What Hi-Fi? October 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

2 min
remember: it’s all about the music

It’s easy to forget, sometimes, when we at What Hi-Fi? are urgently reviewing the newest high-tech audio-visual kit to give you an insight into what to buy, that it’s not especially the equipment itself that is important. The products you buy, after all, are there simply to allow you to enjoy your movies and music at the very highest quality you can afford, to provide you with the best experience you can have. And that, particularly perhaps after the dreadful past 18 months or so, is a more vital distraction than ever. Every piece of the hi-fi puzzle is important, of course, but the heart of your system is the stereo amplifier (p52) and the evidence of its soul – the part that ultimately allows you to experience the joy that music…

11 min
samsung qe75qn900a

View offers Television | £6999 | whf.cm/_QE75QN900A Chocolate and peanut butter, beer and crisps, sleep and Sundays; some things are perfect partners, whether they were designed that way or not. Samsung’s 8K boffins might not be the same people as those in charge of Mini LED, but together they have managed to create one serious winning combination in the Samsung QE75QN900A 8K TV. This model is a 75in version of Samsung’s third generation of 8K TVs, but it’s the first to be backed by a Mini LED lighting system rather than the standard LED set-up. As the name suggests, Mini LEDs are much smaller than standard LEDs, the size of glitter in your hand, and numbering in the thousands, rather than the hundreds, on your TV panel. Of course, this upgrade is about more…

6 min
naim uniti atom headphone edition

View offers Streaming system | £2399 | whf.cm/UnitiAtomHE Here at What Hi-Fi?, we’re the last to need convincing of the value of a fully fledged hi-fi system – the sight and sound of a handsome pair of stereo speakers, fed by a revealing amplifier connected to an entertaining source, filling the room with a cherished collection of music. But we also know there’s nothing quite like the intimate experience of putting on a pair of decent headphones and having your music right there, in your head, with no distractions. And if that’s your preferred route to audio nirvana, Naim’s latest Uniti system might well be the box of tricks for you. Same stylish aesthetic The Uniti Atom Headphone Edition is a headphones-based version of the Uniti Atom, the entry-level machine in Naim’s What Hi-Fi? Award-winning…

4 min
sony xperia 1 iii

View offers Mobile phone | £1199 | whf.cm/Xperia1III The Xperia 1 III is Sony’s latest flagship phone and, while it’s more a case of evolution than revolution on the previous model, it’s another excellent handset that is well worth considering if audio and video performance are key factors for you when choosing a mobile. We loved the last-gen 1 II but here the design has been tweaked, the battery boosted, the 4K display now has a 120Hz refresh rate and there’s an upgraded chipset and GPU. Crucially for us, Sony has eked out yet more performance from the Xperia 1 III screen and 3.5mm headphone jack, which gives us even more reason to recommend it over what was already our Award-winning phone. The same 6.5in OLED screen and 21:9 aspect ratio ensures once again…

4 min
grado sr325x

View offers Headphones | £330 | whf.cm/SR325x The Prestige range of headphones has been at the core of Grado’s output since it was first introduced three decades ago. While the series has developed over the years, Grado has always done so in small evolutionary steps. The story remains the same for this new ‘x’ generation. There’s little to separate the SR325x from its predecessor (the What Hi-Fi? Award-winning SR325e), apart from the new flatter foam earpads, updated cable and lighter coloured stitching on the firmly padded headband. Most of the important work goes unseen. The 44mm drive unit has been changed considerably with a revised motor system, upgraded coil and new diaphragm. The aim is to improve efficiency and reduce distortion. The new 8-conductor cable uses ‘super’ annealed copper and is claimed to deliver…

4 min
lg sp11ra

View offers Soundbar package | £1500 | whf.cm/LG_SP11RA It seems that LG can do no wrong when it comes to OLED TVs, but its soundbars have proven to be more of a mixed bag. The company is clearly determined to get things right with this, its 2021 flagship model, despite the two-star bruising we gave its predecessor. Like the previous model, the SP11RA is a serious investment in terms of both money and space. If your idea of a soundbar is affordable, compact convenience, you may be surprised by the price, size and number of boxes involved here. It’s still a more convenient and less overwhelming undertaking than building a true home cinema system, though, particularly one to match the LG’s 7.1.4 channels of Dolby Atmos action. Best of all, while the SP11RA looks…