What Hi-Fi? February 2021

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
forget 2020: embrace music

We’ve got a nice mix, this month, of two-channel equipment both thoroughly up to date and just a little bit old school. Our round-up of stereo amplifiers (p28) brings you our pick of the best options for less than £1000. If you’ve got bang-on a grand to invest in your musical power provider, you should go for our 2020 Product of the Year Cambridge Audio CXA81. If your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, we can help, with our favourites at all price points from £250-£950. Some of these are pretty traditional, some will have features such as streaming abilities – but all of them provide simply superb sound for the money. To bring things thoroughly up to date, we also have a fascinating test of all-in-one streaming systems (p43) which…

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 extensive, 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…

7 min
philips 65oled805

View offers Television | £2199 | whf.cm/65OLED805 This set has recently taken home our Best Buy Award for best TV over £2000, so we feel it deserves a full magazine review rather than the half-page we could give it for our Awards issue. Philips knows that Ambilight alone, though brilliant, won’t be enough to convince everyone to buy its OLED over one of its many rivals, so it’s also pushing the envelope in the two most crucial areas; performance and price. In short, not only does the Philips look and sound better than rivals such as the LG CX, it costs less, too. Ambilight, in the end, is just a lovely sweetener. Spectacular extension Ambilight extends the on-screen action onto the wall around the TV in the form of coloured light. It looks spectacular, but it…

6 min
bose quietcomfort earbuds

View offers Headphones | £249 | whf.cm/QuietComfortEarbuds When Bose launches a new pair of QuietComfort headphones, the tech world sits up and takes notice. After all, it’s a sub-brand that has become synonymous with sensational noisecancellers over the years. Historically, the vast majority of its headphones have been on- and over-ear designs, but the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds take the sub-brand into the relatively new world of true wireless earbuds. Here, they’ll go toe to toe with some established rivals, such as Apple AirPods Pros, Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2s and Sony WF-1000XM3s. We have big hopes for these wireless earbuds, but can Bose deliver? Packed with tech Bose has launched wired noisecancelling in-ear headphones and true wireless headphones before, but nothing that combines the two technologies. This means there’s plenty of tech to pack into…

4 min
mission lx-4 mkii

View offers Stereo speakers | £399 | whf.cm/LX-4MKII Mission has quite some heritage when it comes to making affordable speakers, so when the brand launches a new entry-level series, we’re always keen to have a listen. The LX-4 MKII are the smallest floorstanders in the revised LX range, and are pitched at an aggressive price considering the engineering and technology on offer. Are these going to be the superstar budget floorstanders we’re hoping for? We can’t complain about build quality. These 90cm tall towers are nicely made, given the price. They feel solid and obvious care has been taken in the way they have been put together. There are three finish options: matt black, matt white or walnut. Despite the three drive units, the LX-4 MKIIs are two-way speakers – the two 13cm mid/bass…

4 min
roku streambar

View offers Stereo speakers | £130 | whf.cm/Streambar Certainly it is not uncommon nowadays to find something is much smaller when you get it out than it looked in the photo, but in the case of the Roku Streambar, we’re not even slightly cross. It’s something you need to know, of course – that this 4K streamer and TV audio combo is not so much a bar as a kind of angled brick; but if you’re after better-projected rather than cinematic sound, it should still be on your list. The Streambar will work with any television with an HDMI input, outputting 4K up to 2160p at 60fps, and HDR10, for those with compatible sets and HDMI supporting HDCP 2.2. Everyone else will get 1080p Full HD, with lower-resolution signals upscaled. Complementary features It’s a fine way…