8 of the best new speakers at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2024

Wharfedale Super Denton standmount shot without grilles
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Another Bristol Hi-Fi Show has come and gone. After all of the excitement and build-up, it's time to say goodbye to the West Country and reflect on the highlights of Britain's biggest hi-fi showcase.

While we've witnessed and heard cartridges, amplifiers and turntables, new speakers remain a perennial favourite for brands to show off to eager hi-fi fans at the show. While we had our own hugely popular and seamless tech demo, we spent much of our time doing the rounds and listening to speakers of various shapes, sizes and prices as they fired out everything from classical concerts to '20s jazz (and, inevitably, a lot of Dire Straits).

Here is our selection of the most exciting reveals and demos from this year's show.

PMC Twenty 5i Active 

Twenty5i Active range of speakers

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

We've been really impressed with PMC recently, especially with regard to the British brand's excellent Prodigy 1 standmounters and Award-winning Prodigy 5 floorstanders.  

The aforementioned Prodigy models are passive speakers, but at Bristol we had the unveiling of the company's Twenty5i Active series, an active version (obviously) of the passive twenty5 range that first launched in 2016. With built-in amplification and the inclusion of an optional active upgrade module which slots straight into the back panel of the passiveTwenty5 series, PMC's Friday demo was a real highlight for those attending.

PMC launches Twenty5i Active speaker range at the Bristol Show

Fyne Audio Special Production

Fyne Audio F702SP and F703SP speakers on demo

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Our booth was opposite Fyne Audio, so we were in the best possible position to see what the Scottish brand was exhibiting at this year's show, including its new Special Production floorstanders: the F702SP and the F703SP.

When we reported on the possibility of a new pair of Fyne floorstanders, we teased the integration of "F1 engineering" for the F702SP and F703SP, both of which borrow tech from the company's flagship F1 Series. Scotland has a proud motoring history (see Jackie Stewart, David Coulthard etc.), and it will be aiming for pole position with its Special Production models which blend upgraded electronics with an improved crossover.

Fyne Audio brings F1 engineering to its latest Special Production floorstanders

Epos ES-7N

Epos ES-7N speakers on a shelf

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Big floorstanders with large footprints and even larger price tags are a big draw at the show, but we are just as keen on cute, small-form units. The new Epos ES7N certainly fall into the latter category; a pair of small bookshelf speakers designed to be as comfortable sitting inside a bookshelf as they are on stands in an open space.

There's a switch on the rear of the speaker that allows you to select the correct crossover filter and switch between two versions of tonal balance depending on where the speakers have been placed. With an asymmetrical two-way design and a front reflex port, the diminutive new monitors are available now for £1890.

Epos ES7N bookshelf speakers make their debut at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show

Wilson Benesch Discover 3zero 

Wilson Benesch Discovery

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Wilson Benesch's products are usually drawn from the "if only I had the money" end of the price spectrum, so getting a chance to hear any of the British manufacturer's products is something of a treat. The company was showcasing a few different models and combinations at Bristol 2024, including the third iteration of its 'Discovery' standmount speaker, the Discover 3zero, in its regular first-floor conservatory location.

Wharfedale Super Denton 

Wharfedale Super Denton standmount shot without grilles

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Wharfedale was one of Bristol's heaviest-hitting names, with the British brand delivering the goods with its Super Denton standmount speakers. They're a new addition to the company's Heritage Series and continue to build on the legacy of the original Wharfedale Denton, incorporating a three-way design and an industrial, slightly abstract look.

We're hoping for more info regarding the Denton in the coming days, and having heard them for ourselves, they could be worth looking out for if you're a long-time Wharfedale fan. The Super Denton will hit shelves on March 4th for £999.95 per pair.

Wharfedale's latest standmount speakers see the brand celebrate its illustrious British heritage

Leak Sandwich 

Leak Sandwich hands-on shot with grey grille

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The new Sandwich 150 and 250 speakers draw on the design of the original Sandwich which first launched back in 1961. They feature Leak's nifty "Aluminium-Foamcore Sandwich" cone used in bass, mid and mid/bass form, plus a 30mm textile-dome tweeter. The cleverly crafted cabinets are built using a special glue filling, sandwiched (get it?) between an outer layer of MDF and an inner layer of high-density particle board.

The new Leaks weren't on demo at the show but they looked the part, and if that sandwich-based tech pays dividends, they could certainly be worth your hard-earned dough.

Leak's two new Sandwich speakers look very well bred – see them at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show

Focal Aria Evo X

Focal Aria Evo X on demo at the Bristol Show

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

French company Focal had quite the presence at this year's event, showcasing speakers in two separate rooms with a dedicated listening area on the hotel's first floor to hear the Bathys and Stelia headphones. As we can verify, that was worth the price of admission on its own.

Focal also treated us to a real-world look at its new Aria Evo X speakers, the long-awaited successor to the original Aria 900. With a proprietary ‘M’-shaped inverted dome tweeter supposedly capable of reproducing frequencies up to 30kHz and Focal's signature flax cone midrange and bass drivers, let's hope Focal's Evo X loudspeakers sound as good as they look.

Focal's Aria Evo X speaker range could be the stylish home cinema solution you've been searching for

Acoustic Energy Corinium 

Acoustic Energy AE1 Active alongside amplification at Bristol 2024

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

The Corinium are officially here. We reported on the unveiling of Acoustic Energy's premium floorstanders back in October last year, but Bristol was the first chance we had to hear the sizeable towers in person. With each unit weighing around 40kg and standing 110cm tall, the burly monoliths were designed with mid and high-frequency drivers positioned at ear height alongside a dual-subwoofer set-up lower down the cabinet face.

The Acoustic Energy Corinium will set you back around £6000 per pair and are available now in four different colourways: real wood veneer, matt white, matt black and metallic British Racing Green.

Hear Acoustic Energy's new Corinium floorstanding speakers at the Bristol Show


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Harry McKerrell
Staff writer

Harry McKerrell is a staff writer at What Hi-Fi?. He studied law and history at university before working as a freelance journalist covering TV and gaming for numerous platforms both online and in print. When not at work he can be found playing hockey, practising the piano or forcing himself to go long-distance running.