It's the last Best of the Week of 2014 and it's time to round up the news and reviews that have graced What Hi-Fi? the past week – including details of new products and services from Meridian, Pioneer and Samsung.

This week on What Hi-Fi?, Meridian's new MQA service was picked up by 7digital, BT moved a step closer to purchasing mobile operator EE and Blue Aura announced a "world's first" in the form of a Bluetooth floorstander.

On the reviews front, it was only the best of the best with three five-star products. Samsung's impressive UE65HU8500 took the lead, followed by Pioneer's Dolby Atmos-enabled  SC-LX88 receiver and Apple's classy iPad mini 3.

And you can celebrate the New Year with the new issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, filled with the latest in home cinema and hi-fi. The January issue features a head-to-head of Atmos amplifiers, a 4K TV shootout between Samsung and Sony and a gargantuan test of soundbars under £800.

You can purchase the latest issue online or, if you so choose, at your local good (or bad) newsagent.


7digital adopts Meridian MQA for high-res streaming

At the start of the month Meridian announced its new Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) format and it looks as to have gained traction with at least one streaming provider.

7digital will be adopting MQA as its preferred method of streaming high-res files, a method which Meridian claims is more efficient and allows studio quality files to take up less space.

Meridian's MQA format will be available in early 2015.

MORE: 7digital adopts Meridian MQA for high-res streaming

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BT moves closer towards £12.5bn acquisition of EE

This week brought the news that BT's acquisition of mobile network EE is looking a step closer after exclusive negotiations started between BT and EE's owners Deutsche Telekom and Orange.

If successful, the purchase of EE – set to cost in the region of £12.5bn – will return BT to the UK mobile market.

MORE: BT moves closer towards £12.5bn acquisition of EE

Blue Aura unveils "world's first" stereo Bluetooth tower speakers

Audio manufacturer Blue Aura presented their X40 speakers this week, in what they claim is the "world's first" Bluetooth floorstanders.

The come with NFC and aptX technology on board, a wireless reach of 10m and a sub out to connect a subwoofer.

They're on sale now for £599.

MORE: Blue Aura unveils "world's first" stereo Bluetooth tower speakers

More after the break


"Impressive, attractive and entertaining, this premium-quality Samsung TV makes us excited about 4K’s future"

Samsung UE65HU8500

The 4K format may still lack content for the time being, but that hasn't stopped TV manufacturers from pushing out 4K capable sets and this Samsung ranks very highly.

It's deft with both 4K and Blu-ray content, and it comes with Samsung's well-regarded Smart Hub that packs both Netflix and BBC iPlayer amongst others. This is a very impressive effort.

Read the full Samsung UE65HU8500 review

"The SC-LX88 carries all the hallmarks of a top-end Pioneer receiver – fast, precise, superb layers of detail"

Pioneer SC-LX88

The main feature of this new receiver from Pioneer is the presence of Dolby Atmos.

We've been waiting a while for it and we're not let down by the performance of the SC-LX88 in this regard. Spacious and dynamic, it handles Atmos very well.

And that's not to dismiss its performance with 5.1 or 7.1 set-ups. This is a terrific all-round amplifier packed with a thorough feature list and a captivating sound.

Read the full Pioneer SC-LX88 review

"It’s as strong in video and audio as ever, and packs a level of design and performance you can’t argue with"

Apple iPad mini 3

The leap between iPad minis 2 and 3 is not as pronounced as it was between the original and its successor, but perhaps there wasn't ever a need to be.

When you're as good as the mini 3 is, boasting a terrific screen and now Touch ID, grumbles are few and far between.

Read the full Apple iPad mini 3 review