Of all the components in your hi-fi system, none more obviously influences the nature or quality of the way your music sounds than your speakers. Investing wisely in the right pair for your needs is, therefore, absolutely critical – but doing so needn't break the bank.
In the March issue of What Hi-Fi? you'll find our pick of the best standmounter and floorstanding speakers for under a grand. Whatever the size of your room or your preference for type of speaker, you're bound to find something to suit your listening needs within our huge round-up, while sticking safely to your budget.
Also this month, if you prefer to enjoy your tunes more privately, we've gone ahead and rounded-up our favourite over-ear headphones for solo listening at home or on the go.
And you'll find plenty more hi-fi and AV action as ever, including reviews of the latest products in our First Tests section, and dream high-end kit in our regular Temptations slot.
Grand speakers for under a grand
As the devices that convert the electrical signals they receive into soundwaves and send them on their way towards your ears, your speakers carry a heavy burden of responsibility. All the more reason, then, to invest some time into finding a pair that is right for you.
And you don't need to spend a fortune here. While some high-end speakers could set you back tens of thousands of pounds, in the real world there are still plenty of wonderful performers that will provide years of delightful service for under four figures. Pleasingly, there are even now some floorstanders at around £500 that we can honestly recommend, which is not something we could have said so easily a decade or so ago.
Pick up a copy of March's What Hi-Fi? and thumb through our pick of 14 pairs of speakers that each cost under £1000 – nine pairs of standmounters and five pairs of floorstanders in total, so you won’t be short of options for your budget.
Over-ear headphones, over here
Elsewhere in this month's What Hi-Fi? we round up the best over-ear headphones for every budget. Whether you're solo listening on the go or at home, and whether you prefer the sound from closed- or open-back 'phones, you're sure to find a pair of over-ears that's right for you, right here.
Don't forget your DAC
Whatever you land on when it comes to your ideal 'phones, hopefully with the help of the aforementioned round-up, you'll need to consider your source. Especially if you're listening via a PC or a smartphone, a digital-to-analogue converter or desktop amp will power your music to greater sonic heights. Here we present five highly recommended DACs/headphone amps to enhance your solo listening pleasure.
First with reviews
As ever in our First Tests section you’ll find reviews of all the latest hi-fi and AV kit. In March's unmissable issue of What Hi-Fi?, we take a look at a 50-inch TV from Samsung that uses the company's Neo-QLED tech to produce a cracking picture. Is this tech, combining Quantum Dot and Mini LED technologies, a game-changer for TVs? We also test a compact, affordable soundbar from Hisense, a pair of sporty in-ears from JBL, excellent wired earbuds in the shape of the Shure Aonic 5 and a tiny but ever-so-cute Bluetooth DAB radio from Roberts. We also deliver our verdict on Apple's top of the range iPhone, the 13 Pro Max, a pair of portable planar magnetic headphones from Meze Audio and Sony's latest flagship 4K LCD TV.
How do these latest products measure up against the best kit around? Find out in the March issue of What Hi-Fi?.
It's only money...
If your tastes run to the expensive, and your wallet's deep enough, our regular Temptations pages are where you'll find the best premium hi-fi and AV products.
This month, allow us to make your jaw drop with an Audio Research duo of amplifiers that together cost over £30K. The Reference 6SE preamplifier and its sibling, the Reference 80S power amp, look and sound superb.
And if you're not too busy drooling over those amps, let us tempt you further with the Kudos Audio Cardea Super 10A standmounters. These speakers aren't cheap, but they sound incredible.
Don't forget to 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.
Whatever you do, don't miss the March 2022 issue of What Hi-Fi? Grab a copy today, or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!