What Hi-Fi? November 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
stars on 45: we can work it out

Forty-five isn’t normally a hugely significant birthday, it’s true. But, for a hi-fi magazine that celebrates music in its many forms, it seems appropriate to mark the completion of What Hi-Fi?’s 45th year on this earth with both some top-selling singles and some top products that have proved resounding hits with us over the almost half a century of the brand’s existence. You’ll find the list of our top 45 products (p36) will cover many musical and home entertainment bases from the past four and a half decades. For a little nostalgia we also bring the best-selling singles (p48) of our lifetime, too. To highlight how things have changed in that time – despite the turntable’s best efforts to keep things exactly the same – just take a look at our streaming…

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…

8 min
yamaha rx-a2a

The Yamaha RX-A2A has been a long time coming. Thanks largely to the pandemic, it’s been three long years since its predecessor was first launched – an aeon in tech terms. Much has changed in that time, too. Most notably, we’ve seen the arrival of 8K TVs and next-gen consoles, both of which are capable of handling new, more advanced video formats. Seeing as an AV receiver sits at the heart of a home cinema system, ideally connecting every component to the screen, it’s vital that it can handle every format that’s thrown at it – or that might be thrown at it within the next few years. The RX-A2A is part of Yamaha’s premium Aventage range, with ‘Aventage’ being short for ‘AV entertainment for a new age’, so it’s under even…

8 min
benq v6050

The BenQ V6050 ultra short throw (UST) projector is aiming to replace your TV. Brighter than the average projector and with a soundbar built in, it certainly has the right specs, with its laser light source, 120-inch maximum screen size and easy set-up features. Indeed, this BenQ certainly talks a good talk. UST has proved a tricky space for projectors. Burgeoning technologies such as this don’t come cheap, and the pure picture quality is rarely as good as you might expect from a traditional machine at even half the price. Spend a little more and you could get a native 4K projector. Traditional projectors don’t come with the same ease of installation or feature flexibility, so if that’s what you’re after, a UST is where it’s at. This BenQ might just…

4 min
jvc xp-ext1

The JVC XP-EXT1 is an intriguing concept – a home cinema headphone set intended to bring all the joys of the latest surround-sound cinema formats, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, to an individual listener. We can think of a number of situations when this might be useful – from late-night viewing sessions where you don’t want to disturb the household, through to those who don’t have room for a full-blown system, via the user who simply wants to be completely immersed in the action with no distractions. What it has to beat Despite that, this price tag might make many potential buyers pause for thought. For that sort of money, you could buy a decent soundbar and surround speaker combination (for example, a Sonos Arc and a pair of Sonos One SLs); and,…

8 min
tcl 55rp620k

TCL’s Roku TVs have finally arrived in the UK and the TCL 55RP620K is at the tip of the spear. It’s a 4K HDR TV that sits firmly in the affordable category of TVs, but don’t be fooled into expecting something that’s feature-light. This is a Roku TV and they’re nothing if not smart. Until now, the only TVs featuring the Roku platform available in the UK have been from Hisense, and they’ve certainly been good, with two five-star reviews on the bounce. The 55in TCL 55RP620K offers something one step closer to mid-range, though, with a greater bit-depth in terms of colour processing and Dolby Vision support too. For those after an app-happy and exceedingly user-friendly experience, and a good panel size without having to spend too much, this TV from…