Spatial audio is defined by Abbey Road Studios. Abbey Road Studios tacitly believes in such matters, but defines it as “any audio that gives a sense of space beyond conventional stereo.” Founded by former Apple designer Christopher Stringer, Syng is in the business of taking traditional listening habits into new spatial dimensions. The main purpose of his debut product, the Cell Alpha, is to enable crystal-clear audio to be heard anywhere in a room (or building, really).
The popular idea of a “sweet spot” between two carefully placed stereo speakers has existed since the late 1950s. Those who happen to be off-axis will not be able to experience the full frequency spectrum, from high to low, and will suffer musical consequences. is employed. That means you can toss a single Cell Alpha into a room, and thanks to an array of speakers arranged around a nearly spherical unit, it’s roughly in the right place wherever you happen to be. Place multiple of them and the accompanying app will guide you through how to optimize the output of each to fill that space perfectly. The system plays fast and loose in a stereo concept, but does a great job of spreading the sound evenly.
Of course, it looks unusual. The act of unpacking and setting it up is almost a theatrical act, from undoing the glittery silver bag to stealthily threading the hidden power cable through the stem. Futuristic gadgets remain. But how does it work in practice? Full support for Android devices is still awaited, so if you’re an Apple fanatic, you’ll be a happier customer. And while Sing may have over-emphasized the bass in demonstrating the Cell Alpha’s impressive frequency range, subwoofer fans won’t complain: Abbey Road’s Spatial Audio in his test I don’t know if it will pass, but this omnidirectional curiosity is certainly something special. synthel alpha£1,999
radio, someone still loves you
Family owned and operated, Ruark Audio has been quietly creating beautifully designed, exquisite sounding audio products for over 40 years. This 4th generation supercharged radio unit, the R2, has a completely overhauled look and features a slatted wood grille that is slightly reminiscent of 1970s kitchen top models. However, its features are very modern, with access to FM, DAB+, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, and thousands of Internet radio stations and podcasts. Upload the latter to your smartphone and play via Bluetooth. But the sound is as sweet, round and sophisticated as it looks. Luark R2 Mk4, 479 pounds
As TVs got thinner and less likely to house decent-sounding speakers, soundbars became automatic purchases.As a buyer, a standard set of speakers does a better job. I forgot to ask why do we actually need these odd-shaped things when we can. We ask this very question with the A28, a ‘soundbar killer’ with a wealth of connectivity (for Google Cast), HDMI (for TV). , RCA (for analog audio), Bluetooth (for everything else). These speakers become something of a central hub in your living room and a welcome exercise in streamlining. And the soundbar sounds sweeter than ever. Audio Pro A28£550
you spin me around
This year, for the first time since 1987, records outsold CDs. This is due to a) nostalgia, b) the fact that vinyl looks and feels better, and c) the belief that it sounds better. One thing is for sure, buying one of the cheap retro turntables on the market will definitely make your vinyl sound worse. But this new incarnation of Alva TT is just the opposite. Incredibly sturdy construction, an audiophile’s dream, also comes with Bluetooth “aptX HD” to facilitate high-quality streaming to your speakers. An audiophile might worry that cables are being bypassed in expensive oxygen-free speakers, but will he be able to tell the difference in a test? (No.) Cambridge Audio Alba TT V2£1,699
I can’t get you out of my head
If your quest is for sonic perfection in a home environment, you’re after a pair of headphones (because kettle and aquarium noise can be very confusing) and something to hook them up. The Uniti Atom is the ultimate headphone preamp with all sources in one unit. Streaming options like Spotify Connect and Tidal, internet radio, Bluetooth, and more via digital or analog inputs are all you need. Then deliver them to your tin of choice in sweet stereo, and adjust the volume with the giant dial on top.
Listening through the £4,700 Focal Utopia headphones, you wonder why you’d want to experience music any other way. Of course, the answer is practicality and affordability. But it certainly isn’t quality. Naim Uniti Atom (headphone version)£2,499