The best of the news and reviews on What Hi-Fi? this week – including the latest products from LG, Monitor Audio, Q Acoustics and Sony

This week on What Hi-Fi?, we reported on Amazon's announcement of 4K streaming for its Prime Instant video service.

In other news, LG confirmed the existence of a slightly smaller, more compact version of its flagship LG G3 smartphone and Microsoft announced a number of job cuts as the Seattle-based software giant began to consolidate the Nokia brand.

In terms of reviews it was a bumper week with several five-star reviews. Monitor Audio's boomerang-shaped A100 stereo amplifier, Q Acoustics' brilliant Media 4 soundbar and Sony's MDR-EX650 in-ear headphones were the picks of a very good bunch.

News

Amazon confirms 4K streaming

4K streaming received another boost this week, with Amazon confirming that they will begin streaming content in the format later this year.

It wasn't the only item of note to come out of the company, as news of an Android app filtered out too.

MORE: Amazon follows Netflix into 4K streaming

 

LG G3 Beat is a smaller, midrange take on the flagship G3

Following in the footsteps of other smartphone manufacturers, LG has announced a smaller, more compact version of its LG G3 smartphone.

It'll sport a 5in screen but will feature a less powerful processor, with RAM reduced to 1GB and other features downgraded too. There's no word of a UK release date or price as yet.

MORE: LG to offer compact, midrange version of G3 smartphone

Microsoft calls time on Android-powered Nokia X devices

Less than a month after launching its first Android-powered devices, Microsoft has called a halt to the Nokia-X line of smartphones.

The decision is part of a plan to consolidate the Nokia brand within Microsoft's line of Windows branded devices, as the company announced its biggest ever number of job losses.

18,000 people are set to lose their jobs over the next year, 12,500 of which are to come from Nokia.

MORE: Microsoft calls time on Nokia Android phones

More after the break

Reviews

Monitor Audio Airstream A100

Over the last year we've seen Monitor Audio dabble in products from iPod docks to desktop speakers, and the Airstream A100 sees the company try its hand at stereo amplifiers.

Aesthetically it reminds us of the NAD D 3020, and in terms of performance it's extremely close between the two. This is an excellent amplifier and a worthy rival to the 3020.

MORE: Monitor Audio Airstream A100 review

 

Q Acoustics Media 4

Like Monitor Audio, Q Acoustics is primarily known for its speakers but the Media 4 soundbar sees the company take on a different challenge.

Sensibly priced and with a decent array of connections (although it lacks HDMI inputs), the Media 4 continues Q Acoustics excellent form this year. A fantastic performer

MORE: Q Acoustics Media 4 review

Sony MDR-EX650

A striking pair of headphones, the MDR-EX650 aren't just about the style. There's substance in there too.

Performance-wise we barely found any faults with them, and they are amongst some of the more comfortable in-ears we've tested. You won't find many offering this level of performance at this price range.

MORE: Sony MDR-EX650 review