With more ways to listen to music than ever before, the type of products we choose to use differs for many of us. While I always prefer to hear my favourite tunes on my main hi-fi system – comprising floorstanding speakers, pre/power amplification and dedicated sources for all format types – the majority of my friends and family listen to theirs via discreet smart speakers. At first glance, some might see my setup as old fashioned, but play an LP, CD or music stream and its doesn't take long to see why I have the setup I do.

Here at Hi-Fi Choice we realise that listening to music in this way isn't always possible due to the practicalities of our domestic arrangements, and consumer electronics firms along with the specialist hi-fi industry have been quick to identify the interest in small wireless music systems that meet our practical demands while offering great sound quality.

Although active speakers have been slow to get off the ground in hi-fi circles, Dynaudio's Xeo 20 is a fine example of this increasingly popular breed and combines traditional speaker design with 260W of stereo amplification and support for wireless hi-res streaming. For those looking for sounds from something more compact still, the world of intelligent speakers with voice recognition, sound calibration and multi-room capabilities is hotly contested. To find out which one we rate the best, check out this month's Group Test.

 

Inside the January 2019 issue: exclusive review of AVID’s Ingenium Plug&Play turntable package, Melco’s N100 music library, Markaudio-Sota’s Cesti MB single-driver standmount, Audiolab’s 6000A integrated amplifier and Dynaudio’s Xeo 20 wireless speaker. Plus, Music Legends celebrates the career of Marvin Gaye and Destination visits Richmond, Yorkshire. Group Test looks at six intelligent multi-room speakers from: Apple, Bluesound, Google, JBL, Riva Audio and Sonos.

 

Lee Dunkley, editor