Within This Issue...
I guess a lot of people fancy the thought of being blown across the room by a studio monitor. You know – by a loudspeaker with real bass power, something that has a donkey's kick to it. Wharfedale's new Evo 4.2 isn't quite that but it carries the essence – in a small cabinet. Bass unit and midrange dome are tailored to give a fast sound in everyday living rooms, much as this arrangement does in recording studios. But then Wharfedale go and use an Air Motion Transformer tweeter – unknown in studio monitors. Why? This is a fascinating loudspeaker – reviewed on p11 of this issue.
Streamers that play music from internet streaming services – Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music and so many others – get ever more complex as manufacturers try to add value over those of rivals: the one that ticks most boxes looks best. Japanese manufacturers have played this game for decades. NAD have moved this approach into new territory with their C 658 streamer reviewed in p38. It offers a stunning array of ability – beyond all else. You even get loudspeaker tuning.
But the market for portable audio is far bigger than rooted domestic high fidelity. Headphones walk one major path – think Beats – and in-ears another. It could well be that in-ears will get a larger grip on the market as they tech-up to send sound straight into your ear without hindrance. FiiO think so, delivering the FH7 box set that you'll find on p14.
NAD deliver it all in their C 658 Streaming DAC it would seem, until you look at what Klipsch have to offer in their Reference R-51PM loudspeaker that offers an alternative view. A broad swathe of ability in a modest package, this little loudspeaker is worth knowing about. Go to p53 to find out more on what a small active loudspeaker offers today. Why is it like the NAD? Well, you can play LP through it!
Today's audio products get ever more complicated but we cover them in fine detail. I hope you enjoy reading about hi-fi today in Hi-Fi World.