Hi-Res Audio http://www.stuff.tv/hi-res-audio/news en-GB Meridian’s MQA promises studio-quality music in streamable file sizes http://www.stuff.tv/meridian/meridian-s-mqa-format-allows-streaming-studio-quality-music/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Now big time audiophiles don’t need big hi-res audio files, says Meridian [updated] </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Meridian’s MQA format allows the streaming of studio quality music" alt="Meridian’s MQA format allows the streaming of studio quality music" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/mga-logo.jpg?1417733807" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>British hi-fi and audio company Meridian has just unveiled a new music format called MQA: Master Quality Authenticated. And it claims it&#39;s going to shake up recorded music as we know it.</p> <p>The format, which Meridian says is the result of years of research and development, purportedly contains all of the sound of the original studio recording yet is so efficiently encoded that it can be streamed (or downloaded far more quickly than an uncompressed hi-res audio file).</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Likely to upset a few Pink Floyd fans </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>That&rsquo;s a lofty claim, and likely to put up quite a few backs: there&rsquo;s a school of thought among audiophiles that the only way to really achieve &ldquo;master recording&rdquo; quality digitally is to download huge uncompressed hi-res files. Meridian is saying they&rsquo;re wrong: that, done correctly, files can be compressed to much smaller sizes and that the listener will actually experience better sound reproduction as a result.</p> <p>According to Meridian, MQA fits into a 1Mbps stream - the same space taken up by a common or garden lossless CD-quality file. It&#39;s vastly less than a 24-bit/96KHz hi-res audio stream, which tips the scales at 4.6Mbps.</p> <p>So, how? Digital music has until now been captured in a way that places equal importance on frequency and timing data. Meridian suggests that studies in neuroscience and psychoacoustics prove that this is the wrong approach - focus more on the timing data, and the &#39;essence&#39; of music is captured in a vastly more efficient manner. The upshot is that hi-res audio music files, and any other existing digital music formats, are &#39;doing it wrong&#39; right from capture - which means that any MQA file will need to be encoded direct from studio masters.</p> <p>Perhaps most compelling of all is that MQA can be delivered inside existing lossless container file types such as ALAC (Apple Lossless), FLAC and WAV, and is streamed as PCM, just like the data on a CD. Meridian says it can be decoded by something as simple as a mobile app, but also that it&rsquo;ll play (albeit in lesser CD quality) on devices that don&rsquo;t have any means of decoding it too. Your in-car CD player, for example: MQA-encoded discs are eminently possible.</p> <p>Industry presence at the launch event suggests that there&#39;s huge support for MQA, both from record companies, digital music services and hardware makers. More details are promised at CES 2015. We&rsquo;ll let you know more about MQA and when it&rsquo;s arriving soon.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/amazon/how-hi-res-audio-rescuing-us-music-dark-age/feature">How Hi-Res Audio is rescuing us from a musical Dark Age</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/meridian/meridian-s-mqa-format-allows-streaming-studio-quality-music/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/meridian/meridian-s-mqa-format-allows-streaming-studio-quality-music/news#comments Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Meridian Thu, 04 Dec 2014 17:13:27 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1454669 at http://www.stuff.tv Cyrus Lyric 09 http://www.stuff.tv/ipod-hi-fi/cyrus-lyric-09/review-0 <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s not cheap, but if you want the best all-in-one system for your music, the Cyrus Lyric 09 deserves serious attention </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="Cyrus Lyric 09 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/cyrus-lyric-09-review-main.jpg?1417525381" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/whathifi" title="View user profile.">WhatHiFi</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Make no mistake, the Lyric 09 is proper hi-fi.</p> <p>You&rsquo;d certainly hope so, for the three grand Cyrus is expecting you to swap for it. But this is a CD player and streaming system like few others, with almost ridiculous power and stunning detail.</p> <p>Be prepared to get blown away.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £3,000.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Unbelievably detailed, powerful sound </div> <div class="field-item even"> Packed with functionality, both modern and reassuringly old-school </div> <div class="field-item odd"> A good control app </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A slightly noisy CD loading mechanism </div> <div class="field-item even"> No built-in streaming services </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wiley Cyrus? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Fans of the British brand won&rsquo;t recognize this as a piece of Cyrus kit. Where&rsquo;s the half-width casework that&rsquo;s been its signature for decades?</p> <p>This unit, though, is a departure from the conventional for Cyrus in more ways than one &ndash; so why not change things up in the style stakes as well? And the new look hasn&rsquo;t distracted Cyrus from providing all the features and functionality an all-in-one system at this price needs to have.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/naim-mu-so/review" target="_blank">Naim Mu-so review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Still clinging on to those CDs? The Cyrus will play them, although its drive a little noisy" alt="Cyrus Lyric 09 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Cyrus%20Lyric%2009%20detail1.jpg?1417525381" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cyrus Lyric 09 tech specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Power</strong>: 2 x 170W</p> <p><strong>Connections</strong>: aptX Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, Ethernet, internet radio, optical, USB</p> <p><strong>Remote</strong>: Yes</p> <p><strong>Finishes</strong>: Black</p> <p><strong>Dimensions (hwd)</strong>: 11 x 42 x 32cm</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Set-up to stun </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There are physical inputs aplenty on the Lyric 09: two conventional USB sockets will accept external hard drives, MP3 players, Apple iDevices and the like, and a Type B USB input at the back will hook up to your computer or NAS drive, so you can stream music files to the unit and use the Cyrus&rsquo;s excellent on-board DAC.</p> <p>It&#39;ll play a whole bunch of formats and bitrates, too, including WAV, FLAC, and AIFF as well as those lovely, better-than-CD 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution files.</p> <p>You can, of course, stream to the Lyric wirelessly (via the supplied aerial), but if you&#39;re prepared to spend this sort of money on hi-fi kit you want to hear it at its very best, which means hardwiring if at all possible.</p> <p>But there&rsquo;s aptX Bluetooth on board for when you just want to fling something from your phone to your hi-fi, and DAB, FM and internet radio. And, of course, that good old-fashioned CD player for those who haven&#39;t already put all of their old discs in a dusty attic.</p> <p>The only disappointment is that the Lyric doesn&#39;t have streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Qobuz built-in. You can of course send music to it from any app you like with the Bluetooth feature, but that&#39;s not as good as the hi-fi having a direct link to the service.</p> <p>And also remember that you need to supply your own speakers. And make sure they&#39;re good ones - the Cyrus deserves nothing less.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature" target="_blank">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Connect your fancy digital sources, add speakers, and the Lyric is good to go" alt="Cyrus Lyric 09 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Cyrus%20Lyric%2009%20back.jpg?1417525381" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Getting a grip </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>You&rsquo;ve got two choices to control all this: the remote control that comes with the Lyric 09, and the now almost-obligatory control app.</p> <p>The remote is a fairly long unit, but it&rsquo;s a decent piece of kit &ndash; and it has a sensor in it so should light up when you pick it up. And it will, provided you don&rsquo;t sneak up on it &ndash; if you let it know you&rsquo;re there with a bit of a shake it will light up like a good &lsquo;un.</p> <p>The Cadence app isn&rsquo;t the most modern-looking piece of software out there, but it is intuitive to use, and makes locating and selecting tracks a simple procedure.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="Cyrus Lyric 09 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Cyrus%20Lyric%2009%20remote.jpg?1417525381" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Synergy for a sound investment </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Cyrus makes some impressive hi-fi separates, and it has borrowed from them to superb effect in the Lyric 09. The streaming engine comes from the (award-winning) &pound;2300 Stream XP2 QX, and the CD mechanism is from the &pound;700 CD.</p> <p>Suddenly the three grand asking price doesn&rsquo;t seem quite so outrageous. And the synergy between all these fine individual parts is something to behold. Play a CD and there&rsquo;s stunning musicality, enthusiasm for the music and all the punch and attack we&rsquo;ve come to expect from Cyrus hi-fi. The Lyric unearths fabulous detail no matter what the source &ndash; uncompressed WAV file from a NAS, or compressed Spotify stream over Bluetooth.</p> <p>Even with the lowest-res files it reveals subtleties that lesser machines simply can&rsquo;t pick out. The sense of scale is captivating, and there&rsquo;s a fine sense of precision and timing to tracks. There&rsquo;s power too, provided by a new hybrid amp design pumping out a claimed 170W per channel. This system will certainly leave an impression.