Hardware Reviews

various
Dec 2017
It’s been a bumper year for great new products at the Ear, there have been so many that our list has had to be expanded to cope. But fear not these are still the most essential new products to appear in 2017. The first one...
integrated amplifier, streamer, DAC
Dec 2017
It came as a surprise when I noticed that people were using the word Sonos as a generic name for streaming or multiroom sound systems. The brand has made it to Hoover status in under 15 years. It did this by making...
Power conditioner
Dec 2017
Mains power; can’t live with it, can’t shoot it! Now that most consumer electronics are run on switching power supplies and every home has a wireless network, the power is as polluted as the Yangtze river (but hopefully not...
digital, analogue & speaker cable
Nov 2017
The stuff that goes around cables has a clear effect on the way they sound, it’s as important as the conductor itself in many respects. The Japanese have long favoured the sound of cotton but the majority of high end cables...
standmount loudspeaker
Nov 2017
A couple of years ago German loudspeaker maker ELAC employed ex KEF and TAD engineer Andrew Jones, it proved a good move especially when the budget Debut B6 garnered itself so many awards. Since then Andrew has introduced...
Metrum Acoustics Onyx and Jade
Digital to analogue converter
Nov 2017
For a long time Metrum Acoustics could only supply digital to analogue converters (DACs) at either end of the scale, they made expensive ones and relatively affordable examples but there was nothing in between. This gap has...
integrated amplifier, streamer, DAC
Nov 2017
In our steady progress through Auralic's slowly expanding range of streaming devices we have enjoyed the Aries Mini network streamer and Altair streamer/preamplifier, so it made sense to move onto the Altair based all in one...
Townshend F1 Fractal loudspeaker cable review
Loudspeaker cable
Nov 2017
Reviewers don’t like to change cables, it’s a pain in the proverbial because in our line of work we need a steady reference system into which we can drop new bits of kit. Reviewing cables isn’t so bad, you can kind of put...
monoblock power amplifiers
Nov 2017
Less is more when it comes to output devices. Naim have proved that with the Statement amplifier and Gamut made the point some years ago with their D200 power amp, a product that was clearly ahead of its time. Nick Gorham...
MC phono stage
Nov 2017
It’s almost miraculous that the MP3 generation has brought about a revival in the fortunes of vinyl, of all the people to grab hold of a format that has long been dear to the audiophile’s heart you wouldn’t have expected it...
turntable and arm
Nov 2017
As the title of the company's book suggests Rega treats the turntable as A vibration measuring machine, a seismograph for the tiny variations in a vinyl groove. That doesn't sound very romantic but it's what you need if you...
Floorstanding loudspeakers
Nov 2017
Every audiophile begs, buys or borrows equipment over the period of their love affair with home music reproduction. Depending on the influence of ‘external factors’ (room size, domestic acceptance, aspiration vs available...

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