Q Acoustics Q-BT3 £400
Making your way in the world of consumer electronics is tough-going for a standard pair of desktop speakers. Why? Because of products like this. The new Q-BT3 speakers not only claim to deliver proper «hi-fi sound» as opposed to a «jazzed up iPod dock» but also feature the higher-quality aptX version of Bluetooth for wireless streaming from laptops, phones and tablets. There’s also an integrated DAC for connecting digital sources.
Meridian Director £450
We welcomed Meridian’s exploration of the more affordable end of the market with open arms — and a five-star review of the portable Explorer DAC. Now the company is back for another bite with the Director. Again, it’s compact and easy on the eye (for a DAC), supports hi-res music and has coaxial, optical and USB inputs. It’s powered via USB or the mains. Meridian sees the Director as the perfect companion to the likes of Apple TV and Sonos, as well as traditional systems.
Loewe Slim Frame TV from £2800
While our main concern with any product is the audio and video performance, we’d be mad not to consider aesthetics, not least with a big TV. So consider it we do. And we like the look of this Loewe. Not sure? Colour, materials, size, speakers and much more are all at your individual disposal. It comes in 40-, 46- and 55in sizes.
Monitor Audio Radius from £200
The Radius speaker range was one of the first compact sub/sat home cinema packages on the market when it first emerged some 10 years ago, and has been one of the best around in various incarnations ever since. Now it’s back again with new models and even a soundbar.
The speakers feature all-metal drivers for the first time and come in a choice of finishes.
Sure, 320kbps is OK when you’re on your commute (grudgingly for many of us) but higher quality is always better. So, how about the first smartphone to support hi-res 24-bit/196kHz files? LG’s new flagship G2 is that smartphone. Also notable: all the buttons are on the back. Intrigued? Us too.