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/christmas-2013/christmas-gift-guide-12-gadgets-and-presents-music-lovers/feature" target="_blank">Christmas Gift Guide 2014: 12 Gadgets and Presents for Music Lovers</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="Cyrus Lyric 09 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/cyrus-lyric-09-review-verdict.jpg?1417525381" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Cyrus Lyric 09 Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Cyrus Lyric 09 stands out from the crowd in a number of ways &ndash; it doesn&rsquo;t look like a Cyrus product for a start.</p> <p>Far more importantly than that, though, it properly delivers on the next-gen all-in-one system promise, taking the best parts from a variety of Cyrus hi-fi kit and mixing it together to create a beautiful-sounding whole that can truly lay claim to the term hi-fi. All in one easy-to-use unit. Brilliant.</p> <p><strong>REVIEWED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR SISTER SITE <a href="http://www.whathifi.com/" target="_blank">WHAT HI-FI?</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.whathifi.com/cyrus/lyric-09/review" target="_blank">Read their full Cyrus Lyric 09 review here</a></strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/hi-fi-streaming/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Hi-Fi &amp; Streaming Devices in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It sits somewhere between traditional hi-fi and smart streamer, but the Lyric 09 sounds so good it hardly matters</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/ipod-hi-fi/cyrus-lyric-09/review-0#comments Cyrus Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Lyric 09 Music Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:04:50 +0000 Sophie Charara 1454198 at http://www.stuff.tv Naim Mu-so http://www.stuff.tv/naim-mu-so/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Plenty of wireless speaker systems do a decent, musical job. But the Naim Mu-so can make a valid claim to be genuine hi-fi </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1254" height="900" title="Naim Mu-so review" alt="Naim Mu-so review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Naim_Mu-so-06.JPG?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/whathifi" title="View user profile.">WhatHiFi</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are some fine products emerging in the world of wireless speakers, but none that could really be called &lsquo;hi-fi&rsquo; &ndash; until now.</p> <p>British manufacturing stalwart Naim has thrown its hat into the ever-widening wireless speaker ring with the Mu-so. It&rsquo;s an expensive piece of kit, no doubt, but it also lays claim to being as close to real hi-fi as a wireless speaker has a right to get. Not only that, but it&rsquo;s beautifully built and feels like a quality piece of equipment too.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £895.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">10 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Beautiful build – especially that wonderful, tactile knob </div> <div class="field-item even"> Sounds great </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Chock full of streaming features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It&#039;s expensive </div> <div class="field-item even"> The sound can thicken up a touch - but only at serious volumes </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Looking good, feeling good </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Make no mistake, this is a premium, stylish piece of kit. The brushed aluminium skin (over hi-fi speaker favourite MDF) lends a touch of class to proceedings &ndash; the aluminium has a practical purpose too, acting as a heat-sink at the rear of the unit.</p> <p>What wins it for us in the style-stakes, though, is the utterly gorgeous and tactile volume dial. It&rsquo;s illuminated and such a pleasure to use that you&rsquo;ll go out of your way to use it rather than the remote control. It&rsquo;s also the Mu-so&rsquo;s touchscreen interface, so as well as spinning it for volume, you can tap it for various functions &ndash; input select, pause/play, radio presets and so on. The display is clear, clean and classy, in keeping with the overall impression of the unit.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s a choice of grilles too, if the standard black is a little too Hoxton for you. An extra &pound;70 will get you a replacement &ndash; there&rsquo;s a choice of colours: vibrant red, deep blue and burnt orange.</p> <p><strong>Read More:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/these-gorgeous-spherical-speakers-look-good-they-sound/news" target="_blank">These gorgeous spherical kebab speakers should sound as good as they look</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="5760" height="3840" title="Look colourful, sound colourful " alt="Naim Mu-So" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Naim_Mu-so-19.JPG?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The ins and outs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Naim claims 450W of power lies under the Mu-so&rsquo;s hood &ndash; and we can quite believe it. The amps are driving high-tech speakers that use DSP technology developed from Naim&rsquo;s work with ultra high-end car manufacturer Bentley.</p> <p>You&rsquo;d expect plenty of options from such an expensive piece of kit, and Naim doesn&rsquo;t disappoint. The Mu-so will accept aptX Bluetooth, AirPlay, UPnP, and Spotify Connect &ndash; and it has internet radio on board too.</p> <p>If you want to go old-school and wire something in, there&rsquo;s a USB port that will charge and play Apple kit, an optical input and a 3.5mm analogue in. And, if your wi-fi signal&rsquo;s a bit flakey, there&rsquo;s an Ethernet port too.</p> <p><strong>Read More:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/naim/naim-unitiqute-2/review">Naim UnitiQute 2 Review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="5760" height="3840" title="Music whatever way you want it" alt="Naim Mu-So" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Naim_Mu-so-08.jpg?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Tech Specs </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>Power</strong>: 450W</p> <p><strong>Connections</strong>: Airplay, aptX Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, Ethernet, internet radio, optical, USB</p> <p><strong>Remote</strong>: Yes</p> <p><strong>Finishes</strong>: Silver with black cover (coloured covers available)</p> <p><strong>Dimensions (hwd)</strong>: 12 x 63 x 25.6cm</p> <p><strong>Weight</strong>: 13kg</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Format factor </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Mu-so has extensive file compatibility, supporting all the popular audio formats in which you might have your tunes stored, from low-res MP3s and Spotify streams to 24-bit/192kHz WAV, FLAC and AIFF files.</p> <p>If you want full-fat high-res (and you do) you&rsquo;ll have to go through the Ethernet cable &ndash; wireless high-res tunes are limited to (a still mighty fine) 48kHz.</p> <p><strong>Read More:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/philips/philips-fidelio-e5-s-wireless-speakers-take-stress-out-surround-sound/news" target="_blank">Philips Fidelio E5&#39;s wireless speakers take the mess out of surround sound</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="5760" height="3840" title="Some fine-looking bodywork..." alt="Naim Mu-So" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Naim_Mu-so-11.jpg?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-title"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Remotely interesting </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-box-out-body-text"> <div class="field-label">Box Out Body Text:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There is a remote control supplied with the Mu-so, and it&rsquo;s responsive and simple enough to use. Having said that, if we weren&rsquo;t going manual with the knob, we&rsquo;d generally use the control app (iOS and Android) instead. It&rsquo;s neat and gives you full control over your music collection across smart and NAS devices.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yes, but how does it sound? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Naim Mu-so is no &lsquo;style over substance&rsquo; fly-by-night. The power behind this unit is stunning, driving songs along with sure-footed rhythm, loads of detail and plenty of deep, rumbling bass, the like of which we haven&rsquo;t experienced before from a wireless speaker. The scale of sound is huge for the size of the box &ndash; but it&rsquo;s not all bombast; there&rsquo;s subtle detail too and superb resolution retrieval with high-res tracks.</p> <p>A minor niggle occurs when you really turn up the wick on the Mu-so, when the sound thickens up just a touch &ndash; but we&rsquo;re talking really loud here, and there&rsquo;s never any hardness or brightness to things. At regular volumes, it&rsquo;s a beautiful, well-constructed sound that you just wouldn&rsquo;t expect from a &lsquo;wireless speaker&rsquo;.</p> <p><strong>Read More:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/monitor-audio-airstream-s200/review" target="_blank">Monitor Audio Airstream S200 review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="5760" height="3840" title="We&#039;ll be hitting that rhythm stick.." alt="Naim Mu-So" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Naim_Mu-so-04.JPG?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Naim Mu-so Verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The Mu-so is a superb piece of kit. Naim has chucked pretty much every feature you could want from this type of unit, and made it sound superb at the same time.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s pricey, yes, but it really is as close to hi-fi as we can imagine this type of unit getting &ndash; suffice to say, we think it truly does look, feel and sound its price.</p> <p><strong>REVIEWED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR SISTER SITE <a href="http://www.whathifi.com/" target="_blank">WHATHIFI.COM</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.whathifi.com/naim/mu-so/review" target="_blank">Read their full Naim Mu-so review here</a></strong></p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/hi-fi-streaming/top-ten" target="_blank">The 10 Best Hi-Fi and Streaming Systems in the World right now</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="5760" height="3839" title="Naim Mu-so review verdict" alt="Naim Mu-so review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Naim_Mu-so-1.jpg?1416801975" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 8 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The first proper &lsquo;hi-fi&rsquo; wireless speaker? We certainly think so: looks good, sounds superb.