The Manchester Home Entertainment Show 2011
We're here in Manchester this weekend for the annual Home Entertainment Show, organised by Audio T in association with Sevenoaks and What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision. The doors are now open and the show is in full swing.
Visit our stand in the Gallileo Suite and you'll be the first to see all our 2011 Award winners which will form an integral part of our display. You'll also be able to watch our state-of-the-art demo, and the test team will be on hand throughout the weekend to answer your hi-fi and home cinema queries.
3D TV. streaming systems, wireless multiroom, and products designed to take your music and make it sound even better – it will all be on display, with 91 exhibiting brands confirmed so far. Full details are available on the show app for iPhone/Android, which you can download now.
And at lunchtime (1pm) each day there'll be a free 'micro concert' in the Da Vinci Lounge by cellist Li Lu, star of Sky TV's Art of Survival show. She'll perform Bach.
For the first time this year you'll be able to buy tickets in advance – and those who do so will will receive a 10% discount off the door price.
The show takes place at the Renaissance Hotel, Blackfriars Street, Manchester M3 2EQ. Tickets are available on the door for £7 (adults) and £4 for students (including a free pair of in-ear headphones) and senior citizens. Accompanied children under 16 are free. More details on the show website.
Here's a sneak preview of the exciting new products you will be able to see in Manchester, so keep visiting the site for the latest updates throughout the weekend. Exhibitors include:
A recent price-cut to £350 has made Arcam's r-Cube something of a bargain, and it's now also available in white as well as black. Plus you can take it home for a free trial.
And if you're interested in the rest of Arcam's hi-fi and home cinema range, they'll be making the trip to Manchester too.
Here's hoping we'll get a glimpse of Audiolab's forthcoming M-DAC, expected to sell for around £600 when it goes on sale in the UK. Other models in the Audiolab range will be on display as well, including the 8200CD and 8200CDQ.
You'll get your first chance to try out B&W's unusual new C5 in-ear headphones, developed specifically with the iPhone/iPod user in mind.
Their unique secure-loop design allows a coil to be expanded into your outer ear, holding the earbuds securely in place. There's a built-in volume control and microphone, the latter for taking calls while on the move.
And if you haven't heard them already, you have to take a listen to B&W's superb new PM1 speakers (below), winners of a prestigious five-star What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision accolade in our September issue.
The Chord Co will use the Manchester Show to display and demonstrate its new USB cable, the Chord USB SilverPlus (right).
Chord’s stand is in the Galileo Suite and regular demonstrations will take place in Room 214.
Chord's USB SilverPlus cable is fitted with silver-plated, twisted pair data conductors to help reduce noise and crosstalk.
Gas-foamed polyethylene is used as the primary insulation material, and gold-plated signal pins are fitted as standard.
Making its Manchester debut is the entry-level Copper-line Alpha One Power-Hub mains conditioner (left) from Clearer Audio. It provides mains filtering, three-channel surge protection and ground monitoring.
It costs from £40, and can be used with the £25 Copper-line Alpha One Power Cable. You can also hear the new Wilson Benesch Vertex speakers in the Clearer Audio room (315).
You'll be able to get hands on with the British hi-fi company's new range of streaming products, the Stream XP, Stream X or Streamline.
Cyrus is also giving a sneak peek at its new CD Transport - you can read more about that in our news story here.
Denon (and sister company Marantz) are offering free AirPlay upgrades for compatible products until the end of the year, and to mark the offer are joining forces to run a two-day AirPlay workshop at this weekend's Manchester show.
The AirPlay clinic will run on both days of the show in the Holbein Lobby, and the two brands will have their complete ranges of AirPlay-equipped models, including the new Denon DNP-720AE streamer, on display. Watch our video here.
There will also be experts on hand to deliver advice and run live demonstrations, and explain how present and future owners of compatible equipment can get the AirPlay upgrade.
