What Hi-Fi?'s British Hi-Fi Week is back, baby!
Between Monday 20th and Sunday 26th March, British Hi-Fi Week 2023 is our annual seven-day salute to some of the most influential British brands, products and technologies from our home nation.
While the definition of a British company has become increasingly blurred, there remains a great number of audio companies from the British Isles that have delivered (and, in the face of Brexit and the pandemic, overcome unprecedented adversities to continue to deliver) great hi-fi products for our listening pleasure. Why, British hi-fi continues to punch above its weight when it comes to delivering great sound, from speakers to streamers, amplifiers to turntables. And when you consider too that a few of the country's (and industry's) most revered hi-fi brands are celebrating their 50th anniversaries this year, you'll agree there is plenty to celebrate this week!
You can tune into all of the event's coverage through our British Hi-Fi Week 2023 hub (or peruse it below), where we are dropping news, features and reviews throughout the week for your browsing leisure. You can expect exclusive interviews with big names in the British hi-fi industry, retrospective looks at some of the most iconic British products to have passed through our listening rooms, a review of a brand-new British £32,000 loudspeaker, curated lists of the best British songs to test your system... and much, much more!
And be sure to get involved with the conversation on What Hi-Fi?’s social feeds and forum. Our experts are always happy to answer any questions you might have.
This week-long event holds a special meaning to the team, with What Hi-Fi?’s origins starting covering British hi-fi all the way back in the 1970s – and boy have things changed since then.
“There’s a rich tradition of British hi-fi, innovations and music that forms the heart of what we do at What Hi-Fi?, and it feels apt to celebrate the widely varying flavours of home-grown products, manufacturers, technology and sounds that make up the current audio landscape,” said What Hi-Fi?’s hi-fi and audio editor, Kashfia Kabir.
“Of course, none of this would be possible without music. We’re highlighting some of our favourite songs and albums from a huge melting pot of artists, influences and styles – encompassing jazz, R&B, electronica, heavy metal, and indie rock – without which there would be no point in all the lovely hi-fi we listen to.”
- 7 best Pink Floyd tracks to test your hi-fi system
What better way to conclude British Hi-Fi Week than with a list of Pink Floyd tracks that are perfect for putting systems through their paces? After all, the band's attention to detail and musical invention make their recordings perfect food for hi-fi gourmands. And if you need further reason to give Floyd a spin this Sunday, it's Dark Side's 50-year anniversary.
See which 7 Floyd tracks make particularly great test tracks
- 9 British audio firsts that made hi-fidelity sound possible
From the microphone to the moving coil driver, British inventions in hi-fi haven't been far and few between. And we are still at it – we have updated this original list to include an innovation from the past few years.
Read our British audio firsts feature
- 26 of the best British hi-fi products of the 21st century (so far)
Honestly, while this is purely a list of kit from British brands only, many of them would appear in a world-encompassing list were we to open up the borders to create one. That's how good British hi-fi is.
See our pick of the best British hi-fi products since 2000
- This Naim-powered CD and vinyl system celebrates the best of British hi-fi
A fab four of Award-winners (Naim, Vertere, ATC) come together to create an outstanding premium stereo system for the ages.
Read the best premium 2023 system for CD and vinyl
- Engineering over chasing a sound: how Monitor Audio is designing Hyphn for the new generation
Monitor Audio's technical director Michael Hedges tells us how its upcoming flagship speakers are a "statement of intent" of how the company puts solid engineering first when designing a loudspeaker.
Read the Monitor Audio Hyphn interview
- 7 of the best British DACs of all time
Stereo speakers, turntables and integrated amplifiers might hog the spotlight, but don’t underestimate the importance of a good digital-to-analogue convertor. We shine a light on some of the best UK-based DACs we've heard.
See our pick of the best British DACs
- 67 great British albums to test your hi-fi system
A definitive list of the best British albums simply cannot exist, but we've compiled some of our favourite music the UK has ever produced from the '60s to the present day, across a wide range of genres and styles. Dig in.
See our pick of the great British albums
- 19 best British rock songs to test your hi-fi system
Motörhead to Muse to Mogwai – team What Hi-Fi? picks their favourite rock classics that will give your hi-fi system the vigorous workout it demands.
See our pick of the best British rock tracks
- Wilson Benesch A.C.T. 3Zero speakers reviewed & rated
Yes, these are hugely expensive floorstanders but they are extraordinarily talented too. Wilson Benesch's relentless search for improved performance has resulted in one of the finest speakers we've heard...
Read the full Wilson Benesch A.C.T. 3Zero review
- Monitor Audio thinks separates are more sustainable than all-in-ones
We spoke to Monitor Audio's technical director Michael Hedges about why he thinks hi-fi separates might be more sustainable in the long run, and how the company plans to make the best of this claim.