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/naim-mu-so/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/naim-mu-so/review#comments Docks and Speakers Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Mu-so Music Naim Mon, 17 Nov 2014 13:23:28 +0000 Emily P Burt 1453271 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony’s waterproof new Walkman is a wearable music player and Bluetooth headset in one http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ifa-2014/sony-s-waterproof-new-walkman-wearable-music-player-and-bluetooth-headset/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Additionally, Sony has a much more affordable Hi-Res Audio player in the works </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Walkman NWZ-WS610" alt="Sony Walkman NWZ-WS610" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/sony-walkman-ws610.jpg?1409824670" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sony has an absolute heap of new products at IFA this year, from a <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-smartwatch-3-and-smartband-talk-hands/review">smartwatch</a> to new <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3/review">phones</a>, televisions, and <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/sony-xperia-z3-tablet-compact-hands/review">tablets</a> - but curiously, a Walkman caught our eye amidst that lineup.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/andrew-hayward" title="View user profile.">Andrew Hayward</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Also, the A15 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Sony also has a new High-Resolution Audio player on the horizon, with the Walkman A15 dubbed &ldquo;the world&rsquo;s smallest and lightest&rdquo; such device for audiophiles. Its S-Master HX digital amplifier processes Hi-Res audio files for crisp and clear playback, with 30 hours of battery life promised.</p> <p>And the A15 is much more affordable than the previous NWZ-ZX1, which <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review">impressed us in almost every way</a> except for its exorbitant price. Sony&rsquo;s new High-Res Audio player will sell for just &pound;170 when it debuts next month - but it comes with just 16MB of internal storage. Luckily, it accepts microSD cards, so it&rsquo;s not only much cheaper, but you also have more control over its capacity.</p> <p>[Source: <a href="http://presscentre.sony.co.uk/pressreleases/music-while-you-work-out-wearable-waterproof-walkman-r-ws610-series-now-with-bluetooth-r-wireless-technology-1049288">Sony</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review">Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony Walkman A15" alt="Sony Walkman A15" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/sony-walkman-a15.png?1409824670" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ifa-2014/sony-s-waterproof-new-walkman-wearable-music-player-and-bluetooth-headset/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/sony/ifa-2014/sony-s-waterproof-new-walkman-wearable-music-player-and-bluetooth-headset/news#comments Bluetooth Headphones Hi-Res Audio IFA 2014 Sony Walkman Wearable tech Thu, 04 Sep 2014 07:00:00 +0000 Andrew Hayward 1446542 at http://www.stuff.tv Pono’s Hi-Res music service to be powered by Omnifone http://www.stuff.tv/pono-s-hi-res-music-service-be-powered-omnifone/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Omnifone has been chosen as the “content delivery partner” for PonoMusic’s haul of studio-quality recordings </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="604" height="453" title="Pono’s Hi-Res music service to be powered by Omnifone" alt="Pono’s Hi-Res music service to be powered by Omnifone" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ponoplayer_1.jpg?1405389506" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>PonoMusic, the Hi-Res music service that will accompany the PonoPlayer portable device, has formed a partnership with long-running online music platform Omnifone.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It works both ways, of course, and Omnifone&rsquo;s infrastructure and tech should also help to establish PonoMusic as one of the premier Hi-Res Audio download services.</p> <p>The PonoPlayer, which launched via the third highest grossing Kickstarter and is partly the brainchild of rock legend Neil Young (who has just taken over as CEO of Pono), will arrive in the UK, US and Canada before the end of the year, alongside its music service. The player will have 128GB of memory (those Hi-Res files take up a lot of space, you see) and two sets of audio outputs: one designed for headphones and one for connecting the player to a car or home stereo. The device will be priced at US$399 (&pound;230), with a UK price yet to be confirmed.</p> <p>[<a href="http://www.omnifone.com/content/omnifone-powers-neil-youngs-ponomusic" target="_blank">Omnifone</a> via <a href="http://www.whathifi.com/news/ponomusic-teams-omnifone-to-deliver-high-res-audio-catalogue">What Hi-Fi?</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/omnifone-musicstation.jpg?1405389506" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/pono-s-hi-res-music-service-be-powered-omnifone/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Hi-Res Audio Mon, 14 Jul 2014 16:40:59 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1442075 at http://www.stuff.tv New album app format offers Hi-Res Audio, remix options and 360-degree videos http://www.stuff.tv/music/new-album-app-format-offers-hi-res-audio-remix-options-and-360-degree-videos/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Norwegian singer Bernhoft has found an intriguing way to make his latest record a bit special </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="New album app format offers Hi-Res Audio, remix options and 360-degree videos" alt="New album app format offers Hi-Res Audio, remix options and 360-degree videos" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/bernhoft-hd360-1.jpg?1403797242" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most artists are content to release their album in MP3 format, but Norwegian soul singer Bernhoft has found a way to add a little more value to his latest record.</p> <p>His new album <em>Islander</em> is being sold as a fully interactive iPad and iPhone app &ndash; and it could be the first of many in a new &ldquo;HD360&rdquo; format.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Adding more value </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The app, which costs &pound;13.99 and is available now, features every track in Hi-Res studio-quality, as well as a video for each song &ndash; but that&rsquo;s just the beginning. It also features full liner notes, a console that allows the user to remix every track, a loop station and special 360-degree videos that allow you to sit (virtually, at least) in the middle of the musicians as they perform.</p> <p>The app was produced by Philip Tennant, who has previous worked with Depeche Mode and The Cure, and is based on over two years of software development. That suggests that Islander is merely the first in a series of HD360 albums released as apps &ndash; and wouldn&rsquo;t it be nice to have more of them out soon? We&rsquo;ll keep you posted.</p> <p>You can download the HD360 edition of <em>Islander</em> from the <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/bernhoft-islander/id870484538?mt=8">App Store</a>.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/td46BDoA2m0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Every track can be remixed at this virtual desk" alt="Every track can be remixed at this virtual desk" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/bernhoft-hd360-2.jpg?1403797242" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Every track can be remixed at this virtual desk" alt="Every track can be remixed at this virtual desk" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/bernhoft-hd360-3.jpg?1403797242" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Hi-Res Audio iOS apps Music Thu, 26 Jun 2014 15:39:37 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1440219 at http://www.stuff.tv New Lightning connector spec could mean a boost for iOS audio quality http://www.stuff.tv/apple/new-lightning-connector-spec-could-mean-boost-ios-audio-quality/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> In the future, audiophile headphones could hook up to iPhones, iPods and iPads via Lightning </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="New Lightning connector spec could mean a boost for iOS audio quality" alt="New Lightning connector spec could mean a boost for iOS audio quality" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/lightning.jpg?1402014351" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Apple has introduced a new specification for its Lightning connector that would allow third-party manufacturers to use it for audio purposes &ndash; and that could mean a boost for future iPhone, iPad and iPod sound quality.</p> <p>Manufacturers participating in the MFi (Made for iPhone/iPod/iPad) programme will be able to make headphones and the like that support lossless 48kHz digital audio from an iOS device.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Of course, it remains to be seen whether third-party manufacturers will use this specification &ndash; but it could mean a jump in iPhone, iPad and iPod sound quality. We&rsquo;d also imagine that Apple will use its acquisition of Beats Audio to produce its own Lightning-equipped headphones and speaker docks that make full use of the new spec &ndash; after all, with Lightning being exclusive to Apple, that&rsquo;s a unique selling point that iOS products will have over other phones, tablets and portable audio players.</p> <p>It also ties in nicely with Apple&rsquo;s rumoured plans to <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple-bringing-hi-res-audio-ios-8/news">introduce Hi-Res Audio support in future iOS devices</a> and start selling Hi-Res music via iTunes. With Beats in the fold and new support for higher quality headphones, Apple could soon be marketing iOS products as truly audiophile-friendly.