What Hi-Fi? Awards issue 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
the more things change…

After 18 of the more disconcerting months of our lives, it is rather reassuring to come around, once again, to the What Hi-Fi? Awards issue. While many, many things have changed around the world, it’s certainly comforting to know that some things remain resolutely the same. Among those are the efforts of What Hi-Fi?’s team of reviewers to bring you, after many thousands of hours of testing, our verdict on the very best products you can buy in the world of home entertainment – in every category, at every budget. So, whether you are hankering after a new pair of standmount speakers (p64), some wireless headphones (p38), the best television (p80) you can accommodate and afford, or feel the need to upgrade your turntable (p52) – or have any other home entertainment…

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, Reading 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…

1 min
our products of the year

JOE COX Global editor-in-chief “A supremely impressive modern hi-fi system” JOE NAIM UNITI ATOM PAGE 74 KETAN BHARADIA Technical editor “It’s tough to make an affordable floorstander that is musical and well engineered. Wharfedale has managed just that with the Diamond 12.3” WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 12.3 SPEAKERS PAGE 68 ANDY MADDEN Deputy editor “Sony’s superb wireless earbuds tick all the boxes” SONY WF-1000XM4 PAGE 39 BECKY ROBERTS Hi-fi editor “The most appealing way to add streaming to your system on a budget” BLUESOUND NODE (2021) PAGE 48 TOM PARSONS TV & AV editor “With its incredible home cinema sound, the SDR-35 AVR proves that specs aren’t everything” JBL SYNTHESIS SDR-35 PAGE 89 DAN SUNG Staff writer “There isn’t a single projector I’ve looked at that hasn’t made me wish I was testing the N5 instead. This is the point where serious…

9 min
sony ht-a7000

FIRST TESTS EXCLUSIVE, IN-DEPTH VERDICTS ON THE LATEST KIT View offers Soundbar | £1199 whf.cm/HT-A7000 “So effective and transparent is the performance of the wide tweeters that we repeatedly check there isn’t a speaker immediately to our side” At the top end of the soundbar market, there are two schools of thought. The first is that costlier models warrant additional speakers for enhanced bass and surround performance. The second is that a single, high-quality soundbar should be able to deliver excellent treble clarity, bass and a room-filling sound competently on its own – with extra boxes available (though not necessary) to suit the taste, homes and pockets of the buyer. The Sony HT-A7000 falls firmly into the latter camp. This 7.1.2 slab of sound packs two upwards-firing speakers, two beam tweeters, five front-facing drivers and a…

7 min
apple iphone 13

View offers Smartphone | £779 | whf.cm/iPhone13 The iPhone 13 has a big job to do. The previous generation brought some significant changes, including a revamped design, new processor and new OLED screen. So all those things are already in place; but has Apple managed to move the game on yet again, or is this more akin to a mildly tweaked ‘S’ model, as we’ve seen in the past? The first bit of good news regards the price. Those of you expecting the iPhone 13 to be more expensive than the previous model might be surprised to learn that there’s been no price hike. In fact, the iPhone 13 is £20 cheaper than the equivalent iPhone 12 was at launch, across all available storage sizes of 128GB, 256GB and 512GB. 1TB of storage is…

4 min
chord anni

View offers Amplifier | £1195 | whf.cm/ChordAnni Chord Electronics has proven to have quite some talent in finding new market niches. It established the sector for premium portable DACs with the introduction of the excellent original Hugo, and underlined that dominance with the more affordable and almost as talented Mojo, before adding streaming modules dedicated to these DACs. Chord has also long championed ultra compact hi-fi electronics for those who want premium performance but are unable or unwilling to give up much space for it; and the diminutive Anni desktop integrated amplifier is a perfect example of that. The real deal Make no mistake, this really is a proper Chord amplifier in miniature, using as it does the Ultima dual feed-forward circuitry seen in the latest generation of the brand’s high-end power amplification. That said,…