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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.

Mark Craven  |  Mar 14, 2013  |  0 comments

I believe Monitor Audio's Mass system is destined to be a good seller. Sub/sat packages in general are more likely to shift units than larger, costlier arrays, and this has 
a lot going for it. First, it's from a respected brand that, over the years, has rarely put a foot wrong. Secondly, it's got a neat style thing going on. Thirdly, the total £800 ticket is just the right side of £1,000 (where some people start to sweat when buying speakers), but comfortably high enough to entice audio snobs who won't entertain the idea of a £400 or £500 setup. That it offers a delightful multichannel performance is the icing on 
the cake.

Ed Selley  |  Jan 28, 2013  |  0 comments

Ever since the arrival of the original KEF eggs nearly a decade ago, sub/sat packages have come in some interesting shapes and sizes. Spherical satellite speakers have been released before but few of them have the pedigree behind the baubles you see here. 
As one of the oldest French electronics brands, Elipson has 
been making spherical speakers for longer than many of its competitors have existed. 

Ed Selley  |  Jan 18, 2013  |  0 comments

Cabasse is one of the elder statesmen of the French audio industry. Since its founding in 1950 it has gone on to become France’s largest speaker manufacturer and produces some extremely impressive speakers. It's perhaps best known for the extraordinary La Sphere flagship, which manages to combine some seriously clever technology with looks that make most science-fiction props appear a little conservative.

Adam Rayner  |  Jan 09, 2013  |  0 comments

I was fortunate enough to audition Bowers & Wilkins’ first PV1 subwoofer and M-1 Mini Theatre speakers. At the time, my lad was just a boy (now he is man-sized) and even he said, ‘Dad, they’re just clearer than the others,’ as they wiped the floor with their assembled rivals.

Danny Philips  |  Oct 23, 2012  |  0 comments

From the country that brought us mythical beasts like the Minotaur comes a speaker system that’s something of a titan itself. Athens-based Crystal Acoustics has unleashed the T2-5.2-UL, a THX Ultra2-certified speaker system with floorstanding fronts, dipole rears and not one but two subwoofers. And all for under £2,000.

Danny Phillips  |  Sep 24, 2012  |  0 comments

Wharfedale is an elder statesman of the audio world, with decades’ worth of expertise to plough into its hi-fi and home cinema kit. The latest recipient of its sonic wisdom is the DX-1 HCP, a compact 5.1 speaker system priced to lure the budget buyer – hopefully without compromising on sound quality.