For 30+ years, the What Hi-Fi? Awards have been the ‘Oscars’ of the hi-fi and home cinema industry, with a Product of the Year and Best Buys at a series of price points in every product category. The Awards results are announced online and in print every October immediately after a prestigious Awards ceremony in London.
How we test
Our reference kit in the hi-fi room includes Naim, GamuT, Clearaudio and ATC speakers
We’ve invested a six-figure sum in our state-of-the-art testing facilities, where our world-renowned reviewers put more kit through its paces than any other magazine. We can, and do, handle anything from the smallest MP3 player to the largest home cinema system.
We’re the only magazine in the UK to have a dedicated team of in-house reviewers, all working in the same suite of acoustically treated listening rooms. We don’t use freelancers, so we have complete control over how products are tested and the environment in which they are tested.
Between us we have more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics.
The test labs
We’re based in south west London and our test complex includes three bespoke listening rooms:
The main hi-fi test room, used for all separates stereo components such as CD players, amplifiers and stereo speakers.
Our current hi-fi reference system is:
Naim CDS3 + Naim 555 PS power supply (£10k)
Naim NDS streamer + 555 PS power supply (£12k)
Naim UnitiServe (£2200)
Clearaudio Innovation Wood turntable (£13k)
Cyrus Phono Signature/PSX-R2 (£1900)
ATC SCM50 speakers (£7k)
Analogue, digital and speaker cables from Chord Company
More after the break
We've installed a PMC Twenty 23 5.1 speaker package in the home cinema room
The main home cinema room, is currently equipped with:
Cambridge CXU universal Blu-ray player
Panasonic DMP-UB900 UHD Blu-ray player
Pioneer SC-LX59 Dolby Atmos home cinema amp
Epson EH-TW7200 projector
Chord Company cables
Sky+ HD, 4K streaming and Freeview
The TV test room has high-speed broadband so we can stream two 4K programmes simultaneously
A dedicated TV test room which enables us to compare two screens side by side, and is equipped with Freeview, Sky HD TV and 4K streaming capability.
We also have our own dedicated photographic studio and in-house photographer, so all equipment is photographed to the highest standards. We don't just rely on standard press shots like other magazines.
All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same price category. We have a warehouse full of kit, so even in a First Test a product will be reviewed in the context of other products in that sector of the market.
All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole – not an individual reviewer. Each product will be listened to and/or viewed by several members of the test team, who will then discuss the final verdict before it appears in the magazine or on the website. This avoids any individual bias creeping in.
No manufacturer or their PR is EVER shown a review prior to publication – in fact, not even our own advertising department knows what the test verdicts are before the magazine is published or a review appears online.
So you can rest assured that all What Hi-Fi? reviews are fair, honest and accurate and brought to you by the most experienced team in the business.
Promoted or sponsored content
If you see the word 'Promoted' or 'Sponsored' in a headline it means one of the following things:
'Promoted content' is paid for and provided by an advertiser but is content that we believe is relevant to and of interest to our readers, and is written in the style of What Hi-Fi? It is not written by the editorial team.
'Sponsored content' is commercially supported by a third-party sponsor but is written by our own editorial team and may not include sponsor sign-off on the content or a direct product message.