“Honey, I shrunk the LS50 Wireless” might be the snappiest way to describe KEF’s latest active loudspeaker: into a compact, Danish-fabric-wrapped cabinet, designed by one Michael Young and landing in five colour options, goes a new version of the British loudspeaker company’s Uni-Q driver array, internally juiced by Class D amplification – 70w for the mid/bass, 30w for the tweeter – and crossed over in a DSP engine that takes its binary feed from the (also internal) digital streaming board. An attractive hi-fi system in a box for apartment dwellers and bedroom producers.… Read the full article
DALI. Not the surrealist painter but Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries. This loudspeaker company wears the A-word proudly but at IFA 2018 I stepped over their new range of passive loudspeakers – the Oberon – to take a closer look at the Callisto 2C (€2800/pair): a 2.5-way active whose amplifiers and drivers were developed simultaneously.
On the inside, a DSP crossover splits the incoming audio signal between Class D amplifiers that drive a wood fibre mid-bass driver and soft-dome / ribbon tweeters.… Read the full article
To describe the Kii Three as a pair of loudspeakers is to do then a gross disservice. Even calling them active loudspeakers, where DACs and bespoke-fit amplifiers sit inside each two-piece cabinet, sells them short.
The Kii Three stands alone with a unique proposition: loudspeakers that are as close to room agnostic as you’ll find anywhere and at any price. Guaranteeing consistent performance in almost ANY room – even small rooms – an internal DSP engine exploits noise cancellation to deliver a cardioid dispersion pattern for a large portion of the frequency spectrum with the end user customising low-bass output according to boundary proximity.… Read the full article
Not everyone taking an interest in a better hifi system wants to engage in the sport of hi-fi: mixing and matching amplifiers to extract the best performance from a pair of passive loudspeakers before adding a DAC and network streamer.
Many modern hi-fi buyers have a thirst for better sound quality at home but derive zero pleasure from making decisions about what goes with what and how to wire it up. Die-hard audiophiles often have a hard time believing that some people just don’t want to configure their own system.… Read the full article
Danish loudspeaker company Dynaudio has announced reworked versions of their Xeo 4 (standmount) and Xeo 6 (floorstanding) active loudspeaker models.
The incoming models hold tight to their predecessors’ driver complement with a 28mm Esotec soft dome tweeter augmented by an in-house developed 14cm MSP (Magnesium Silicate Polymer) mid/bass driver in the standmount Xeo 20 (€2199/pair) and an additional 14cm MSP bass driver in the floorstanding Xeo 30 (€3599/pair).
Each driver is powered by a 65 Watt amplifier (up from 50 Watts found in the outgoing Xeo 4), tailored to meet input impedance swings across its required bandwidth, and crossed over in the digital domain with DSP.… Read the full article
Conventional thinking – who needs it? Not Max Schlundt and his Kultur Technik HiFi store in West Berlin where high end actives from Grimm, Kii, Manger, Avant Garde, Lyravox and Genelec enjoy equal ocular and aural billing alongside passives from ELAC, Burmester, Focal and other more usual suspects.
The most pronounced difference drawn out of the box(es) by Camp Active is a lower box count. The amplification is built into the speaker cabinets. In December, I put my own dollars down on Genelec’s 8341, the centre spot in the Finnish company’s newly established ‘The Ones’ range of point source models.… Read the full article
What does it all mean? Not life but the slew of products heard by yours truly in 2017. Reproducing a summary list is an easy cop out – a hat tip to pull quote culture. Yeah nah. More of a challenge and therefore more rewarding (for me and you the reader) is to tease out trends sketched out by a selection of the year’s best audio hardware, to join their dots and ink the connecting lines with greater indelibility. Here are three such trends:
Idealist audiophiles talk a lot about synergy – of one amplifier extracting better sound from a pair of loudspeakers than another – but offered bespoke-fit amplification, tailored to the driver level, those same idealists will politely decline; their ability to choose an amplifier is gone.… Read the full article
After Focus XD and Xeo, Denmark’s Dynaudio have announced a logical extension to their digitally active loudspeaker development with the Google-defying Music: a range of standalone multi-room-capable loudspeakers for the credenza, the night stand or the bookshelf.
With functional and visual echoes of Denon’s HEOS hardware, Dynaudio invite us to choose from the Music 1 (€499), Music 3 (€649), Music 5 (€799) and Music 7 (€999), each available in four different colours: dark grey, light grey, blue and red (that’s a little pinkish).… Read the full article
Far easier for the Victor Meldrews of the audiophile world to dismiss the manufacturer aiming beyond the audiophile echo chamber as pandering to hipsters than it is to admit a new product worthy of (their) closer scrutiny. Doubly so when a product dares to challenge established thinking.
Offering an alternative to passive loudspeakers powered by outboard amplifiers (once again) are Dynaudio. If we are to believe the Danish company’s promo shots, the 2017 revision of its Focus XD active loudspeaker range is aimed at younger folk than you’ll find at the average audio show.… Read the full article
How transportable is your hifi system? My latest rig flew as a single piece of checked baggage from Hong Kong to Australia and then to the UK before being couriered to Germany. Landing at my door in Berlin however was not a palette but a single cardboard box. Inside, a pair of standmount loudspeakers, dual mono amplifiers, a D/A converter and wifi/Ethernet streamer.