Category Reviews

REVIEW: NEAT Motive SX1 – the great big little speakers

Smaller than you might think, NEAT’s latest Motive SX1 speakers deliver an unmissably thrilling ride As floorstanding speakers go, the new NEAT Motive SX1 is small. Seriously small, as in standing well under 100cm tall and with a slimline front baffle, meaning a pair take up considerably less front-room real-estate than most standmounted designs. Coming […]

REVIEW: Peachtree Audio nova125 – reinventing the integrated amplifier

From time to time, you have to challenge your preconceptions of what constitutes ‘serious hi-fi’: fortunately, the Peachtree Audio nova125 is everything a ‘normal’ amplifier isn’t It’s mainly designed for use with digital sources, yet has a valve in its preamp stage; it’s capable of a hefty 125W per channel output, yet comes wrapped – […]

REVIEW: Cambridge Audio Minx Xi – simply streaming with style

The Cambridge Audio Minx Xi is the company’s first one-box streaming system, and one of those audio products seemingly designed to become part of your life Some products get reviewed: they’re rotated fairly rapidly – over the course of a week or so – through the main reviewing system, get boxed up after everything is […]

REVIEW: Linn’s Sneaky DSM – like a Kiko, but invisible

There’s a lot to be said for Linn’s Kiko system: it’s an interesting designer twist on the company’s streaming products, and in many ways a fine add-on for anyone already set up for music streaming, but wanting a simple solution in another room. However, if you want something less of a style statement and more […]

Marantz NA-11S1

REVIEW: Marantz NA-11S1 – a very good thing worth the very long wait

When it comes to high-end network music players, the smaller specialist audio companies have led the market. Linn and Naim are perhaps the best-known examples, with Cyrus joining the party somewhat later – the larger mass-market brands have been cautious in this area, and only now are we seeing signs that the whole music-streaming idea […]

REVIEW: Tivoli Audio Music System +

Upgraded all-in-one could be the ideal second-room/small-room system So you’ve got yourself a decent hi-fi system, but you fancy something better than an iPod dock or a portable radio in the kitchen? Or maybe you’re lucky enough to have what they used to call a study, and is now a home office? Then again, perhaps […]

REVIEW: Esoteric K-07 SACD/CD player/DAC

Maybe it’s time for one of Japan’s best-kept audio secrets to become a bit less – well, esoteric I’ve always liked Esoteric equipment, ever since I first clapped eyes on some of the range many years ago in a shop in Tokyo’s Akihabara district – you know, the ‘Electric Town’ area everyone used to rave […]

Focal Aria cone

REVIEW: Focal Aria 926 loudspeakers

A new speaker range; a new drive-unit material. Focal’s Aria 900 line-up makes its début this weekend, and judging from the Aria 926 floorstanders (above) I’ve been using for the past couple of weeks, the French speaker company could be on to something rather special. New materials are the lifeblood of the loudspeaker industry. There’s […]

REVIEW: Creek Evolution 50A – or ‘how I started testing an amplifier and ended up loving the radio all over again’

The lead-time between first seeing a product and receiving a review sample can be anything from instantaneous to ages. Sometimes it’s a matter of ‘here it is, d’you want to take one away with you?’; on other occasions one gets to a point, about a year after the launch, where the manufacturer or distributor is […]

REVIEW: Naim SUPERNAIT 2 – proving that less is more

There’s setting trends, there’s following trends – and then there’s apparently flying in the face of fashion, which is usually either very brave or very dumb. I mean, look at the consumer electronics market: it’s simply stuffed with ‘me too’ products, showing a woeful lack of inspiration and an entirely risk-averse strategy. A company launches […]