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Best of the Week: Apple's transforming headphones, B&W's new subwoofers, Tidal Masters review and more

This week B&W announced its most powerful range of subwoofers, Ballfinger revealed a retro-styled reel-to-reel deck and turntable and Sonos confirmed the presence of Amazon's Alexa voice control in its speakers later this year.

We have many reviews of hi-fi and home cinema kit, including Dali's powered Zensor 5 AX speaker, Grado's open-backed SR80e headphone and Audio Research's GSi75 integrated stereo amplifier.

It's also new What Hi-Fi? week, with the March issue now on sale. In it you'll find reviews of wireless speakers, budget turntables, over-ear headphones and more.

Plus our usual array of First test reviews, news about hi-fi and home cinema and the latest bargains to be found in our Buyer's Guide.

MORE: March 2017 issue on sale now!


B&W DB Series is its most powerful range of subwoofers yet

B&W has revealed a new range of subwoofers called the DB series.

According to B&W, the DB1D, DB2D and DB3D are the most powerful subs they have produced. They follow in the footsteps of the BD-1, but utilise new digital technologies including Dynamic EQ and Room EQ.

Arriving in March with a choice of three finishes, the cheapest is the DB3D at £2300.

MORE: B&W DB Series is its most powerful range of subwoofers yet

Ballfinger launches plush reel-to-reel tape machine and turntable

For fans of retro audio gear, German brand Ballfinger (an odd name to be sure) has created a new reel-to-reel tape and turntable.

Combining retro tech with a modern aesthetic, the Tonbandmaschine reel-to-reel is aimed at industry professionals and can take up to 12in tape.

The Schallplattenspieler PS 2 deck is a directly driven turntable, with active radial arm and moving coil system.

MORE: Ballfinger launches plush reel-to-reel tape machine and turntable

Sonos confirms Alexa voice support coming in 2017

Sonos is bringing a free firmware to its speakers that will enable Amazon Alexa voice control.

During an event at the company's Boston headquarters, Sonos also confirmed that Alexa support is on track to launch later this year.

MORE: Sonos confirms Alexa voice support coming in 2017

More news

LG's flexible OLED advertising screens could be the future of TV

Andvinyly will turn your cremated remains into a playable record

Headroom show returns to Metropolis in March

Apple patents headphones that turn into speakers

AiAiAi's new Discovery tool suggests headphones based on your Spotify playlist

Apple hires Amazon Fire TV boss to head up Apple TV division

Vizio pays $2.2m after unlawfully collecting viewers' data

LG denies accusations that it has falsified TV energy efficiency results

Sony's PSVR headset to get 3D Blu-ray support

B&O Play launches new H4 wireless headphones

This radio reads your expression and plays music based on your mood

SoundMagic's E10 headphones go wireless

Prince's albums are back on Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services from Sunday


The What Hi-Fi? month in music - February 2017

That Was Then… Marantz CD-63 review

Listen to the What Hi-Fi? playlist

Bristol Show 2017 - news, highlights, best new products

Best Apple deals: iPad, iPhone 7, Apple TV

Best Sonos deals: Play:3, Play:5, Playbar and more

The best headphone deals - in-ear, over-ear, wireless and more


"The end of our time with Dali's Zensor 5 AX, we loved them"

"The end of our time with Dali's Zensor 5 AX, we loved them"

Dali Zensor 5 AX

Fast, detailed and enthusiastic, the Zensor 5 AX is most definitely a speaker from Dali.

Offering a one-box, powered hi-fi solution, it's a neat and convenient pair of speakers with an excellent sound.

However, careful positioning and choice of partnering is key with these speakers; otherwise performance may be lacking.

Read the full Dali Zensor 5 AX review

"The Grado SR80es are exceptional and exceptionally odd headphones"

"The Grado SR80es are exceptional and exceptionally odd headphones"

Grado SR80e

Grado is one of the more eccentric headphone makers out there. And a prime example is the company's SR80e open-backed on-ear headphones.

They're a rare specimen indeed - a lively pair of headphones with excellent treble and midrange detail.

The full-on listen may not be to everyone's taste, but the SR80es perform with confidence and style.

Read the full Grado SR80e review

"We’ve fallen for this amplifier, big time"

"We’ve fallen for this amplifier, big time"

Audio Research GSi75

The thinking is that separates offer better performance than a one-box solution; Audio Research's GSi75 valve amplifier refutes that thought.

There's excellent detail to be uncovered, with great dynamics and a sound that's transparent and subtle. For the best performance, careful partnering is needed.

If you want quality without the quantity (and can afford it), have a look at the GSi75. We think it's rather special.

Read the full Audio Research GSi75 review

More reviews

Hisense 32M2600

Final F7200

Samsung Galaxy Tab S2

Meridian Explorer 2

Tidal Masters

Rega Couple2

Kob began his career at What Hi-Fi?, starting in the dusty stockroom before rising up the ranks to join the editorial and production team as the Buyer’s Guide editor. Experienced in both magazine and online publishing, he now runs the TV & audio section at Trusted Reviews where he keeps a beady eye on all the latest comings and goings in the hi-fi and home cinema market.