Loudspeakers

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Steve May  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3Sony's latest DSP wheeze could be the most important surround sound invention since Dolby Atmos, argues Steve May

Appearances can be deceiving. Much like Oscar Isaac in Moon Knight, Sony's HT-A9 looks relatively unassuming, even retro. But much like Marvel's latest superhero, in full flight it transforms into something altogether more formidable.

Mark Craven  |  Apr 15, 2022  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3Mark Craven believes Q Acoustics' mid-level Concept speaker package was worth waiting for

It was almost a decade ago that Q Acoustics launched its Concept range. At the time, the relatively new UK brand was known for affordable loudspeakers, and the 2013 arrival of the Concept 20 bookshelf was billed as a step toward the high-end. Okay, it was still on the right side of pricey, but later on in 2017 came floorstanders (the Concept 500s) at £4,000 a pair.

Ed Selley  |  Mar 25, 2022  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3The Brit speaker maker has turned its attention again to compact, powered bookshelf models, and, says Ed Selley, cooked up a bona fide bargain

As well as multiple ranges of conventional passive speakers, Q Acoustics has been involved in making self-contained speaker solutions for most of the time it has been in business since 2006. The new M20 is the replacement for the long-running (but excellent) BT3, which launched in 2014, and takes its place below the more recent, and more sophisticated, Active 200 that we looked at in HCC #319.

Mark Craven  |  Feb 09, 2022  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedPiega's slender, sweet-sounding loudspeakers want to sneak into Mark Craven's movie room

The AV industry once happily threw around the term Wife Acceptance Factor (or WAF for short). This was applied to any bit of gear that looked as if it had been styled for the home, not a pro-grade studio – in other words, it looked nice, and wasn't huge. I was reminded of this by Piega's Ace 50 floorstander.

Steve Withers  |  Nov 29, 2021  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3Steve Withers gives the more 'affordable' models of Paradigm's new speaker range a spin

The Founder Series is the first new range of speakers released by Canadian corp Paradigm since founder Scott Bagby returned in 2019 – which explains the name. Bagby, who launched the brand in 1982, sold his majority stake in 2005 and left in 2009, but has now reacquired full ownership of Paradigm and sister brand Anthem. And he's back with a bang.

Team HCC  |  Oct 12, 2021  |  0 comments
You know the famous George Lucas quote: when it comes to movie-watching, ‘sound is half the experience.’ And in your home cinema setup, it’s quite likely you’ve spent more than half your budget on everything that goes towards creating that experience – speakers, subwoofer(s), an AV receiver or processor/amplifier combo.

Of course, buying the equipment is only one part of the journey. To get the best from your multichannel setup, consideration of speaker placement is key, before you get into system EQ and the effects of your room environment. Spend time getting it right (or as right as you can), and you'll be on the path toward a sound performance that perhaps Mr Lucas would be proud of...

Ed Selley  |  Sep 15, 2021  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendAt the top of KEF's LS50 collection, you'll find its 'meta-material' Wireless II active system. Ed Selley gives his soundbar a night off and enjoys some premium stereo

KEF's LS50 Wireless II is, as you'd probably guessed, an updated version of its original 2016-era LS50 Wireless. A self-contained active speaker system, it should be viewed more as an alternative to all-in-one devices like Naim's Mu-So 2nd Generation than something you attach to existing electronics. Which is probably for the best, as the £2,250 ticket might not leave you much spare for other kit.

Mark Craven  |  May 07, 2021  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3The fan-fave AV bundle returns with a new look, new drivers and a new Atmos toy. Mark Craven reports

Considering its position as both a hi-fi and home cinema speaker brand, and the sizable catalogue of models that it's typically offered, Monitor Audio has been rather slow to step into the Dolby Atmos arena. Now, however, it's selling an upfiring module for 3D audio lovers, and keeping the price low too.

Mark Craven  |  Dec 14, 2020  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3PMC's Twenty5i series is for those who like the finer things in life, suggests Mark Craven

PMC is a brand with professional audio heritage, something that informs the general styling of its loudspeakers. Cast an eye on its SE series or flagship Fact Fenestria and neither would look out of place in a mixing suite. The Twenty5i range tested here is about as living room as the company gets, but still comes with the promise of studio-grade performance...

Mark Craven  |  Nov 16, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendMark Craven assembles a 5.1.2 package from the Norwegian brand's multi-talented new speaker series

Norwegian brand Arendal Sound is relatively new – it launched in 2015 – and as such its product range isn't extensive. But in adding the new 1961 Series to the existing flagship 1723 fleet (which comes in full-size and S-for-small variants), it's adding two elements that will appeal to cinema system builders – its first height model, and lower price points. The full 1961 Series (named in honour of the year the Tromøy Bridge was completed in Arendal, Norway, we're told) is nothing if not comprehensive, comprising floorstander, monitor and bookshelf models, plus a centre channel, 'TriAxial' surround speaker, and the aforementioned height option.

Steve Withers  |  Oct 20, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendFocal elevates its Chora range of home cinema speakers with built-in Atmos drivers. Steve Withers indulges in some immersion therapy

Focal's recently launched Chora range offers plenty of home cinema options, but with the addition of the new 826-D floorstander the company has taken its performance to another level… literally.

Mark Craven  |  Oct 06, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedKlipsch muscles in on the sub/sat market with a compact reimagining of its Reference range. Mark Craven reports

The idea behind Klipsch's Reference Theatre Pack is simple: bringing the US speaker brand's house sound, beloved by owners of its floorstanding models, to those with small rooms/budgets.

Richard Stevenson  |  Sep 02, 2020  |  0 comments
hcchighreccomendTwo-way installation speakers with integrated amplification and Meridian DSP, these powered towers make a startling impression
Steve Withers  |  Apr 17, 2020  |  0 comments
hccbestbuybadgev3Steve Withers reckons this more affordable M&K package sounds familiar. And that's a good thing

In an ideal world you'd want to experience movies with the same speakers used to craft their soundtracks. M&K Sound has been making professional studio monitors for decades, and its S150 is about as iconic as you can get. But what if you fancy a similar level of performance from a speaker that's a bit cheaper and a bit more… normal looking?

Steve Withers  |  Jan 30, 2020  |  0 comments
hcc_recommendedSteve Withers rediscovers the simple joys of well-designed speakers

British speaker brand Acoustic Energy has gained its reputation through a simple but effective approach of getting the basics right, as opposed to reinventing the wheel. This ethos worked well with its entry-level 100 Series – a range of speakers delivering quality performance at an affordable price.

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