A very warm welcome to Newsletter #20 for this August 2022. This is the monthly look back and throw forward to all things Hifiandmusicsource.com. With the summer holidays drawing to a close and Ascot on the horizon it promises to be an exciting Autumn for HiFi.
New reviews this month
This month has been speaker-heavy with three loudspeakers on review all with different offerings and price points. MOON’s Voice 22 is their first loudspeaker, that has been designed with the fabulous MOON ACE in mind and they offer a fine soundstage together as heard in this review. Whilst MOON by Simaudio is offering their first loudspeaker, Danish giants DALI have re-imagined their MENUET speaker with a Special Edition MENUET SE model. This loudspeaker has a diminutive footprint but a stunningly clear and crisp presentation. Separately and coming up on HF&MS will be a review of the Acoustic Energy 109.2 floorstanding loudspeakers that have a huge presence at an incredible price point and it is admirable how this British brand has delivered such a fine loudspeaker at such a low price point.
Also reviewed this month were the Meze ADVAR in-ear monitors. At £649, they are quite simply Outstanding in-ears, benefitting from the trickle-down skill and expertise learned through the likes of the RAI Pentas and the Elite headphones that Meze has developed over these recent years. At the end of the day, with a desk-bound Chord Hugo 2 or an Audioquest DragonFly on the move, this is what music is all about.
As well as the Acoustic Energy 109.2 speaker review there will be a new review of the ‘entry level’ MOON by Simaudio 250i integrated amplifier which is already impressive on the test bench. Like Meze, MOON gets very little wrong when it puts something out and the 250i so far is showing the same pedigree. Also here at HF&MS, we are promised a listen to the stunning-looking HiFi Rose RA180, keep an eye on Instagram to see when that arrives! Speaking of Instagram other reviews to look forward to are of the clean sounding, Escape M1 Air streaming bridge, which has just about everything you could ask for at £200; it has Chromecast built-in, AirPlay 2, Roon, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth 5.0, allowing access to all music streaming services including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Qobuz. I’ve used it with BBC Sounds and TuneIn radio too, it has behaved faultlessly thus far.
There should also be something ‘Special’ coming from REL in the coming weeks, look for news of this arrival on Instagram.
New music has been fairly scarce this month, strange because new albums from Jack White and Ryan Adams would normally send me into a bit of a frenzy. These two are so prolific, maybe that’s the problem as new music appears quite frequently and loses that intrigue. Having said that the Rolling Stones’ back catalogue is still commanding much attention from this listener as is The Police’s Synchronicity, what an album this is, produced whilst they were all falling out with each other, it was their last album, sadly.
Look out for the Mercury Music Prize 2022 announcement, due September 8th; several of the nominees have featured as HF&MS “listening to…” albums in the last few months including, Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler’s superb album and Harry Styles. I’m having a listen to all the nominees this year, my monies on Jessie Buckley and Butler or Fergus McCreadie’s Forest Floor.