Loudspeakers

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Adam Rayner  |  Dec 13, 2011  |  0 comments

Reviewed here are the MilleniaOne and MilleniaSub products from Canadian brand Paradigm, sold as a money- no-object design, yet promoted as still costing way less than equivalent products for the level of technology. That said, the two and a half grand asking price is not peanuts.

Mark Craven  |  Aug 07, 2012  |  0 comments

There are reasons to buy active bookshelf speakers over an iPod/Bluetooth dock. What you lose in portability and convenience is immediately gained in true performance. The A2s from Paradigm Shift are a case in point – their cabinet size affords space for both a 5.5in woofer and 1in tweeter, and you can position them to get a real stereo spread.

Mark Craven  |  Jul 01, 2022  |  0 comments
hccrefstatusbadgeThe performance of some high-end speakers from a new US brand makes Mark Craven sit up and listen

With so many speaker brands competing in the home cinema/hi-fi markets, it can sometimes be hard to muster real enthusiasm when another one comes along. Yet Perlisten Audio, a new company from Wisconsin in the US, has arrived with a potent offering that immediately stands out. It helps, of course, that Perlisten debuts with a fully-formed range of models that will suit system builders, including subwoofers and height/surround cabinets.

Mark Craven  |  Feb 09, 2022  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedPiega's slender, sweet-sounding loudspeakers want to sneak into Mark Craven's movie room

The AV industry once happily threw around the term Wife Acceptance Factor (or WAF for short). This was applied to any bit of gear that looked as if it had been styled for the home, not a pro-grade studio – in other words, it looked nice, and wasn't huge. I was reminded of this by Piega's Ace 50 floorstander.

Steve Withers  |  Dec 19, 2022  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendPiega's Ace loudspeaker range has gone active wireless. Steve Withers swaps cables for WiSA

Launched in 1986, Swiss loudspeaker brand Piega has a penchant for aluminium enclosures, ribbon tweeters, and the kind of meticulous handcrafted engineering you'd expect from a nation best known for its precision timepieces. And its Ace series ticks off all these boxes.

Ed Selley  |  Jul 20, 2015  |  0 comments

Putting speakers on or in a ceiling for a Dolby Atmos system isn't an option for everyone, so speaker manufacturers have risen to Dolby's challenge with upfiring models to create that all important height info. So far, these have come in the shape of add-on modules. First to market with an integrated Atmos-capable design is Pioneer with its new S series models.

Ed Selley  |  Jun 17, 2011  |  0 comments

Pioneer’s efforts as a speaker manufacturer can often be overlooked in favour of its more widely recognised efforts in electronics and the great – if doomed – Kuro plasma project. Despite this, the Japanese giant has produced a number of interesting designs over the years and, in both construction and performance, its high-end TAD models are on par with most rival high-end speakers. Some of this thinking has been making its way down to less rarefied price points and more than a bit of it can be found inside the S-71 series tested here.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 14, 2020  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3PMC's Twenty5i series is for those who like the finer things in life, suggests Mark Craven

PMC is a brand with professional audio heritage, something that informs the general styling of its loudspeakers. Cast an eye on its SE series or flagship Fact Fenestria and neither would look out of place in a mixing suite. The Twenty5i range tested here is about as living room as the company gets, but still comes with the promise of studio-grade performance...

Danny Phillips  |  Jan 06, 2015  |  0 comments

US brand Polk Audio attacks the UK compact speaker market with the TL1600, an affordable 5.1 pack bristling with innovation. In the box are four bijou TL1 satellites that stand just 165mm high, plus a horizontally aligned centre speaker and a cute, cubed sub. The satellites’ gloss finish and curved enclosures catch the eye, whereas as many sub/sat rivals in this market are resolutely boxy. And note that the non-parallel construction serves an acoustic purpose in reducing internal resonances.

Danny Phillips  |  Aug 16, 2017  |  0 comments
In the four decades since it was founded, American audio-meister Polk, based in Baltimore, Maryland, has, as it puts it, been dedicated to 'researching, engineering and innovating toward new sonic revelations'. Its Signature series, although its new entry-level, carries some of these refinements.
Mark Craven  |  Oct 30, 2011  |  0 comments
A chip off the old speaker block Mark Craven auditions the baby brother to an HCC-award winning system – and finds AV performance runs in the family

PSB, named after founders Paul and Sue Barton, isn’t a particularly well known brand in the UK. Yet this Canadian outfit, distributed in Blighty by home cinema specialists Armour Home, makes some pretty tasty surround sound speaker packages that are worth consideration.

Adrian Justins  |  Jun 08, 2015  |  0 comments

Pure’s Jongo system is similar to Samsung’s Shape in that it features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, but the latter is restricted to single-speaker streaming by Samsung, whereas Pure’s so-called Caskeid Bluetooth can help create a multiroom wireless network. Caskeid is not aptX standard but Pure claims that it does offer the lowest latency of any multiroom system. Arguably of more importance is that without Bluetooth you wouldn’t be able to stream from subscription services such as Spotify, Deezer and Google Play. You would, of course, be able to access Pure’s own online subscription service called Pure Connect, plus music stored on the playback device (tablet or smartphone)and DLNA-connected devices.

Adam Rayner  |  Sep 02, 2012  |  0 comments

Long-term readers will know I have talked about my love of speaker designers - as a gently bonkers breed all of their own - before. For instance, I’ve witnessed engineers almost come to blows during arguments about tweeters. You have to be deeply passionate about your job to get to that level.

Danny Phillips  |  Aug 18, 2015  |  0 comments

Some speaker brands start by creating expensive high-end models and then work their way down, but Q Acoustics ploughs its resources into the affordable end of the market. This approach has proved successful, with models offering great design and performance for the money.

Mark Craven  |  Apr 12, 2019  |  0 comments
When floorstanders are a no-go in your cinema room (most likely because it's actually also your living room) a bookshelf package can save the day. In this market, Brit audio brand Q Acoustics has something of a pedigree, and the 3010i 5.1 Cinema Pack is its latest consumer-friendly offering.

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