Hifi News - Speakers
Wharfedale launch the DS-2 - dinky desktop divas
harfedale’s new DS-2 stereo Bluetooth speaker system is based on the now-discontinued DS-1, a similarly diminutive pair of Bluetooth speakers widely acknowledged as the best available under £200 – “petite little desktop speakers that sound fantastic for the money,” said What Hi-Fi? whilst presenting them with an Award in 2015. The DS-2 reconstructs the original DS-1 concept with an all-new design, delivering even better sound per pound performance. In contrast to most Bluetooth speakers, the DS-2 is a pair of proper two-way hi-fi speakers shrunk to desktop size, standing just 190mm high, 120mm wide and 140mm deep.
Wharfedale is Britain’s most famous loudspeaker brand, with an audio engineering heritage stretching back to 1932. The company invented the concept of the two-way speaker – utilising separate drive units for high- and low-frequencies – so it’s no surprise that each DS-2 contains two high-performance drivers: a 19mm silk dome tweeter and a 75mm mid/bass driver.
The mid/bass driver’s cone is fashioned from woven polypropylene, chosen for its ideal combination of lightness, strength and low coloration. Both drive units are protected by specially designed metal grilles, while a rear-firing port augments low-frequency performance to provide bass that’s surprisingly deep and punchy for the speakers’ size.
Inside the master speaker nestles new-generation, high-performance digital amplification outputting 2x15W continuous and 2x30W peak. This drives the treble and mid/bass units via a high-quality crossover network containing select audio grade components. These are superior to the cheap, single component crossovers used by many compact speakers.
Bluetooth provides simple wireless pairing with smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, complete with support for the sonically superior aptX codec. Flexibility is further enhanced by a 3.5mm analogue stereo input and supplied cable – this is positioned on the side of the master speaker, along with the volume and pairing controls.
The DS-2 makes full use of Wharfedale’s award-winning acoustic engineering expertise, exhibiting their sibling’s hi-fi pedigree. Their sound is impressively agile and articulate for their size and price, delivering engaging musicality and a spacious stereo soundstage that their Bluetooth price-rivals cannot muster. Add the speakers’ smart, rigidly constructed cabinets, complete with curved corners and a high-gloss finish offset with tactile leatherette, and these diminutive sonic stars should top the list for anyone seeking a compact, affordable, high-quality stereo Bluetooth speaker system to place on a desk, table or shelf.
“The award-winning DS-1 desktop Bluetooth speakers were a tough act to follow,” said Peter Comeau, Wharfedale’s Director of Acoustic Design, “but we’ve really brought the design forward with the new DS-2. These are low-cost stereo Bluetooth speakers that punch above their weight, robustly built with a musical performance that belies their compact size. We spent a great deal of time voicing these speakers to ensure they’re perfectly balanced for use on a shelf or desktop and can be positioned close to a rear wall for hefty, yet agile, bass output.”
Magico's first "Affordable" Speaker The A3
hen it comes to ultra-high-end speakers, no manufacturer has made a bigger splash this millennium than California’s Magico. In the 14 years since the launch of its first commercial product, the company has continually harnessed exemplary science and engineering to deliver some of the best-sounding loudspeakers on the planet, right up to the Magico Ultimate – an astounding made-to-order transducer that costs not far shy of three-quarters of a million pounds per pair.
The first quarter of 2018 sees the launch of the A3 – Magico’s most ‘affordable’ loudspeaker design (although ownership will still set you back the best part of £12,000 per pair). Highlights include a fully braced and anodised aircraft-grade aluminium enclosure – built the way only Magico does it – with carbon Nanographene cones, a beryllium tweeter and Magico’s renowned elliptical crossover network. It may look unostentatious compared to more outwardly ‘showy’ high-end designs, but it simply outperforms any other speaker at the price.
The legendary KEF LS50 – now in a special black edition
ive years since the launch of the anniversary model LS50, KEF has just launched a special LS50 Black Edition.
Neat iota Xplorer
Neat launch the iota Xplorer speaker
he Neat iota Xplorer speaker at £3,500 is a larger and more expensive version of the Neat iota Alpha speaker. Like the iota Alpha both drive units fire upwards.
McIntosh announces Nanocarbon-driver tech loudspeaker, the £137,500 XRT2.1K
cIntosh has announced the XRT2.1K, a speaker 45 years in the making. The new XRT2.1K at £137,500 is a seven-foot-tall full-range design 81-driver, 7-foot which uses brand new Nanocarbon Fibre/Nomex Honeycomb drive units which have been specifically created for this speaker.
KEF R Series
KEF Launches R700 loudspeaker in stunning new Black Edition
EF has launched its renowned R700 loudspeaker in a new limited to 500 pairs ‘Black Edition’. The £2,200 ‘Black Edition’ of the R700 has a deep and lustrous new finish that uses meticulously created new black components to adorn the deep gloss black finish of the cabinet.
