The Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2024 opens its doors today, Friday, 23rd February, and the What Hi-Fi? editorial team are on the ground all weekend to bring you the latest hi-fi and audio news.
The Bristol Show – which is organised by Audio T, the UK’s oldest independent specialist hi-fi retailer – is the UK’s largest and longest-running hi-fi show. The event is an annual fixture in the calendar of any hi-fi fan, with this year's event marking the 35th iteration.
We're expecting to see over 160 exhibitors in attendance ready to show off their latest products and innovations. Brands including Epos, Naim, Rega, Wharfedale and Sennheiser will be among those on the floor, giving visitors a unique opportunity to see and hear some of the latest equipment – we're also expecting some new product announcements, too.
On top of this, the Bristol Hi-Fi Show gives visitors a fantastic chance to talk to experts and manufacturers about all the new products and technology on offer and find out more about how new kit might fit into a wider system.
Tickets are available to buy now through the show's official website or on the door. See you there!
Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th February 2024 10am-5pm
Delta Hotels Marriott, Bristol City Centre Hotel, Lower Castle Street, Bristol BS1 3AD
Adults (over 16) – One Day: £14 on the door/£12.50 online. Two Days: £25/ £22. Three Days: £32 (online only)
Students/Senior Citizens (over 65) – One Day: £12.50 on the door/£11 online. Two Days: £22/£19. Three Days: £27.50 (online only)
Accompanied children under 16 – free
Students/emergency workers Sunday after 2pm – £6.25
Online booking fees apply.
Expect exclusive deals
Of course, Bristol is also a great place to buy, and as always, there will be plenty of exclusive deals and special offers for those wanting to take home more than the memory of a great day out.
We'll be sure to bring you all the deals as brands announce them, but do look out for the competitions on the show floor too – including the £12,000 worth of kit up for grabs at the What Hi-Fi? stand – as you could win some new kit for free. Keep reading for more details!
What you can see at the show
Bristol always serves up several last-minute surprises but we have put together this round-up of what we're expecting to see this year. We'll keep this page updated as more is announced throughout the show weekend.
The new Acoustic Energy Corinium loudspeakers will be making their Bristol Show debut this year.
These ground-breaking floorstanders represent the brand’s move from a mid-market position into high-end audio territory, and are the culmination of a three-year project for the in-house design team.
Expect "more" in every sense of the word, thanks to brand new drive units and crossover components and a carefully crafted enclosure that both looks and sounds great.
You can listen to them in The Concorde Suite on the ground floor.
AIAIAI is showing off its compact UNIT-4 active studio monitor speakers, which are completely wireless to support the more dynamic creative process of many music creators today.
Weighing only 2.5kg and promising just 16ms of latency thanks to W+ Link technology, the 2-way UNIT-4 speakers are focused on portability for on-the-go collaborations.
The bass vent has even been designed to double up as a carry handle, and you can expect 20 hours of playback time, with 3.5mm mini-jack and 6.3mm balanced TRS inputs, plus Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
Astell & Kern
Astell & Kern have two new portable DACs to show off, the HC1 and HC4, plus the Kann Ultra music player, all of which were released late last year and make their Bristol debut.
They join the entire Astell & Kern product range, all of which will be available to visitors to play with.
Audiolab will be at the show, joining Wharfedale to run its demo with a selection of new flagship separates. This includes the 9000N network streamer, the 9000A stereo amplifier and 9000CDT transport.
German speaker brand Audio Physic will be showing off its latest Avanti floorstanding speakers at the show, now more easily available to a UK audience thanks to new distribution via Cyrus Audio.
They’re a new loudspeaker through and through, with a slender and elegant appearance finished in a choice of wood veneer or striking high-gloss glass.
Packing proprietary Audio Physic technologies around distortion and vibration reduction, the speakers have had particular attention paid to the bass performance, and use an “invisible subwoofer” at the bottom of the cabinet for an extended frequency response and more flexibility when it comes to placement.
High-end Canadian amplifier specialist Bryston will be demonstrating its new high-performance BP-19 analogue preamplifier, which features compact circuit architecture and an advanced volume attenuator aimed at minimising noise and distortion.
