The Ear Best hi-fi of 2023

The Ear picks the best hi-fi of 2023 2023 has been a tough year for the hi-fi industry but that has done nothing to stem the flow of first class products coming to market. In fact there are even more extraordinary audio components to choose from than there were last year, with advances made in […]

network-acoustics-Tempus switch review

Network Acoustics tempus network switch It was only a matter of time before Network Acoustics got around to making a network switch. The streaming specialists have built class leading ethernet filters and all manner of digital audio cables so a data or network switch was the next logical step to building a complete back end […]

Ayre EX-8 2.0 integrated amplifier & CX-8 CD player review

Ayre EX-8 2.0 integrated amplifier & CX-8 CD player The Ayre EX-8 2.0 and CX-8 are innocuous looking components, they do not inhabit heavy, machined aluminium cases and nor do they have much in the way of ornamentation, in black they look very restrained indeed. Yet beneath the plain exterior are electronics that ensure all […]

Rega Naia turntable and arm

Rega Naia turntable and arm Rumours about this turntable were circulating a couple of years or more before it was finally revealed at the Bristol show in February, it even had a phantom name, Planar 12, but it took Rega quite a while to nail the Naia (pronounced niya/nigher) down and put it into production […]

Merason DAC1 MkII review

Merason DAC1 MkII digital to analogue converter When I reviewed the original Merason DAC1 a nearly three years ago what struck me about it was its speed and agility, it sounded like a Rega turntable or more obscurely a DNM preamplifier. Which in my book is a good thing, it means that music sounds less […]

Quadratic Audio MC-1 review

Quadratic Audio MC-1 step-up transformer Step-up transformers can make or break a moving coil’s performance. Not necessarily its physical performance, but certainly at the aural end of things there can be some nasty surprises if you don’t get the matching right. Here I’m putting the Quadratic MC-1 SUT through its paces. The MC-1’s connections are […]

auralic ARIES G2.2 network streamer

Auralic Aries G2.2 network streamer If the rate at which new products appear is any indication Auralic CEO Xuanqian Wang is a restless individual. The evolution of the Aries G2.2 started back in 2014 as a much smaller and lighter device which garnered a reputation for the fledgling brand that its founder has been persistently […]

Origin Live Aurora Mk5 turntable & Onyx Mk4 tonearm review

Origin Live Aurora Mk5 turntable & Onyx Mk4 tonearm The Aurora turntable with Onyx arm was my introduction to Origin Live’s products, so I came to it with no preconceptions, but knowing that over the years they have garnered praise from respected fellow reviewers. I am not by any stretch of the imagination an engineer, […]

Cyrus Stream-XR network streamer review

Cyrus Stream-XR network streamer I reviewed the Cyrus PSU-XR, in combo with the company’s i9-XR amplifier back in April and was inspired to look at the Stream-XR, which for many Cyrus owners, could be the perfect streaming partner for their systems. The Cyrus Stream-XR retails for £2,495, like the entry level Classic Stream it uses […]

Vertere MG1MkII, Imperium, Mystic and Phono 1 MkII L

Vertere MG1 MkII, Imperium, Mystic and Phono 1 MkII L record player Hello again dear readers. Those of you who have been with us for a while may pick up on the fact that this is my third review of the Vertere MG1 MkII Magic Groove record player and the second of the MkII version. […]

Innuos Pulsar streamer review

Innuos Pulsar streamer Having firmly established itself as a major player in the server market, last year Innuos finally announced its range of dedicated audio streamers with the Pulsar at its apex. Innuos Zen servers are now in their third generation and their flagship Statement is widely regarded as one of the best in the […]

supatrac blackbird tonearm review

Supatrac Blackbird tonearm Having experienced the Supatrac Blackbird my record playing world will never be the same again. My earliest memories of vinyl records are from my father’s system, which consisted of a Leak Dynamic moving-coil mono pick-up, Collaro 4T200 transcription turntable, Quad 22/II combination and a sand-filled corner cabinet housing a Wharfedale CS/AL Super […]