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Ian McClurg Group

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Hamlet Nekrasov
Hamlet Nekrasov

Best Buy High End Audio

No matter how good one-box wireless speakers have become, the best possible stereo sound quality still comes from a pair of hi-fi speakers. Our round-up of the best stereo speakers you can buy will ensure your home audio system is treated to the ultimate audio performance that your budget allows.

best buy high end audio

So whether you're looking for your first pair of speakers as you build a home music system, upgrading an old pair of budget speakers or going for broke with the best speakers your system, room and finances can accommodate, we're here to help.

You also need to make sure your speakers fit your room. Most speakers require a degree of space to sound their best, so be sure not to buy speakers that are too big for your listening area. This is also a good time to consider whether you want bookshelf or floorstanding speakers. Bigger speakers mean higher volumes but, again, you need the space.

There's also the choice between passive and active speakers. Most speakers are passive - they have no amplification inside, so require a separate amplifier to work. Active speakers with amplification (and sometimes DAC and streaming smarts) are increasingly popular and can connect straight to your source, no amp required, though they do require a connection to mains power. Check out our pick of the best active speakers if you're curious.

Build quality is nice for the price. Fyne has even mounted magnets on the back of the cabinet to provide a place for the grilles to be stored when not in use. And at 93cm high, these hi-fi speakers won't dominate smaller rooms.

But these Dalis are much more than simply the sum of their parts: they ooze sophistication and offer a degree of entertainment that even their most talented rivals struggle to match. Powerful vocals are delivered with nuance and passion, grabbing the listener's attention, and dynamics are handled with subtlety and class. They're particularly composed at high volume, too, which is always an encouraging sign.

They may look fairly simple but they're also neatly finished, well made and available in a choice of four finishes. Inside is on the predictable side, too, with classic speaker design but for some high-density EVA foam behind the driver for extra stability. However, a three-way design with a front-firing reflex port indicates there's been no scrimping when it comes to the all-important aspects of the speaker.

A relatively high sensitivity means some care is needed when choosing your amplifier, while they also work best given plenty of room. Triangle suggests they work best in rooms between 20-40m squared in size, and the manual recommends placing them at least 40cm from a rear wall.

Choosing the right pair of speakers comes with compromises: do you go for something that's highly analytical or one that puts engaging musicality as its highest priority? If you're after the latter, then the Sonus Faber Lumina V could be for you.

The Lumina V do need some care with partnering equipment (they need an amplifier with grunt, such as the Rega Aethos or Naim SuperNait 3) and with their positioning in the room to sound their best (give them space to breathe).

We think these new Mission 770 are right up there with the very best at this price. Mission takes design inspiration from the original 770 speakers launched in the 1970s, but has improved and modernised every other element: from the cabinet design to the drivers and even new dedicated stands.

There's impressive weight at the low-end, but bass remains well integrated and controlled. Dynamics are impressive and they stay composed when asked to work hard at high volume. Detailed, rhythmic and ultimately rewarding, they're a great addition to the speaker market at this price.

French audio brand Triangle has come up trumps with the Borea BR03s. These sophisticated standmounters deliver a huge sense of scale, much larger than rivals such as the formidable B&W 607s, and boast impressive separation to boot.

Below, we have rounded up the market's best stereo amps, which offer a vast selection of features across a range of prices but all have something in common: class-leading performance at their respective price points. We're confident there are options here to suit all budgets and requirements, to get your music system singing whether it comprises a modestly priced turntable and entry-level speakers or indeed higher-end kit. And what better place to start than with the current What Hi-Fi? Award winners...

With laptops, phones and music streaming services becoming ever-more popular music sources, the integrated amplifier has indeed moved with the times. Many now contain built-in digital-to-analogue converters (DACs) that feed digital inputs for connecting laptops, hard drives and digital-savvy hi-fi sources, while the vinyl revival has seen many integrate phono stages for turntables. Some even feature network streaming, making them a fully-fledged, just-add-speakers system (and for the best of those, you'll want to head on over to our best hi-fi systems page). So what you require will depend on your needs and the connectivity of any existing equipment you have.

