We don’t want to try and guess what New Year’s resolutions you’ve made (ignoring the news? canceling gym memberships?), but for our part, we’ve decided—in a carpe diem fashion—to get out and more. And we know where we’re going for our first big outing: the 2023 Bristol HiFi Show.
The 2023 Bristol Hi-Fi Show will be held at the Delta Hotels Marriott, Bristol City Center Hotel from February 24-26. Tickets are available online through the shows official website or at the door.
For British enthusiasts of quality audio and the equipment that produces it, there’s nothing better to turn to than the Bristol Show. It is the largest and longest running exhibition event of its kind in the UK and this year, after a three-year Covid-induced absence, will be bigger and better than ever.
For more than three decades (this will be the show’s 34th year), Bristol has been a fixture on the audio industry’s agenda and the event of choice for bettors and manufacturers. More than 160 exhibitors will be showing their wares this year, including leading hi-fi brands such as Marantz, Linn, Technics, Rega, Bowers & Wilkins, Naim and Onkyo. Oh, and we’ll also be there to answer questions and give live demonstrations of our bespoke multi-speaker bespoke AV surround sound system with the latest TV technology. Also keep an eye out for our special contest to win a stack of shiny new gear.
Not only does Bristol offer an unparalleled opportunity to see and hear the latest audio hardware, it also offers the chance to purchase a variety of hi-fi equipment and accessories at bargain prices thanks to the special offers available there.
Bristol always packs some last minute surprises and many companies still have their big guns hidden away, but to whet your appetite we’ve put together a roundup of some of this year’s already revealed highlights and we’ll be adding more leading up to the main event. So, without further ado…
In addition to the well-known foyer stand, Chord Company will exhibit in 2023 not in one, but in two rooms. New analogue cables, innovative noise-cancelling power solutions will be shown and some dedicated 8-pin DIN and Burndy cables will be unveiled to complement Naim Audio’s new Classic range of hi-fi electronics.
The Reference Jubilee turntable from high-end disc spinner specialist Clearaudio makes its Bristol debut. Billed as showcasing “the best of Clearaudio past, present and future”, the deck recaptures the signature boomerang-shaped design of the original 1980s Reference (Clearaudio’s first-ever turntable), but replaces the original acrylic construction with a wood and aluminum chassis and a new engine.
Cable and power specialists Connected Fidelity are branching out to join the deck party too, with their first turntable – the mid-priced HUB – which is made from a special bamboo-based material and uses quartz clocked electronics to ensure speed accuracy and consistency.
Turntables need phono stages and that’s where niche brand Funk – the power behind Pink Triangle – comes in with the Akutrak stage, claimed to be the only product of its kind that corrects errors in the frequency response of cartridges . Funk will also show a concept prototype of active floorstanding loudspeakers.
Cable and connector specialist Furutech, meanwhile, will launch its top-of-the-line LineFlux NCF interconnects.
As well as the manufacturers of source units, headphones, amplifiers and speakers, the Bristol show will also play host to an army of accessory suppliers, including the respected British brand Hi-Fi Racks (no awards for guessing what they make). The company will be displaying its new Totus range of highly customizable hi-fi furniture made from solid oak and solid walnut hardwoods.
Loudspeaker veterans JBL show off their newest soundbar, the Bar 1300, in the Empire 2 Suite on the ground floor. Not only does it have a wireless subwoofer, but it also has detachable rear speakers that help transform it into a standalone mini surround sound system. We’ve yet to get our hands on one (it won’t go on sale until mid-February), but we’re more than a little intrigued.
It’s not the first time Naim has made an impact on the show – perhaps more than usual as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Alongside the champagne corks on the company’s Brunel Suite booth, the NSC 222 streaming amplifier and a new 100W per channel incarnation of the iconic NAP 250 power amplifier will take pride of place. The latter features technology taken from the company’s flagship Statement amplifier, leading us to call it “one of the very best Naim products in the company’s five decades”.
British loudspeaker manufacturer Neat Acoustics is launching the latest addition to its Classic series, the Elite, complete with its signature AMT tweeter.
One of Bristol’s other notable turntable designs is the Blue Danube from long-dormant hi-fi brand Pink Triangle. Featuring an aqua-colored band across the plinth (hence the name), this customizable, reference-standard deck is said to possess “the lowest wow, flutter, and rumble ever recorded.”
If you’re in the market for an AV amplifier, visit the booth of premium Swedish brand Primare, where the nine-channel (100W per channel) integrated SPA25 AV amplifier and processor will make its debut, complete with Dolby Atmos /DTS processing and 4K HDR switching.
More floorstanders can be found in Empire 3 on the ground floor, where ProAc will be displaying and demonstrating models from its flagship K-Series.
This year, the staff of hi-res streaming specialist Qobuz – the show’s official streaming service – are on hand to answer any of your streaming-related questions. They will also curate a range of custom playlists and offer visitors a 60-day free Qobuz trial.
REL Acoustics will be showcasing a whopping 10 new models at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2023. Head to the 3rd floor where REL’s staff will demonstrate and discuss all things related to the company.
Sticking with the headphone theme, Sennheiser is showing its new HD 660S2 open-back over-ear headphones alongside its just-released IE 200 premium wired earbuds, complete with a number of design innovations, including a revised braided cable.
If you like your speakers to look a little different, you might be tempted by the newest member of Vivid Audio’s Kaya range, the quirky S12.
Which Hi-Fi? will also be there giving live demonstrations of our bespoke, bespoke, multi-speaker AV surround sound system with the latest in TV technology. Our team is also on hand to provide audio based advice and answer your hi-fi related questions. Enter our special competition for a chance to win a premium hi-fi set worth thousands of pounds.
Yamaha may be best known in audio circles for its acclaimed AV amplifiers, but in Bristol the company will be demonstrating its NS-2000A three-way floorstanding speakers, R-N2000A stereo receiver and all-new YH-5000SE headphones. The latter are a high-quality homage to the flat magnetic design used by the company in the early 1970s. If you’ve never heard what £5000 headphones sound like, now’s your chance.