Hardware Reviews

turntable
Jan 2022
The wonderful thing about turntables is that they inspire a wide variety of ideas about how best to go about the tricky job of extracting the vibrations from a vinyl groove. On the one hand they are pretty crude, all that’s...
streamer & linear power supply
Jan 2022
One not insignificant barrier to the uptake of streaming in a hi-fi system (as opposed to on a phone) is the perceived issue of software problems. Rather too many streamers rely on rebadged control software that is fine...
standmount loudspeaker
Jan 2022
A new product from Neat Acoustics always gets me excited, especially since owner Bob Surgeoner took over complete control of designs; before that I found them rather avant-garde for my traditional taste. The maestro’s latest...
power distributor & cables
Jan 2022
If you have been reading The Ear for a while you may recall that back in October 2019 I submitted a review of the the Shunyata Research Venom UK6 power distribution block and the Venom NR-V10 mains cables. I said at the time...
integrated amplifier
Dec 2021
As the audio world absorbs what former Bakoon International designer Soo In Chae has achieved with the AMP-23R integrated amplifier, the first product from his new Enleum brand, the aphorism that good things come in small...
standmount loudspeaker
Dec 2021
Having heard loudspeakers from Finnish manufacturer Amphion at various shows around the world, I was very excited to be loaned a pair to try at home for long-term evaluation. The two-way bookshelf Argon1 was a model I...
headphone amplifier & preamplifier
Dec 2021
Benchmark’s HPA4 is the first item of audio kit I have encountered that peels apart the ying and the yang of audio to expose the fault line between those of us for whom measurements are all that matters… and those of us that...
various
Dec 2021
2021 may not have been the year that many of us had hoped for, there was only one hi-fi show in the UK and not many more elsewhere, but that hasn’t stopped manufacturers both large and small who have produced some absolutely...
streamer server network bridge
Nov 2021
Chord Electronics’ much anticipated 2yu network bridge started shipping proper this summer, more than a year after its big reveal in early 2020 just before Covid put a rather big dampener on things. 2yu is built specifically...
floorstanding loudspeakers
Nov 2021
It’s funny how, after all my years in evaluating both hardware and software in the home music replay industry, there are still some venerable (not old but respected and well-established) names that have not passed through my...
floorstanding loudspeakers
Nov 2021
Historically at least priorities in audio have varied between the UK and the US. Americans hold that the loudspeaker is the most important part of any sound system, they tend to spend more on speakers than any other part of...
MM cartridge
Nov 2021
When the Vertere Sabre arrived, the first thing to admire was the manner in which it is packaged. It is bolted to the door of a two tier plastic structure with two knurled thumb screws. Simple and effective. Having liberated...

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