What Hi-Fi? August 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
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13 Issues

in this issue

1 min
parklife, and the beach boys

We’re not out of the woods yet, of course, but the joy of being able to meet up with friends and family again, combined with (fingers crossed) a beautiful, long, hot summer is hard to beat. Whether it’s a barbecue in the garden, a picnic in the park or a day out to the beach, the simple pleasures of companionship and laughter with loved ones is one that we have all missed over the past year and more. So let’s make the most of it. There aren’t many occasions that can’t be improved by the accompaniment of music, and we count such gatherings among them – as long as we are respectful of others out to enjoy the great outdoors as well, of course. This issue, then, brings you our suggestions for…

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…

9 min
cambridge audio evo 75

FIRST TESTS EXCLUSIVE, IN-DEPTH VERDICTS ON THE LATEST KIT Having spent more quality time with the Cambridge Audio Evo 75 in recent weeks than our colleagues in the past year, one thing sticks in our minds: this just-add-speakers streaming system is very good company. It doesn’t talk to us, as many products do these days, and it doesn’t make us laugh (unless we’re playing ‘Weird Al’ Yankovich through it). But it is pleasant to be around, and that’s because its design has been so well thought out. The first evidence for this lies in its name. ‘Evo’ is a fitting one for a product that sits within a hi-fi category as progressive as this one, while the ‘75’ denotes its wattage-per-channel output. The Evo 75 is one half of Cambridge’s new two-strong Evo…

10 min
sony xr-55a90j

While Sony’s OLEDs are highly regarded, it has been difficult to justify buying one over a rival LG. Historically, the Sony has a more authentic picture and better sound, but is also a step behind on features and usability – and often more expensive too. But what if Sony could produce a TV with most of those missing features, a more satisfying user experience, and a unique high-quality movie streaming app, all while raising the picture and sound quality to even greater heights? Would we be able to justify buying that over a rival LG? We’re about to find out, because Sony has produced that TV, the XR-55A90J. Thin, black, flush bezels are the norm for modern OLED TVs, which means most look alike when wall-mounted. The A90J has a brand…

7 min
bowers & wilkins pi7

Bowers & Wilkins’ first pair of true wireless in-ears has been a long time in the making, so we’re looking forward to hearing exactly what the B&W PI7 can do. They are the firm’s flagship offering in a two-model range and are ambitiously priced, well above the level of the most obvious rivals from the likes of Sony, Sennheiser and Bose. So the pressure is certainly on B&W to justify that hefty £350 price tag. At this sort of price for a pair of true wireless earbuds, we’d expect sonic prowess, effective noise-cancelling, high levels of comfort and battery life, a fully fledged app, portability and possibly even a few extras thrown in for good measure. So, has the British firm succeeded at the first time of asking? Considering the size of…

3 min
meze audio 99 classics

Are we just hungry or do Meze Audio’s 99 Classics conjure up images of flatbread, falafel and baba ganoush, washed down with a chocolate-flaked ice cream cone? Whether or not there was any such intent behind the naming of these wired over-ear headphones, they are, for the most part, as delectable as they sound. The launch of the 99 Classics mark a breakthrough for Meze Audio, a decade-old Romanian headphones brand created by a guitar-loving founder with a desire to make a pair of headphones he could feel as passionately about as his Fender Stratocaster. Wired over-ears at this price point aren’t as common as they once were, due to the popularity and increasing quality of wireless headphones, but for anyone whose priority is to get the best performance this amount of…