Just like the summer weather, the British floorstanding loudspeaker market is hotting up. We’ve seen several impressive high value for money floorstanding designs of late that offer serious hi-fi clout for a relatively low outlay. Regular readers will have marvelled at the 3050i from Q Acoustics that we reviewed last month, which received a coveted Editor’s Choice award and is the hottest, value floorstander we’ve seen so far. But contenders are already lining up to take its crown – including this month’s £600 cover star, Fyne Audio’s F303 (p46), and Monitor Audio’s Monitor 300 (p60), priced at just £550.

Like Q Acoustics, Monitor Audio has a considerable reputation and hi-fi heritage, but Fyne Audio is perhaps less well-known to those outside the industry. Tellingly, the Scottish-based newcomer, which unveiled its first models at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show in February, is made up of ex-Tannoy personnel with plenty of years of experience, and the F303 looks set to be a serious challenger to the value floorstander crown. 

For those without the necessary space or home life to accommodate floorstanders but with deeper pockets, this month’s Group Test looks at a sextet of high-end headphone designs from big-name brands. With a price span of £1,300 to £1,800 you can be sure each delivers an up-close and personal experience. To find out which one strikes the right balance between audiophile performance and value, turn to p24.

Also inside the August issue: Arcam’s Class G SA20 integrated amplifier gets the In-depth treatment and Exotica looks at the Hydra 2 Anniversary power amplifier from Leema Acoustics and our regular review section sees Roon’s Nucleus+ music server and iFi Audio’s xDSD portable DAC and headphone amp on our test bench. Plus, Music Legends hails singer-songwriter Carole King, while Dealer Visit heads to Martins Hi-Fi in Norwich and ourGroup Test looks at six high-end headphone designs from Audio-Technica, Focal, Grado, Pioneer, Sennheiser and Ultrasone.

Lee Dunkley, editor