Loudspeakers

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Adrian Justins  |  Mar 08, 2014  |  0 comments

Sonos has been one of the top dogs in wireless audio for some time, where its stylish Play:3 and Play:5 speakers lend themselves perfectly to multiroom use. The beauty of Sonos’s proprietary system is that you can have as many speakers as you like running simultaneously and are restricted only by the range and bandwidth of your network. Being able to pick and choose at random where you want to listen to music stored on a computer, smartphone or tablet is liberating.

Danny Philips  |  Jan 24, 2014  |  0 comments

Cambridge Audio is probably best known at the moment for its popular Minx compact speaker range, which uses Balanced Mode Radiator (BMR) drivers to generate a large soundstage that belies their diddy dimensions, and the success of BMRs inside the Minx models has led the boffins at Cambridge Audio’s London research centre to ponder how they could be implemented inside bigger speakers. The result is Aero, a range of four new designs that combine BMR drivers with conventional cone diaphragms.

Adam Rayner  |  Nov 30, 2013  |  0 comments

Regular readers will know that as well as home cinema, I also have a passion for automotive audio and cars in general. In that field, while many admire the exotic Italian offerings from the likes of Lamborghini and Ferrari, there's a similar passion for the German marques. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche – all are praised for their sheer engineering innovation. And if these speakers are anything to go by, the same national stereotypes could apply equally to home cinema. Quadral may not be as desirable a brand as, say, Italy's Zingali, but I like its attitude. It makes well-built speakers with some neat technical tricks.

Ed Selley  |  Nov 15, 2013  |  0 comments

Of all of the big British speaker brands still in existence, Tannoy is perhaps the most unusual. In effect there are two Tannoys; the first produces capable and attractive budget and lifestyle speakers that are relatively conventional in design and appearance; the other produces speakers that are built around the premise of large, highly sensitive speakers that make use of the company’s long-standing dual concentric system, where the tweeter is placed inside the axis of the main driver. Many of these speakers – the Prestige range in general – might look like they’ve dropped through a hole in time from 1959 but they are capable of great things.  Where things get interesting is where these two ranges meet. The Definition lineup has already featured in Home Cinema Choice and those large, elegant speakers left a very positive impression. Now Tannoy has taken some of the elements of the Definition range and created the smaller Precision series. Like the Definitions, the Precisions are a halfway house between the visually elegant side of Tannoy and the classic, high-sensitive designs of old. 

Danny Phillips  |  Sep 09, 2013  |  0 comments

It’s 1981 and the dying embers of disco are still burning the nation’s dancefloors, Diana Spencer is about to marry our future king, and British audio brand Wharfedale unveils its very first Diamond speaker – the progenitor of the 5.1 system you see before you.

Adrian Justins  |  Aug 20, 2013  |  0 comments

Loewe's new 3D Orchestra IS speaker system sees the high-end German brand trying to tackle the 'problem' of integrating authentic 5.1 audio into a regular living space. And, reviewed here alongside the company's new Individual 55 Slim Frame LED TV, the results are somewhat mixed...

Adrian Justins  |  Aug 17, 2013  |  0 comments

My desktop computer costs over £1,000 (yes, I’m one of the mugs who can’t break out of Apple’s clutches) and has superb picture quality. It’s good enough to watch hi-def movies from Netflix and programmes from BBC iPlayer, and I’m not averse to enjoying the odd tune or two whilst I bash away at the keyboard. But my iMac, like most computers, has sonics that are weedier than a wild meadow. Therefore, investing in a decent set of desktop speakers is essential for transforming your aural enjoyment for those times when you’re stuck in (or have escaped to) the study.

Adam Rayner  |  Aug 09, 2013  |  0 comments

One glorious Easter some years back, I got a knock at the door and a parcel was delivered. It was a cool bit of packaging, with the shattered remains of what had once been a chocolate Easter egg, in the shape of KEF’s latest ‘egg’ speaker, inside. As a PR stunt, it had failed utterly. Yet I still ate the chocolate, and my interest was tickled enough to make sure I tracked the KEF system down at the next show I went to.

Mark Craven  |  Jul 13, 2013  |  0 comments

Danish audio marque DALI (an acronym for Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries, in case you're wondering) is renowned in the hi-fi world for its no-compromise high-end cabinets. Its flagship model, aptly named the Megaline, stands over 2.3m high and presents a front panel armed with no fewer than 30 drivers. It’s the kind of speaker to send two-channel fans into a state of ecstasy.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 09, 2013  |  0 comments

French manufacturer Cabasse has been producing the Eole for some years and this is the latest revision. £1,000 buys you a single large box containing five identical satellites, a Santorin subwoofer and, handily, a pair of floorstands and 40m of speaker cable.

Danny Phillips  |  Jun 19, 2013  |  0 comments

Despite sitting at the entry-level end of Dynaudio’s speaker range, the Excite package on test here still adds up to well over £4,000, which gives you a good idea of the Danish brand’s audiophile ethos.

Ed Selley  |  May 14, 2013  |  0 comments

Acoustic Energy is best known for helping start the high-end standmount market with the original AE1, but it's been an equally potent force in multichannel systems over the years as well. The Neo Compact package I reviewed last year was an inspired pairing of three pairs of the Compact bookshelf speaker and a Neo subwoofer. Certainly, it was a bit of a bargain.

Adam Rayner  |  Apr 29, 2013  |  0 comments

Regular readers may recall HCC previously getting an SVS subwoofer to play with. Dubbed the PC13-Ultra, it was a large upright tube and, frankly, so ugly it was best hidden away – although, with its 13.5in Peerless driver and a 1,000W amplifier, it could break windows and shake the foundations. Now, SVS has come back to Blightly some years later with a whole new range that still feels a bit American in flavour and concept. Aimed squarely at the seriously high-end market, yet cheekily less money than some, the SVS Ultra series employs a very sophisticated set of drivers and a real no-compromise approach to being loud as well as clear.

Adam Rayner  |  Apr 03, 2013  |  0 comments

In the world of high-end hi-fi, loudspeakers are routinely objects of reverence and desire, no more so than KEF's recent Blade. Styled like a shark's fin and packing exquisite technology, it's the kind of speaker to make grown men weep.

John Archer  |  Mar 30, 2013  |  0 comments

For many people in the UK, Loewe remains either a brand they haven’t heard of at all (in which case, you pronounce it ‘Lerver’!), or a German designer TV brand. It’s not a marque generally associated with audio.

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