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Review - McIntosh MXA80

McIntosh MXA80

McIntosh reveal the MXA80 System
T he MXA80 Integrated Audio System is the next generation of the acclaimed MXA70. It maintains the same compact footprint and full functionality while adding support for DSD and DXD digital music files thanks to a new digital to analogue converter (DAC).

Review - KEF Q Series 2017

KEF Q Series 2017

KEF announces new iteration of the popular Q Series speakers
K EF has announced the launch of the 8th version of the Q Series of speakers. The Q Series has won accolades in the past for offering consumers a highly sophisticated and accomplished sound performance for a ‘mid-price’ outlay. The 2017 Q Series boasts a raft of new features and improvements that will enhance the Q Series’ reputation still further. The new Q Series consists of six models all pictured - two bookshelf speakers (Q150 and Q350), three floorstanding speakers (Q550, Q750 and Q950), and a centre speaker (Q650c).

Review - Monitor Audio Silver Series 2017

Monitor Audio Silver Series 2017

Monitor Audio launch the New Silver Series
M onitor Audio have launched the New Silver Series of speakers at High End Munich 2017. The New Silver Series is the 6th generation of the Silver series so is known as silver 6G. Using ground breaking technology developed for the flagship Platinum Series II, the new Silver Series features completely redesigned Gold Dome tweeters for smooth, sweet treble paired with their RST driver technology for performance.

Review - McIntosh MCD350 CD/SACD Player

McIntosh MCD350 CD/SACD Player

McIntosh launch the MCD350 CD and SACD Player
T he McIntosh MCD350 SACD/CD Player delivers a pure playback experience from SACDs and CDs. It features a balanced 2-channel, 32-bit/192kHz DAC. Fixed output (no volume control) RCA and balanced stereo outputs are present along with coax and optical digital outputs. There are no digital inputs. All analogue outputs plus the digital coax outputs are gold plated for superior corrosion resistance. The MCD350 features 2x read speed so that all discs placed in its rigid aluminium die-cast tray are read at higher speeds, allowing their data to be stored in a buffer memory for a better error correction and tracking. A twin laser optical pickup uses a single objective lens with two laser units each employing different wavelengths that are optimized for SACD and CD playback. The classic McIntosh black glass front panel with an illuminated logo and aluminium end caps complete the unit.

Review - McIntosh MA8900

McIntosh MA8900

McIntosh launch the MA8900 - Integrated amp
T he McIntosh MA8900 is the first of a McIntosh next generation line of integrated amplifiers. The MA8900 Integrated Amplifier offers 200 Watts per channel, includes digital inputs, an MM and MC phono stage and a headphone amp.

Review - A&ultima SP1000

A&ultima SP1000

Astell&Kern launch the A&ultima SP1000 - Portable Digital Audio Player
T he Astell&Kern A&ultima SP1000 is their new top of the range portable digital audio player or DAP capable of Hi-Res Audio playback. In the A&ultima SP1000, Astell&Kern are for the first time using an octa-core CPU for best response times and performance, and a High Definition HD5 display to create the best viewing experience. There’s also an innovative new multi-function volume wheel and choice of stainless steel or copper housing and two independent AK4497EQ DACs for the left and right audio channels to provide a wider soundstage and better stereo channel separation.

Review - Audiolab M-DAC Mini

Audiolab M-DAC Mini

Audiolab launch the M-DAC Mini - A portable DAC and headphone amp
T he Audiolab M-DAC mini is the fourth model in the Audiolab M-DAC range and at just £295.95 is a portable, re-chargeable battery powered, Hi-Res Audio capable DAC and headphone amp that offers wireless connectivity. The M-DAC Mini is the smallest of the four hi-res DAC/headphone amps in the range, but still contains the same core technologies that have earned the M-DAC family reviewer acclaim, for instance the M-DAC Mini’s decoding is based around the ES9018 Sabre32 Reference DAC used by the other DACs in the range.

Review - Leema Pulse 4

Leema Pulse 4

Leema launch the Pulse IV - Integrated Amp
T he Leema Acoustics Pulse IV (at £2,295) is the 2017 version and fourth generation of the Pulse amplifier. The Pulse IV sees an improvement in performance, all-new casework together with new contemporary features, including a high-quality phono stage, aptX Bluetooth, plus a 32 bit/384 kHz DSD capable DAC, ready for its international debut at the Munich High End HiFi Show 2017. The new Pulse IV will form part of the newly re-launched Spectrum range.