The preamp is available as a standalone unit or with the company’s BR-2 moving-magnet phono stage as an onboard option.
As always, hi-fi accessory manufacturers will be maintaining a high-profile presence at the show, among which the Chord Company (not to be confused with its namesake below) will be demonstrating a range of its products, including the new PowerHAUS P6 mains block, BurndyX cables and ClearwayX and C-line interconnects.
Back with home-grown equipment, Chord Electronics will be showcasing a full-scale music-playing system incorporating the high-end (£8495) Ultima Integrated amplifier, Qutest DAC and Hugo M Scaler upscaling device, as well as a selection of its other DACs and the Anni integrated desktop amplifier.
Clocking up more than 10 years of service, Clearaudio’s Concept turntable has recently received a revamp in the form of the Concept Signature, which replaces all previous editions.
Still aiming to provide an accessible entry point to high-end hi-fi, the Concept Signature attempts to put ease-of-use on a level with sonic performance, so comes with the tonearm and cartridge and all technical parameters optimally pre-set.
However, it is also designed to be highly modular, allowing you to upgrade just about every part of it, depending on your budget. You can be one of the first to hear it at the show.
Polish loudspeaker manufacturer Diora Acoustics will be at The Bristol Show presenting two of its high-end product ranges – Perun and Chors, as well as launching the first model of the new Lada series.
German turntable brand Dual will be exclusively showcasing a brand new deck, the Dual CS 529 BT.
Details are thin at the moment, but the CS 529 BT is a fully automatic turntable that will combine "the highest quality of vinyl reproduction with the most advanced technology available." You can visit Dual and see the new turntable at the Cabot Suite on the lower ground floor.
A new, smaller speaker model dubbed the ES7N, based on the legendary ES11 speaker, will be shown at Bristol. You can find Epos with Kog Audio on the second floor.
British hi-fi brand Exposure Electronics has recently introduced its first turntable, the Exposure 360, in response to customer demand.
The deck has been developed with in partnership with a "leading British turntable manufacturer", and designed to complement Exposure's existing separates range, which includes CD players, integrated amplifiers and power amps. You can hear it at Exposure's room on the second floor.
Fiio will be exhibiting at the Bristol Show with a bevvy of products, starting with the Fiio R9 – the brand’s flagship desktop media player. It’s a premium-grade desktop streamer with Dual ES9038Pro DAC and 8-channel amplification.
Also on show will be the retro-tastic CP13 portable cassette player we saw at CES 2024 recently, the KB3 hi-fi keyboard with built-in DAC, and a range of the brand's headphones, DACs and portable music players.
Focal will be showcasing its latest offering, the Aria Evo X speakers, which were unveiled at CES in January. As the successors to the decade-old Aria 900 range, the Aria Evo X boast new and enhanced technology, plus a stylish moss green colorway.
Focal will also be have its complete range of headphones for demonstration.
Respected British brand Fyne Audio will be launching its new F702SP and F703SP ‘Special Production’ models at this year’s show.
These premium floorstanders incorporate technology from the flagship F1 Series into the more contemporary F700 cabinets, and look set to cause quite a stir. A pair of F702SPs will be on demonstration throughout the show.
Harbeth Audio and Technics
You can, of course, hear music of all kinds and from all eras at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show, but jazz fans may want to make a point of heading to Room 330, where first-time exhibitor and recording artist Lyn Stanley will be showcasing her music – a "one-of-a-kind collection" of reel-to-reel tapes, vinyl and SACDs – through a bespoke system comprising loudspeakers from Harbeth Audio and separates from Technics.
Those after something a bit smaller to improve the sound from their laptop or PC might be interested to check out the Kanto Ora reference desktop speakers.
Designed to bridge the gap between computer speakers and audio monitors, the Kanto Ora offer 100W of bi-amplified Class-D power for near studio-grade sound in a compact package.
With USB-C and RCA inputs for wired playback and Bluetooth 5.0 on board for wireless sound, the speakers come with a separate subwoofer for handling the bass, meaning the 7.5cm woofers and 19mm silk dome tweeters are left free to perform to the best of their abilities.
