Hifi News - Recent News

Review - Chord SPM1050MkII

Chord SPM1050MkII

Refinements for a classic Chord power amp - the new SPM 1050 MkII launches
C hord Electronics has significantly upgraded its popular 200 Watts per channel SPM 1050 power amplifier to the MkII version. The SPM 1050 MkII at £4,995 has numerous internal upgrades, together with a number of aesthetic improvements over the original which it replaces. The SPM 1050 MkII was first unveiled at High End 2016, Munich, and is available now worldwide.

Review - Wharfedale Diamond Active A1

Wharfedale Diamond Active A1

Wharfedale Launch The Diamond Active A1 Speakers
T he Wharfedale Diamond Active A1 at £599.95 offers Bluetooth, digital and analogue inputs into an integrated amp and speaker package. Wharfedale’s True Wireless technology enables the great connection flexibility found in the A1s. The Diamond A1 is a classic ‘bookshelf’-size speaker (31.5cm high) that include a 50 Watt amplifier in each speaker to deliver a combined ‘system power’ of 100 Watts.

Review - Wharfedale Diamond A2

Wharfedale Diamond A2

Wharfedale Launch The Diamond Active A2 Floor Standing Speakers
T he Wharfedale Diamond Active A2 at £999.95 is a larger floor standing design (91.2cm high). Like the A1 the A2 includes a 50 Watt amplifier in each speaker to deliver a combined ‘system power’ of 100 Watts. The A2 also uses the H1 wired and wireless hub (pictured on top of the left hand speaker) which can in turn communicate wirelessly with the A2 speakers.

Review - Onkyo NS-6130

Onkyo NS-6130

Onkyo Reveal The NS-6130 Streamer
T he Onkyo NS-6130 is a network audio player or streamer with fully symmetrical Left and Right channel layout, and a DAC that can decode PCM material up to even 24 bit / 192 kHz computer audio files and DSD. The NS-6130 features noiseless signal processing and a new Onkyo Controller app that can control Google Cast + AirPlay to cast what’s playing on your mobile or PC. Tidal, TuneIn, and Deezer are also supported via their respective apps. Applying analogue philosophy to a digital component, the NS-6130’s proven circuit layout combines with VLSC pulse-noise-removal technology to deliver a clean and stable signal to the next component in the chain your integrated amp or pre amp.

Review - Martin Logan ELECTROMOTION ESL X


Martin Logan upgrade the ElectroMotion ESL with the ESL X
T he Martin Logan ElectroMotion ESL X is an upgraded version of the existing ElectroMotion ESL, MartinLogan’s entry-level hybrid electrostatic speaker. The ESL X retails at £4,498 per pair (according to finish i.e. there are more costly finishes see below). The ESL X is available now.

Review - Dali Katch

Dali Katch

The DALI Katch Is DALI's "Tease" First Portable Speaker
T he DALI Katch is a two driver and 18 Watt per channel, battery powered, portable Bluetooth speaker that will be available from October 2016. Bluetooth is via top-notch Bluetooth 4.0 Apt-X. Alternatively a wired connection can be employed via the analogue stereo mini-jack input into the Katch. Google Chromecast is also a possibility. The Katch has an old fashioned Loudness option renamed as an audio profile, where you can boost the bass to improve the bass when the volume is low.

Review - Marantz HD-CD1

Marantz HD-CD1

Marantz Launch The HD-CD1 - CD Player
T he Marantz HD-CD1 is a CD Player with digital (optical and coax) and analogue RCA outputs coupled with a headphone amp. No digital inputs to the DAC section or SACD replay though. The HD-CD1 complements the recently released HD-AMP1 and HD-DAC1. The new HD-CD1 CD Player is expected to be available in September 2016 for $599, UK price is T.B.A. The HD-CD1 also features a solid aluminium front panel, double-layer chassis for vibration isolation and retro-style side panels.

Review - Denon Tease With Two New Streaming Products

Denon Tease With Two New Streaming Products
S hortest tease ever this one with just - On August 30th, Denon will not only introduce two new devices, it will also start a new era of Denon networking. Imagine the most powerful entertainment, now everywhere. From one place, from multiple sources, without any strings attached.

