Hifi News - Recent News
Fiio X5 III
Fiio launch the X5 3rd Generation
he FiiO X5 III at £389 is the third generation X5 and is a portable digital music player capable of Hi-Res Audio playback. The FiiO X5 III is equipped with two top-of-the-line AKM AK4490EN DACs, one for each channel. The AK4490EN is a part of a new generation of high-quality 32-bit DACs that supports all PCM and DSD formats. The X5 3rd gen, following in the footstep of FiiO's flagship DAP, also offers two modes of operation, pure music mode and Android mode. In Pure Music Mode, only the main music player is available. No other apps run on the X5 III so it is purely dedicated to music replay. In Android Mode, users are free to install and run any third-party Android apps (such as the Amazon music app) according to their needs. By offering these two modes of operation. The X5 3rd gen brings a number of new features for a convenient wireless experience, 2.4 GHz allows users to listen to their favourite online streaming services. Aptx ensures a low latency, high-quality wireless Bluetooth experience, and DLNA is supported for even more forms of wireless connectivity. With the X5 3rd gen, you can play your music anytime, anywhere. In this new design made of fine stainless steel powder based on new metallurgical methods, the gap between the microSD card slot and the rest of the body is only 0.2mm, making for a more slimmer body. The X5 3rd gen contains both 32GB of built-in storage and two external microSD card slots. Since each microSD card slot supports up to 256GB cards, the X5 3rd gen is able to carry up to a huge 544GB of music. The X5 3rd gen contains a 3.8V 3400mAh battery that provides more than 10 hours of playing time. But when you do run out of battery, the new X5 has new rapid charging technology with temperature detection (with an on-screen indicator).
iFi Audio iTube 2
iFi Audio launch the iTube 2 - valve buffer stage
he iFi Audio iTube 2 is many thinks all in the one small box. The iTube 2 can be used as a fixed output valve buffer stage between DAC and amplifier to give a warmer less digital sound or even between a pre amp and power amp to provide the same function. Two can be employed one between DAC / pre-amp and one between pre-amp and power amp to double up ! The iTube 2 also has a volume control so can be used as a preamp for one analogue input. This could be useful if you have a digital pre-amp DAC feeding directly into a power amp and want to listen to a high quality analogue output only turntable, or its phono stage. Simplest option here is to connect the turntable to the iTube 2 and the iTube 2 into the power amp, disconnecting the DAC, to listen to the turntable. The 2 in the name suggests and upgrade to a previous version, the original iTube. However iFi point out that the iTube 2 is a complete redesign and the only commonality between the two is the General Electric GE5670 valve. Additionally the iTube 2 offers XBass+ for speakers, a bass boost for small speakers, and 3D Holographic+ matrix for Speakers, a means to increase the sound stage of two narrowly placed together speakers. Typically 3D+ would be useful for near field listening where two speakers have been placed on either side of a computer.
B&W DB Series
B&W launch the DB Series of Subwoofers
he new B&W DB series consists of four powered subwoofers, the DB1D (pictured top left), the DB2D (pictured top right), the DB3D (pictured bottom left) and the DB1 (pictured bottom right). The first three models with the D suffix in the name use precision audiophile technologies derived from the 800 Series Diamond speakers.
McIntosh MB50 Streaming Audio Player
The McIntosh MB50 streamer is now available in the UK
he McIntosh MB50 streamer, which was first seen at CES 2016, is now available in the UK through Jordan Acoustics priced at £2,750. The MB50 offers high-resolution wireless music streaming using DTS Play-Fi® technology to a range of connected devices in the home. The MB50 has a compact form factor with a natural partner of McIntosh’s own MXA70 integrated audio system and the MHA150 headphone amp.