Leak announced the return of its iconic Sandwich speakers earlier this month, and you will be able to see them in action at Bristol.
The latest in a spate of releases since the brand relaunched in 2020, the Sandwich 150 and Sandwich 250 take the blueprint established by the original speakers in 1961, but apply new technologies and materials to bring their performance bang up to date.
Welsh-based hi-fi specialist Leema Acoustics will be showing and demonstrating its Quantum range of electronics, which includes the Neutron preamp/DAC and Graviton power amplifier. We expect to see and hear more about the Positron music streamer and Electron CD player that are due out later in 2024, too.
Leema's co-founder and brand ambassador, Lee Taylor, will also be on hand throughout all three days of the show, demo-ing the new range, taking questions and offering advice. You'll find him and Leema in Room 412 on the fourth floor.
Amplifier specialist Marantz has just launched its latest reference home cinema AVR amp, the Cinema 30 – and you'll be able to check it out on the show floor.
This flagship 11.4-channel Dolby Atmos model doesn't just look gorgeous, but it also packs 140W of power per channel, with 13.4-channel onboard processing should you wish to add in a pre-amp to proceedings.
All seven of its HDMI inputs and three outputs support 8K content, while both digital and analogue sources are handled through included coaxial, optical, component and composite inputs, not to mention a moving magnet phono stage.
There's also built-in wi-fi for streaming via AirPlay 2 and Spotify connect, though the simplicity of Bluetooth is also onboard, as well as HEOS multi-room integration and support for either Alexa, Google and Siri voice assistant.
The amp will be on show in the Bowers & Wilkins and Marantz room at the show.
Naim is expanding the number of demo areas it has at Bristol this year, so visitors will have even more opportunities to different Naim kit. This includes a musical journey through Naim's separates lineup, showcasing the latest offerings from the Classic 200 and 300 Series all the way up to the prestigious 500 Series, plus the debut of the new Uniti Nova PE in the UK – the most powerful addition to the Uniti range so far.
Much newer to the world of consumer electronics, UK brand Pearl Acoustics is launching its first power amplifier.
Three years in development, and following on from the company’s Sibelius single-driver loudspeaker, the 170 may have a rated output of ‘only’ 18W per channel into 8 ohms, but the company claims it can drive even the most demanding of loudspeakers.
It'll cost £8500 when it goes on sale in February, and is on show for the first time at Bristol.
ProAc will be using Bristol as another chance to demonstrate its Response D20R ribbon tweeter floorstanders, driven by components from Exposure Electronics. These have been one of the company's biggest-selling floorstanders for almost a decade now, and you can hear why at the show.
If a standmount speaker is more to your requirements, you can also hear the Response D2R ribbon tweeter standmount in the room next door, with Auralic and Sugden Audio.
Finally, ProAc is gradually introducing magnetic grilles to its ranges over the course of 2024, and you'll be able to see the flagship K1 standmount showing this off on static display.
Qobuz will be back at the show with an even bigger presence than last year, featuring listening booths for visitors to try out the platform and hear digital tracks in all their hi-res glory. New users will be able to claim a special offer for show visitors, while current owners will be able to pick up a Qobuz Club card for access to exclusive content.
Sennheiser will be at the Bristol Show with some of their latest releases, and holding a couple of exciting competitions too.
Firstly, a daily competition that gives three visitors over the three days a chance of winning a pair of Momentum Wireless 4 headphones, with one lucky winner picked to receive Sennheiser's flagship Ambeo Plus soundbar (RRP £1,299).
Tannoy will be back at the Bristol Show, demonstrating its £12,000 Tannoy Stirling IIILZ SE floorstanding speakers.
These will also be accompanied by a selection of the Prestige GR series, plus UK debuts of the all-new Super Gold Monitor Series - the SGM10 standmounts, and the SGM12 and SGM15 floorstanders.
Telegrapher Loudspeakers is a young and ambitious hi-fi company based in Istanbul, and its launching a three-strong line up of active studio monitors at the show.
Included in the trio is the Fox – a 2-way nearfield monitor with a 13cm bass woofer; the Gorilla – a 3-way midfield monitor with an 11.5cm midrange driver and 21.5cm woofer; and the Elephant subwoofer.
