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Hi-fi

When a high-end audio maker announces a new product, a high price tag is almost guaranteed to accompany its release. Indeed, NuPrime Audio's amps, preamps, DACs and heaphone amps are usually found in the four figure range, but not its new uDSD. The high resolution digital-to-analog converter and headphone amp will retail for under two hundred bucks. Read More
The speakers on many smartphones can be painfully lacking in detail and bottom end, and really start to distort when the volume is pushed to levels guaranteed to annoy fellow commuters. Listening to music with the help of the built-in headphone jack will almost certainly offer an improved sonic experience, but high quality? Probably not. External headphone amps can help to increase the quality of mobile music devices, but (with some notable exceptions) these can add significant bulk to your pocket. A tiny new headphone amp named Uamp is making a bid for production on Kickstarter and, though small in size, its makers reckon that portable music lovers are in for a clearer, louder and richer listening experience. Read More
As you might expect, Bang & Olufsen's take on the one-stop-shop wireless music system for the living room is both stylish and expensive. The two part BeoSound Moment system comprises a hub that's compatible with B&O's entire range of wired and wireless speakers, including those boasting the company's Immaculate Wireless Sound technology, and a tablet-like wireless touch interface. When used together, they integrate digital music collections and streaming services into one unit that can match tunes to a listener's mood. Read More
Though many mobile workstation users will "make do" with less-than-satisfying audio output from the notebook's built-in amplifier, high res audioholics will likely seek the help of an external DAC headphone amp. Where once you could expect to shell out quite a tidy sum for a quality sonic massager, there are now a good number of affordable devices on the market, from desktop bricks like the Sound Blaster X7 to pocket-friendly beasts like the DacMagic. The creators of Miyo are promising world-class, studio quality sound in a small, portable and affordable package and believe their DAC to be a cut above the rest. Read More
Despite what some might say was a shaky start (the first ever CD album being Billy Joel's 52nd Street), the Compact Disc quickly replaced vinyl as the music lover's format of choice. When digital music players hit the street a few years later, it looked like the groovy black disc was destined to go the way of Amberol cylinders and cassette tapes. But vinyl is making a comeback. So to stay hip to the beat, you may need to find a replacement for your long-discarded record player. Audio systems manufacturer TEAC has announced a new hi-fi separate turntable named the TN-300 that embraces both the analog and digital worlds. Read More
The home audio landscape has undergone quite a change in recent times. Where the living room hi-fi once ruled the roost, the expensive and carefully matched components are now dead silent and the once proud tower speakers have been repurposed as stands for photo frames or vases. Music lovers seem quite happy to accept an often huge drop in sonic quality for the convenience and wireless ease of the small Bluetooth speaker. But the folks over at Line 6 are looking to breathe new life into those dusty stereo system circuits with a new addition to the AMPLIFi range called the TT. Read More
Technics is back. Panasonic has unveiled the first new hi-fi products from the highly-regarded brand in 6 years. The first two premium ranges out of the starting gate are the Reference Class R1 Series and the Premium Class C700 Series. Both ranges including a stereo amplifier, a network audio streamer and speakers (and the C700 also gets a CD player). Read More
Headquartered in the US, with R&D in Montpelier, France, Voxtok is currently putting the final touches to what's described as a new generation of Hi-Fi equipment. The company's Hi-Fi system is made up of a VXK Capsule that acts as both audiophile-grade music player and home music server, a mobile device app for remote control and more, and a dedicated cloud service for music library backup and playback while out and about. Two generations of prototypes have been developed, and a pre-production run of alpha units secured. Now Voxtok is looking for crowdfunding success to get its end-to-end solution into the hands of music lovers. Read More
Streaming digital music around the home can be a lesson in compromise, offering convenience at the expense of fidelity. British high end audio specialist Naim says that its Muso system is different, claiming it delivers "a carefully engineered step up in sound quality and concentrates on creating the best possible experience for the listener whilst still being simple to set up and use." Taking design cues from its £125,000 (US$210,000) Statement home amplification system, but thankfully not costing quite as much, the aluminum-clad Muso treats each of its six speakers to its own digital amp for 450 W of combined power and supports the playback of high resolution WAV, FLAC and AIFF audio files. Read More
AV design deity Bang & Olufsen has announced the launch of its BeoSound Essence sound system. The system is aimed at providing users with a simple means of listening to their digital music collection and, as ever, it is a thing of beatific beauty. Read More
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