Stereo amplifiers, soundbars and a smartphone head to head are just some of the highlights from the December issue of What Hi-Fi? magazine. Throw in our handy guide to setting up a turntable, HDR technology explained and an £11,000 integrated amplifier and you’ve got an issue that can’t be missed!

An amplifier is the heart of any great hi-fi system, so we’ve rounded up three models under £1000 from Arcam, Audiolab and Rega, which currently has a Best Buy Award to its name. Can either of the other fresh-faced contenders dethrone the king?

Soundbars

A full 5.1 surround sound package may be the ideal for any home cinema enthusiast, but when space or budget don’t allow for one, a soundbar is the next best option. We have four bars on test from Yamaha, Sony, Orbitsound and Philips, all packed with a range of connections and Bluetooth streaming. But which one deserves your money?

More after the break

HDR explained

HDR, or High Dynamic Range, is the latest buzzword in TV screen technology, but what is it? We explain everything you need to know, from the visual difference you should see to the companies that have pledged their support. Amaze your friends with your new found knowledge about this exciting technology.

Apple iPhone 6S vs Samsung Galaxy S6

They both have similar names and both represent two of the best smartphones on the market right now. But ultimately, one has to prevail. We put both the iPhone 6S and Samsung Galaxy S6 through a rigorous testing process to find out which one offers the best overall package.

Sonos: The start of a new era?

Sonos has recently introduced the new Play:5 speaker after what seemed like an age of software update after software update. We went to visit the world’s biggest multi-room brand at their HQ in Santa Barbara to find out whether this is just the start of a new era for the company.

And there’s more…

Our First Tests section is packed with quality kit, from an exclusive first review of Panasonic’s new curved OLED TV, to the B&W Zeppelin Wireless and Rega Aria Phono stage.

The Devialet Silver Phantom wireless speaker certainly turned heads when it passed through our doors, but is it a case of style over substance? And will it be a five-star review for the Sonos Play:5?

Meanwhile, this month’s Temptations includes an £11,000 Mark Levinson integrated amplifier and an extremely talented pair of Spendor speakers.

And don’t forget, you can download the digital edition of the magazine directly to your smartphone or tablet at any time. Happy reading!!