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Hi-fi

The Voxtok audiophile-grade Capsule player and home music server, the VXK app and VXK clou...

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

Naim has unveiled the aluminum-clad Muso wireless music system

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

Bang and Olufsen has released the BeoSound Essence sound system

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

The Azur 851E preamp and the Azur 851W power amp from Cambridge Audio

The UK's Cambridge Audio is taking some new products to Las Vegas in January for the Consumer Electronics Show. Its existing Azur 851A Integrated Class XD Amplifier and 851C Upsampling DAC, CD Player & Preamplifier, which were launched at CES 2012, are to be joined by three new Azur 851 Series siblings – the E preamp, W power amp and D digital to analog converter. An Azur 651 power amp, some Minx bookshelf speakers and a concealable ceiling speaker are also set to make their debut.  Read More

The Korus Wireless Speakers from Core Brands LLC

Playing music without having to run a cable between speakers and smartphone, computer or media player has great appeal, but is not without issues. Bluetooth technology is well supported, but has limited range and pairing can sometimes be a real test of character. AirPlay or Wi-Fi give a little more freedom to wander, but you're tied to a router and all the finicky logins and security settings that go with that particular territory. The Korus wireless speakers from Core Brands use a wireless audio protocol called SKAA that promises increased range, easy setup, almost latency-free high fidelity playback.  Read More

The iLoud portable speaker for musicians and audiophiles

Thanks to mobile audio processing and recording apps, composing on the road has never been easier. Showing off your latest killer riff to the rest of the band through tablet or laptop speakers is less than satisfying, however. There are a good many battery-powered micro amps out there which might help a little, but the output is often, to put it delicately, sub-par. Italy's IK Multimedia demonstrated a wired/wireless audio thrower at the Winter NAMM show back in January that promised studio monitor sound quality in a portable, chunky tablet-sized package. Developed specifically for musicians and audiophiles, the 40 W iLoud has now been released.  Read More

The new Immaculate Wireless Sound BeoLab speakers from Bang & Olufsen

As promised earlier this month, Denmark's Bang & Olufsen has officially moved into the wireless speaker market with the launch of three new WiSA-certified BeoLab digital active speakers. Undeniably stylish and capable of streaming high fidelity, uncompressed audio, the Immaculate Wireless Sound range comprises the BeoLab 17 bookshelf speaker, the BeoLab 18 column floor-standers, and the BeoLab 19 subwoofer.  Read More

The DacMagic XS USB headphone amp from Cambridge Audio

It doesn't seem too long ago that a quality headphones amplifier was the size of a chunky paperback novel, and would occupy so much space in a laptop bag that it would probably get left behind more often than not. Now the UK's Cambridge Audio has managed to squeeze a high-end digital-to-analog (DAC) converter and headphone amp into a device that's smaller than a matchbox.  Read More

The Sonos Play:1 compact wireless speaker

I think it's fair to say that not all wireless music systems are created equal. One of the best streaming speakers I've heard is the Play:5 from Sonos (formerly the Zoneplayer S5), but at US$400 a pop, a multi-room setup can get very expensive, very quickly. Sonos is now offering a cheaper way to enter its world of Hi-Fi audio streaming with the introduction of the Play:1 compact wireless speaker.  Read More

Panasonic's SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System

Panasonic has announced a big and colorful music system that can deliver 2,300 watts of crystal clear RMS oomph. The SC-MAX650 Extra-Large Audio System certainly lives up to its name, featuring huge 4-way floor-standing speakers with a prism color light show that moves and swirls in time with the music, and a rather chunky main unit built around full digital amplification in a tri-amp configuration.  Read More

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