Once upon a time there was a large 32 inch television screen. It seems remarkable now, but the TVs we talk about in this issue Which Hi-Fi? would have been considered enormous.
But time moves fast and the wondrous new flat-panel TV technology that most of us are now loving means that the 55-inch screen is fairly commonplace and 65-inch is the new big. However, some of us simply don’t have the space to accommodate such a screen surface; but until recently the major manufacturers have devoted their attention – and the highest TV technology – to those larger sizes.
But those with more limited space and resources rejoice. Finally, the joys of OLED and QLED have reached the medium or ‘smaller’ TV categories: our roundup of the best 42- and 43-inch TVs are perfect for a smaller room. To go with those fancy TVs, we’re also rounding up a range of new Dolby Atmos soundbars to rival the mighty Sonos Arc.
And as it’s the time of the season, we present our Christmas gift guide with fun ideas for the AV and hi-fi fan in your life. You can read this and more in this month Which Hi-Fi?
And as usual, we also have reviews of the very latest hi-fi and AV products in our First tests section.
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It’s a small(er) world
Incredibly, it wasn’t until 2020 that even the first 48-inch OLED TV hit stores – and for some, 48-inch is still way too big.
Buyers of ‘small’ TVs – 42 or 43 inch sizes that are much more convenient for the living rooms many of us inhabit – have been at a disadvantage for some time when it comes to true flagship quality, with the best quality screens, smartest processing and most complete specs generally reserved for at least 55-inch TVs. Basically, so far people with modestly sized rooms have been barred from owning the best TVs.
However, the past year has seen true flagship performance on the TV, with 42-inch OLEDs finally available in the form of LG’s OLED42C2 and Sony’s XR-42A90K. The quality of LCD TVs smaller than 55 inches, meanwhile, was also disappointing until recently. Fortunately, Samsung launched a 43-inch version of its QN90A QLED last year, and now there’s a 2022 edition, the QE43QN90B.
We’ve collected and put all three of these brilliantly sized TVs to the test, comparing each TV’s picture quality, features and sound quality against the larger screen sizes in each’s respective range.
So, if you’re looking for flagship quality with a more compact footprint, check out this month’s issue of Which Hi-Fi? while spotlighting these little wonders of the TV world.
Shhhh! Here come the best noise canceling earplugs
Active Noise Cancellation (or ANC) is one of the groundbreaking audio features in consumer headphones this century. Pioneered by Bose, it’s a beautiful piece of technology.
In this month’s magazine, we round up the best earbuds that use noise-cancelling technology, pitting Apple, Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and Samsung against each other in our group test.
Wireless in-ears are the most popular and arguably convenient way to enjoy your music on the go, and the premium earbuds we round up this month all offer great audio alongside the impressive ANC technology.
So grab a copy of the latest Which Hi-Fi?shut out the outside world and enjoy our premium noise-canceling earbuds.
Ride in style
Is this the future of in-car audio? We climbed into the plush backseat of a Mercedes-Benz to listen to Apple’s spatial audio played through a multi-speaker system from Burmester, and the results (almost) brought us to tears. Read all about this great collaboration between Benz, Apple and Burmester in this month’s magazine!
First with reviews
As always our First tests In the section you will find our renowned in-depth, unbiased and expert reviews of the latest AV and hi-fi kits.
This month we start with a review of Sky Stream – all the goodness of Sky TV sans satellite dish, streamed through a small, puck-like device. Read our thoughts on this latest, and some would say late, way to enjoy Sky’s quality content without having to tape a huge dish to the outside of your home.
British hi-fi brand Bowers & Wilkins knows a thing or two about speaker technology, and the latest premium 705 S3 speakers come with a hefty price tag, but does the performance match?
Focal is a truly premium headphone brand (check out our Temptations pages this month to see the company’s review of Utopia), and the latest noise-canceling over-ears, the Focal Bathys, are being tested this month. It’s not for over-ear headphones though, as we also apply the rule to Bowers & Wilkins’ Px8 noise canceling devices.
German TV brand Loewe is happy to return to the UK with a new set, the premium-feeling Bild i.55. And if you like your AV experience on the go, we’re also testing Apple’s 10th generation iPad for its worthiness in this regard.
Triangle’s AIO Twin is a talented, versatile and great-sounding all-in-one hi-fi system, and we’ve got a full review this month, while reviews of Google’s latest smartphone, the Pixel 7, and an ingeniously improved speaker cable from Chord, the 2022 Rumor X, wrap up our testing this month.
In January, discover what we made of all these products Which Hi-Fi?
Top of the store
As always, our Temptations section of Which Hi-Fi? here you will find high-end hi-fi and AV products with a suitable price tag.
This month we take a look at an AV receiver from Arcam that offers serious performance for a serious price tag. The AVR31 has to be heard to be believed, and in our review we note that this great piece of home cinema kit “reveals a nuance and lyricism in the shrill score of the latest Bond film that we hadn’t previously been aware of”.
And we promised you more from premium French headphone brand Focal. The Utopia headphones are a cut above other noise canceling over-ears. Do they justify the price? You better believe it. Read more in January What hi-fi?
Finally, don’t forget to check out our Buyer’s Guidewith a definitive list of the best home entertainment kits money can buy, including the 2022 winners Which Hi-Fi? Awards. If you’re looking to buy anything from a pair of wireless headphones to a home theater speaker system, find out where to spend your money wisely in this section.
Whatever you do, don’t miss the January 2023 issue of Which Hi-Fi? Grab a copy today or simply download it on your tablet or smartphone. Enjoying!
You can subscribe or buy the latest issue here (opens in new tab)or buy the digital edition iPhone, iPad (opens in new tab), Android devices or Kindle Edition (opens in new tab)