Magazine article Gramophone

From Personal Audio to Multifunction CD Playback: The Latest Hi-Fi Products Have Something to Offer Almost Every Listener, Wherever They Are

Magazine article Gramophone

From Personal Audio to Multifunction CD Playback: The Latest Hi-Fi Products Have Something to Offer Almost Every Listener, Wherever They Are

Article excerpt

A new high-resolution player/ pre-amplifier, a stylish all-inone system from a famous British name, and is there life in the SACD yet?

Andrew Everard, Audio Editor

JULY TEST DISCS

Kuniko's third album for Linn is a thrilling and atmospheric recording of pieces by Xenakis, and a fine test of speed and resolution.

This LSO Nielsen recording, released as a 96kHz/24-bit download by the B&W Society of Sound, shines through a suitably accomplished system.

From personal audio to multifunction CD playback

The latest hi-fi products have something to offer almost every listener, wherever they are

The personal audio trend shows no sign of abating: sales of headphones are still booming, with upmarket models not only proving profitable for the established brands but continuing to draw in new names.

One of the latest arrivals is fashion house Ted Baker, with a range of headphones named after areas of the Shipping Forecast: the 60 [pounds sterling] in-ear model is called Dover and the 180 [pounds sterling] on-ear headphones Rockall (1) (there's also a Fastnet Bluetooth speaker and the Finisterre DAB radio), all available direct from tedbakeraudio.com. The Rockall headphones combine stainless steel with soft padding, have a folding design and a soft case for travelling, and the detachable cable comes complete with an integrated iOS remote control/ microphone. They're available in brushed silver with black or tan headband and ear-cushions, or brushed champagne gold/ white. The Dover earphones are of a closed-back design for noise exclusion and come with a choice of three silicon tips for ear-fitting, again with a soft case and an inline iOS remote/microphone. They're available with black cable and ear-tips in silver or 'antique brass', white/champagne gold or 'nude pink'/rose gold.

Also offering a fashion statement in the portable audio market is Astell&Kem, with a luxury version of its high-quality digital music player design (2). The AK240 Stainless Steel edition is a limited-run model, selling for 2499 [pounds sterling] complete with a carbon fibre back panel and a leather case from Tannerie Remy Carriat. A&K says that as well as offering style and added durability, the stainless steel case offers improved grounding for the internal circuitry, thus eliminating more electrical noise and improving the sound of the player. …

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