KEF LS50 Wireless
KEF introduces LS50 Wireless Nocturne by Marcel Wanders
oday, in the inspiring setting of the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, KEF has launched an exciting Special Edition of its highly-renowned LS50 Wireless Digital Music System – the LS50 Wireless ‘Nocturne’ by Marcel Wanders.
B&W 700 series S2
B&W launch the 700 S2 speaker range
&W have recently upgraded the 600 series of speakers to produce the 600 S2 series and their top of the range 800 series resulting in the 800 D3 series. It comes as little surprise to see them now improve the CM Series with this new 700 Series of speakers, the 700 S2 speaker range. The 700 S2 speaker range, as might be expected, sits between the 600 S2 range and the 800 D3 range and consists of 3 floorstanders, the 702 S2, 703 S2 and 704 S2. The floorstanders are joined by three stand mounters the 705 S2, 706 S2 and 707 S2. Finally there are two centre channel speakers, the HTM7 1 S2 and the HTM72 S2 and an active sub woofer. This is a total of 9 speakers in the new 700 S2 range.
Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series
Wharfedale Diamond 11 series - more info via a new microsite
he new Wharfedale Diamond 11 series of speakers have a new just-launched microsite. The Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series is a range of speakers that sets new standards at modest price points with elegantly curved cabinets and advanced drive unit technologies.
Monitor Audio MASS
Monitor Audio launch MASS - A 5.1 speaker system
he Monitor Audio Experience MASS Home Cinema System is a 5.1 surround sound system offering four satellite speakers, a centre speaker and a subwoofer.
Arcam Muso 2017
Arcam launch a New Muso Speaker and Subwoofer
rcam have relaunched the £199 Arcam Muso speaker and added a brand new subwoofer. The all metal new, Arcam Solo Muso speaker & the Solo Sub have been designed to complement Solo Movie & Music systems, with the same audiophile sound quality and unobtrusive but stylish aesthetic as the rest of the Solo range. Ease of placement and effortless high quality sound are the signature of Solo speakers.
KEF LS50 Wireless
KEF announces TIDAL functionality on LS50 Wireless
EF today announces its partnership with TIDAL, the global music and entertainment streaming platform. The new partnership integrates TIDAL into the app of the KEF LS50 Wireless, the ground-breaking new wireless streaming music system from the world-renowned speaker brand.
Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series
Wharfedale launch the Diamond 11 Speaker Series
t’s all speakers at the moment and third to the pass amongst the speaker companies is Wharfedale with the Diamond 11 series, the 11th iteration of the Wharfedale Diamonds. Sporting extensive improvements both inside and out, Diamond 11 represents the most significantly enhanced Diamond series in years. The range comprises eight models: three stand mounting speakers (Diamond 11.0, 11.1 and 11.2), three floor standers (Diamond 11.3, 11.4 and 11.5) and two centre speakers for home cinema systems (Diamond 11.CC and 11.CS).
KEF Q Series 2017
KEF announces new iteration of the popular Q Series speakers
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).
Monitor Audio Silver Series 2017
Monitor Audio launch the New Silver Series
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 ..
Q Acoustics Concept 500
Q Acoustics reveal a top tier floor stander - the Concept 500
he Concept 500’s low-resonance dual-layer Gelcore™ cabinet construction, d’Appolito driver arrangement and innovative decoupled driver mounting all add up to one thing: the finest sound yet from any Q Acoustics speaker.
Paradigm Persona Range
Paradigm Launch The Persona Speaker Range
he Paradigm Persona speaker range consists of four floor standers, the Persona 9H, Persona 7F, Persona 5F, and Persona 3F. There’s one stand mounted speaker the Persona B, a centre channel speaker the Persona C and a sub-woofer the Persona SUB.
KEF LS50 Wireless
KEF Launch The LS50 Wireless Speakers
EF has announced the LS50 Wireless. The LS50 Wireless is based on the passive KEF LS50 but sees a price increase to £2,000. For the extra money you get a hi-res audio DAC, amplification (2 x 230-watt, in a bi-amp dual mono configuration), Bluetooth, dual W-Fi connectivity and even analogue inputs should you so desire. Designed in honour of the 55th anniversary of KEF, the LS50 Wireless is closely based on the design of the world-renowned LS50 speakers – winners of multiple awards and five-star reviews around the world.
Wharfedale Diamond Active A1
Wharfedale Launch The Diamond Active A1 Speakers
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.
Wharfedale Diamond A2
Wharfedale Launch The Diamond Active A2 Floor Standing Speakers
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.
Martin Logan ELECTROMOTION ESL X
Martin Logan upgrade the ElectroMotion ESL with the ESL X
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.
Yamaha Launch The NX-N550 Speakers
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.
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