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 Klipsch, Libratone and Sony.

This week on What Hi-Fi?, Sony continued their attempts to return to profitability by announcing a new three-year strategy, a technical snafu disrupted a number of BBC Internet streams on various devices and the Blu-ray Disc Association reportedly finalised the details of the upcoming 4K Blu-ray format.

On the reviews front, it was another week full of varied and interesting products; Libratone's fluffy Zipp BT, Sony's PHA-3AC DAC and Klipsch's R-20B all deserving of our attention.


Sony refuses to rule out exiting TV and mobile markets

Troubled electronics firm Sony this week announced a 'mid-term strategy' as it continues to restructure its business.

The three-year strategy pertains to Sony focusing on the more profitable parts of its operations. That includes the company's CMOS image sensors, pictures and music (media network and music streaming, respectively) and the PlayStation division.

Sony also refused to confirm whether it would be exiting both the TV and mobile markets amidst the increased competition within those sectors.

MORE: Sony refuses to rule out exiting TV and mobile markets

Listeners complain about changes to BBC internet radio streaming

Due to a change in the way the BBC streams internet radio, some listeners lost access to their radio stations earlier this week.

Owners of Naim, Pioneer and Sonos products were among those affected, with the BBC changing the audio codec that it used to broadcast streams and subsequently catching some manufacturers unaware.

The BBC is now working with those manufacturers to help minimise disruption, and several services have now been restored to working order in the past day or so.

MORE: Listeners complain about changes to BBC internet radio streaming

4K Blu-ray discs: BDA agrees standards for next-generation discs

Earlier in the year we reported that the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) had struck a preliminary agreement on the standards for 4K Blu-ray. Now, in the past week, it has been reported that it has more or less finalised those specs.

While it's still unconfirmed by the BDA, this agreement would appear to pave the way for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs to emerge as early as mid-2015, with hardware to follow by the end of the year.

MORE: 4K Blu-ray discs: BDA agrees standards for next-generation discs

More after the break


It’s lovely to listen to, and we’d welcome it into our homes with open arms."

Libratone Zipp BT

Libratone make products that are fluffy and woolly. They also make products that sound great, and the Zipp BT fits snugly into both of those categories.

This Bluetooth version of the Zipp (which already is a wireless speaker) offers a gorgeous sound that can fill a room, but at the same time doesn't trade size for a sense of detail and balance.

This wireless speaker comes very much recommended.

Read the full Libratone Zipp BT review

"The Sony shows a lovely cohesion throughout the frequency range."

Sony PHA-3AC

It's not often we see a DAC from Sony, with the PHA-3AC just the second one we've seen from the Japanese giant. While the 3AC doesn't knock the performance aspect out of the park, it is a fine effort from Sony.

Input your source and the 3AC offers a pleasing sound, tonally balanced with plenty of composure. Where it trips up is in terms of transparency with rivals edging ahead of it.

Still, if you're looking for a premium DAC to improve your music quality, the PHA-3AC is a more than decent option.

Read the full Sony PHA-3AC review

"The Klipsch R-20B is a good soundbar that just finds itself in a field of great competitors at this price."

Klipsch R-20B

You'll have no problem filling your room as Klipsch's R-20B soundbar produces a massive sound.

It comes at the cost of some subtlety - and to be the very best in this market it would need to improve on that aspect - but if you're looking for a big sound that gives scope and scale to your blockbuster Blu-rays then this is worth an audition.

Read the full Klipsch R-20B review


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!


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