Monday, 25 January 2016

Geneva AeroSphère Large

Geneva AeroSphère Large

Geneva’s globe on a pole might look like designer furniture, but it also aims to cut the sonic mustard

Being un-square is good, and being a single unit that’s a doddle to accommodate – whether on a sideboard or, as here, it’s dedicated £149 single-column stand – takes us back to the days of mono when having to fi nd the room for two loudspeakers was an inconvenience yet to come. Not that the AeroSphère Large is mono, of course. It isn’t even stereo in the conventional sense. As you might well imagine, pulling a quart-sized soundstage out of a pint-sized pot requires a degree of trickery and psycho acoustic manipulation. Geneva calls its sonic shtick “embracing sound”, a proprietary application of DSP designed to give a broad, deep, three-dimensional soundfi eld that comfortably defi es the physical boundaries of a slightly fl attened orb measuring just 40cm between its equatorial extremities, with good results over a wide listening area rather than a specifi c sweet spot.

Musaic MP5 Music Player & MP10 Music Player

Musaic MP5 Music Player & MP10 Music Player

Compact multi-room system that integrates hi-res streaming with smart home technology

Being able to access and enjoy music throughout our homes is a luxury that many audio fans treasure. And judging by the plethora of desktop and multi-room systems promising hi-res capability rubbing shoulders with high-end standalone separates in today’s marketplace, this is also becoming increasingly more common. Musaic may seem like the new kid on the hi-fi block, but this London-based startup stems from experienced lineage, co-founded and run by ex-Cambridge Audio technical director Matthew Bramble.



Add streaming to your system or multi-room to your home for less than £50

Multi-room music tends to be a polarising subject: on one hand you have the buyers willing to splash the cash for the simplicity and performance of ready-made solutions, from the likes of Sonos all the way up to high-end network music players from Linn and Naim; on the other, there’s the “they all sound the same” brigade, looking for the cheapest way to do it. If only there was a way of combining both into one unit...

Ruark R2 Mk3: Radio star

Ruark R2 Mk3

Ruark has refreshed its popular R2 radio with features including multi-room functionality

Having carved quite a cosy niche for itself in the premium DAB radio sector, Ruark has a portfolio of attractive-looking products that offer a range of cutting-edge features as well as delivering consistently good sound for the size. With a seemingly ageless aesthetic, this third version of the stereo R2 radio looks very similar to the 2007 original, but there have been some significant changes to the spec over the years and the latest model has more sources than most. Established favourites DAB, DAB+ and FM tuners remain, along with a rear-mounted USB for charging and playing back tethered smartphones and external drives.

Elac Debut B6: California dreaming

Elac Debut B6

Designed at the company’s American headquarters, the new Debut B6 is a different type of Elac

It’s Elac Jim, but not as we know it! I have reviewed countless loudspeakers from this established German company over the years, and been impressed by many aspects of the sound, style and design – but the Debut B6 represents a ‘clean sheet’ loudspeaker by a newly hired acoustic engineer, done in a foreign country at a new price point. How’s that for a change of direction?