Review - Cambridge Audio SE1 - In-Ear Headphones

Cambridge Audio SE1 - In-Ear Headphones

Cambridge Audio's SE1 in-ear headphones are back
I n February 2016 Cambridge launched their brand new in–ear monitors on a ‘pay what you choose’ basis to raise as much money for the National Foundation for Youth Music as possible. They raised an incredible £26,764.51 and the limited run of 1,000 earphones sold out in just 21 hours. Due to this success, their in-ear monitors are back on sale in the UK, Germany,USA and Hong Kong with 50% of proceeds going to charity! The UK price is £68.

Review - Audeze Sine DX

Audeze Sine DX

Audeze launch the Sine DX headphone
A udeze say of the new limited edition SineDX - "You have made it clear; an open-back version of our critically acclaimed SINE closed-back is what you want to hear! As a company, we make our products for you, the lover of music and audio. Here you go, the on-ear SINEDX,with drivers optimized for an open-back headphone, offers an amazingly smooth frequency response, an enormous, open soundstage and fatigue free listening.

Review - Noble Audio Lightning-to-2-pin IEM cable

Noble Audio Lightning-to-2-pin IEM cable

Noble Audio‘s Lightning cable instantly connects iOS devices
N oble Audio, the world’s leading high-performance in-ear monitor (IEM) specialist, has launched a new Lightning-to-2-pin IEM cable designed to instantly connect the latest Apple iOS devices with all current and legacy Noble products.

Review - Bose Soundlink Color II

Bose Soundlink Color II

Bose launch the Soundlink Color II - Portable Bluetooth Speaker
T he Bose Soundlink Color II, at £99.95, is a portable Bluetooth speaker and the II in the name gives away the fact that it is an upgraded version of the original Color Bluetooth speaker. Bose sum up the Color II with “We took the bold sound of its predecessor and gave the SoundLink Color speaker II a rugged exterior and IPX4 water resistance, making it ready for anything you throw at it.”

Review - Naim Powerline Lite

Naim Powerline Lite

Naim launch Powerline Lite
N aim’s new Power-Line Lite mains cable is a Naim designed mains plug and an existing Naim mains cable. The Power-Line Lite, plug has now replaced the standard mains plug in all Naim Classic, integrated separates and Uniti ranges, and the complete cable will also be available to purchase separately as an accessory at £95. The original high-end Power-Line mains cable continues and still ships with all 500 Series products and Statement.

Review - Bose Soundlink Revolve+

Bose Soundlink Revolve+

Bose launch the Soundlink Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker
T he Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus, at £279,95, is the bigger brother of the Soundlink Revolve and is to date Bose's best-performing portable Bluetooth speaker. Like the Revolve, the Revolve+ is a 360 degrees speaker so can be placed in the centre of the room to give everyone the same experience. If placed near a wall the sound will radiate and reflect around the room. The tapered cylindrical shape with a flexible handle makes this wireless speaker easy to grab and go. Its durable aluminium body provides worry-free protection, and its water-resistant design lets you keep the party going, even if it starts to rain. The rechargeable, lithium-ion battery plays up to 16 hours, for full-day listening. Voice prompts talk you through wireless Bluetooth pairing, and you can easily take calls with the built-in speakerphone. You can even access Siri or Google Now right from your speaker. Pair two SoundLink Revolve speakers in Party Mode for a louder sound, or put them into Stereo Mode.

Review - Bose Soundlink Revolve

Bose Soundlink Revolve

Bose Launch The Soundlink Revolve - Bluetooth Speaker
T he Bose Soundlink Revolve, at £199, is a portable Bluetooth Speaker. There are two Soundlink Revolves, the Revolve and the bigger and more powerful Revolve+. Bose claims that these Revolves are their best Bluetooth speakers. The Revolve in the name gives away the fact that they're engineered with true omnidirectional sound for complete 360 degree coverage. Place them in the middle of the room and the speakers spread the sound in all directions, giving everyone the same experience. Set near a wall and sound will radiate and reflect around the room, offering an immersive experience. The tapered cylindrical shape makes this wireless speaker easy to grab and go. Its durable aluminium body provides worry-free protection, and its water-resistant design lets you keep the party going, even if it starts to rain. The rechargeable, lithium-ion battery plays for up to 12 hours: for full-day listening. Voice prompts talk you through wireless Bluetooth pairing, and you can easily take calls with the built-in speakerphone. You can even access Siri or Google Now right from your speaker. Pair two SoundLink Revolve speakers in Party Mode for more performance power. Or put them in Stereo Mode when instruments and vocals will naturally separate and spread across a sound stage.