Read the full Monitor Audio interview
- 8 most exciting British hi-fi products launching in 2023: Rega Naia, KEF R3 Meta and more
Some seriously cool products including turntables, speakers, music streamers and more from big names in British hi-fi are coming this year. These are the eight we’re most looking forward to listening and reviewing.
Read the list of 2023 products we're excited about
- Step-up British hi-fi system for CD and streaming joy
Continuing our series of compiling a great separates system out of British products, this is a stunning (and perhaps a little quirky) step-up hi-fi system to do your CD and streaming proud.
Read the best 2023 system for CD and streaming
- Back to the future: Cambridge Audio on selling CDs and separates to the next generation
Cambridge Audio CEO Stuart George reveals the biggest changes he expects to see in the world of hi-fi – including his belief that CDs are on the verge of a big comeback.
Read the full Cambridge Audio interview
- The 12 best Radiohead songs to test your hi-fi system
The Oxford-based band's vast catalogue of innovative, eclectic work makes the band an ideal candidate for putting your hi-fi system to the test. We pick a dozen of our favourite tracks from the genre-defying British band.
See our pick of the best Radiohead tracks
- 13 of the best British CD players of all time
CDs are making a comeback, haven't you heard? We round-up some of the best British-made CD players to ever grace the hi-fi world, including some stellar entries from Meridian, Exposure, dCS, Cyrus and more.
See our pick of the best British CD players ever
- Rega talks digitising amplifiers & the product it’s been happiest with for years
In its 50th year, the revered British hi-fi brand is still nailing its niche. We discuss with British turntable legends Rega its journey towards digital amplification, and what the future might look like for the next 50 years.
Read the full Rega 50th anniversary interview
- Spatial Audio makes more sense in a car than a living room, says Cambridge
Cambridge Audio CEO Stuart George says the company is currently limiting its scope for Spatial Audio to the car space, as he feels there are too many variables and unknowns around how to make it work in normal homes at the moment.
Read the full Cambridge Audio spatial audio interview
- 12 of the best British stereo amplifiers of all time
This list of our favourite British stereo amplifiers from the pages of What Hi-Fi? showcases the power providers that have helped to get the most out of our set-ups over the years. The mighty from Blighty, if you will.
See our pick the best British stereo amps ever
- 11 of the best British record players of all time
We've been reviewing audio equipment for the last 47 years, so while some companies are still going strong, others are sadly no longer with us. Regardless, all of these record players are brilliant examples of British audio engineering that well and truly stand the test of time.
See our pick of the best British record players ever
- This terrific-value hi-fi system is great, British – and punches above its weight
Given what we are celebrating this week, what better excuse to come up with a wonderful system comprising the best of British components? The affordable set-up we have here is thoroughly 2023, embracing as it does the double joys of streaming and vinyl in one neat system.
Read the best 2023 British system for streaming and vinyl
- 7 of the best British hi-fi innovations and technologies
Britain has always been a nation that prides itself on its engineering and science pedigree, which is why it’s no surprise that it’s been the birthplace of some of the most interesting innovations in the hi-fi space. We’re picked the biggies that our team of experts personally list as their hallmarks for British hi-fi innovation.
Read our pick of the best British hi-fi innovations and technologies
- Cambridge Audio CXA81 vs Rega Elex Mk4 head-to-head
The integrated amps from these two British hi-fi brands have faced off against each other in hotly contested battles in previous years, with Award wins changing hands as a new contender emerges at this price. So which mid-range marvel deserves to take the mantle today?
Read the full Cambridge Audio CXA81 vs Rega Elex Mk4 comparison
- Castle announces UK-made Windsor Series loudspeakers
The Castle Windsor Series is a new range of loudspeakers that comprises the Duke and Earl models. They're the first Castle speakers for many years to be UK-made – taking advantage of parent company IAG's new 9000-square-foot production facility in Huntingdon – with every critical part developed and manufactured in-house.
Read the full Castle Windsor news
- Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 turntable reviewed & rated
The Cambridge Audio Alva TT V2 is a thoughtful and well-made turntable package that’s easy to live with. The inclusion of a good phono stage and Bluetooth module makes it an attractive proposition. But it isn't perfect...
Read the full Cambridge Alva TT V2 review
- Why the 1970s were the perfect time to start a British hi-fi company
With so many British brands celebrating 50 years this decade, our technical editor Ketan Bharadia wondered whether there was something special about that time which encouraged people to start hi-fi companies. So he asked some industry folk...
Read the full feature here
- The best British speakers you can buy
I know, we are biased. But it's true: British hi-fi brands offer some of the finest speakers money can buy. So whether you're on a tight budget or looking to drop some serious coin, speakers from Britain's best audio brands are a great place to start your search. Honestly, our best British speaker list isn't too dissimilar from our best speakers from everywhere list!
See our pick of the best British speakers