</p> <p>[Via: <a href="http://9to5mac.com/2014/06/03/apple-introduces-mfi-specs-for-lightning-cable-headphones-support-arriving-in-future-ios-update/">9to5Mac</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/apple-acquires-beats-us3-billion/news">Apple acquires Beats for US$3 billion</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="604" height="453" title="Lightning-equipped Beats headphones? You can bet your house on it" alt="Lightning-equipped Beats headphones? You can bet your house on it" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/beats-apple.jpg?1402014351" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/new-lightning-connector-spec-could-mean-boost-ios-audio-quality/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Apple Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio iOS iPod and MP3 Thu, 05 Jun 2014 14:56:35 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1438628 at http://www.stuff.tv 7digital and Onkyo team up to launch Hi-Res Audio music store http://www.stuff.tv/onkyo/7digital-and-onkyo-team-launch-hi-res-audio-music-store/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> e-onkyo music, Japan’s go-to site for audiophile album downloads, is coming to Europe and the US </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="604" height="453" title="7digital and Onkyo team up to launch Hi-Res Audio music store" alt="7digital and Onkyo team up to launch Hi-Res Audio music store" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/onkyo-system_0.jpg?1401450786" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>One of the problems faced by audiophile types seeking Hi-Res Audio music is that, well, there&rsquo;s barely anywhere to buy it. A handful websites, each with a handful of FLAC albums, are the extent of your options at the moment.</p> <p>7digital and Onkyo hope to change that. The MP3 download store and the hi-fi manufacturer have got together to bring e-onkyo music, Japan&rsquo;s most successful store for HD music, to Europe and the US. The service will arrive &ldquo;in the coming months&rdquo;.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>7digital co-founder Ben Drury said, &ldquo;With the introduction of our HD digital music portfolio we hope to reconfirm 7digital&#39;s position as a leader in high quality digital music services.&rdquo; The music will be in FLAC format and use 7digital&rsquo;s existing platform.</p> <p>e-onkyo music has been around since 2005, and currently there&rsquo;s nothing similar here. However, there have been <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple-bringing-hi-res-audio-ios-8/news">persistent rumours</a> concerning Apple embracing Hi-Res Audio through the iTunes Music Store. Apple reportedly possesses the largest collection of Hi-Res music in the world, and has been building it up for years in preparation for a launch later this year. WWDC 2014 may see the company reveal their plans. Neil Young is also planning to launch a Hi-Res Audio music store alongside his <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/treat-your-ears-studio-quality-sound-triangular-prism-shaped-ponoplayer/news">PonoPlayer</a> FLAC-compatible music player.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="7digital currently only offers a handful of Hi-Res FLAC albums" alt="7digital currently only offers a handful of Hi-Res FLAC albums" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/7digital-flac.jpg?1401450786" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/onkyo/7digital-and-onkyo-team-launch-hi-res-audio-music-store/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Hi-Res Audio iPod and MP3 Onkyo Fri, 30 May 2014 11:52:33 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1438184 at http://www.stuff.tv Apple's iOS 8 will play Hi-Res Audio files, say reports - does that mean iPhone 6 will, too? http://www.stuff.tv/apple-bringing-hi-res-audio-ios-8/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> With high-quality files rumoured to be heading for iTunes, is Cupertino looking to win over audiophiles? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Apple bringing in Hi-Res Audio with iOS 8, say reports" alt="Apple bringing in Hi-Res Audio with iOS 8, say reports" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ipod-headphones.jpg?1400118419" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Within the audiophile community, &ldquo;Apple&rdquo; is something of a dirty word. There, it&rsquo;s a generally-accepted opinion that, from the days when the iPod dominated portable music playback to today, when the iPhone holds that position, the company has never been bothered about high-resolution music. But that might be about to change.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Whole Lotta Love (for Hi-Res Audio) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The reports claim Apple will announce Hi-Res support at WWDC 2014 in June, and plans not only to enable playback of 24-bit music but also to start selling it through iTunes. Over the past few years, it has been stockpiling 96kHz and 192kHz 24-bit versions of almost all the music sold via iTunes (it may even have the largest catalogue of Hi-Res Audio in the world) and is therefore in a position to launch its Hi-Res download service straight away. Master-quality editions of Led Zeppelin&rsquo;s back catalogue will reportedly kick off the service, and Hi-Res songs will be priced at a dollar above regular iTunes tracks.</p> <p>Apple&rsquo;s Hi-Res Audio push will also include the unveiling of a new set of premium in-ear headphones (the first since 2008) and a new Lightning cable able to accommodate Hi-Res files on Made For iPhone audio accessories.</p> <p>This rumour ties in tidily with Apple&rsquo;s recent acquisition of Beats. While the company&rsquo;s headphone expertise won&rsquo;t have been used for the new earbuds (it&rsquo;s just too soon), its purchase sends a message that Apple is serious about improving music quality on its devices.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/why-apple-wants-buy-beats/feature" target="_blank">So why does Apple want to buy Beats?</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Led Zeppelin on iTunes today" alt="Led Zeppelin on iTunes today" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/led-zep-itunes.jpg?1400118419" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Time to take some FLAC </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>But why now? Apple has been a major player in music &ndash; no less than the world&rsquo;s largest music retailer, thanks to iTunes &ndash; since the launch of the very first iPod back in 2001, and until now has barely seen fit to acknowledge that 24-bit and 192kHz even exist; it has always suggested that 16-bit, 44kHz Apple Lossless (ALAC) files are as high quality as iTunes users need to go.</p> <p>One reason could be the fact that the music industry has started pushing Hi-Res Audio in a bigger way than ever before. Sony has launched <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/mp3-player/ifa-2013/sony-gets-serious-about-high-quality-sound-raft-new-gear/news" target="_blank">a range of Hi-Res gear</a> and Neil Young&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/treat-your-ears-studio-quality-sound-triangular-prism-shaped-ponoplayer/news" target="_blank">Pono Hi-Res player</a> smashed through its Kickstarter funding target in under 24 hours. There&rsquo;s a sense that there&rsquo;s money to be made in Hi-Res now, and the proliferation of broadband and cheaper storage means that most people can now download these huge music files in seconds and have somewhere to keep them afterwards. Previously that wasn&rsquo;t the case.</p> <p>And while the iTunes Store continues to be a profit-making part of Apple&#39;s business, that profit is mostly coming from apps: music downloads are falling. Introducing Hi-Res Audio may be an attempt to convince consumers, many of whom have turned to the convenience of streaming services like Spotify, to start downloading music again. If iTunes did offer a huge Hi-Res library, it&#39;d be in a unique position, because there&#39;s nobody else out there doing it on anything approaching a large scale.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Another reason? Well, there&rsquo;s a growing impression among both industry experts and the public that, year-on-year, smartphone technology isn&rsquo;t advancing as quickly as it once was, and thus manufacturers are looking to stand out from the crowd by offering marked improvements in &ldquo;the basics&rdquo; on their new handsets, with things like a tougher, waterproof build, better camera performance and improved music playback. With the introduction of Hi-Res Audio, Apple will create a new selling point for future iPhones.</p> <p>While iPods and iPhones are impressive from a sound quality point of view (our golden-eared friends at What Hi-Fi? are very much fans of Apple&#39;s gear), it&#39;s important to note that hardware constraints mean no current models can play audio files sampled at above 48kHz &ndash; there&#39;s no chance of full Hi-Res Audio compatibility there. At the time of writing, only two smartphones on the market are able to play the highest quality 24-bit/192kHz audio files: the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/lg-g2/review" target="_blank">LG G2 </a>and the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-note-3/samsung-galaxy-note-3/review" target="_blank">Samsung Galaxy Note 3</a>. If Apple does launch Hi-Res Audio, we&#39;d expect the iPhone 6 to be the first Apple device able to play these files at their full quality.</p> <p>We&#39;ll find out a lot more at WWDC 2014, so stay tuned.