Review - Rel No.25

Rel No.25

Rel Launch the No.25 Sub Woofer
T he Rel 25 sub woofer is a wireless sub woofer with a £6,500 Suggested Retail. A member of Rel’s reference sub woofer range, the 25 commemorates and celebrates Rel’s 25th birthday, while pointing to the future. The 25 employs Rel’s most advanced design, engineering and craftsmanship. The 25 also comes with a circular remote which allows you to adjust the sub woofer from your listening chair. No more down on hands and knees round the back twiddling knobs then back to the chair to see what differences you’ve made !

Review - Sonos PlayBase

Sonos PlayBase

Sonos Launch The PlayBase - A Sound Base
T he new Sonos PlayBase is a sound base designed to fit underneath your TV in situations where space is tight and thereby rules out a Sonos PlayBar. In operation it will improve TV sound as well as acting as a streamer for network audio via both Ethernet and Wi-Fi, and serve up popular streaming services and internet radio. The PlayBase is also App controllable and can sync with the Play Sub and two Play 1s to form a 5.1 system. The Sonos PlayBase is not short of speakers though and uses ten amplified internal drivers – six midrange, three tweeters, and one woofer.

Review - Chord CPM 2800 MkII

Chord CPM 2800 MkII

Chord Electronics offers major new styling alternative
C hord Electronics has introduced a new styling alternative to its full-size component ranges, Reference and Chord. All double- and quad-height products* in Chord Electronics’ two upper ranges can now be ordered with high-quality solid black acrylic side panels as an alternative to Chord’s traditional Integra Leg System; Chord’s single-height products** will also be available with the new side panels later in 2017.

Review - Oppo Sonica DAC

Oppo Sonica DAC

Oppo launch the Sonica DAC
T he Oppo Sonica DAC at £799 is Oppo’s best DAC to date just measured by the fact that the Sonica DAC employs the highest quality DAC chip that Oppo have ever used the ESS ES9038PRO SABRE DAC 32-bit HyperStream DAC. The Sonica DAC can be summed up as an Audiophile DAC & Network Streamer that offers Hi-Res Audio decoding, wireless connectivity via both Airplay and Bluetooth and is App Controllable via Smartphones and Tablets. It should be noted that the Oppo Sonica DAC is a pure DAC in that it doesn’t have a headphone socket. It does have one pair of RCA analogue inputs so could function as a pre-amp in a turntable, digital sources system.

Review - Q Acoustics Concept 500

Q Acoustics Concept 500

Q Acoustics Launch The Concept 500 Floorstanders
T he Q Acoustic Concept 500 floor standing speakers were officially launched at the Bristol HiFi Show 2017 and will cost £3,600 making them Q Acoustics top of the range floor stander and significantly more costly than their other floor standers. The Q Acoustics Concept 500 features high quality drive units, a well-designed crossover and an accurately constructed inert cabinet.

Review - Libratone Zipp

Libratone Zipp

Libratone takes the Zipp Back to Black
T he Libratone Zipp has always been a colourful wireless speaker. After a host of colour possibilities, Libratone has gone back to black with the Nordic black Zipp at £249.

Review - Ruark Audio MR1 MK2

Ruark Audio MR1 MK2

Ruark Audio launch the MR1 MK2 - Bluetooth speakers
T he Ruark Audio MR1 MK2 Bluetooth speaker system, at £329 is an updated version of the original MR1 Bluetooth stereo speakers. Size wise the MK2 is identical but the aesthetics have been improved with a classic Rich Walnut (pictured) or a new Soft Grey finish. There are also significant improvements to sound quality and functionality.

Review - iFi Audio iGalvanic

iFi Audio iGalvanic

iFi Audio reveal the iGalvanic
T he iFi Audio iGalvanic, a lot smaller than the picture suggests, has just one digital input a USB type B and one USB type A output. What the iGalvanic offers (as the name suggests) is a means of doing Galvanic isolation for non Galvanically isolated USB DACs. Why does Galvanic isolation matter ? Well it offers complete separation between an electrically noisy source such as a computer and a sensitive (non Galvanically isolated) USB DAC. Without Galvanic isolation such a setup is prone to sounding noisy - examples being hissing sounds and ground loop hums. All of these degrade sound quality.


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