TV and hi-fi stand manufacturer Gecko will show off its expanded range at Manchester, incuding the Gecko Orbit with oval glass shelves, cable management and a choice of five colours (gloss black, gloss white, gloss red, walnut and light oak).
Pictured above is the Gecko Gamma TV stand with "cutting-edge design" and available in gloss black or white.
Olive's range of music streamers, the 06HD and 03HD, have been making waves of late, so UK distributor Henley will have the latest models on display.
JVC is showcasing its brand-new range of projectors, capable of 4K resolutions - the next step up from Full HD. We first covered these stunning new models at CEDIA Expo last month (read our news story here), but this is their UK public debut. A must-see at the show.
Having made its show debut at Bristol in February as a concept model, KEF will demo the production version of its flagship Blade speakers at Manchester as part of its 50th anniversary celebrations. They're yours for £20,000 a pair.
If that's a bit outside your price range, then the brand-new R Series (below) might be more suitable. Making their UK debut at the show, KEF will unveil the R Series in the El Greco and Bernini Suites.
KEF says many of the innovations used in the flagship Blade have filtered down to the R models. There are nine models: three floorstanders, two bookshelf speakers, two centre channel units, dipole surrounds and a twin-driver, 500W subwoofer.
Visitors to the Manchester show will be able to see and hear the Marantz CD6004 and PM6004 together in action – plus Marantz will be separately demonstrating its AirPlay-capable products.
Fans of valve amps should head along to the Mistral Audio stand (in the ground-floor ballroom), where there are two new models glowing away - the tiny DT-307A and the beefy MT-34 (below).
Full details, more pictures and prices in our news story here.
If you haven't had a chance to audition the Monitor Audio GX speaker range yet, pop over to Manchester and hear them in full flow.
UK prices range from £650 to £3000. Monitor Audio says its in-house design team was charged with "finding a blend of materials and geometry that would complement the GX's exceptional sound".
Shown right are the GX50 standmount speakers at £950.
The SuperUniti is a high-end network streamer with built-in DAC, but minus a CD player. Through its network connection, it can stream audio files from any hard disk player or server, and grab files already stored on a UnitiQute or a Naim HDX.
It also includes an FM, DAB and internet radio tuner – the latter can access Naim Choice, one of the highest quality internet stations available.
The ND5 XS streamer (above) fits into the line-up below the NDX, selling for around £1925 when it hits the shops next month, and is designed to complement the other models in Naim's slimline XS series.
It's also the first Naim network player able to handle 192kHz/24-bit content natively, and the company is rolling out an upgrade program for existing Uniti products and the NDX, enabling 192/24 on those products, and bringing the promise of AirPlay capability early in 2012.
Neat's Iota speaker is proving to be one of the most popular show launches. These tiny speakers - available in an array of colours - pound out a lot of sound for their size. We've got a news story and more pictures here, plus a video of the Neats in action here.
The Japanese electronics company will debut its new high-end integrated 9.2 channel AV receivers – the £2000 TX-NR3009 (above) and £2700 TX-NR5009 – as well as its latest Network Controller, the £2200 PR-SC5509, at this year's show.
We expect Panasonic's stand to be fairly busy: the company is showing off its 3D projectors and giving away copies of Star Wars on Blu-ray if you purchase a Blu-ray player.
The PT-AT5000E (above) is the firm's first Full HD 3D model and will make its big-screen debut at the show. Its key 3D technologies were developed in collaboration with Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory engineers, who are heavily involved in the creation of 3D Blu-ray discs.
Pioneer is showcasing its range of Award-winning receivers (with some great exclusive show deals if you want to buy here), plus has a headphone 'play wall' if you want to listen to its selection of hi-fi cans.
New at the show is Pioneer's new Steez sub-brand of 'street dance' iPod docking systems. Designed with a range of DJ and dance functionality - including tempo-changing without changing pitch, plus dance-off 'Battle' mode - there are two models at launch: the Big and the Tough.
You can read more - and see pictures of both docks - in our news story here.