Review - Sony Walkman NW-WS413

Sony Walkman NW-WS413

Sony's Underwater Walkman The NW-WS413
H aven't seen these in Rio Olympics yet but swimmers can now rival their gym training partners and listen to music underwater while they train ! The Sony NW-WS413 Sports Walkman offers an all in one 4 GB mp3 player and ear buds and is built to withstand the elements, it's the ultimate training partner. You're ready to train in all weathers and any conditions - and so is the NW-WS413.The NW-WS413 is made for the elements. It's ready for the ocean with an IP65/68 waterproof rating to a depth of 2 metres. It's ready for the beach with a sealed design that protects against sand, dust and grit. And it's ready for extremes as it can handle temperatures ranging from -5C to 45C.The NW-WS413 Sports Walkman also boasts an Ambient Sound Mode which lets you hear a degree of external sound so you can talk to a friend or trainer while listening to music.

Review - Furutech SK-Filter

Furutech SK-Filter

Furutech Launch The SK-Filter - A Vinyl Static Remover
T he Furutech SK-Filter (£350) is pictured left - turntable arm and cartridge not included ! The SK-Filter is the brush and supporting mechanism that positions the brush just above the rotating vinyl. Static in the vinyl then discharges into the atmosphere via the brush.

Review - Denon HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier

Denon HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier

Denon Launch The HEOS Link HS2 - Wireless Pre-Amplifier
T he Denon HEOS Link HS2 (yours for £299) is an upgraded version of the original Denon Link. HS2 allows both wired (analogue and digital) and wireless connection into the Denon HEOS network. There are two new features in the HS2. Firstly the HS2 has support for Hi-Res Audio. The HS2 is capable of playing WAV, ALAC and FLAC in formats up to 24 bit/192 kHz sample rates. There will be support for AIFF and DSD incoming via a future software update. Secondly Denon have added direct Bluetooth support. This means you can stream directly to HS2 without having to download and install an app.

Review - Pioneer PLX-500

Pioneer PLX-500

Pioneer Launch The PLX-500 - Vinyl Ripping Turntable
T he Pioneer PLX-500 Turntable is a three speed, high torque turntable with a USB output. The USB output can be used to record or rip your vinyl to computer audio files. The PLX-500 is aimed at both home listeners and DJs. Guess it's only DJs that would want to use it to mix and scratch your vinyl records !

Review - Auralic Aries Mini

Auralic Aries Mini

How Does The Auralic Aries Mini Compare Against Other Streamers
A uralic say thet the No.1 question our sales team have received is 'what exactly ARIES MINI is?'. To help explain they've produced a comparison chart where they compare the features of the Aries Mini vs Sonos Connect, BlueSound Node 2, MicroRendu and the NAD D7050.

Review - Astell&Kern PEM14 AK-CD Ripper

Astell&Kern PEM14 AK-CD Ripper

Astell&Kern Launch The PEM14 AK-CD Ripper
T he £299 Astell&Kern PEM14 AK-CD Ripper has slipped under the radar a bit as its been available on amazon since January 2015. The AK CD Ripper uses trickle down technology from the much more expensive AK500N such as the 'Perfect Extractor' and the error correction. The AK CD-RIPPER easily rips CDs to your Astell&Kern music player with only a single touch of a button. The user can set the ripping speed (normal / fast / very fast) and file format (WAV / FLAC) through the settings menu.

Review - Astell&Kern AK380 Amp

Astell&Kern AK380 Amp

Astell&Kern Launch The AK380 Amp
T he Astell&Kern AK380 Amp at £499 currently, is a booster for the Astell&Kern AK380 that when partnered together allows the pairing to drive high impedance headphones. Sufficient gain to drive just about any headphones such as Abyss or the difficult to drive HiFiMan HE1000s as one reviewer put it.

Review - Yamaha NX-N550

Yamaha NX-N550

Yamaha Launch The NX-N550 Speakers
T he Yamaha NX-N550 speakers are both wireless Bluetooth (and Airplay) speakers and wired (via USB) digital speakers possessing an internal USB DAC capable of decoding Hi-Res Audio and active amplification. Music can be streamed to the NX-N550 speakers using Yamaha's MusicCast. MusicCast allows a number of MusicCast enabled systems to be configured into a multi-room house wide HiFi system and controlled by a Smartphone app. The NX-N550 come with a remote and there's also an optical input capable of accepting 192 kHz 24 bit computer audio files.

Review - ifi Audio iPhono 2

ifi Audio iPhono 2

iFi Audio launch The iPhono 2 - MM and MC Phono Stage
T he iFi Audio iPhono 2 is a phono stage that can amplify both MM and MC cartridge output up to RCA line stage. The iPhono 2 is an upgraded version of the original iPhono. The new iPhono 2 has a new circuit that significantly reduces the loading seen by the main amplification circuit. This improves the circuit inherent linearity while allowing it to drive even punishing 600 ohm studio inputs. The power supply filtering has been increased 5X in value. The iPhono2’s signal to noise ratio has also been improved.

