Newsletter, February 2021

Newsletter, February 2021

HF&MS Homepage February 2021

We’ve had a great start to 2021 with plenty of hi-fi reviews to scratch our hi-fi itch…

What a difference a year makes. Back in February 2020, audio fans and industry members alike were gearing up for the annual Bristol Hi-Fi Show gathering. Considered by many to be the UK’s go-to consumer audio event and the highlight of the hi-fi calendar, ‘The Bristol Show’ has become one of the most popular hi-fi experiences of all. Sadly, this year’s event organised by Audio T is cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and there are no plans for a virtual, online offering at this time. 

We are reliably informed, however, that the show is scheduled to return in February 2022 hosted at the refurbished Bristol Marriott Hotel City Centre venue. As a relatively new presence in the audio industry, the HF&MS team will miss catching up with fellow hi-fi enthusiasts and industry colleagues and discovering the sonic treats and developments exhibitors plan to introduce to the market in the year ahead. Fingers crossed we can all meet up next year. 

Lockdown lifestyle

It’s hard to imagine a more disruptive year than 2020. Like everyone else, we’ve had to adapt to working from home, attended meetings and product launches via video conference calls and share our hi-fi listening sessions with fellow household members. If you asked us what we miss most about life living under the constraints of the UK’s third lockdown, we’d have to confess that it’s a lack of spontaneity that has been one of the greatest challenges.

Being unable to gather with like-minded friends to discuss and play our favourite music or head off to a nearby gig, has been one of the most difficult experiences to deny ourselves over the past twelve months.

With many music festivals already cancelled for the year ahead, missing out on our usual variety of live music events has us wondering what state the music world and audio industry will be in when we do finally emerge. Record labels appear to be majoring on big-name artists and taking a rather blinkered approach to its future by overlooking new talent. And what of the challenging financial landscape the pandemic’s impact will have on all kinds of music spaces and entertainment venues? All sobering topics for any hi-fi and music fan that enjoys experiencing a variety of live music events.  

Despite the disruption to hi-fi distribution channels around the world, we’re still receiving plenty of great audio products for our reviews site and feel privileged that we’re able to secure so many great components for our pages. Thank you for all your support.

More reviews

The eagle-eyed among you will notice that the second instalment of our ‘monthly’ newsletter is running a bit late – we missed the planned January mail out as we continue to build our website and social media channels.

January was busy with writing the best hi-fi component reviews of course and our coveted Outstanding and Highly Recommended badges were awarded to: Eclipse TD508 Mk3 desktop speakers, Atlas Hyper Achromatic Bi-wire speaker cable, Auralic Vega G2.1 streaming DAC, Focal for Bentley Radiance headphones, NAD M33 streaming DAC amplifier and Eclipse TD520SW. Our review of the KEF LS50 Wireless II active loudspeaker system partnered with Hi-Fi Racks support stands is coming very soon.

With plenty of exciting news just around the corner on the latest hi-fi kit and the best albums to put your music system through its paces, there’s plenty to keep you coming back to – see below for links to product reviews coming up in the next few weeks.

Products on test this month: Fyne Audio F1-5, Exposure XM5 & XM CD, Sonus faber Lumina I, Vertere Acoustics DG-1, Rega io, Yamaha A-S2200 and Ophidian Mambo 2.

Until next time, happy listening.

Simon, Jo & Lee