Loudspeakers come in all shapes and sizes, and flicking through the pages of this month’s issue with its numerous models is a testament to this burgeoning sector of the audio market. From traditional floorstanders that range from models so large they block out the sun – step forward DALI’s Opticon 8 – to more elegant and less visually demanding designs, the Group Test starting on page 24 looks at six speakers priced £2,000 and under that tread a more conventional path in philosophy and construction that reaches right back to the dawn of domestic hi-fi itself.

Compare these bulky, angular, passive floorstanders to Devialet’s extraordinary Gold Phantom reviewed on page 16, and the suggestion of the possible direction for the evolution of the loudspeaker and, indeed, high-performance hi-fi is small, self-powered, wireless, well-connected, insanely loud and more or less ball-shaped. Whether it turns out to be a trailblazer or a tangent too far, it surely demonstrates the pinnacle of today’s modular music system, one that can grow into a multi-room setup for music around the home. For those that prefer more conventional speakers but want to integrate with existing audio components, Yamaha’s NX-N500 active speaker – reviewed on page 60 – is part of its MusicCast family with support for hi-res files and music streaming services. And with DALI’s Katch portable Bluetooth speaker reviewed on page 119, there’s something here to suit everyone.

 

 

 

 

Also in the December issue: we take a look at T+A’s network music player and matching loudspeakers, Cyrus’ ONE integrated amp, ELAC’s Discovery network music player, Quad VA-One, plus Dealer Visit heads to Ceritech in Gloucestershire and Destination heads to wonderful Copenhagen.

 

The Knowledge
Best-buy furniture for audio components and speakers that’ll make your audio system sing from Atacama, Audio Suspension, Hi-Fi Racks, ONKK and Quadraspire