Back in 1976, trouser-bottoms were big, Concorde flew for the first time, Sid James guffawed for the last, and the UK sweltered in a summer-long heatwave while fighting off swarms of ladybirds. Most importantly, that year also saw the launch of What Hi-Fi? magazine, to help guide you in your choice of stereo components to best play your vinyl records through.
Bit of a shame that the charts were dominated that year by the likes of Neil Sedaka, Chicago and Brotherhood Of bloody Man. Still, we've been there ever since with our informed recommendations on how best to listen to the next 45 years of rather better tunes.
Also in 1976, Logan's Run, A Star Is Born, The Omen and Rocky were at cinemas just waiting for us to revisit them 45 years later with our futuristic home entertainment set-ups, which What Hi-Fi? would later begin to run the rule over too.
This month, to celebrate those four and a half decades in service to your ears and eyes, we present our pick of the best 45 products we've reviewed in that time, covering many musical and home entertainment bases from 1976 to the present day.
And, speaking of present day, as ever we are first with reviews of the latest kit in our First Tests section, while two pricey, but highly tempting, products feature in our regular Temptations slot. And that's not the half of it...
Happy birthday to us!
To celebrate What Hi-Fi?'s 45 years in print, this month we've rounded up our favourite gear innovations from the last 45 years. Expect some genuine beauties, from the NAD 3020 amplifier and Technics SL1200 turntable to the Sony Walkman, to more recent favourites like the Chord Hugo DAC and LG's OLED C-class TVs. Classics, all, and products that continue to influence today's finest new gear.
We also tip the hat to 13 heroic tech failures that, in that time, failed to set the world alight despite some innovative thinking.
All that, of course, alongside our usual First Tests and features, and a round-up of the best true wireless in-ear headphones around the £100-£150 sweet spot!
Two just-add speakers streaming systems face off in this month's mag. Both of these streamers major on convenience and value - so which will come out on top, Naim's Uniti Atom or Cambridge Audio's Evo 150? Find out in this month's What Hi-Fi?
First with reviews
In our First Tests section, you’ll find reviews of all the latest hi-fi and AV kit, and the November issue of What Hi-Fi? features the RX-A2A, an AV receiver from Yamaha's Aventage range with bold sound to match its looks. TCL's latest Roku TV, the TCL 55RP620K has all the apps and most of the performance too, and we discover that LG’s SP8YA Dolby Atmos soundbar is a feature-packed and forthright package that delivers beyond its size.
Elsewhere, we're suitably impressed by Grado's latest open-backed design headphones, the SR80x, and JBL's rugged Xtreme 3 wireless speaker.
We're also intrigued by Chord's latest take on a premium digital source, the 2yu, and JVC’s Dolby Atmos and DTS:X surround system specifically for headphone listening.
How do these measure up against the best kit around? Find out in the November issue of What Hi-Fi?.
Stars on 45
What Hi-Fi? has been recommending ways to listen to music since 1976, including these best selling singles. This month we run down the chart-toppers from every year since and it's only fair to warn you – some of those 45-inch singles have not aged well, yet still have the power to enter your head and never leave.
Can we tempt you with something?
In our regular Temptations slot this month we take a look at the Yamaha A-S3200 integrated amplifier, a responsive, clean and clear performer with old-school feels courtesy of its signal meters, dials and switches. It's a thing of beauty, and it doesn't come cheap. We also drool a little over JBL's exciting, upfront 4349 Studio Monitors.
Also, 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.
The November issue really is not to be missed. So grab a copy of What Hi-Fi? on sale today. Or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone instead. Enjoy!