The final countdown for vinyl? Time those Compact Discs got compacted? Not yet at least, but there's no question that streaming is now a big part of our music listening – and if you're making sure your other music formats sound the best they can, you'll want to do the same with digital music too.
The September issue of What Hi-Fi?, available on the newsstands right now, features everything you need to know about streaming – from the best kit to the best services you need to hear digital music at its best.
As streamed digital music has caught up to be as high quality as that played from a CD, you're going to need the best music set-up to hear it through. From dedicated music streamers to must-have hi-fi components, and the streaming service that best suits you, we'll guide you through everything you need to make your digital music sing.
As usual, we are first with reviews of the latest kit in our First Tests section, and two pricey, but highly tempting, products feature in our regular Temptations slot – the Dan D'Agostino Progression Integrated amplifier and Chord Ultima 5 amplifier, plus so much more...
Sweet streams are made of this
While it has been clear for a decade or two now that vinyl will never die, the same cannot be said for other traditional forms of music media. Although it feels somewhat odd to be describing the likes of the compact disc as a ‘traditional’ format, the granddaddy of digital music is in its fifth decade now, so it isn’t an inappropriate description. And there’s no denying that the venerable old CD is in what seems to be terminal decline.
Mindblowingly fast internet data transfer speeds both down the pipe directly into our homes, and straight to our mobile devices via 4G and 5G mean that, surely, streaming is the only way forward for general music listening?
In this streaming special edition, then, we give you our pick of the best home music streamers and the music streaming services to help make the most of them.
We don’t forget the visual side of streaming either, with some top media streamers for every budget. All that, of course, alongside our usual First Tests and features!
Could your AV amp or soundbar be causing gaming lag?
Fed up of losing those battle royales in Fortnite? Broken more controllers due to game lag in Fifa? In our Insider section this month, we investigate whether your AV amp or soundbar could be making gaming input lag worse.
First with reviews
In our First Tests section, you’ll find reviews of all the latest hi-fi kit, and the September issue of What Hi-Fi? features a stunning, class-leading pair of true wireless earbuds from Sony, the WF-1000XM4.
We also take a good look at Dynaudio's Evoke 50 5.1 speaker package, concluding in our review that it's a great place to start if you're looking to recreate a proper cinema feel in your home.
This month’s First Test section also features a brace of wireless speakers, the Audio Pro Addon C10 MkII and Devialet Phantom I 108db, as well as the 65in version of Sony's A90J OLED TV.
So, how do these measure up against the best kit around? Find out in the September issue of What Hi-Fi?.
Online streaming at your service
Few things have revolutionised the way we listen to recorded music as much as the advent of online streaming. There are now dozens of services to choose from, from Deezer to Spotify, Apple Music to Amazon, Tidal and more – and our round-up of the best streaming services will tell you all you need to know about the major players. The cost, the compatible devices, the sound quality – it's all in there.
Sing it proud
And finally, our regular back page feature highlights the best vocal tracks to test your system, featuring some wonderful examples of recorded vocal performances that demand the best from your gear – from PJ to Nina, Frank to Lou and Joni to Dave...
Also, 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 speaker package, this section will tell you where to spend your money wisely.
The September issue is not to be missed. So grab a copy of What Hi-Fi? on sale today. Or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!