Affordable hi-fi is here to stay, but OLED TVs will remain a luxury: 6 things we learned at CES 2024

Samsung Music Frame wireless speaker feature a picture of a record player and vinyl
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So, CES 2024 is in the rearview mirror, but what a show it has been. This year, the world’s biggest consumer technology trade show delivered a wealth of hi-fi and home cinema news covering everything from the resurrection of cassette players to the world’s first iMAX Enhanced long throw projector.

But, in the sea of product announcements were several clues about what to expect from TV and audio manufacturers in general this year. Here to help you get the inside scoop, our team of experts have created this list detailing the most important insights to come out of CES 2024.

MLA and QD-OLED aren’t going down in price 


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Alastair Stevenson What Hi-Fi profile
Alastair Stevenson

Ahead of CES 2024, one of the biggest questions I, and the wider What Hi-Fi? team, had was whether LG and Samsung would bring their respective MLA and QD-OLED TV tech down in price. Specifically, if MLA would appear on the LG C4 and QD-OLED on the step-down Samsung S90D. Sadly, the answer to both was a firm no. MLA is still reserved for the top-end LG G4 and the Samsung S95D is the only TV at the show to feature QD-OLED. 

This is a bit of a shame as both brightness-boosting technologies seriously impressed us last year and we had high hopes they’d trickle down to “step-down” models in 2024. The only ray of hope we have left is that Philips, Sony and Panasonic could change this when they unveil their full ranges of OLEDs later this year. But based on CES 2024, all signs suggest this won’t happen. Fingers crossed for 2025…

Amidst the outrageously high-end hi-fi launches, we’re more excited about this year’s “affordable” debuts

EarFun Wave Pro headphones on stand

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Harry McKerrell headshot
Harry McKerrell

It’s all well and good ogling a £695,000 / $750,00 Sonus Faber Suprema speaker system, but most of us are forced to exist in the real world. If you don’t have the means to splash out on a £59,995 / $50,000 McIntosh monoblock or a $3699 Roon server, this year’s more pocket-friendly launches will be right up your more modest street. 

EarFun’s double drop of $80 Wave Pro over-ear headphones and the $180 UBoom X Bluetooth speaker could undercut current leaders in their respective fields (watch out JBL), while the idea of a cheaper alternative to Sony and Bose's premium flagship earbuds in the form of Audio-Technica’s ATH-TWX7 wireless earbuds (sensibly priced at £190) has me rubbing my hands in anticipation. JBL’s latest true wireless buds, meanwhile, are another £180 /$200 affordable alternative to the aforementioned pricey buds, although we hope the brand spent just as much time refining the sound quality as it did engineering those smart display cases...

FiiO’s cassette tape player shows that nostalgia for retro products is never-ending

FiiO CP13 cassette player in blue with cassette tape

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Kashfia Kabir
Kashfia Kabir

I grew up on cassettes and recording songs off the radio onto blank tapes, but even I did a double take when FiiO unveiled its CP13 cassette player at CES 2024. Showing that the love for retro products is alive and well, FiiO was clearly a fan of the original 1979 Sony Walkman, with the heavily inspired CP13 tugging at our nostalgic hearts with a similar blue-silver design and big buttons for playback. There’s a nod to modern users with a USB-C port for charging, but you’ll have to plug in wired headphones into the 3.5mm jack to listen - no Bluetooth here. 

The price is a not-too-unreasonable £129, but will it urge me to dust off my old tapes and swap out my iPhone for daily portable music listening...? I think we know the answer to that. More curio than a new craze, it's still rather fun to see products of this type appear at shows, even if I'm pretty confident that cassettes won't enjoy a full-blown revival like vinyl and turntables have.

100-inch TVs are here to stay, and they're getting better too

TCL 115QM89 Mini LED TV photographed in a hotel room. On the screen is the image of the Earth and a bright constellation.

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Lewis Empson author profile image
Lewis Empson

100-inch TVs were the 2023 TV trend, but CES 2024 has cemented them as permanent fixtures in many manufacturers' lineups. Samsung, LG, Hisense and TCL all had XXL TVs to show off at the Vegas convention, but there was a clear distinction between how the Korean and Chinese companies each approached their latest super-sized sets. Samsung and LG opted to scale up their existing lines, with the latest 8K QN900D model reaching 98 inches on the Samsung side, and the 4K QNED85T hitting 98 inches as part of LG's new QNED lineup.

TCL and Hisense, on the other hand, opted for bespoke 115- and 110-inch TVs respectively, going all out in the specs department to ensure that these TVs were made from the ground up to support the form factor. TCL's QM891G (pictured above) features a whopping 20,000 dimming zones and 5000 nits of brightness, while Hisense doubles that on the 110UX with an astounding 40,000 dimming zones and 10,000 nits of brightness. Both manufacturers have pushed boundaries thanks to advancements in Mini LED screen technology, and have certainly changed my feelings towards these gargantuan TVs.

2024 will be a big year for Sennheiser's wireless earbuds

The Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 4 headphones out of their case, sat next to a phone

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Andy Madden bio pic
Andy Madden

It's not often we kick off the year with what I would consider a major flagship wireless earbuds launch, but we've seen exactly that at CES 2024. In fact, we've seen two. And they're both from Sennheiser.

The brand hasn't wasted any time in setting its stall out for the year with the Momentum True Wireless 4 set to go up against the Sony WF-1000XM5 and Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds. I spent a bit of time with them at the show and the initial signs are very promising.

The second flagship pair, Momentum Sport, approaches things from a slightly different angle. They've been designed with running and exercise enthusiasts in mind, with built-in biometrics and naive support for Polar tracking devices. On paper, these earbuds mean business and offer something that not a lot of rivals currently do.

The great nits debate isn't going anywhere

Hisense ULED X 110-inch TV on the Hisense stand at CES 2024

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Tom Parsons
Tom Parsons

We're in the midst of a TV brightness arms race, and at CES 2024 the stakes were raised massively. LG Display and Samsung Display respectively announced new MLA OLED and QD-OLED panels that can apparently hit 3000 nits, TCL launched a 115-inch TV that can hit 5000 nits, and then Hisense kicked everyone to the curb with its 10,000-nit ULED X. Crikey.

Here's the thing, though: at a separate event post-CES (that I will be writing about in more detail in the coming days), I had the opportunity to speak to the colorists at the largest post-production company in Hollywood, and they had no real interest in even going up to 1000 nits, let alone higher. Going brighter could be useful for watching content in a bright room, but from a content perspective, 1000 nits appears to be more than enough for the foreseeable future.


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Alastair Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Alastair is What Hi-Fi?’s editor in chief. He has well over a decade’s experience as a journalist working in both B2C and B2B press. During this time he’s covered everything from the launch of the first Amazon Echo to government cyber security policy. Prior to joining What Hi-Fi? he served as Trusted Reviews’ editor-in-chief. Outside of tech, he has a Masters from King’s College London in Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, is an enthusiastic, but untalented, guitar player and runs a webcomic in his spare time. 

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