Rewind: Sonos reveals the Ace up its sleeve, a guide to separates and more

Rewind logo on Sonos Ace hands-on photo
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

It may be a Bank Holiday in our native UK, but that hasn’t stopped us delivering the latest entry in our weekly Rewind column.

In it we once again detail the top headlines in the world of hi-fi and home cinema to break over the past seven days.

It was another busy one with Sonos finally unveiling its long rumoured headphones, our staff writer, Lewis Empson, getting up close and personal with TCL’s latest flagship giant TV and Samsung lifting the lid on a new OLED rival.

Here’s everything you need to know. 

Sonos finally unveiled its Ace headphones 

Sonos Ace headphones

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Last week Sonos unveiled its Ace headphones. We haven’t had a chance to review the Sonos Ace, but our intrepid hi-fi and audio editor, Kashfia Kabir, did manage to get an early listen at the launch event, and her impressions were positive. The wireless headphones sit between the super expensive AirPods Max and Award-winning Sony WH-1000XM5. They also come with a few atypical home cinema features that use a custom wi-fi chip to let them communicate with the Sonos Arc. The most interesting feature lets the Ace use the Arc to optimise its settings to the specific room you’re in, improving its surround-sound performance when watching movies.

Read our Sonos Ace hands on 

We revisited the separates vs systems debate 

Naim Mu-So 2

(Image credit: Naim)

It is no secret, most of the What Hi-Fi? team love separates. Whether it's the thrill of matching equipment or planning your next upgrade, there’s just something magical about the whole thing. But, equally, we understand it can be a little daunting for hi-fi newcomers and many simply don’t have the time or space to accommodate a full hi-fi rack, which is why systems are increasingly popular. In our latest guide we break down the pros and cons of both approaches, making it quick and easy to plan the starting point of your next hi-fi journey.

Read the full article: Separates vs systems: the pros and cons of each path to hi-fi nirvana

We learned a lot about how Dolby Atmos music is made

Luis del Toro in a Dolby mixing studio

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Our deputy editor, Andy Madden, popped over to a Dolby studio in Madrid, to learn more about how Atmos music is made and mixed. Spoiler: it’s a lot harder than you think, with subtly and a gentle approach playing a key part in the process. 

Read the full article: I spent 24 hours immersed in Dolby Atmos Music – these are 8 key things I learned

Fiio unveiled its latest attempt to dethrone Ruark as the desktop speaker top dog

Fiio SP3 BT on a desk

(Image credit: Fiio)

Last week Fiio unveiled its new SP3 BT desktop speakers. Featuring aptX Bluetooth streaming support, a wealth of physical connections and class D amplification, the
tiny speakers are aimed at the same market as the five-star, Award winning, Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2. We’ll be keen to see how they perform against one another when we get the SP3 BT in for review.

Read the full article: Fiio's compact speakers – with aptX Bluetooth streaming – could be your new desktop darlings 

Yet another OLED rival appeared

Samsung Display's first QD-LED display on a grey background

(Image credit: Samsung Display)

TV tech is moving fast at the moment, and this week Samsung added yet more gas to the fire showing off yet another panel technology it hopes will dethrone OLED. Specifically, Samsung showed off its largest QD-LED display to date. Though the screen’s only 18-inches big, and has a 250 nit max brightness level, the set is interesting as it shows Samsung is still investing in QD-LED. This is a big deal as QD-LED is a self emissive panel technology that Samsung claims “could” be far easier to manufacture than OLED. If the gamble pays off this could lead to a wave of much more affordable TVs that can match the perfect black levels of OLED.

Read the full story: Samsung Display shows off its first QD-LED display – could this be the downfall of OLED? 

We had an opening look at the TCL X955 115 Max 

TCL X955 115 Max TV

(Image credit: Future)

TCL unveiled the X955 115 Max a while ago, but last week staff writer Lewis Empson took a gander at the giant 115-inch TV at a press event in Poland. While viewing conditions weren’t ideal, he definitely found plenty to get excited about, with the giant Mini LED set offering an “incredibly bright and bold” image.

Read our TCL X955 115 Max hands on

Luxman’s latest high-end integrated amplifier earned perfect marks

Luxman L-509Z integrated amplifier

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

Last week our reviewers delivered their definitive verdict on the Luxman L-509Z. The integrated amp was an interesting beast that bucked the old adage “less is more” when it comes to amps, with the fully specced unit delivering a Swiss army knife of features alongside "strikingly clean and detailed" audio.

Read our full Luxman L-509Z review


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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.