As we finally venture into the sun to meet with friends and family, coming home to catch up on the day's sporting events will soon become the norm again. And there's so much top-flight action to stay abreast of this summer.
To make sure you catch every last serve, penalty, tee shot, delivery and score in the best possible resolution for your budget, it's time to consider upgrading your AV and hi-fi apparatus for summer.
How to do this both simply and enjoyably? A quick stroll to your local newsagents to pick up your copy of the new issue of What Hi-Fi? magazine is just the ticket. If you're looking for a home cinema upgrade within your price range, the answers you need are within its glossy pages.
The June issue of What Hi-Fi? – on sale on newsstands today – also features our in-depth analysis of QLED vs OLED TV display technology, a premium 4K projector head-to-head, eight all-new First Test reviews, an interview with Cyrus about the firm's new flagship XR Series of hi-fi separates, the best movie scenes to test your TV, our round-up of the top books about hi-fi, a high-end Leben valve amplifier and £10K Wilson Benesch floorstanding speakers in our regular Temptations section, plus so much more...
TVs to see you through Tokyo 2021
A whole year after first being confined to our homes, we're finally able to arrive in a public place and blinking, step into the sun (to quote Elton John). And although actually attending live events won't be on the cards for many of us, glorious global sporting competitions will be back on our screens. Yes, the Euros, the British Lions tour, Wimbledon, the Ryder Cup and, of course, the postponed Tokyo Olympics are all firmly on the agenda for 2021.
The sun's out, the pub garden is open and there's a sensational summer of sports tournaments on TV. You just need the right model to watch them all on. Here, we present seven solutions, kicking off with a 2021 bargain belter from Hisense and then on to some of TV's more established big-hitters such as Samsung, Sony, Panasonic and LG. We've chosen screen sizes from 43in to 65in too, so there's bound to be one that's the right size for your home.
Which brand new class of 2021 4K TV models – or slightly older 2020 sets – do we recommend? It's all in the mag...
Nice one, Cyrus...
At the start of 2021, Cyrus announced its XR Series, a six-strong flagship hi-fi range with prices starting at £2K, all the way up to £4K. When a firm claims to have taken "all the blue-sky thinking from the past eight years we hadn't shoe-horned into the Classic range" we sit up and take notice. You see, that Classic range spawned the multi-Award-winning CDi player, Stream Xa and Phono Signature to name but a few.
So, what has Cyrus got in store for 2021? Our hi-fi and audio editor Becky Roberts sat down with the company to learn more about the all-new range. Find out all about Cyrus's new second-gen. DAC technology, power supply redesign and why the new XR Series is a "clean break" from anything the firm has released to date.
You never get a second chance at a first impression
We give you the strong points, the weak bits and the information others might not tell you (compatibility? You'll get it from us) regarding new hi-fi and audio-visual products as they hit shelves – that's why our independent reviews are valued above all others.
Our First Tests section, at the front of the magazine, is where you'll find them: our star-rated reports on noteworthy products entering the hi-fi or home cinema sector. This month, we've got no fewer than eight of them for you, including Spendor's bijou and retro-themed Classic 4/5 standmount speakers, the OnePlus 9 Pro smartphone, Cambridge Audio's DacMagic 200M, Amphion's Argon1 standmount speakers, an entry-level Yamaha soundbar, a premium integrated amp from Norwegian specialist Electrocompaniet, a Technics music system and the hotly-anticipated Sonos Roam portable wireless speaker.
Each product comes with star ratings for build, features, sound and overall performance, so when you come to buy, you'll know you're investing in quality. Keep it, refer back to it – you'll be glad you did.
Don't be led astray...
When talking TV resolution, 4K is now well-established and 8K is slowly gaining momentum. But what do the terms OLED and QLED actually mean – and which technology is better?
It often feels as if new (and confusing) marketing terms and acronyms arrive as regularly as new titles on Amazon Prime Video in the tech sphere, so we've dedicated two pages of our magazine to a feature explaining both of the distinctive and different screen solutions, alongside the most recent advancements in each branch of display tech. And we also tell you which has the edge in our book.
Made your choice and want a few models to seek out within your selected category? We've added those too. But you'll have to get the mag...
Temptation come my way
This month, our Temptations section features the Leben CS600X, an integrated amplifier boasting wooden side-cheeks, glowing gold front panel, valve circuitry and a £7K price tag – but no phono stage. Yes, it's expensive, but you do get five single-ended inputs and a tape loop. And after all, that's the genius of this section – you'll learn all about this high-end piece of kit with no hard sell and no awkward obligation to go away and think about it as you leave your local dealership.
Also in this section, you can find out about Wilson Benesch's Precision P2.0 stereo speaker towers. They come in at just under £9500 but treat yourself to a read and you'll soon know whether we think they're worth it.
On top of all this, you'll also get the winner of our native 4K projector head-to-head between Sony and JVC, our Insider Top Five (the definitive hi-fi or home cinema products that should be on your radar this month), our pick of the best film scenes to test your TV's picture quality, a definitive round-up of the best books on hi-fi, and don’t forget our extensive and regularly-updated guide to the best home entertainment your money can buy, our Buyer's Guide.
Remember: no matter how big the saving, don't get your wallet out unless you've consulted What Hi-Fi?'s extensive back catalogue of reviews, buying guides and deals pages first.