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Best of the Week: Philips 2015 TV lineup, Monitor Audio speaker review, Apple TV and more

This week on What Hi-Fi? we learned that music sales via streaming had outstripped CD revenues in the US, Philips revealed their TV lineup for 2015 and there were more reports about Apple's online TV service. In a fun bit of news, iXOOST showed off an iPod dock… made from a supercar exhaust.

There was a plethora of speaker reviews this week with two standmounters – Cambridge Audio's Aero 2 and Monitor Audio's MR2 – and the Voca wireless speaker from Pure all worth a read.


Tipping point for streaming?

For the first time ever, streaming music in the US earned more money for the music industry than CD sales in 2014, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.

Streaming sales went up 3.2% in revenue to $1.87 billion, while CD sales dropped to $1.85 billion.

MORE: Streaming revenues overtake CD revenues in the US

Philips pushes Android TV in 2015

As the year rumbles on (and we put a disappointing solar eclipse behind us), Philips detailed what we can expect from its TV range later this year.

The entry-level and mid-range TVs will arrive on UK shores around July with Google's Android TV platform in tow.

For those looking for the no-frills version, the 'dumb' versions will turn up earlier in April. 4K models have been announced but there's no info on a release date yet.

MORE: Philips 2015 TV line-up confirmed: 11 new models, including Full HD and 4K

Apple takes the fight to Netflix

We've heard a lot about Apple's potential move into the TV market, but reports this week sound more concrete than before.

The Wall Street Journal claims that Apple is engaged in talks with several American broadcasting networks including ABC, CBS and Fox for an online service that'll launch later this year.

The service will work in a similar manner to Netflix with a subscription required to watch content.

Little else is known but we suspect Apple will make an announcement at its WWDC event in the summer.

MORE: Apple's online TV service set to launch this year

The speed of sound...

In a cool piece of news, iXoost unveiled an iPod dock made out of a cylinder exhaust salvaged from a supercar.

It's the latest invention from the Panini brothers (of Panini sticker book fame) and it features speakers fitted into the cylinders, with an iPod dock at the front and an integrated subwoofer.

If you can find one then the cheapest option is a V8 cylinder, which will set you back £3600.

MORE: iXoost speakers are made from supercar exhaust pipes

More news

Sony unveils new soundbar and soundbase models, from £180

Linn revamps its range of DS players and launches SPACE Optimisation

Musaic high-res wireless multi-room system gets Spotify Connect

High-end hi-fi brands to exhibit at the Guildford Audio Show

Deezer Elite CD-quality streaming available exclusively on Sonos

Aiwa returns with the Exos-9 Bluetooth speaker

Google Chromecast now works with TV remote controls

Creative announces new Aurvana in-ear headphones

Astell & Kern launches high-end in-ear headphones

Astell & Kern launches limited edition AK240 high-res audio player

McIntosh keeps it retro with relaunched C22 and MC75 amps

Chord Electronics launches Chord 2 HD control app

Sky TV prices to rise by up to £3/month


"The MR2s might not match the most powerful-sounding speaker among their rivals, but can pack considerable punch"

"The MR2s might not match the most powerful-sounding speaker among their rivals, but can pack considerable punch"

Monitor Audio MR2

The MR2s are part of Monitor Audio's new budget range of speakers dubbed MR (Monitor Reference), and despite the new branding they have much in common with the BR series of yesteryear.

So what we have here is hi-fi on a budget and the MR2s put in a respectable performance. Rivals unearth more detail but in the MR2's favour is a mature sound and playful character.

For a budget hi-fi speaker, they're a tempting proposition.

Read the full Monitor Audio MR2 review

"Pure’s Voca looks and feels like a quality product."

"Pure’s Voca looks and feels like a quality product."

Pure Voca

Wireless speakers in lower price bands can fall prey to looking cheap and plastic, but Pure bucks that trend with the Voca's stylish aluminium case.

So does the performance match the quality of the appearance? Almost. There's a decent amount of detail to go with the finesse and texture, but the bass is overdone.

Other than that you'll have a fun time listening to the Voca.

Read the full Pure Voca review

"Capable of filling our largest test room, the soundstage is spacious and involving from the word ‘go’."

"Capable of filling our largest test room, the soundstage is spacious and involving from the word ‘go’."

Cambridge Audio Aero 2

Cambridge Audio's Aero 5.1 speaker package romped home to an Award last year and now we have the Aero 2 speakers (not from that package) in our possession. How well did they fare?

Pretty well. They look unassuming but beneath the surface is a BMR driver that covers a wider frequency range than a standard tweeter. As a result we found the sound to be cleaner and better integrated.

It does trip up in places, struggling to match the insight and detail of rivals. Nonetheless, it's a competitive effort from Cambridge Audio.

Read the full Cambridge Audio Aero 2 review

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Yamaha NX-P100

Kob began his career at What Hi-Fi?, starting in the dusty stockroom before rising up the ranks to join the editorial and production team as the Buyer’s Guide editor. Experienced in both magazine and online publishing, he now runs the TV & audio section at Trusted Reviews where he keeps a beady eye on all the latest comings and goings in the hi-fi and home cinema market.