As 2018 draws to a close, and thoughts turn towards seeing in the New Year, this is traditionally the time to look ahead to the future – ‘out with the old and in with the new’, as the saying goes.
Here at What Hi-Fi? we are no different, and the January issue, out on the newsstands today, has one eye firmly on the future, with a special issue dedicated to music and video streaming.
In 2018, streaming and digital downloads overtook physical media in terms of sales value, for the first time. Inevitably, that gap is only going to increase. The January issue of What Hi-Fi? takes a look at this growing sector.
In it, we round up seven of the best music streamers on the market. With models from Arcam, Bluesound, Cambridge Audio, Chord, Google and Moon, and prices ranging from just £30 to £1800, there is bound to be something here to suit your tastes.
We also take a look at video streamers, with reviews of devices from Now TV, Google, Roku, Amazon and Apple. With a range of features at different prices there should be something for all, but in case you are convinced, we’ve also listed five alternatives to the models reviewed here, just for good measure.
Whether you’re deciding to upgrade – or adding streaming to your hi-fi for the first time – now you can make the correct choice, whatever your budget.
And we couldn’t have a streaming special without mentioning the two giants of video streaming, Amazon and Netflix. The January issue of What Hi-Fi? features a Head-To-Head feature, in which we compare the two services and deliver our verdict on which one is better.
Like a privileged child on Christmas morning, we've been lucky enough to open up some great speaker packages this year. In the January issue, we review three of our favourites.
Our test features three class-leading speaker packages, the Fyne Audio F302, Dali Spektor 2 and Q Acoustics’ 3010i 5.1 Cinema Pack, but which one comes out on top?
With wall-to-wall festive films and sport on TV over the festive period there’s no better time of the year to soup up your home cinema. If you have a budget of just under £1000, these are the three speaker packages that should be top of your Christmas list.
Talking of Xmas, don’t miss our guide to some of the best sound and vision related gifts for the music or film lover in your life, plus our 12 alternative Christmas songs.
Jolly good kit
Tis the season to be jolly, and there’s plenty of reviews to get excited about in our January issue’s First Tests section. Our main review is the KEF LSX speakers, scaled down versions of the Award-winning LS50s. In our five-star review, we say they’re ‘as comfortable in revealing layers as an expert trifle maker’. Tasty.
We also review two pairs of headphones, the AKG Y500 Wireless and SoundMagic E11C, plus a big-screen TV, the Sony KD-75ZF9 television. There’s also the Samsung HW-N950 soundbar, the Denon AVC-X8500H home cinema amp, and two wireless speakers, in the form of the new Amazon Echo Plus and the Ruark Audio MRx.
And finally, we review a high-end in-car system worth a cool £6500, the Naim For Bentley premium audio, featuring 18 speakers and two ‘Active Bass’ units - this innovative set-up actually shakes your car seat to mimic extra bass. Read the January issue to discover how we got on with that.
In Temptations this month, we review the iFi Pro DAC (“the DAC with a dizzying amount of customisation”) and a pair of Audiovector SR3 Avantgarde stereo speakers. At nearly £9k worth of kit, you may want to keep an eye out for these two in the January sales.
For our Insider feature, we meet up with Sony’s Eric Kingdon, the man responsible for some of the company’s best products in recent memory. Fresh from his What Hi-Fi? Award for an outstanding contribution to the industry, we caught up with ‘The Ear of Europe’ to find out what makes him tick and the process involved in designing a Sony audio product.
Plus: Don’t miss our special offer – a free pair of SoundMagic E10C headphones, worth £40 – when you subscribe to What Hi-Fi?
The January issue is not to be missed. So grab a copy of What Hi-Fi? from your local newsagents today. Or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone. Merry Christmas!