals – all…

4 min
audio pro a26

View offers Powered speakers £499 whf.cm/a26 The Audio Pro A26 powered speakers are the first standmounters in the Swedish company’s popular multi-room range. Alongside the A36 floorstanders released at the same time, they break new ground as part of the first dedicated stereo range in the series. Armed with an impressive array of connectivity, including an HDMI ARC input to turn them into speakers for TV sound, the A26s are positioned as an all-round living-room sound system. They are fitted with the latest low-latency Bluetooth codec, Spotify Connect, the Audio Pro app featuring all the major music services and networked streaming abilities. On paper, at least, the A26s have more or less everything you could wish for. Our black review sample looks rather plain on the eye, though the alternative, white finish has a more classily Scandinavian…

3 min
ifi zen blue

View offers Bluetooth receiver £129 whf.cm/ZenBlue Want an easy way to add Bluetooth connectivity to your traditional stereo system? Just buy iFi’s new Zen Blue. While there are a number of cheaper Bluetooth receivers already on the market, this is one of a handful that puts a priority on good sound. Compact quality It’s a really nicely built unit that takes up less shelf space than a typical paperback. We were expecting a moulded plastic box, but what we get is a quality aluminium casing that’s finished to a far higher standard than the price suggests. That impression of substance is reinforced when we take a look inside. The Zen Blue uses a premium Qualcomm QCC5100 ‘system on a chip’ Bluetooth solution. But, rather than using the Qualcomm’s internal digital-to-analogue conversion abilities, it pipes the digital data…