It’s relatively easy to throw money at top-quality kit (although you can still get quite badly burned without the proper research), but the real gems out there are those rare products that punch well above their weight. And our bargain 4K TV round-up this month reveals a couple of brilliant sets that could easily be in a price bracket or two higher. The best of these 50-inch and 55-inch TV sets will undoubtedly serve you well, while still being wallet-friendly.
But our testing doesn't end there. In fact, we've got a pleasingly eclectic variety of products for review this issue. From the undeniably old-school hi-fi of a turntable cartridge round-up, to a Group Test of that most space-age of techs that is premium noise-cancelling headphones , What Hi-Fi? is dedicated to bringing you the best equipment you can buy.
Also, don’t miss a round-up of our favourite kit from the Consumer Electronic Show, back in all its glory in Las Vegas after the restrictions of Covid-19. It was good to be back.
And, as usual, we also have reviews of the very latest hi-fi and AV products in our First Tests section.
Affordable TVs well worth considering
Times being what they are, it’s prudent and sensible to consider how you can make your money go further, and there’s no reason not to apply that mantra to what TV you should buy. Of course, logically while you get more features and better picture quality the more you can spend, some cheaper models still offer plenty for the AV enthusiast to consider.
In March's What Hi-Fi? we round up six new sets firmly planted at the affordable end of the market, from three of the biggest players in the world of bang-for-your-buck televisions, Toshiba, Samsung and TCL.
We always rate things on a performance-per-pound basis here at What Hi-Fi? , and our testing of budget TVs reflects this very keenly. For their relatively modest outlay, these 4K HDR TVs have screen sizes of either 50- or 55-inches, which is plenty big enough still to make a statement in your living room. All boast some clever picture processing, smart operating systems and some even have the latest advanced graphics features for gaming, all for a fraction of the price you could shell out for a more ‘premium’ 4K TV at the same size. Good value need not always mean ‘cheap’, as you will see here.
Best in show
We were back at the world's biggest tech expo, the Consumer Electronic Show, in glitzy Las Vegas last month – and in March's What Hi-Fi? we bring you our ten highlights from the show, revealing some exciting new products you can expect to see in the coming year.
Maximum quality for your ears
Once upon a time a pair of high-quality wireless headphones cost about £300 – then along came a company called Apple and changed everything. It set about designing a pair of over-ear headphones made from higher-quality materials, with improved sound and better build quality than the market had hitherto known. And, in 2020, it released the AirPods Max, brazenly charging twice as much for them. But, the AirPods Max were great.
Before long the headphone market was awash with similarly priced, superior noise-cancelling wireless over-ears; and this month we pitch the AirPods Max (still great) against a trio of other high-end earhuggers, each with an ample stash of impressive tech and a unique USP. All have active noise-cancelling, all are Bluetooth-equipped, all can be used with a cable as well as without.
There are no also-rans in this test – the quality of the field is such that the AirPods have their work cut out to dominate here. And for we music fans, it all adds up to a recipe for listening happily ever after.
First with reviews
Our First Tests section is where you'll find our famously in-depth, impartial and expert reviews of the very latest AV and hi-fi kit.
This month, we lead with Panasonic's impressive flagship OLED TV, the TX-65LZ2000B. It's a five star stunner, find out why in March's What Hi-Fi?
Another product to get full marks this month is Fyne Audio's F502SP floorstanders which we found were "terrific at pulling us into the music", which is of course what great hi-fi should do.
We also got our eager, expert mitts on the similarly impressive Sonus Faber Lumina V floorstanders, and the much smaller but so much more portable Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 wireless speaker.
Jabra's Elite 5 in-ears, the Quantum Dot-toting Samsung QE5560BTV and EarMen CH-Amp headphone amp were also on our test benches this month.
Find out what we thought of all these products in the March 2023 issue of What Hi-Fi?
High price, mighty performance
Our Temptations section of What Hi-Fi? is where you'll find high-end hi-fi and AV products with a price-tag to match.
This month we plug the dCS Rossini Apex DAC into our system to find out if this DAC's sonic abilities match its lofty price tag. Then we give our ears a treat with the SPL Phonitor xe headphone amp. Yes, these products cost a pretty penny, but their five-star reviews should tell you they're worth every one of those shiny coins.
Finally, don't forget to check out our Buyer’s Guide , featuring a definitive list of all the best home entertainment kit you can buy – including winners of 2022's What Hi-Fi? Awards. If you’re looking to purchase anything from a pair of wireless headphones to a home cinema speaker system , this section will tell you where to spend your money wisely.
Whatever you do, don't miss the February 2023 issue of What Hi-Fi?. Grab a copy today, or simply download it onto your tablet or smartphone. Enjoy!