Review - Yamaha YSP-2700

Yamaha YSP-2700

Yamaha Launch The YSP-2700 Soundbar
T he Yamaha YSP-2700 at £899 is an upgraded version of the YSP-2500 Soundbar and offers 7.1 channel surround sound from a 2 box wireless sub-woofer / Soundbar system using Yamaha's Sound Projection system. The YSP-2700 also offers MusicCast, Yamaha's new multi-room streaming technology and can act as a Bluetooth speaker.

Review - JBL Clip 2

JBL Clip 2

JBL Launch The Clip 2 - Bluetooth Speaker
T he JBL Clip 2 - Bluetooth Speaker at £49, literally offers HiFi on the go as it clips to your ruck sack and then plays music over Bluetooth from your Smartphone. The Clip 2 is small enough to fit in your hand and is water proof.

Review - Quad VA-One

Quad VA-One

Quad Launch The VA-One - Valve Integrated Amp , DAC And More
T he Quad VA-One £1,299.95 (R.R.P) is a compact integrated valve amp bringing together classic valve technology for the integrated amp and headphone amp and modern digital technology, including USB connectivity into the internal DAC and Bluetooth connectivity.

Review - Linn 5 Series

Linn 5 Series

Want to Know more about Fabrik in the Linn Series 5 ?
L inn have updated their web site with more information about the Linn Series 5, that's the 520 and 530 systems. Included in the update is more info on the amusingly named Fabrik.

Review - DALI Teases With News Of Their First Portable Speaker

DALI Teases With News Of Their First Portable Speaker
D ALI have announced their first truly portable speaker - no name yet. The new portable speaker will be revealed for the public eye for the first time on the IFA Show in Berlin on September 2. Here DALI will be present with a stand dedicated to their new speaker.

Review - Cambridge Audio CXC - CD Transport

Cambridge Audio CXC - CD Transport

Cambridge Audio CXC - CD Transport More Info From Cambridge Audio
A short video and transport from a training session that Cambridge Audio held in the USA that looks at the CXC, a CD transport. As a CD transport the CXC can only supply a digital signal to a DAC. Cambridge Audio has DACs in both their CXA60 and CXA80 integrated amps. They point out that one of the reasons for having the DAC inside the amplifier is that the amp is more flexible for those with a wide variety of digital sources. Also this arrangement keeps the digital signal in the digital domain as long as possible where it's converted to analogue at the very last minute by the DAC inside the amplifier. And that minimizes analogue signal deterioration which can happen with an analogue audio connection from an external DAC.

Review - Arcam rHead

Arcam rHead

Arcam Launch The rHead - Headphone Amp
T he Arcam rHead headphone amp at £399 joins the irDAC-II and the MusicBOOST, as the third product in the Arcam headphone product range. The Arcam rHead is a discrete true-linear Class-A analogue headphone amplifier, built for the highest possible performance.

Review - Sony HT-NT5

Sony HT-NT5

Sony Launch The HT-NT5 Soundbar
T he Sony HT-NT5 at £599 currently is a two box 400 Watt Sound Bar that offers Hi-Res Audio, Wireless Surround using Sony's superior LDAC codec, and 4K Pass Through. The HT-NT5 is a sleek design, with 3-way speakers driven by 6 discrete amplifiers in this slim with specially-designed upright tweeters and S-Master HX amplifiers.

Review - B&W Zeppelin Wireless Speaker System

B&W Zeppelin Wireless Speaker System

The B&W Zeppelin Wireless now comes in white
B &W have added a second finish to the B&W Zeppelin Wireless. Moving away from the Henry Ford product philosophy, they've added a white finish to the previously black only Zeppelin Wireless.

Review - Q Acoustics 3020

Q Acoustics 3020

Q Acoustics launch the 3020 speakers
T he Q Acoustics 3020 speakers, yours for £188 currently on Amazon are a two way stand mounted speaker and the bigger brother of the 3010 from Q Acoustics's 3000 speaker series. The 3020 as the model above the 3010 has a larger cabinet and bass driver.

Review - Musical Fidelity Encore Connect

Musical Fidelity Encore Connect

Musical Fidelity Launch The Encore Connect - Music Streamer
T he Musical Fidelity Encore Connect is the second product in the Musical Fidelity Encore range. The Encore connect can be thought of as offering everything offered by the Encore 225 but minus the power amp. The Encore Connect can then be used into existing HiFi amplification or active speaker systems or multiroom systems such as Sonos speakers.


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