Dali Spektor Range
Dali launch the Spektor - speaker range
he Dali Spektor range of speakers consists of four models – the stand mounted Spektor 1 (£159) and 2 (£199), the floor standing Spektor 6 (£499) and the centre speaker the Spektor Vokal(£169). Spektor 1 is ultra compact and built around a 4 ½ inch wood fibre woofer, Spektor 2 is larger and built around a 5 ¼ inch woofer. The floor standing Spektor 6 is a two way design with two 6 ½ inch woofers to deliver the bass / mid-range. Spektor Vokal is a two 4½” woofers and 25 mm soft dome tweeter design.
Jaybird launch the X3 in-ear headphones
he Jaybird X3 in-ear headphones offer a patented sports ear fin that hug into the top, back and lower surface areas of the ear, providing a super-secure comfortable fit. The micro-sized design means you can comfortably wear your X3 under a helmet and wherever your active life takes you. The 8-hour battery* means you’ll never skip a beat and the customisable sound means you can choose either too little, not enough bass or somewhere in between.
Included in the X3 packaging are the following -
Sonus Faber Homage Tradition
Sonus faber launch the Homage Tradition speaker range
onus faber wishes to evoke Italian design and creativity at their best by restyling the Homage collection, the company’s most iconic line. It has been completely revamped in keeping with its rich past and precious legacy. Welcome Homage Tradition!
Tannoy GRF 90
TANNOY Announces a new GRF speaker range
ANNOY has announced that they will be launching a new Gold Reference GRF range to be ready for delivery in February 2017. This decision was made to meet unprecedented demand from dealers and customers to continue the GRF-90 range which sold out in record time. The new speaker will be skilfully hand-crafted in the U.K, with the same exceptional components found in the GRF-90, but this time as a permanent addition to the TANNOY offering.
Pro-Ject Essential III
Pro-Ject Expand the Essential III Turntable Range
ro-Ject are expanding the Essential III turntable range by adding two new turntables, the Essential III A which is the Essential III with an acrylic platter and the special edition George Harrison Record Player – pictured. The original Essential III is being upgraded to have a new MDF platter. All three models come with an aluminium tonearm and an Ortofon OM 10 cartridge.
Wilson Audio Yvette
Wilson Audio launch the Yvette - floor standing speaker
he Wilson Audio Yvette speaker is a three way floor stander that combines technologies derived from Wilson’s top-end models in a more compact and affordable form. Technologies have been trickled down (in some cases with identical drivers) from Sasha Series 2, the Alexia, and the leading-edge Alexx. Wilson Audio states that - Yvette is the most advanced and musically refined single-enclosure loudspeaker in Wilson’s history.
Sennheiser MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless
Sennheiser launch the MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless headphones
he Sennheiser MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless headphones feature a high quality neckband which controls and powers the in-ear headphones. Wireless connectivity is via Bluetooth 4.1, and Qualcomm apt-X. The MOMENTUM In-Ear Wireless headphones offer NFC for one touch pairing, an integrated microphone, and a ten-hour battery life. Retail price is £ 169.99.
Audio-Technica launch the ATH-DSR9BT - digital headphones
he Audio-Technica ATH-DSR9BT headphones are a first here on HiFi Enthusiast, a digital wireless headphone that uses a digital signal to drive the headphones directly. So the ATH-DSR9BT doesn’t need an internal DAC, just a digital signal. The digital signal can be supplied either wirelessly via Bluetooth 4.2 or via a wired USB connection. Bluetooth 4.2 can handle aptX HD and a wired USB connection Hi-Res Audio up to 24 bit 96 kHz. Audio-Technica’s technology to drive headphones digitally is known as Pure Digital Drive.
Arcam launch the rPhono - MM and MC Phono Stage
he Arcam rPhono, at £395 is the latest addition to the Arcam rSeries and is both an MM and MC Phono Stage. There are separate RCA inputs at the back for Moving Magnet and Moving Coil cartridges and both of these inputs can be customised to work best with your cartridge. MC cartridges can be precision impedance matching to the rPhono using high-quality trimmers instead of discrete steps. MM cartridges can be matched to a wide variety of rPhono capacitance options. The rPhono also has a rumble filter to filter out rumble from off centre vinyl pressings or warped records.
