It's time to round up the news and reviews that have graced What Hi-Fi? this past week – including details of products and services from Arcam, Panasonic and Sony.

This week on What Hi-Fi?, Panasonic spilled details on their television line-up for 2015, Sony announced the launch of four new pairs of Bluetooth headphones and Led Zeppelin's albums are now available to listen in lossless on several streaming services.

On the reviews front we had a cracking week, with Pioneer's fantastic N-50A network streamer, the ambitious Arcam Solo bar and Google's excellent Chromecast streaming stick.

News

Panasonic unveils 2015 TV range featuring curved screens and Firefox OS

Panasonic unveiled its television line-up for 2015 at an event held earlier this week, and there was plenty of information to sift through.

The Japanese company is fully onboard the 4K train with both flat and curved TVs announced. It hasn't forgotten about flatscreen HD TVs though, with four sizes (40in, 48in, 55in and 64in) on the way.

Firefox OS will make its debut on certain ranges as Panasonic's new Smart interface alongside, while some TVs will also feature the new Freeview Play platform.

Announcements at the event weren't restricted to just televisions, however, with news of new blu-ray players (including the promise of a 4K Blu-ray player for 2016), soundbars, soundbases and more.

MORE: Panasonic 2015 TVs - everything you need to know

MORE: Panasonic announces new Blu-ray players, soundbars and soundbases

MORE: Panasonic backs HDR over Dolby Vision - promises improved TV audio

MORE: Panasonic aims to launch first 4K Blu-ray player by spring 2016

MORE: Panasonic expands multi-room range, reveals micro systems and headphones

Sony confirms launch of four new Bluetooth headphones

Sony has expanded its range of headphones to include four brand new Bluetooth headsets.

The four models – MDR-1ABTs (£300), MDR-ZX770BNs (£130), MDR-ZX330BTs (£70) and the MDR-AS600BTs (£70) – will all feature NFC for wireless pairing.

The ZX770BNs feature noise-cancelling technology, while the AS600BTs come with a splash-proof design and built-in mic. The 1ABTs incorporate Sony's LDAC codec which the company claims delivers "three times as much data as a standard Bluetooth connection'.

MORE: Sony confirms launch of four new Bluetooth headphones

MORE: 5 of the best Bluetooth headphones

Remastered Led Zeppelin albums now available for lossless streaming

If you're a fan of Led Zeppellin you'll be glad to hear that six of the group's studio albums are now available in lossless, CD-quality on Deezer Elite, Tidal and Qobuz.

The deluxe remastered versions also include outtakes along with various mixes of the band's songs. Deezer Elite is currently available in the US only, but will be heading to UK shores soon on Sonos.

MORE: Remastered Led Zeppelin albums now available for lossless streaming

READ MORE: Technics Tracks high-res download store is now live

More after the break

Reviews

"A rare sequel that improves upon the original: the specs alone offer everything a reasonable user requires"

Pioneer N-50A

Pioneer's N-50 was a cracking network streamer, so good that we gave it an Award two years in a row. Pioneer has updated it and we now have the N-50A.

The term 'if it's not broke, don't fix it' comes to mind with the N-50A, but that would dismiss the ways in which it improves upon the original, which are various and many.

With a terrific sound, a superb array of features, and all in a box that looks like a proper piece of hi-fi, the N-50A usurps the original as the network player of choice.

Read the full Pioneer N-50A review

"Arcam has been very ambitious with the Solo bar, and in some ways it goes above and beyond what we’ve come to expect"

Arcam Solo bar

We've seen several interesting attempts at a soundbar from manufacturers over the past year and Arcam has joined the fray with the Solo bar.

On the whole we're mightily impressed by the company's first-ever attempt.

It's not perfect, lacking a little dynamic reach, but the Solo is a very commendable first effort from Arcam.

Read the full Arcam Solo bar review

"The real wonder is how Google has crammed it all into a device barely larger than a memory stick"

Google Chromecast

We first had a look at the Chromecast when it was out in the US. It has since hopped over to the UK and become one of the most popular AV accessories. And for good reason.

The Chromecast is not a streamer in the conventional sense, you 'cast' what you want to see on your TV from your mobile device and Chromecast fetches it directly from the depths of the Internet.

Considering what it offers (1080p streaming and 5.1 sound) and how much it costs (£30), it's a certified bargain for those whose TVs aren't as Smart as they'd like them to be.

Read the full Google Chromecast review

Comments

Graham Luke's picture

Great restructuring program,

Great restructuring program, Sony!

Releasing exceedingly expensive, so-called 'hi-res' devices that are of debatable superiority should do very nicely!

Not.

What happened to the ethic behind the old transistor radios, portable cassette-tape decks, small brilliant portable tellies and the stunning original Walkman?