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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Flagship loudspeakers are usually designed to stand out but as range toppers go, few models are as instantly recognisable as Focal's eye-popping Utopia III Evo series. The Utopia DNA has been around since 1995 and as with any crowning model or series, the current Utopia III Evo lineup is the very embodiment of what the company's ambitious team of designers, engineers and craftsman can achieve and a complete showcase of the French company's impressive audiophile capabilities. Back in May, the brand chose the High End Show in Germany (see Show Report in the July issue) to introduce two revamped models to its flagship Utopia III Evo series, which is now in its tenth year, with the Grande Utopia EM Evo and Stella Utopia EM Evo floorstanding loudspeakers. Focal has been in business for more than 35 years and all its products are designed and developed at its base in Saint-Étienne.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Turntable how-to Made completely by hand in its factory in Southend, the RP8 remains one of Rega’s flagship turntables. In this fascinating video, Rega’s Simon Webster talks us through the surprisingly complex procedure video from construction to testing. Watch the magic happen here. Ebay made easy Buying on ebay can be fraught with difficulties from being out bid at the last second to being disappointed with what you receive.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2018  |  0 comments
There are times when the full benefit of a particular product cannot be totally realised until other changes and developments in seemingly unrelated areas have come to pass. In the case of active loudspeakers, the technical advantages have been known for some time in professional studio applications, but in terms of what that actually means for home audio fans constructing a system, any benefits have to be measured against the practicalities and upgrade path of a more traditional setup. In truth, you have to be completely on board with the active loudspeaker concept to go to the effort of constructing an audio system around it. The blurring of where source ends and amplifier begins has recently started to make the active speaker look like a much more enticing concept.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 18, 2018  |  0 comments
As a reader of HFC you’ll no doubt share our passion for great-sounding hi-fi gear. But I wouldn’t mind betting that each of us got hooked on our hi-fi habit for very different reasons. For some it’s all about the kit and a desire to listen to tracks that show off a system’s capabilities to the fullest, whether you truly enjoy a piece of music or not. For me, it’s always been about a connection to the music; the way a piece communicates when all the elements in a system come together and allow me right into a recording to hear the artist as they intended.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 04, 2018  |  0 comments
Elipson has become the latest manufacturer to get into headphones as it launches its new Bluetooth In-Ear No. 1. We’re told the in-ear headphone is but the first of a comprehensive series of portable audio products from the French company better known for its loudspeaker and turntable designs. Offering Bluetooth with aptX compatibility, the new in-ears utilise an 11.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 01, 2018  |  0 comments
Yamaha’s MusicCast wireless multi-room speakers have undergone a refresh, with a series of streaming speakers, soundbars and a wireless subwoofer all set for release in September. First up is the MusicCast 20, which can be used as a standalone speaker, paired or as part of a surround setup. Equipped with wi-fi, AirPlay and Bluetooth (version 4. 2), it features a 30mm soft dome tweeter, 90mm mid/bass driver and pair of passive bass radiators.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 31, 2018  |  0 comments
When approaching its latest turntable, Rega’s designers were tasked with making their most successful model yet even easier to use and more accessible to a wider audience. The result is the Planar 1 Plus, which ditches the USB interface for digitising music in favour of a built-in moving-magnet stage based on Rega’s Fono Mini. Like the Planar 1 on which it is based, the Plus additionally boasts Rega’s RB110 tonearm, which rather handily includes automatic bias adjustment, making setup easier for beginners. Rega’s Carbon moving-magnet cartridge is supplied, as is a new ‘Plug and Play’ balance weight and redesigned feet to increase stability while minimising vibration transfer.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 30, 2018  |  0 comments
Australian manufacturer Audeara is perhaps best known for its past in the medical realm. However, a recent Kickstarter campaign changed all of that when it launched the A-01 headphone, designednot only to protect the user’s ears, but also to deliver a sound specifically catered to them. The first time the user wears the A-01, they use the companion app to undergoa hearing test, the results of which are then stored bythe cans. Using this unique profile, the headphone then adjusts the sound signal (making changes to left and right channels) so that the sound is individually tailored to the listener, while monitoring their hearing over time.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 29, 2018  |  0 comments
