Best of the Week: AirPlay 2 coming to Sonos, BBC 4K broadcasts, KEF Reference 1 speakers and more

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This week, Sonos announced it is looking to bring Apple's AirPlay 2 to its speakers in 2018, the BBC trialled its first live broadcast of 4K HDR content and Pioneer teased the announcement of two possible 4K Blu-ray players.

For reviews, we have Apple's latest iteration of its iPad, KEF's Reference 1 speaker and Acoustic Energy's AE1 Active speakers.

News

Sonos confirms AirPlay 2 coming to newer products

Last year, Sonos announced it would bring AirPlay 2 to its speakers and has now confirmed the update will be out sometime this year.

The list of products affected include the Play:5, Playbase and the new Sonos One smart speaker. All future Sonos products will support AirPlay 2.

Older products such as the Play:1 and Play:3 can also benefit. When grouped with AirPlay 2 compatible speakers, they will bring AirPlay to an entire Sonos system.

MORE: Sonos confirms AirPlay 2 coming to newer products

Pioneer to fill 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player gap left by Oppo?

Could Pioneer be on the verge of announcing its own 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player?

The company has teased two possible Blu-ray players on its Japanese website. It doesn't say whether these are 4K players, but the Japanese text translated into English suggests a new chapter for its Blu-ray players.

With Oppo leaving the home cinema market, this seems like a good moment for Pioneer to make its move.

MORE: Pioneer to fill 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player gap left by Oppo?

BBC runs first 4K iPlayer live broadcast ahead of World Cup

The BBC successfully carried out a live broadcast of the Rugby League Challenge Cup fixture between York and Catalans Dragons in 4K HDR last weekend.

The HLG variant of HDR was used to broadcast the game by Quinn Cowper, an outside broadcast engineer working on the trial.

It remains to be seen whether the BBC will commit to UHD broadcasts, but with the World Cup 2018 on the horizon, we can but hope.

MORE: BBC runs first 4K iPlayer live broadcast ahead of World Cup

More news

Spotify is now available for free on Sky Q

Fire TV Cube: Amazon’s next-gen video streamer?

Spotify improves free mobile listening with on-demand tracks

Yamaha reveals new MusicCast wireless speakers, soundbars and sub

Yamaha introduces 2018 midrange AV amplifier range

Sonos files papers, plans to go public before autumn

Toshiba announces 2018 OLED, 4K and Full HD TV line-up

Quad teases ERA-1 planar magnetic headphones

Technics Tracks hi-res download store closing this summer

LG announces pricing for its 2018 4K OLED and LCD TVs

Sharp 70in 8K TV on sale soon - for €12k

iFi expands portable DAC range with £399 xDSD

Pure announces Siesta Home, its most compact all-in-one system

Features

Munich High End Show 2018 preview

8K TV – everything you need to know

How to watch the World Cup – TV, 4K, online, mobile

LG 2018 TVs: 4K, OLED, LCD - everything you need to know

Spider-Man: Homecoming – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

The best 4K movies and TV shows to watch right now

Star Wars: The Last Jedi – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Best new films 2018: trailers and release dates

Smart speakers - everything you need to know

Best Buys and Deals

Best in-ear headphones

Best Blu-ray and 4K Blu-ray players

Best 4K OLED TV deals 2018

Best music streamers

Best speaker deals 2018

Best digital TV boxes

Best speaker cables

Best 4K HDR TVs

Best iPhone headphones

Best smart speakers

Best stereo amplifiers

Reviews

"They’re as unfussy a high-end speaker as we’ve heard when it comes to positioning and partnering"

"They’re as unfussy a high-end speaker as we’ve heard when it comes to positioning and partnering"

KEF Reference 1

KEF's recent work has been outstanding, so it's with some excitement that we welcome the Reference 1 standmounts into our test rooms.

Suffice to say they do not disappoint. But rather than excelling in a few areas, these are superb all-rounders that work well across a range of music, systems and rooms.

The Reference 1s are excellent speakers and merit our highest recommendation.

Read the full KEF Reference 1 review

"It’s comfortably the best tablet available at this sort of money"

"It’s comfortably the best tablet available at this sort of money"

Apple iPad 2018 (32GB)

This new iPad is much like last year's iPad, but with a few subtle differences.

It now comes with Pencil support and has few notable tricks up its sleeve, including compatibility for HDR video.

But that aside, it's much the same as last year's iteration. It remains an excellent tablet and is well purchasing if you don't already have the 2017 edition.

Read the full Apple iPad 2018 (32GB) review

Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

Hi-fi often means your room is littered with separate components, but Acoustic Energy's AE1 Active aims to ease the clutter.

They're relatively basic to set up and, once done, they perform with a flourish, offering a clear, balanced and detailed sound.

It's difficult to think of a comparable amp/passive speaker combo that could better these active speakers for the price.

Read the full Acoustic Energy AE1 Active review

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