Arcam launch the rPlay streaming DAC
he Arcam rPlay is an audiophile grade streaming 24/192 DAC with DTS Play-fi, Airplay and UPnP which will retail in Feb 2017 at £399. rPlay is a very unusual DAC in that it doesn't have any digital inputs ! Inputs are Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Outputs from the rPlay are either variable RCA analogue (the rPlay's variable analogue output uses the same volume control as the A49 flagship amplifier), fixed output RCA, or coax S/PDIF digital enabling the rPlay to act as just a streamer connecting to a superior DAC.
Chord Blu MkII
Chord launch the Blu MkII - CD transport
f the three new products unveiled by Chord Electronics at CES 2016, the Blu MkII might have been the easiest to predict, as the recently released DAVE DAC has dual high speed digital inputs, one per channel, described as for use by a future Chord Electronics product. Traditionally these high speed digital inputs have been used by CD transports, going all the way back to the Chord Choral Blu and DAC64. So the Blu MkII.
Chord Hugo 2
Chord launch Hugo 2 - A successor to the award winning Hugo - portable USB DAC and headphone amp
hord Electronics have launched the Chord Hugo 2 a redesigned version of the original award winning Hugo, portable headphone amp and DAC. Much of the original functionality of Hugo has been retained in Hugo 2 but there are now sound quality and usability improvements, due to the redesign, and a number of new features have been added. Certain features in Hugo 2 have been “trickled up” from the Chord Mojo, the second micro USB is now just for fast battery charging and Mojo style control spheres are used to much improve the usability of Hugo 2. Hugo 2 is still (no surprises here) based on proprietary Chord Electronics FPGA technology and the Watts Transient Aligned or WTA digital filter. The FPGA chip in Hugo 2 now has double the number of taps which has allowed gains in timing accuracy, noise reduction, headphone amp power and dynamic range.
Chord launch Poly - A plug in streamer for the Chord Mojo portable USB DAC and headphone amp
he Chord Electronics Poly, is a new network plug in module for the Chord Mojo portable USB DAC and headphone amp. Poly acts as a source offering hi-res wireless streaming and SD card music playback to Mojo, and is controlled by a smartphone app.
Q Acoustics Concept 500
Q Acoustics To Launch The Concept 500 Floorstanders
he Q Acoustics Concept 500 Floor standing speakers will come in at £3,600 making them by far Q Acoustics top of the range speaker and will be officially launched at the Bristol HiFi Show 2017. Until the unveiling, there's a scant bit more ..
Rega Brio 2017
Rega launch the Brio 2017 integrated amp
he Rega Brio 2017, at £598, is a ½ width case, 50 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms, integrated amp that includes an MM phono stage and for the first time in a Brio, a headphone output. The Brio 2017 is an upgraded version of its predecessor, the Brio-R. Key improvements are a brand new case design, a complete overhaul of the electronic circuitry and that already mentioned headphone output.
Linn Klimax DS
Linn Announce Katalyst Their 4th Generation DAC Technology
inn’s Katalyst has somewhat slipped under the radar but was first announced in September 2016. Katalyst is an improvement to the DAC section of the Linn DS and DSM streamers and best of all can be retro fitted to non Katalyst DS and DSM players. Katalyst is in fact Linn’s 4th Generation DAC technology following in the footsteps of Numerik, the CD12 and the original Klimax DS DAC technology.
Naim Uniti Core
Naim Uniti Core Server Is Now Available
he Naim Uniti Core, the first product in Naim’s four model all new Uniti series, is now available. The Uniti Core replaces the UnitiServe and like the UnitiServe acts as a CD ripping and Network attached storage device. CD ripping also catalogues the rip using the Rovi on-line database. You can then search by title, artist, genre, track or composer. The Uniti Core can also play computer audio files. To do this you connect the Uniti Core, via its BNC coax S/PDIF output (a BNC to RCA adapter is supplied), to a DAC or amp with digital inputs, and use a new app from Naim to control music playback.
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