</p> <p>[Via <a href="http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/13/hd-audio-ios-8-new-in-ear-headphones-lightning/" target="_blank">MacRumors</a>]</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/ios-8/review" target="_blank">Everything we know about iOS 8 </a></strong></p> <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="180" src="http://pages.haymarket.com/stuff_signup/enews_embed" width="300"></iframe></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="717" height="538" title="The iPhone 6 could be sold as a premium quality music player" alt="The iPhone 6 could be sold as a premium quality music player" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/iphone-6-render_4.jpg?1400118419" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple-bringing-hi-res-audio-ios-8/news" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Apple Hi-Res Audio iOS 8 WWDC 2014 Wed, 14 May 2014 11:45:13 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1437156 at http://www.stuff.tv History’s greatest loudspeaker is back in business http://www.stuff.tv/history-s-greatest-loudspeaker-back-business/feature <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The Science Museum has rebuilt the Exponential Horn, a 27-foot-long speaker from 1929 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="We&#039;ve got the horn on a crane" alt="Exponential Horn" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ExpoHornA.jpg?1398051366" /> </div> </div> </div> <p>Not everything that belongs to the Science Museum is kept at the Science Museum. Blythe House, a massive Victorian building near Shepherd&rsquo;s Bush, holds over 170,000 items in its archive, and within this vast collection of scientific curios, on top of a couple of filing cabinets, is a nine-foot-long piece of tapered metal tubing. It&rsquo;s not much to look at these days, but it&rsquo;s all that remains of what was once the most amazing speaker in the world. For museum-goers of the 1930s, the Exponential Horn was the auditory experience of a lifetime.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/will-dunn" title="View user profile.">Will Dunn</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> the original audiophile </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Kolkowski begins his story by telling us about one of the curators at the Science Museum during the 1920s and 30s, Roderick Denman.</p> <p>&ldquo;Denman was an accomplished engineer and an obsessive audiophile,&rdquo; says Kolkowski. &rdquo;He actually had a huge loudspeaker horn built into the roof of his house, pointing down into an octagonal room that he used as the flare of a giant horn, which extended over 20 feet out of the top of his roof. So this whole room was an extension of a downwards-pointing loudspeaker, and when you were in the room, you were inside the speaker. He had reclining chairs put in there, so people could lie down right in the path of the sound.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> the ultimate speaker </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Denman&rsquo;s time as Curator of Telecommunications at the Science Museum coincided with a revolution in sound. &ldquo;These new moving coil speaker drivers were arriving from the States,&rdquo; says Kolkowski, &ldquo;called the Western Electric 555W. It was the mother of all compression drivers. They were actually designed at Bell Laboratories, and people still talk in awe about these things today. There are people who believe they improve with age, which I think is nonsense, but they do last for ages - &nbsp;there are cinemas that ran them continuously for 50 or 60 years. Today, they change hands for thousands. People say it&rsquo;s the best loudspeaker ever made.&rdquo;</p> <p>While Bell Laboratories were making the perfect loudspeaker, Denman was building the perfect horn. Horn-building was an art form that had been practised by instrument-makers for centuries, but in Denman&rsquo;s hands it became a science.&nbsp;</p> <p>To get the full range of possible frequencies from the speaker, Denman knew he needed a shape that would perfectly match the energy coming from the driver and allow the speaker to play frequencies at the upper and lower limits of human hearing. Most horns at the time were curves or spirals, to save space, but Denman&rsquo;s calculations led him to a straight horn. To accommodate the deepest low-end frequencies it needed to be big - as long as a Routemaster bus, and with a mouth like a basking shark, seven feet across.&nbsp;</p> <p>For ten years, the Exponential Horn was a daily fixture in the Science Museum. &ldquo;It was part of the museum tours,&rdquo; explains Kolkowski. &ldquo;It showed what was possible in audio at the time, and it provided a benchmark for audio quality that other systems could be judged by. People who heard it at the time must have been completely blown away by the sound, they wouldn&#39;t have heard anything else like it.&rdquo;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="We would have called it The Massive Parpspout, but that wouldn&#039;t have been mathematically accurate" alt="Exponential Horn" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ExpoHorn_0.jpg?1398051366" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p dir="ltr">The demonstrations stopped at the outbreak of WWII, and in 1949, during building work, a wall fell on the horn and destroyed most of it. The remaining section stayed in storage at Blythe House until Aleks Kolkowski, a sound artist in residence at the museum, uncovered the story of Denman&rsquo;s mighty horn and began rebuilding it according to Denman&rsquo;s original specification.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It took eight months to reconstruct it, using a very thick fibreglass - the original was made from a lead-tin alloy. It has an exponential shape - the width increases exponentially - so instead of having a linear increase in width, it has a very fast, steep curve. For the first ten feet it has a very gradual taper, and then it quickly gets steeper and steeper as it approaches the mouth. It was incredibly labour-intensive to make, they had to build giant formers and coat them with resin.&quot;</p> <p dir="ltr">After months of work, however, the new horn was attached to Denman&rsquo;s original loudspeaker, and the windows of Kensington rattled to a noise not heard since the outbreak of World War Two.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&#39;s a form of sound reproduction we just don&#39;t hear these days&rdquo;, says Kolkowski. &ldquo;It&#39;s quite unlike listening to hi-fi loudspeakers. It&#39;s completely monophonic and it&#39;s very, very directional - you have to be basically in front of it, if you wander to the side, the sound changes completely. But when you are in front of it, you get an extraordinary three-dimensional sound image, because you&rsquo;re stood in this huge horn mouth. One of the features of a horn is that it&#39;s very present - you don&#39;t get any secondary reflections - so you get this incredible impression of the band or the singer being in the room. It&rsquo;s really convincing, immersive 3D sound, from the 1930s.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">Kolkowski says spoken word, in particular, sounds &ldquo;astonishing&rdquo; through the speaker. &ldquo;It&#39;s like this enormous mouth. It&#39;s quite intimidating, in a way.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">And just as it did through the 1930s, the Exponential Horn will once more be dazzling visitors to the Science Museum, playing a mixture of archive material from the 1930s, including HG Wells and TS Eliot, along with Kolkowski&rsquo;s recordings of museum objects and talks with curators. The lunchtime concert from BBC Radio 3 will be played through it as a live, high-quality stream, Resonance FM will be broadcasting live from the installation, and a number of composers are writing or adapting works especially for the horn. You&rsquo;ll be able to see it (and more importantly, hear it) on the second floor of the museum from May 20.</p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Pictures courtesy of the Science Museum.</em></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>READ HORN: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/bluetooth-speaker-system/gramovox-modern-speaker-system-retrofitted-sound/news">The Gramovox is a smaller, Bluetoothier horn</a></strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr"><strong>READ HORN: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/my/htc/htc-s-bonkers-gramohorn-ii-big-stereo-sound-your-htc-one-no-battery-required/news">HTC&#39;s Gramohorn II speaker offers double the horn</a> </strong></p> <p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Five men, in a tight space, with the horn" alt="Exponential Horn" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ExpoHorn02.jpg?1398051366" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Sound artist Aleks Kolkowski" alt="" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/ExpoHorn03.jpg?1398051366" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/history-s-greatest-loudspeaker-back-business/feature" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/history-s-greatest-loudspeaker-back-business/feature#comments Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Sun, 20 Apr 2014 09:07:49 +0000 Will Dunn 1435671 at http://www.stuff.tv Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new contender takes on YouTube http://www.stuff.tv/3ds/fully-charged-pono-takes-money-angry-birds-takes-epic-turn-and-new-contender-takes-youtube/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> All the day’s premier news stories packed onto a single tech-tastic page </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="604" height="453" title="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new contender takes on YouTube" alt="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new c" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ponoplayer_0.jpg?1394706143" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Pono smashes Kickstarter goal in a matter of hours </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Neil Young&rsquo;s Pono Hi-Res music player is set to become a reality. The project smashed through its <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1003614822/ponomusic-where-your-soul-rediscovers-music">Kickstarter funding target</a> of US$800,000 in less than a day, and at the time of writing is sitting at just under US$1,750,000.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s still 32-odd days left to back the project and get some of the early bird rewards on offer. The chance to get a half-price Pono player by pledging US$200 or more has passed, but pledging US$400 or more can secure a limited edition engraved edition bearing the signature of artists such as Tom Petty, Crosby, Stills &amp; Nash or Foo Fighters.