IFi Audio has unveiled the latest addition to its range of portable DACs and headphone amplifiers in the small but perfectly formed shape of the xDSD. Supporting PCM and DXDfiles up to 32-bit/768kHz and up to DSD512, the customised ‘True Native’ Burr-Brown chipset handles PCMand DSD natively as well as offering MQA support. Proprietary low-noise op-amps and dual-mono headphone drivers are onhand to provide power to high-impedance headphones along with a claimed ultra-low noise performance with high-sensitivity cans. Connections include Bluetooth, asynchronous USB Type-A, coaxial and optical (via a 3.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 28, 2018  |  0 comments
Hot on the heels of the impressive floorstanding M-6 loudspeaker review in HFC 436, Danish manufacturer Scansonic has announced another addition toits speaker lineup, but this timein the more diminutive guiseof a standmount. The new MK-5 is a compact two-way bookshelf model, boasting the same ultra-light sealed ribbon planar magnetic tweeter that appears in the aforementioned M Series. Formed from a kapton-aluminium sandwich that’s claimed to be just 20µm thick, and boasting a mass that’s described as being as much as 50 times lower than conventional textile, ceramic, beryllium or diamond domes, the tweeter’s membrane is reputed to result in a performance with significantly higher resolution and less material colouration. Partnering the tweeter is a new 114mm Kevlar-coned mid/bass driver (which incidentally is where the K part of the MK-5’s name comes from).
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Gearbox Automatic Produced by mastering engineers, the Gearbox Automatic turntable connects via Bluetooth and has Spotify integration so that it can identify what it is playing and then save it to a Spotify playlist, if that’s your thing. See for yourself in this video. Make the grade When buying and selling secondhand vinyl its condition can be vital, but the complex world of grading is also deeply confusing. How do you spot your near mint cuts from those that are merely excellent or very good? This guide explains all.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 24, 2018  |  0 comments
Inside the June issue we take an exclusiveIn-depthlook at Cary Audio’s AiOS streaming music solution, whileExoticafeatures YBA’s CD100 CD player and 100A integrated amplifier combo and regular reviews looks at Elipson’s bargain Prestige Facet 14F floorstander, Pro-Ject’s Debut III S Audiophile turntable package, Cambridge’s CXN V2 network music streamer as well as AKG’s flagship N5005 in-ear headphone. Plus,Music Legendsbows to the multi-instrumentalist Wonder of Stevie and ourGroup Testlooks at six low-input phono stages from Dynavector, Exposure, Graham Slee, Pro-Ject, Rega and Sonneteer. Lee Dunkley, editor . .
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 21, 2018  |  0 comments
Audiophile recording specialist, Chasing The Dragon has kindly made available a 16/44 digital download of the finalAllegro from Corelli Op. 6 No. 4(an encore played at one of the concerts) so you can experience for yourself the ambience of the church and the quality of the playing. You can download the sample recordinghere About theInterpreti Veneziani The Interpreti Veneziani orchestra debuted on the Italian and international concert stage in 1987 and quickly gained a reputation for the exuberance and all-Italian brio of its performances.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 17, 2018  |  0 comments
Q Acoustics has launched its latest entry-level loudspeaker range – the 3000i Series. The three new models, which consist of a braceof standmounts and a floorstander,form the core of the company’s hi-fi loudspeaker range. They are an evolution of the previous 3000 Series and include innovations first employed in its high-end flagship Concept 500 loudspeaker (HFC 426). The new range uses acoustically analysed and specific points strengthened using P2P (point to point) bracing on thespeaker cabinets andthe structural integrity is further improved, thanks to the top and front baffles boasting double thickness and precision-cut corners.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 07, 2018  |  0 comments
Following the UK preview at The Bristol Show in February, AKG has officially unveiled its N5005 in-ear headphone. Priced at £800, the N-series flagship uses a single 9. 2mm dynamic driver and four balanced armatures to create a hybrid five-way driver system inside the high gloss black ceramic and scratch resistant ear pieces. Available now, each set has a unique serial number and comes with a carrying case and an interchangeable Bluetooth dongle for wire-free listening for up to 8 hours.

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