Speaker specialist PMC will mark its 20th anniversary this year by returning to the Manchester Show and showcasing its just-announced twenty speaker range (above).
Designed after extensive research among PMC's customers, dealers and distributors, the four-strong range comprises two floorstanders and two standmount designs: the twenty.24, twenty.23, twenty.22 and twenty.21.
Available now, prices range from £1375 to £3410.
ProAc will demo its new Response D40R speaker in rosewood veneer finish, yours for £7350 a pair. We particularly like the Ebony finish option (pictured below).
This model follows in the footsteps of the Response D38R and is said to offer "a significant advance in sound quality". Hear it in Room 109.
Audel, Italy's 'art loudspeaker' specialist, will be represented in Manchester by Quadral which will bring three models to the UK for the first time. There'll be two standmount speakers and a floorstander (below), all handmade from laminated birchwood.
There'll also be a 'first showing' of a new electronics product too.
New from Quadral itself will be the Ascent range of hi-fi and home cinema speakers (below), the Quadral Phase 15 dipole speaker and the Aurum Platinum M5 floorstander with a limited edition, special metallic colour paint finish at no extra cost.
Star of the Rega stand is the company's new £548 Apollo-R CD player in a half-size case like that of the Rega DAC and Brio R amplifier. Here's a picture of the prototype, and you can read more in our news story and watch the video report here.
AV furniture specialist Rok:Modul has an innovative new model on show. The Vox is a glossy, modular equipment system that means you can hide even beefy AV components out of site, while benefiting from features including enhanced isolation, ventilation and cable management.
The Vox comes in three sizes - the largest of which can even house a REL Stadium Subwoofer. It costs from £850. More in our news story here.
The projector specialist's brand-new Nero range of 3D DLP projectors will make their UK debut at this weekend's show.
There are four models in the range: the Nero 3D-1 (1600 Lumens), Nero 3D-2 (2000 Lumens), Nero 3D HB (3000 Lumens) and Nero 235. The latter is SIM2's first projector with an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, making it ideal for film buffs.
Prices start from £12,995. You'll be able to see the Nero in action in the Raphael Suite as part of the Anthem AV Solutions demo.
It's been a long time coming, but we're told the official launch of Simple Audio's Sonos-rivalling wireless multiroom music system (above) is "just weeks away". The start-up firm has signed up its first UK dealers, so should be ready to start taking orders by the time the show opens.
Breaking cover at Manchester is TEAC's range of five new mini hi-fi components with Apple AirPlay, DLNA connectivity and Tenor DAC technology.
The new Reference H-01 series includes the A-H01 Power DAC (£399), UD-H01 hi-fi DAC (£299), DSH-01 digital docking station (£199), MP-H01 wireless/ethernet streaming client with Apple AirPlay and DLNA (£299), and finally the PD-H01 combined CD player and computer drive (£199).
All products will be available from selected TEAC retailers in October.
Star of the Velodyne stand will be its EQ-max subwoofer with one-touch remote control set-up and Class D digital amplification, available from October for £1350.
What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision
Be the first to see all the winners of our 2011 Awards, revealed exclusively at the Manchester Show, and don't miss our high-tech demo.
Plus you'll be able to enter our exclusive competition in which we've got £10,000 worth of Award-winning hi-fi and home cinema kit to give away.
The entire review team will be on hand for the full weekend of the show. If you have questions about your existing system, are contemplating a new purchase or simply want to quiz us about how the magazine works, we will be on hand to answer all your tech questions.
You'll be able to see and hear the first UK demo of the Wilson Benesch Vertex speakers at the show, in conjunction with Clearer Audio.
The Vertex is part of Wilson Benesch's new geometry series and features an ACT (Advanced Composite Technology) carbon fibre mocoque cabinet, new Tactic II drive unit and Semisphere tweeter.
The four-strong Aventage home cinema receiver range is expected to take centre stage on the Yamaha stand, with models priced from £849 to £1999.