A round up of the week's highlights including Harman's acquisition of Arcam and a review of KEF's LS50 Wireless speakers

This week, Arcam was acquired by Harman International, guitar maker Fender launched two new Bluetooth speakers and a report by the British Phonographic Industry has revealed that people are still buying CDs and vinyl in big numbers.

Elsewhere, there are reviews of KEF's active LS50 Wireless speakers, Samsung's UBD-M9000 4K Blu-ray player and Wharfedale's revamped Diamond 11.1 standmount speaker.


Arcam acquired by Harman, a division of Samsung

British hi-fi company Arcam has been bought by Harman International Industries.

The news was revealed to Arcam customers via an email from Scott Campbell, Arcam's director of sales and marketing. The existing management in team in Cambridge will remain, with the email noting that "it's business as usual for all of the Arcam team".

READ MORE: Arcam acquired by Harman, a division of Samsung

Fender launches two new Bluetooth speakers

Fender is best known for its electric guitars, but the company is hoping to hit the right note in the Bluetooth speaker market.

Its two new models are called the Newport and the Monterey. The latter is the higher-end of the two with 120W of power, aptX Bluetooth and support for the AAC wireless codec.

The Newport boasts the same features as the Monterey, but only packs 30W.

Both models are available now, with the Monterey priced £300 and the Newport £190.

READ MORE: Fender launches two new Bluetooth speakers

CDs and vinyl remain popular with music lovers, BPI research shows

Research from the British Phonographic Industry has shown that CD and vinyl are keeping pace with digital distribution.

The report reveals that a third of people still buy music in physical form, with 47m CDs sold in 2016. This year is expected to have similarly robust sales.

The vinyl revival is still riding a wave of popularity, pushing up sales of records and turntables.

READ MORE: CDs and vinyl remain popular with music lovers, BPI research shows

More after the break


"Is this what the hi-fi system of the future should look like?"

KEF LS50 Wireless

KEF has done a terrific job with its LS50 Wireless, making its award-winning speakers even more appealing.

The performance is one of impressive clarity and insight, taut bass and strong dynamics. The build and features are excellent too.

Apart from a few usability issues and a hefty price, KEF has once again delivered a fantastic performer.

Read the full KEF LS50 Wireless review

"For a £280 Blu-ray player, the Samsung UBD-M9000 is a good effort"

Samsung UBD-M9000

With a price tag of just £280, the UBD-M9000 is one of the cheapest 4K Blu-ray players on the market.

While it gives 4K movies vivid colours and a good sense of detail, it is lacking in other areas. The picture can be overcooked at times and the lack of Dolby Vision reduces HDR options.

But if you're looking to get in to 4K, this is a cheap way of doing so.

Read the full Samsung UBD-M9000 review

"In many respects this is the most advanced Diamond range ever"

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1

Wharfedale's Diamond series has undergone another refresh and it's the most advanced yet.

The midrange is refined and insightful and the bass is particularly hefty for a cabinet of its size. However, that bass is not the most surefooted, and both dynamics and timing are some way behind its rivals.

The Diamonds face tough competition at this price, and its flaws mean it doesn't reach the quality of its stablemates.

Read the full Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 review

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