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/treat-your-ears-studio-quality-sound-triangular-prism-shaped-ponoplayer/news">Neil Young&rsquo;s PonoPlayer is a pocket high-res audio Toblerone</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> The next Angry Birds game is an RPG </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Rovio is about to take its Angry Birds franchise in a whole new direction. Angry Birds Epic, which will launch in Australia and Canada this week before rolling out to the rest of the world, is a turn-based roleplaying game featuring crafting and, reportedly, a compelling story. It&rsquo;s a far cry from catapulting irate avians into blocks, and no mistake. It&rsquo;ll be available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone &ndash; and we&rsquo;ll be giving it a whirl on one of these platforms as soon as possible.</p> <p><strong>[Source: <a href="http://kotaku.com/the-next-angry-birds-is-a-turn-based-role-playing-game-1542273125">Kotaku</a>]</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="552" height="414" title="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new contender takes on YouTube" alt="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new c" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/angry-birds-rpg.jpg?1394706143" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Wonder PL: a new ad-free, minimalist video platform to take on YouTube </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Today sees the launch of Wonder PL, a British-made video platform aimed at reaching the parts the likes of Vimeo, Vine and YouTube can&rsquo;t. Ad-free and devoid of any on-screen distractions like overlays or pre-roll, it presents video in HD as standard and allows you to search for new videos via your mood.</p> <p>Among the first providers of content for Wonder PL (which is available via browser or an iOS app) is chef Tom Aiken, who you can watch making blueberry pancakes <a href="http://wonderpl.com/embed/vi3KaWmHJmC_XVLEUH44dbRg/">here</a>. You can also upload your own videos to the service for free.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="877" height="658" title="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new contender takes on YouTube" alt="Fully Charged: Pono takes the money, Angry Birds takes an Epic turn, and a new c" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/wonderpl.jpg?1394706143" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Yoshi’s New Island gets launch trailer </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>If you&rsquo;re a Nintendo DS owner hankering for some new old-school gameplay, might we direct your attention to the upcoming Yoshi&rsquo;s New Island? The game is out tomorrow, and you can check out its cutesy take on side-scrolling platform action in the launch trailer above. Eggs-actly what you&rsquo;re looking for, eh?</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nintendo/nintendo-3ds-xl/review">Nintendo 3DS XL review</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/hhwCbpE8E38" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> http://www.stuff.tv/3ds/fully-charged-pono-takes-money-angry-birds-takes-epic-turn-and-new-contender-takes-youtube/news#comments 3DS Apps and Games Hi-Res Audio Nintendo YouTube Thu, 13 Mar 2014 10:22:24 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1433661 at http://www.stuff.tv Neil Young's PonoPlayer is a pocket high-res audio Toblerone http://www.stuff.tv/treat-your-ears-studio-quality-sound-triangular-prism-shaped-ponoplayer/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Music Legend Neil Young wants to inject higher than high-fidelity audio directly into your lugholes </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="981" height="736" title="Treat your ears to studio-quality sound with the triangular prism PonoPlayer" alt="Treat your ears to studio-quality sound with the triangular prism PonoPlayer" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/ponoplayer.jpg?1394587451" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/esat-dedezade" title="View user profile.">Esat Dedezade</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>You can listen to music on Toblerones now?</strong><br />Quite possibly. We haven&#39;t had the pleasure of munching away on a duty free slab of Swiss chocolate for a while now, but either way, you&#39;re off the mark. This is music legend Neil Young&#39;s weapon in the crusade against low quality audio: the PonoPlayer.</p> <p><strong>So&hellip; it&#39;s an iPod?</strong><br />It&#39;s a dedicated music player, yes, but unlike the iPod (or smartphones for that matter), it&#39;s designed to provide studio-quality music at the highest fidelity possible.</p> <p><strong>So it&#39;ll make my music sound better?</strong><br />Not quite. It&#39;s designed to work with the upcoming PonoMusic service which will let users download Hi-Res albums from both major and independent labels. Your standard mp3s and headphones will still - in the words of many an audiophile - sound like tinny garbage.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/neil-young-shows-pono-audiophile-music-player/news" target="_blank">Neil Young shows off Pono audiophile music player</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p><strong>But I&#39;m perfectly happy listening to Avicii on my Dr Dre ear goggles&hellip;</strong><br />And you&#39;re exactly the type of person Mr Young is hoping to convert. Once your ears see (well, hear) the light then you&#39;ll be so blown away that you&#39;ll never touch a dirty MP3 file ever again.</p> <p><strong>Sounds&hellip; expensive. And heavy on memory</strong><br />You do pay for quality with larger file sizes, but the 128GB Pono will store between 100-500 albums of hi-res music, and it&#39;s got expandable storage for even more flexibility.</p> <p>As for the price? US$400 (&pound;240) on Kickstarter. Not exactly cheap then, but once you&#39;ve tasted the sweet highs and deep, beautifully balanced bass drops of a high-res album, your ears won&#39;t want to go back. The project will launch later this week.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature" target="_blank">Why you should be pumped about (and just a little bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/hot-stuff" target="_blank">LISTEN UP &ndash; FOR MORE HOT STUFF, CLICK RIGHT HERE</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="video-wrapper youtube-player-wrapper"> <iframe width="640" height="385" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qL1ffo8TwGM" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Hot Stuff Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:24:07 +0000 Esat Dedezade 1433523 at http://www.stuff.tv Astell&Kern AK100 (Mk.2) high-resolution music player http://www.stuff.tv/ak100/astellkern-ak100-mk2-high-resolution-music-player/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> iriver makes a comeback with a new name and a hi-res music player of serious quality </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 (Mk.2) high-resolution music player" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 (Mk.2) high-resolution music player" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_04.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/ced-yuen" title="View user profile.">Ced Yuen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Hi-res audio: 4K for your ears! It&rsquo;s finally taking off in a big way. Or a small way, in this case, as we&rsquo;re now seeing portable listening devices dedicated to the cause.</p> <p>We&rsquo;ve only just recovered from gushing about <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review" target="_blank">Sony&rsquo;s NWZ-ZX1 Walkman</a>, and now another challenger appears: the Astell &amp; Kern AK100 MkII.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £700.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Hi-res music sounds awesome </div> <div class="field-item even"> Warm, rich delivery </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Lovely build </div> <div class="field-item even"> Expandable storage </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Volume knob can be inconvenient </div> <div class="field-item even"> More built-in storage would be nice </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Mighty, mighty pricey </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Lovely, smooth performance </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Great sound is surely the point of getting a high-res audio player, and the AK100 MkII sounds amazing. In absolute terms, it utterly destroys the respectable sound from an iPod Touch. The performance is easily as strong as that from the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review" target="_blank">Sony NWZ-ZX1</a>, which automatically qualifies A&amp;K for a spot at the top of the audio tree.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature" target="_blank">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p>The most impressive element is the midrange reproduction, which is stunning. Here you get extraordinarily far-reaching dynamics. Combine that with a remarkable level of fluidity and you have a performance that feels smooth and organic. If you listen to vocal-based tracks a lot, you&rsquo;re in for a treat.</p> <p>Greater detail is the most obvious bonus of listening to high-resolution audio, and the AK100 MkII is no exception. There&rsquo;s plenty in the way of texture. We spent considerable time pointing out (to nobody in particular) all the instruments we&rsquo;d never noticed in our most oft-played tracks.</p> <p>When it comes to precision, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review" target="_blank">Sony&rsquo;s NWZ-ZX1</a> has the edge. The A&amp;K just can&rsquo;t match it for rhythmic precision. But that&rsquo;s not necessarily a disadvantage: the A&amp;K has a more relaxed vibe that many will prefer.</p> <p>As lovely as it sounds, there&rsquo;s still the issue of content to consider. High-resolution files are not easy to come by, and even then they aren&rsquo;t cheap. You won&rsquo;t find any on iTunes or Amazon&rsquo;s download store. Your best bet right now is <a href="http://www.hdtracks.com/" target="_blank">HDTracks</a>, a US site with some tracks downloadable in the UK, <a href="http://www.whathifi.com/news/hdtracks-high-res-music-store-to-launch-in-uk" target="_blank">and a promise of a dedicated UK store in the near future</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_07.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> No frills design, but there is a knob </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s a block of metal that feels solid and weighty &ndash; befitting of the hefty price tag. There&rsquo;s a 2.5in touch screen: cramped but good enough to navigate the rather basic folder-style menus. The left edge of the device sports a trio of playback buttons, while the top edge has outputs and a power/wake key. So far, so unremarkable.