This was the week of CES 2018 and the show revealed plenty of new products, including a
13.2 channel AV amp from Denon and a new range of 4K Blu-ray players from Panasonic. In other news, Sound United, owner of Denon & Marantz, purchased Canadian hi-fi manufacturer Classé Audio.
For reviews, we have Denon's
AVR-X3400H AV amp, Cowon's Plenue R personal music player and Samsung's QE49Q7F QLED 4K TV MORE: February 2018 issue on sale now! MORE: Stars of CES 2018 – The best audio products of CES MORE: CES 2018 news, highlights and best new products MORE: Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2018: everything you need to know CES 2018 Denon launches X8500H 13.2-channel flagship AV amplifier
Denon's latest flagship AV amp is being heralded as the industry's first true 13.2 channel receiver. It supports
Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, Auro 3D, Amazon Alexa, Apple AirPlay, HEOS and much more.
There's also support for high-resolution audio and, on the video side, it is compatible with
Dolby Vision, HDR and HLG formats.
The X8500H is due to go on sale later this month.
READ MORE: Denon launches X8500H 13.2-channel flagship AV amplifier Panasonic’s flagship 2018 4K Blu-ray player supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Alexa
Panasonic took the wraps off its new
4K Blu-ray players, the four-strong range comprised of the UP-UB820, DP-UB420, UP330 and DP-UB320.
All four are
Ultra HD premium certified and boast support for various HDR formats. The DP-UB820 and UB420 both have HDR10+, while the latter supports Dolby Vision too.
Pricing is still to be confirmed, but the range is likely to be available in the spring.
READ MORE: Panasonic’s flagship 2018 4K Blu-ray player supports Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Alexa Sound United adds Classé Audio to its portfolio
Sound United has acquired Canadian hi-fi company Classé from
Bowers & Wilkins.
Classé is a manufacturer of high-performance music and theatre products, including amplifiers, preamps and surround-sound processors.
Denon and Marantz, Polk and Boston Acoustics under the Sound United fold. READ MORE: Sound United adds Classé Audio to its portfolio More CES highlights Sony unveils 'world's first' 3.1ch Dolby Atmos soundbar with virtual surround sound B&O Play announces flagship wireless headphones THX and i-BLADES unite for sound-improving phone cases Arcam’s new HDA range comprises an SACD/CD player and two integrated amps JBL revives its retro L100 loudspeakers Marantz AV8805 is brand’s first 13-channel AV pre-amplifier Sony launches UBP-X700 4K Blu-ray player and STR-DH790 AV receiver HDR10+ gets logo, gains more industry support LG unveils 2018 4K OLED and LCD TV ranges Monster launches AirLinks true wireless earbuds with voice control JBL launches Google Assistant headphones and new wireless speakers Sennheiser unveils Ambeo '3D' soundbar, plus new headphones New Samsung TVs feature 8K QLED, MicroLED, Bixby voice control, HDR10+ New Debussy headphones boast OLED touchscreens and AI smarts Sony WF-SP700N earbuds are the first noise-cancelling and splash-proof wireless in-ears LG Display teases rollable 65in 4K OLED screen AKG announces N5005 in-ear headphones, yours for £1000 Features Arcam rPlay vs Bluesound Node 2 – which is better? Listen to the What Hi-Fi? playlist Hands on with Samsung’s 2018 TV tech: 8K AI QLED, MicroLED and Smart Sound The best TVs of CES 2018: LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony The 10 most popular reviews on What Hi-Fi? Sony at CES 2018: 5 key highlights, including 4K OLED TVs and wireless earbuds Panasonic at CES 2018: 5 key highlights, including OLED TVs and Technics turntables LG at CES 2018: 5 key highlights, from OLED TV to CLOi the AI robot The best headphones of CES 2018: AKG, Audeze, Audio Technica, B&O, Debussy, Sony Bristol Sound & Vision Show 2018: everything you need to know Best Buys and Deals Best music streamers Best in-ear headphones deals Best audio cables Best portable music player deals Best in-ear headphones Best digital TV boxes Best projectors Best cartridges Best Chromecast deals Reviews Denon AVR-X3400H
Denon starts the year as it ended the last, with another winner from its range of AV amps.
There's great power and punch to the sound and it manages to maintain a great balance, despite a rich midrange containing oodles of bass.
At this price, the competition is tough, but the Denon more than holds its own in such company.
Read the full Denon AVR-X3400H review Cowon Plenue R
We were impressed with Cowon's
Plenue D player, so the expectation levels were even higher for the bigger Plenue R.
There's a lot to like about its robust build, stylish design and solid sound, but some software glitches, lack of streaming services and a less nuanced sound compared to its rivals mean it fails to reach the top step.
It's enjoyable enough to use, but falls short of being really great.
Read the full Cowon Plenue R review Samsung QE497QF
Samsung's latest entry into its
QLED range is one of the best so far.
It excels in delivering a bright, vibrant HDR-assisted picture, comes with a useful suite of features and has a responsive gaming mode.
However, the viewing angles can be poor and its rivals have the edge in some respects. However, if you opt for this TV, it is money well spent.
Read the full Samsung QE497QF review More reviews Elipson Prestige Facet 8B Panasonic TX-65FZ950 hands on Apple TV 4K Sony KD-65AF8 hands on
Bluesound Node 2