Telegrapher speakers come in a range of five custom colours with a silky matte finish, and you can even work with the team to build custom designs to suit your needs.
Ultrafide is showcasing the Ultra Sigma pre/power combo, which was initially unveiled at the end of last year before selling out during its soft launch at the beginning of 2024.
The U4PRE preamp and the U500DC amplifier pair aim to bring no-compromise pro-level sound quality to a home environment, learning from the 30-year legacy of the brand’s parent company – MC2 – in live and studio sound.
They’re the result of giving lead product designer and audio engineer Alex Cooper a blank canvas to produce the “ideal home system” without the constraints or design fundamentals that come with the professional market. Both will be on demo at the show.
Wharfedale is prepping a global launch for the show, unveiling a new addition to its Heritage Series. Further details of these new retro speakers are very much under wraps, but visitors will be able to hear them every morning, before it's swapped out for the Aura 3 floorstanders in the afternoon.
As always, What Hi-Fi? will be there too, demonstrating a full-scale bespoke AV system and answering your hi-fi-related queries, as well as running a competition of our own, giving you the chance to win thousands of pounds-worth of hi-fi kit – there's more information on that below.
For our demo this year, we will be putting MLA up against regular OLED in a direct head to head. We'll have our dedicated demo room decked out with the MLA-powered Panasonic MZ2000, and its regular OLED sibling, the Panasonic MZ1500, to see just how much of a difference the technology makes.
Of course we haven't forgotten about the sound, and ensuring the demo's film soundtracks are done just as much justice will be a partnership of the Arcam AVR31 receiver with a KEF R Series 7.2 surround sound speaker package.
Make sure you pop by to see it all in action and say hello!
Wilson Benesch celebrates its 35th anniversary at the show, and will have the latest and third iteration of its iconic 'Discovery' standmount speaker, the Discover 3zero, on demo in its usual first floor conservatory location.
It will also introduce its latest innovation, the new IGx Infrasonic Generator, which replaces 2006's Torus Infrasonic Generator. Using an innovative push-pull drive system technology, it stands out it in the subwoofer category, and will be on demo at 12pm and 2pm daily.
What Hi-Fi? competition information
Not only will the show grant you exclusive access to countless new and exciting products, but you might even be lucky enough to take some home with you!
Attendees at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2024 can enter the show competition for the chance to win from a pool of prizes worth over £12,000!
Prizes include five-star and Award-winning gear from top brands such as Rega, Focal, JBL, Astell & Kern, Mission and more. If this sounds good to you and you're in town for the show, make sure you get yourself down on either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday to be able to enter!
Full list of prizes available to be won at Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2024:
• PMC Prodigy 1 stereo speakers - £1250
• Mission 778X integrated amplifier - £549
• Astell & Kern Pathfinder IEMs - £1899
• JBL Authentics 200 wireless speaker - £300
• JBL Authentics 300 wireless speaker - £350
• JBL Authentics 500 wireless speaker - £560
• JBL Spinner BT turntable - £380
• Chord Electronics Mojo 2 DAC (x2)- £399
• Chord Company ClearwayX ARAY Analogue interconnect - £130
• Rega Fono MM MK5 phono preamp - £220
• Focal Bathys wireless headphones - £699
• Atacama Moseco 6 speaker stands - £150
• Triangle AIO Twin speaker system - £700
• Ruark Audio R2 radio - £479
• Audio Pro C20 wireless active speaker - £450
• Dali IO-12 headphones - £999
• Kanto Audio Ora desktop speakers - £309
• Fiio CP13 Personal Cassette Player - £199
• A surprise from Orange
• Fyne Audio F500 stereo speakers - £799
• Sennheiser HD 660S2 headphones - £499
And if all that hasn’t got you excited enough, you can tune in to the official ‘Bristol Hi-Fi Show playlist’ and find your new favourite testing track, compiled by the show’s official streaming service, Qobuz.
The 2024 Bristol Hi-Fi Show takes place at the Delta Hotels Marriott, Bristol City Centre Hotel from 23-25 February. Tickets are available online via the show’s official website or on the door. Don’t miss out!