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Weekend Wrap: High End Show, Apple music, Amazon Fire sale and more

Wilson Benesch has unveiled its new R1 hi-fi rack, which made its debut at the Munich High End show. The rack features “precision machined” vertical stands made from Polyoxymethylene (POM): a dense material with the a similar hardness to aluminium. Wilson Benesch says POM has high damping qualities, to improve the structural integrity of the rack.

The horizontal isobars feature a 14mm steel bar, encased in carbon fibre and “kinematically coupled” levels feature four chrome spheres, which claim to transfer energy away from hi-fi components.

The R1 is capable of supporting up to four separate components. Pricing has yet to be confirmed.

Source: Wilson Benesch

MORE: Munich High End Show 2015 highlights

Evolve Audio soundbar

A new brand to the consumer market, Evolve Audio, has announced its first product: the SB-2501 soundbar with wireless subwoofer and wireless headphones.

The soundbar comprises six 4cm drivers and a built-in 16-bit DSP with four different sound modes: music, movies, news and sports. Evolve Audio’s proprietary UniPhase technology has also been used, which claims to direct sound around the room, to create a realistic surround-sound effect.

The wireless subwoofer has a 15cm bass driver, and is compact enough to be placed out of sight.

An included pair of wireless headphones can be connected to the soundbar, allowing users to have private listening. Connections include optical digital, RCA analogue, 3.5mm stereo jack and aptX Bluetooth.

The Evolve Audio SB-2501 is available now for £200.

Source: Evolve Audio

MORE: Best soundbars 2015

Lindy in-ear headphones

Lindy has unveiled the IEM-50X in-ear headphones, which feature a Dynamic Bass Tuning Control. This allows listeners to switch between the standard sound of the headphones, to one with extra bass. Six pairs of ear tips are supplied: three pairs of soft dome ones, and three pairs of soft flat ones, to ensure the user can get the perfect fit.

The Lindy IEM-50X in-ears are available now for £50.

Source: Lindy (opens in new tab)

MORE: Best in-ear headphones 2015

Crystal Acoustics Widaptor

Crystal Acoustics has introduced the Widaptor, which allows users to turn your audio or active speaker system into a multi-room music system.

Simply connect the Widaptor to your home wi-fi network, and stream music to it. The Widaptor will then transmit the music to any connected active speaker, hi-fi setup or microsystem.

Any number of Widaptors can be used together, meaning audio systems in various rooms around the house can be turned into one multi-room system. The Widaptor also supports USB playback, DLNA streaming and AirPlay. It’s compatible with Crystal Acoustics’ range of WiSound speakers.

A compatible app will let users control all zones from their smartphone or tablet, and even allow different songs to be played in different rooms. Internet radio stations can be listened to without a phone or tablet.

The Crystal Acoustics Widaptor is available now for £50.

Source: Crystal Acoustics

MORE: Read all our Crystal Acoustics news and reviews

Apple music streaming free trial

Recode reports that industry sources say Apple could offer a free trial period with its new music streaming service, expected to launch at WWDC 2015.

The trial period would likely range from one to three months, but it apparently depends on what deals Apple can negotiate with the music labels. It’s also reported the streaming service could allow music owners to upload samples of songs, which consumers could listen to without subscribing, much like SoundCloud.

The iTunes Radio service is also expected to feature stations programmed by humans, rather than computers. This would link in to Apple’s hiring of BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe and other BBC Radio producers.

Apple’s music streaming service is expected to launch in June, with no freemium tier on offer. It’s claimed that Apple wants record labels to stop allowing other services, such as Spotify, to offer a free tier to consumers.

Source: Recode

MORE: Apple music streaming could be part of iOS 8.4 update

Icon Audio CDX2

Icon Audio has launched its second CD player, the CDX2, as the successor to the CDX1. The CDX2 uses valve technology, which Icon Audio’s chief designer David Shaw says delivers a sound with “…real warmth and dexterity. That magical ‘vinyl sound’, in other words.”

The CDX2 features 24-bit/192kHz upsampling technology and a triode valve class A output stage. Shaw says this output stage has been used to avoid the “mechanical and soulless presentation” he believes some CD players have.

The digital and analogue circuitry is hand-wired using full sized high quality components. The CDX2 features a top-loading mechanism, and everything in the CD players is serviceable and replaceable.

The Icon Audio CDX2 is available now for £995.

A range of ‘David Shaw Signature’ upgrades are available too, for which Icon Audio will provide a quote. Upgrades include Jensen copper foil oil-in-paper capacitors and premium ‘new old stock’ valves.

Source: Icon Audio

MORE: Read all our Icon Audio news and reviews

Xbox One DVR functionality

Rumours have started circling that the Xbox One will receive an update later this year allowing it to record TV shows. The Xbox One's Digital TV Tuner already allows users to pause and rewind live TV, but doesn’t offer DVR (digital video recorder) functionality.

The rumours have emerged after it was confirmed Microsoft would be killing off its Windows Media Centre digital media interface. Since some people use WMC to record and watch TV shows, Microsoft would apparently still want to offer this functionality through some other format. This will most likely be the Xbox One.

Source: Thurrott

MORE: Xbox One review

Amazon Fire sale

Amazon is running a one-week-only deal on its Fire phone. You can pick-up the Fire Phone 32GB model for £99, down from £299, and the Fire Phone 64GB model for £179, down from £379. Hit the links below for the details.

MORE: Amazon Fire Phone 32GB deal on Amazon (opens in new tab)

MORE: Amazon Fire Phone 62GB deal on Amazon (opens in new tab)

Motorola 48-hour sale

Also offering a deal on its premium mobile is Motorola, with money off the Moto X, Moto 360 and Nexus 6.

Motorola’s 48 hour Spring sale starts Monday 18th May and you can save £96 on the Moto X 16 GB and 32 GB handsets, with prices starting from £299 and £339 respectively. You can also save £30 on the midnight blue or cloud white Nexus 6 32GB and 64GB handsets, and £50 on the Moto 360 in stone or black leather, with prices starting from £149.

MORE: Motorola special deals

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Max was a staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and subsequently spent a good few years writing news and features for various technology and hi-fi publications, before jumping on a plane in search of a more fruitful life in Australia. Now based in Byron Bay, he writes about tech, health, fitness and style.