</p> <p>Then you get to the right edge, which has a knob sticking out of it. This adjusts the volume in half-levels from 00.0 to 75.0. This is good if you&rsquo;re the type who likes to be really specific about how loud your music is.</p> <p>But this is a portable device, so it&rsquo;s likely to go in and out of your pocket. And we sometimes found ourselves unwittingly turning the dial up or down a couple of notches. There is a lock option, but this means turning the screen on every time you want to change the volume. We love its slightly retro feel, but it&rsquo;s also a touch awkward. And the knob rattles a little, too.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_02.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-2"> <div class="field-label">Image #2:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_2" width="1200" height="900" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_05.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> It’s a trap (door for memory cards) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Look to the bottom of the device and you&rsquo;ll find a little hatch. This opens to take two microSD cards of up to 64GB each. Combined with the built-in storage of 32GB, that means you have a maximum of 160GB at a time.</p> <p>We like expandable memory. We like it so much that the thought of travelling with a fistful of cards and never running out of music makes us feel warm and fuzzy. But there are costs to consider.</p> <p>Average web prices have 64GB microSD cards at around &pound;40 each. The asking price of &pound;700 for the player is steep enough without the thought of shelling out even more for memory. Bundled cards would have been nice, or at least a built-in capacity of greater than 32GB. And you&rsquo;ll definitely need lots of storage if you&rsquo;re going with hi-res audio, as it takes up massive amounts of space (and is, conversely, also a little slow to load).</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_03.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Astell&amp;Kern AK100 Mk.2 verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We have mixed feelings about the Astell &amp; Kern AK100 MkII. That price is a real issue, considering how little memory you get out of the box. It could also be a little slicker, both in operation and in design. And there&rsquo;s still the issue of where to find high-res audio files.</p> <p>But on the other hand it really does sound lovely, and the ability to hot-swap memory cards will make power-using audiophile hoarders very happy indeed.</p> <p>The real problem, though, is the <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review" target="_blank">Sony NWZ-ZX1</a>. They sound different, but just as good as one another, so unless you&rsquo;re especially drawn to a warmer, more fluid playback style, the lower cost and added usability of the Sony is likely to push your decision away from the A&amp;K.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="4000" height="3000" title="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" alt="Astell&amp;Kern AK100 review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Astell_Kern_AK100mk2_01.jpg?1394473802" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 6 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There&rsquo;s plenty to like if you can get over that price tag, but it&rsquo;s also worth checking out the competition</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ak100/astellkern-ak100-mk2-high-resolution-music-player/review" target="_blank">read more</a></p> http://www.stuff.tv/ak100/astellkern-ak100-mk2-high-resolution-music-player/review#comments AK100 Astell&Kern Geek accessories Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio Sun, 09 Mar 2014 16:58:30 +0000 Tom Parsons 1433495 at http://www.stuff.tv Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony reckons the way to resurrect the MP3 player is to ditch MP3s and go all high-end and high-res. Your ears will love it, but your wallet less so </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-enable-hero"> <div class="field-label">Enable hero:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enable full width image </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" alt="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/Sony_NWZ-ZX1_Walkman%29_1.jpg?1393380642" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/ced-yuen" title="View user profile.">Ced Yuen</a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since smartphones came along, more people have been using them as their sole means of listening to music on the go. Carrying multiple devices around is a pain, after all.</p> <p>But there are those who care more about sound quality than convenience, and they&rsquo;re in for a treat, because the latest Walkman sounds awesome. The Sony NWZ-ZX1 is a seriously premium player, and one that focuses on hi-res, Studio Master music. It&rsquo;s also the best sounding portable device we&rsquo;ve ever heard.</p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-pricing"><legend>Pricing</legend><div class="field field-type-number-float field-field-test-price"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> £550.00 </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-price-from"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 0 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-ratings"><legend>Ratings</legend><div class="field field-type-hcmreviewrating-rating field-field-overall-rating"> <div class="field-label">Overall rating:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="hcmrating-default">8 stars</div> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-pros"> <div class="field-label">Pros:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Amazing sound quality </div> <div class="field-item even"> Lovely looks and build </div> <div class="field-item odd"> Android means it does more than just music </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-cons"> <div class="field-label">Cons:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Expensive </div> <div class="field-item even"> High-res music isn&#039;t easy to get </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>Review Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Resolution revolution </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>So what&rsquo;s high-res audio? Short version: it&rsquo;s a bit like 4K for you ears. It&rsquo;s better sound quality than CD (you do know they compress your music before they put it onto a disc, don&rsquo;t you?), with &quot;better&quot; meaning &quot;closer to what musicians and engineers intended in the studio&quot;. It&rsquo;s the Next Big Thing in audio.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/why-it-s-time-get-pumped-about-hi-res-audio/feature" target="_blank">Why you should be pumped about (and just a bit sceptical of) Hi-Res Audio</a></strong></p> <p>It&rsquo;s all about reconstructing an analogue sound wave as accurately as possible, and this is where we introduce The Science Bit.</p> <p>You see a sampling rate is the number of samples taken per second when analogue sound waves are converted to digital. The more samples taken per second, the closer the sound is to the original sound wave. Meanwhile, bit depth describes the accuracy of that sample. A typical CD measures 16-bit/44.1kHz. A high-res audio track, meanwhile, may measure 24-bit/192kHz.</p> <p>Got it? No? Don&rsquo;t worry &ndash; just remember it all results in more data and therefore more detail and better sound and you&rsquo;re golden.</p> <p>High-res audio itself is nothing new. There are already smartphones around that can handle these files &ndash; <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/lg-g2/review" target="_blank">LG G2</a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/android/google-nexus-5/review" target="_blank">Google Nexus 5</a>, <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/galaxy-note-3/samsung-galaxy-note-3/review" target="_blank">Samsung Galaxy Note 3</a>, to name a few. What&rsquo;s new is that high-res audio has now taken off far enough for big companies to make dedicated players that sound way better than those phones.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" alt="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony_NWZ-ZX1_Walkman_5.jpg?1393380642" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Enough numbers! How does it sound? </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Load up a high-res track and you get an impressively refined sound with layers of subtle detail. You&rsquo;ll spend a lot of time noticing parts of your favourite songs you&rsquo;ve never heard before. The soundstage is wide, well organised and timing is spot-on.</p> <p>The ZX1&rsquo;s tonal balance is good, too, but the well-defined, hard-slapping bass deserves a special mention. Combine that with extended, punchy dynamics and it&rsquo;s a seriously engaging, exciting sound.</p> <p>We started comparing the ZX1 to an <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/apple/ipod-touch-5g-hands-review/news" target="_blank">iPod Touch</a> and things got ugly for Apple very quickly. The Sony is way ahead in every department, from its weighty delivery to its extraordinary precision. We&rsquo;ve always been keen on the iPod&rsquo;s sound, but next to the ZX1 it comes across as brash and unsophisticated. It comfortable beats those high-res-playing phones we mentioned, too.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not all down to the high-res tracks, either. We loaded up both devices with the same CD-ripped WAV files and it was still easy to pick the devices apart.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" alt="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony_NWZ-ZX1_Walkman_4.jpg?1393380642" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> A question of content </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>There is still one fairly significant problem, though - high-res music might be the next big thing, but right now it&#39;s not that easy to get hold of. You can&#39;t get any on iTunes, and even Sony itself seems reluctant to go any higher than MP3 for its own download store. The likes of <a href="http://www.naimlabel.com/" target="_blank">Naim</a> and <a href="http://www.linnrecords.com/" target="_blank">Linn</a> have high-res music stores, but the selections aren&#39;t especially mainstream.