It is our 75 issue and it’s our Awards
issue. Any excuse for a party! The audio world is very different from how it
was in 1999 and we decided to track the changes of the first decade of the 21st
Century, and a little bit of crystal ball gazing to guess what the next
few years might bring for music lovers. Looking back at the best of a
decade ago and comparing it to the best of today is an interesting exercise;
with products like the Devialet D-Premier, the Squeezebox Touch and the Linn
DS-I, it shows just how far forward we have come. On the other hand, in some
respects the best of 1999 is still worthy of respect. Plus ça change, plus
c’est la même chose.
In some respects, that makes for the best of both worlds.
No-one would suggest using a PC or Mac from a decade or more ago, but the
Densen Beat amplifier – reviewed in the very first issue of Hi-Fi+ is
still considered one of the best integrated amplifiers you can buy 11 years
later. But perhaps the biggest change over the last 11 years is just how
inexpensive good quality sound has become. Just look at the excellent
Peachtree iDecco in the latest issue, which can give high-end sound without
the high-end prices. It’s one of many products that at last exploits the
benefits of the next generation of music replay.
In this, the start of the second decade of the 21st
Century, we are seeing major change in the way people obtain and use music. In
the last few years, we have begun to consider a time when people loan –
rather than own – their music collection. This significant change in the way
people listen to music is having an effect on the way people listen to music...
and the equipment they use to play it on.
The great thing about audio is its adaptability. The
products are out there to support an album from the early 1950s, or early next
week. Whether on a physical disc or downloaded data, modern audio has a
pathway for listeners to still enjoy their music. And that looks set to
continue for another 75 issues at least!
Errata: Last issue, we incorrectly listed the price of the
Monster Turbine Pro Copper earphones. The SRP is £279.95 with ControlTalk (£249.95
as tested) and the street price is currently around £200. Our apologies for
any confusion caused.