Cambridge Audio's engineers have upgraded the signal path, as well as the capacitors in both the preamp and power amp sections. Also on board is a new DAC and an improved USB input that supports hi-res audio.

One slight drawback is that in order to reach this level of audio quality, Rega has made the decision to stick purely with analogue inputs (as it has traditionally done with its higher-ranging models too, though its approach is now changing). The lack of any digital connectivity might be a hindrance to some, but it's not unheard of at this price point, and it doesn't dampen our enthusiasm for what is one of the best-sounding stereo amplifiers we've heard at this modest price point.

What's more important is the sound quality. And we're happy to report it's a real step on from the CXA60, being more transparent and fun, but always staying composed even when the music gets frantic. It's a presentation style that works well across a wide range of musical genres and speakers, and should please all but the most demanding of listeners. If that's you, you'll have to spend a little more to satisfy your audio taste buds.

The Rega Aethos delivers a fantastic combination of insight, dynamics and rhythmic precision to produce a class-leading sound. It's not the most highly-specced stereo amp we've seen, though. There are no digital inputs (something Rega is now starting to add in its new releases, including the Elicit below), nor is there a phono stage for a turntable, which is surprising at this level. You do get five line-level inputs and a 6.3mm headphone socket, though.

This is another integrated amp with some serious pedigree. This third-gen model doesn't break any moulds, but then it doesn't have to. A slight improvement on its predecessor would be enough to make it one of the best around in its category.

And if this wasn't enough, it's an enjoyable listen too. Dynamics and timing are up there with the best, while detail levels are impressive for this class. Even if the Marantz does pip it for all-round sound quality, this NAD more than makes up for it in terms of features and ease of use. Definitely one for your shortlist.

So how does it sound? Very good indeed. Though considering it uses technology derived from the top-of-the-range 8300A series, and the same DAC chip as the Award-winning Audiolab M-DAC, its prestige audio quality comes as no surprise.

This might be an integrated amplifier, but it really is more like a separate pre- and power amplifier in a single box rather than a compromised electrical design. Build quality is excellent. Thanks to its impressive power amp circuitry, this is an amplifier that will have no trouble driving difficult speakers to high volume levels. In other words, it's right up our alley.

Buying a new laptop can be a tough process, especially when it comes to weeding out the not-so-great devices that are displayed alongside truly stellar hardware. If you're shopping for a new device and can appreciate the extra protection options, support, and convenience of buying from Best Buy, you have the option of many of the best Windows laptops for sale. We've rounded up the best of the best available from the retail giant including our top pick, the Dell XPS 13 9310.

Dell's XPS 13 keeps on getting better, and its latest 9310 refresh is no exception. It's one of the best-looking Ultrabooks on the market thanks to almost no wasted space on the aluminum chassis. The comfortable keyboard stretches from edge to edge, the touchpad makes great use of space below the keys, and the screen seems to take up the entire lid. The display has a taller 16:10 aspect ratio that eliminates the chin, and bezel is otherwise minimal.

Bezel is thin for a truly modern look, and the port selection includes Thunderbolt 4. Even with the bright OLED display, battery life lasted more than seven hours on a charge. Best Buy's offering is a rather high-end version of the x360 14, with Core i7-1165G7 CPU (with Intel Evo certification), 16GB of RAM, and 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD.

Razer already makes some of the best gaming laptops on the market today, but its first shot at an everyday Ultrabook is also an incredible machine. The Razer Book 13 has an impeccable aluminum design with sharp lines and no wasted space. It's thin and lightweight, it's well balanced, at it feels premium. The keyboard, camera, touchpad, and speakers are all top of class, making for one great package.

The Dell XPS 15, now refreshed to a 9510 model, is our pick for best 15-inch laptop. Not only does it have some awesome 15.6-inch Sharp IGZO display options with 16:10 aspect ratio, but it also comes with Intel's 11th Gen Core H-series CPUs and NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti discrete GPU. It's all built into a slim aluminum chassis with carbon fiber palm rests, and it's equipped with Thunderbolt 4 ports for modern connectivity. Top-firing speakers, comfortable keyboard, and enormous touchpad round things out. 041b061a72


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