</p> <p>For now your best bet is to go with <a href="http://www.hdtracks.com/" target="_blank">HDtracks</a>. It&#39;s officially US-only but there are easy ways to work around that, and a UK launch is expected in the next few months. A direct connection from player to download store and a whole load of new music is definitely needed if Studio Masters are going to make a proper impact, though.</p> <p><strong>READ MORE: <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/30-greatest-audiophile-albums/feature" target="_blank">30 Essential Albums for Audiophiles</a></strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-3"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Unusually good looking </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>It&rsquo;s not just the sound that separates the ZX1 from the competition. If there ever was such a thing as an anti-iPod, this is it. Sony has clearly tried to distance itself from Apple&rsquo;s aesthetics, and the result is gorgeous. It&rsquo;s a striking design with a premium feel that rivals anything coming out of Cupertino, and feels less delicate, too.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a proudly asymmetrical slab of aluminium that wants nothing to do with simplicity and rounded edges. The glass face drops off abruptly into a straight edge, where the physical controls make us happy by allowing us to change tracks in our pockets.</p> <p>The bottom edge of the ZX1 has a gleaming brass cylinder that&rsquo;s so big it rises slightly above the screen. We&rsquo;re not sure why: theoretically it allows internal cabling to be a bit thicker (and improve sound quality). Sony says it reduces contact resistance.</p> <p>The literally outstanding aspect of the ZX1&rsquo;s design is its bottom third, which protrudes at the back. This is because Sony felt like putting in a larger amplifier block, straight lines be damned. It&rsquo;s unusual, but it serves the handy secondary purpose of sitting in your hand quite nicely. It doesn&rsquo;t wobble on a table, but Sony has included a tiny wedge of plastic in case you&rsquo;re that worried about perfect flatness.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" alt="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony_NWZ-ZX1_Walkman_2.jpg?1393380642" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-4"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Standard features </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>While the ZX1 has been outstanding in its sound and design, its features are fairly normal. It runs on <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/google/android" target="_blank">Android</a> 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is safe but not particularly exciting these days. The 4in screen makes it easy to navigate the device. There are good colours, but the picture isn&rsquo;t sharp enough for proper movie watching or gaming.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s also NFC at the back for easy Bluetooth pairing, as well as a tiny speaker masquerading as a Walkman logo. We&rsquo;re quite not sure why you&rsquo;d spend &pound;550 on a high-end audio device and then play music that way.</p> <p>Then there&rsquo;s the matter of storage. You get 128GB on board, and that&rsquo;s it. There are no models with different capacities, and no slot for external memory. It&rsquo;s a pretty good offering for the money (the biggest iPod Touch has 64GB and costs &pound;330), but not including a memory card slot feels a bit silly, especially when you consider that hi-res music files are often absolutely massive.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" alt="Sony NWZ-ZX1 High-Resolution Walkman review" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/Sony_NWZ-ZX1_Walkman_3_0.jpg?1393380642" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-5"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Sony NWZ-ZX1 Walkman verdict </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>We love it. We love the design and we love the sound. And its features are pretty decent, too.</p> <p>The problem is how niche it is. No-one&rsquo;s buying dedicated MP3 players anymore because everyone&rsquo;s using their smartphone as their portable music player, and you&rsquo;re going to have to be seriously dedicated to the hi-res music cause to feel that it&rsquo;s not only worth carrying around an extra portable and going the extra mile to find and download high-res music, but also worth spending an extra &pound;550 on the privilege.</p> <p>If you are that seriously dedicated, we applaud you, and we know you&rsquo;ll love the way this pioneering Sony sounds. One day the rest of the world will catch up.</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-review-rating"><legend>Review Rating</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> sound </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 10 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-1"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> design </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 9 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-2"><div class="field field-type-content-taxonomy field-field-review-type"> <div class="field-label">Type:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> smarts </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-review-score"> <div class="field-label">Score:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> 7 </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-verdict"> <div class="field-label">Verdict:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>The best-sounding portable device we&rsquo;ve heard, but it&#39;s only really for the most dedicated hi-res audio pioneers</p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-preview"> <div class="field-label">Preview:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Disabled </div> </div> </div> http://www.stuff.tv/nwz-zx1-walkman/sony-nwz-zx1-high-resolution-walkman/review#comments Geek accessories Hi-Fi & Streaming Hi-Res Audio NWZ-ZX1 Walkman Sony Tue, 25 Feb 2014 17:22:34 +0000 Tom Parsons 1432690 at http://www.stuff.tv Chord Hugo: the world’s first portable Hi-Res Audio DAC will quadruple the price of your phone http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/chord-hugo-world-s-first-portable-hi-res-audio-dac/news <div class="field field-type-text field-field-standfirst"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> This tiny headphone amp will pipe studio-quality tunes into your ears, no matter where you are </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-main-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_main_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Chord Hugo" alt="Chord Hugo" src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/images/news/chord-hugo-main.jpg?1389621010" /> </div> </div> </div> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/music/5-best-dacs-how-make-your-digital-music-sound-amazing/feature" target="_blank">DACs</a> and headphone amps are wonderful tools, boosting the quality of your phone or computer&rsquo;s audio &ndash; but they tend to be a little on the bulky side, particularly those that support Hi-Res Audio files.</p> <div class="field field-type-userreference field-field-byline"> <div class="field-label">Byline:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/users/sam-kieldsen" title="View user profile.">Sam Kieldsen</a> </div> </div> </div> <fieldset class="content-multigroup-group-sections"><legend>News Section</legend><fieldset class="content-multigroup-wrapper content-multigroup-0"><div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-section-paginate"> <div class="field-label">Paginate on this section:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Don't paginate </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-title"> <div class="field-label">Title:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Where you go, Hugo(es) </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-body"> <div class="field-label">Body:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Not so the Chord Hugo. Lightweight, compact and powered by a built-in rechargeable battery, it&rsquo;s decidedly portable. Hence the name &ndash; you can take this DAC wherever &ldquo;Hugo&rdquo;. Groan.</p> <p>Chord says Hugo, which is encased in aircraft-grade aluminium, is the first portable DAC to support Hi-Res Audio. It can decode PCM music at sample rates from 44.1kHz to 382kHz and is fully compatible with DSD 128 format music files. It features five digital inputs (including two USBs) as well as Bluetooth wireless streaming support, and will work with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices.</p> <p>The device will be officially unveiled at <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature" target="_blank">CES 2014</a>, which starts next week. We&rsquo;ll be in Las Vegas to report on all the gadgety goings-on, so we&rsquo;ll try to get some ears-on time with the Hugo to see if it really does possess those audiophile chops. Well, it better for the price: Chord says it&rsquo;ll set you back a cool &pound;1,200 when it goes on sale.</p> <p>In the meantime, you can brush up on your Hi-Res Audio knowledge with <a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2014/ces-and-beyond-ten-tech-trends-will-define-2014/feature" target="_blank">our article about how it&#39;s going to be one of the defining tech trends of 2014</a>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.stuff.tv/ces-2013/ces-2014-biggest-stories-so-far/feature">Click here to read about all of the biggest CES 2014 news so far.</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-hcmvideofield-video field-field-brightcove-video"> <div class="field-label">Video ID/URL:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <div class="messages warning">This video is not currently supported.</div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image"> <div class="field-label">Image #1:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image" width="1200" height="900" title="Chord Hugo " alt="Chord Hugo " src="http://images.cdn.stuff.tv/sites/stuff.tv/files/chord-hugo-colours.jpg?1389621010" /> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-number-integer field-field-make-full-width"> <div class="field-label">Make full width:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Do not make full width </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> </fieldset> CES 2014 Hi-Res Audio Thu, 02 Jan 2014 15:17:59 +0000 Sam Kieldsen 1430605 at http://www.stuff.tv