Hifi News - Recent News
Bose Soundlink Color II
Bose launch the Soundlink Color II - Portable Bluetooth Speaker
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.”
Naim Powerline Lite
Naim launch Powerline Lite
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.
Bose Soundlink Revolve+
Bose launch the Soundlink Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker
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.
Bose Soundlink Revolve
Bose Launch The Soundlink Revolve - Bluetooth Speaker
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.
Rel Launch the No.25 Sub Woofer
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 !
Sonos Launch The PlayBase - A Sound Base
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.
Chord CPM 2800 MkII
Chord Electronics offers major new styling alternative
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.
Oppo Sonica DAC
Oppo launch the Sonica DAC
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.
Q Acoustics Concept 500
Q Acoustics Launch The Concept 500 Floorstanders
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.
Libratone takes the Zipp Back to Black
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.
Ruark Audio MR1 MK2
Ruark Audio launch the MR1 MK2 - Bluetooth speakers
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.
iFi Audio iGalvanic
iFi Audio reveal the iGalvanic
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.
Tannoy Legacy Speaker Range
Tannoy launch the Legacy speaker range
here are three speakers in the Tannoy Legacy series: The ARDEN, CHEVIOT and EATON. They all employ a Dual Concentric Driver based on the famous Tannoy HPD 1974 pedigree technology. The Legacy speaker range will be hand crafted by Tannoys’ workers in Coatbridge, Scotland. Every speaker will include an ‘owner’s care package’ as well as a certificate of authenticity, signed by the experts who made them. All three speakers use extensive cabinet bracing incorporating DMT (Differential Materials Technology) to couple drivers to cabinets and a high density cabinet that provides extreme rigidity to control low frequency performance.
Chord Sarum T
Chord launch the Sarum T cable range
he Chord Company has launched Sarum T, a new cable range that builds on the success of the acclaimed Sarum Super ARAY range but improved through the use of Chord’s breakthrough proprietary insulation material, Taylon, found in Chord’s top of the range ChordMusic cables.
Monitor Audio ASB-10
Monitor Audio launch the ASB-10 Soundbar
he Monitor Audio ASB-10 is Monitor Audio’s second sound bar , the first being the ASB-2. Like the ASB-2 the ASB-10 is also priced at £399, however the ASB-10 is a two channel 100 watts per channel soundbar. The soundbar offers a lot of drivers for the money, 2 gold dome tweeters 4 C-CAM metal cone bass / mid-range drivers and two bass radiators. Connection is either wireless via apt-x Bluetooth, or wired via optical or coax S-PDIF, or even analogue via a 3.5 mm stereo jack. The ASB-10 can also be upgraded via the addition of a wireless sub-woofer, the WS-10 Wireless Subwoofer.
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.
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