Streaming our music has become the norm – but that doesn’t mean it should be the be all and end all of our audio consumption.
The convenience of streaming is clear, with the quality of the sound gradually getting better – if you seek out and can play hi-res streams. But since most people don’t use the higher-res options, and simply listen to ‘plain vanilla’ streams from the likes of Spotify, especially on the go, at home at least we can do better.
CDs may not be cool, but they are of good quality, and there are plenty of them about. A new CD player will add years to your collection and enjoyment of quality music – and in the July issue of What Hi-Fi?, we round up the best CD players you can buy.
Thinking of upgrading your turntable? A new cartridge could be the answer, and this month we present our pick of the best on the market. Elsewhere we look at the best portable DACs around, and two brand new LG TVs go head to head - the G2 and the C2.
And as usual, we also have reviews of the latest products in our First Tests section, and more premium kit in our regular Temptations slot.
Dust off your discs and let's boogie
Spare a thought for the humble CD. It may not be the trendiest medium, with vinyl the more hipster variant of old music formats, not to mention the runaway popularity and convenience of music streaming. But with most of us routinely consuming lower than high-res streams that are actually below CD quality, the compact disc still has its place.
CDs were, after all, the first digital format – and in fact over 14 million compact discs were bought in the UK in 2021, with global sales actually increasing that year for the first time this millennium. And there are still plenty of good reasons why CDs remain a great way of listening to your music.
And of course, for this, you'll need a good player. This month we round up the best CD players on which to listen to your shiny silver discs. From the affordable but very capable Marantz CD6007 up to the premium-level Cyrus CDi-XR, these players represent the market at its best.
Battle of the LGs
Two LG OLED TVs go head to head in July's What Hi-Fi? We loved the Korean TV giant's previous generations, the G1 and C1, and now we have the sequels on our testing benches. The C2 and G2 represent different price points, but which is the best OLED TV for you? Find out in this month's mag!
Pop goes What Hi-Fi?
Pop is music that becomes part of the vernacular; lovable and well-crafted songs that have achieved considerable commercial success. It's often sneered at as somehow less important than other forms of music considered 'higher brow', but pop has provided some of the finest musical moments in history. So, in this month's What Hi-Fi?, we present our 25 best pop songs to test your speakers, spanning a whopping 50 years of music – and explain why we think each one is an excellent workout for your drivers.
First with reviews
Our First Tests section is packed as always with reviews of all the latest hi-fi and AV kit. Dual's latest turntable, the CS 418, is the company's most affordable deck – and it's a cracker. Our reviewers also cast their expert eyes over Mission's QX-2 MKII standmounters, and the new flagship smartphone from OnePlus, the 10 Pro.
Elsewhere we run the rule over the Pure Evoke Home, a big internet radio and streamer with a big price tag, Wharfedale's mightily impressive Diamond 12.3 home cinema package and a new pair of headphones from PSB, the M4U 8 MKII. Samsung's The Premiere projector also gets the thumbs-up from our review team, while we give Q Acoustics' new desktop system the M20 a good run-out too.
How do these latest products measure up against the best kit around? Find out in the July issue of What Hi-Fi?.
Pricey, but then again priceless...
Our regular Temptations pages are where you'll find the best premium hi-fi and AV products, with a premium price-tag to match. Every month we offer tempting delights on which, if you've got the cash, you'll want to splash.
This month it's the turn of British hi-fi specialists Bowers & Wilkins to make you drool. The company's 850 D4 standmounters cost thousands, but in praising their insight we noted, "If your main priority is to hear deeply into the production of a recording, there are few better options for the money."
Another fantastic bit of kit that should be on your wishlist is Copland's integrated amplifier, the CSA70. This lovely bit of hi-fi "prefers to let the recording take centre stage rather than adding flavour to make things more exciting". Oh, we know you want one...
And finally, don't forget to check out our Buyer’s Guide, featuring a definitive list of all the best home entertainment kit you can buy. If you’re looking to purchase anything from a pair of wireless headphones to a home theatre speaker system, this section will tell you where to spend your money wisely.
Whatever you do, don't miss the July 2022 issue of What Hi-Fi? Grab a copy today, or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!