What Hi-Fi? December 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
every night can be movie night

FREE! STM charger worth £69.95 – when you subscribe! p22 I hate to say it, but it’s an inescapable truth that the nights are drawing in, and it’s inevitable that we are all likely to be spending even more time at home than we were over the summer. There can be no better time, then, to look to brighten up the prospects of a long winter by getting the best home cinema set-up you can. There’s so much enjoyment to be had from a good home cinema system – and, of course, movie night is something the whole family can enjoy together. In this issue we have a Group Test of mid-range soundbars (p30) and three superb home cinema systems (p42) that should give you plenty ideas of where and with what to…

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…

6 min
kef ls50 wireless ii

View offers Hi-fi system | £2250 | whf.cm/LS50WirelessII The name of KEF’s latest all-in-one system leaves no doubt as to their heritage. KEF is clearly proud of the fact that its LS50 Wireless IIs are sequels to the original LS50 Wirelesses – and it has every right to be. Launched in 2016, the LS50 Wirelesses are a pair of wireless speakers packed with built-in amplification and streaming smarts – an active speaker system take on KEF’s passive LS50s. And the impressive execution of this appealing concept earned them a five-star review and a What Hi-Fi? Award. They weren’t perfect: there were some hiccups with the control app, and the need for a cable to connect the two speakers was a small mark against an otherwise neat package. But not only are the new LS50…

7 min
samsung qe75q950ts

View offers Television | £7999 | whf.cm/QE75Q950TS While 8K content remains non-existent, the argument against buying an 8K TV is still far more compelling than the argument for buying one and we wouldn’t encourage anyone to take the plunge. However, if you have a large budget, a TV that offers 8K support and, crucially, is in no way a downgrade on its 4K rivals could still be a fine investment. The Samsung Q950TS is that and a bit more. It’s the first 8K TV we’ve tested that actually makes a case for upgrading to an 8K, even for 4K content. The Q950TS is the top model in Samsung’s 2020 TV range, and so gets the One Connect system, which routes all of the TV’s connections through an external box that can be hidden…

4 min
elipson w35

View offers Wireless speaker | £799 | whf.cm/W35 The Elipson W35 marks the first time that the French speaker and turntable specialist has brought wireless streaming to its trademark spherical shape. The company is best known for its Planet stereo speaker range, and Elipson hasn’t fully shunned stereo sound with this multi-room-enabled wi-fi orb. There are two channels embedded within, and the speaker is flexible enough to switch to left or right-only when linked with another Elipson speaker. There is a full suite of built-in wireless services, including Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect, and the W35 is Bluetooth 4.0-enabled with aptX HD. Support is provided for sample rates of up to 24-bit/44.1kHz. The W35’s looks will divide opinion long before you consider its audio performance. It’s a sphere with a 35cm diameter, making…

6 min
denon avr-x2700h

View offers AVR receiver | £599 | whf.cm/AVR-X2700H Denon has bossed it in the home cinema receiver category over the past few years. Having already succeeded in continuing its five-star tradition with its 2020 X-Series AVRs at the top and middle sections of the market, it’s time to turn to the company’s entry-level model, the AVR-X2700H. On paper, the noticeable addition over its predecessor is the single 8K/60Hz HDMI 2.1 input, which can also pass through 4K video at 120Hz, so opening the way for the potential demands of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. To dismiss the extras on this year’s model as purely for gamers would be a mistake, however. Each year Denon’s engineers tweak its AVR components, and the firmware that manages them, to squeeze out even more sonic class…