Monthly Archives: May 2015

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AMP3 Speakers Buyer’s Guide

Sometimes you just need to crank the volume up so, AMP3 have put together this handy buyer’s guide for our range of speakers.

If you’re after a new set of desktop bookshelf, Bluetooth, or even multi-room wireless speakers, AMP3 have you covered.

 

Audioengine 2+ Premium Powered Desktop Speakers

Audioengine A2+ Speakers - £195

Audioengine A2+ Speakers – £195

About a 1/3 of the size of their big brother (the A5+), the Audioengine A2+ are your answer to poor quality, affordable desktop speakers. These powered Multimedia speakers are the perfect size for your desktop and will give a marked improvement on basic computer speakers.

 

With built-in amplifiers, newly designed Kevlar woofers and the same custom tweeters used in the A5+, the A2+ speakers are perfect for all types of music, movies and videogames. Also, the A2+ has a built in DAC allowing you to get much-improved sound quality through a USB connection with your computer.

 

What makes the A2+ Speakers great?

Simple ‘plug in & play’ connections

Built-in power amplifiers and USB DAC functionality

Perfect for all types of music

 

What’s not so good?

Better suited for use in smaller rooms

 

You can see the A2+ Speakers here:

Audioengine 2+ (A2+) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers

 

SoundScience QSB – 30W USB Desktop Speakers with NXT DyadUSB Technology

Soundscience QSB USB Speakers - £19.99

Soundscience QSB USB Speakers – £19.99

These desktop computer speakers from SoundScience plug straight into the USB slot on your computer to give you instant volume. Capable of delivering a much greater sound than similar small desktop speakers, the QSB speakers have been praised by many for their astonishing output.

 

Being powered solely through a USB connection the QSBs are portable and even come with a handy hard case for when not in use. What’s more, the experts over at What HiFi? gave them an impressive 5/5!

 

What makes the QSB – 30W USB Desktop Speakers Great?

Stylish and sturdily built

Impressive sound quality and volume given their size

Portability

 

What’s not so great?

Quite heavy, though remain portable

Perhaps not bassy enough for some

 

See the QSB – 30W USB Desktop Speakers here:

QSB – 30W USB Desktop Speakers

 

Sony SRS-X7 Portable Wireless Speaker

Sony SRS-X7 Wireless/Bluetooth Speaker - £259

Sony SRS-X7 Wireless/Bluetooth Speaker – £259

The SRS-X7 Wireless Speaker is one of Sony’s newest speakers, and comes packed with plenty of features. This 32W wireless speaker offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and support for Apple Airplay and DLNA streaming.

 

With 6 hours of battery life when using Bluetooth the SRS-X7 is a great portable speaker that offers fantastic sound quality. Download the handy Songpal app free of charge to easily control your music and tweak settings. The Speaker even features Sony’s Clearaudio + technology, automatically choosing the best sound settings for each song for lazier listeners.

 

What makes the Sony SRS-X7 great?

Excellent connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, Airplay, DLNA)

32W of clear and robust sound

Sleek minimalist design

 

What’s not so great?

Battery could be longer

 

See the Sony SRS-X7 here:

Sony SRS-X7 Portable Wireless Speaker

 

Sony MHC-V7D High-Power Home Audio System with Bluetooth

Sony MHC-V7D High-Power Home Audio System - £479

Sony MHC-V7D High-Power Home Audio System – £479

 

If you’re looking for a speaker system to cater to all your needs, look no further than the feature –packed Sony MHC-V7D Home Audio System. The MHC-V7D offers a window-shattering 1550W level sound pressure – perfect for ticking off your neighbours.

 

The MHC-V7D Home Sound System supports both Bluetooth and even has a CD player – retro! As if this wasn’t enough, Sony have added LED lighting effects that sync with your music, ‘party-chain’ support to add other speakers, Karaoke modes – even DJ effects – to truly get your party going.

What makes the Sony MHC-V7DHome Audio System Great?

Absolutely huge sound, perfect for parties

Karaoke & DJ effects; Built-in Light Show syncs with your music

Bluetooth, NFC and CD player built in

What’s not so great?

Quite chunky

May make you unpopular with your neighbours

See the Sony MHC-V7D High-Power Home Audio System with Bluetooth here-

Sony MHC-V7D Home Audio System

 

SONOS PLAY: 1 Mini But Mighty Wireless HiFi System Speaker

SONOS PLAY:1 Wireless Multi-room Speaker - £169

SONOS PLAY:1 Wireless Multi-room Speaker – £169

The PLAY: 1 is perfect for introducing wireless music to your home. The PLAY: 1 connects to your wireless network and can be controlled through the dedicated Sonos app – from anywhere in your house. Small and simple to set up, the PLAY: 1 is surprisingly loud and delivers tremendous sound quality.

 

You can add more SONOS speakers to get your favourite tunes played wirelessly in multiple rooms, or even have a different song for each room!

 

What Makes the Sonos PLAY: 1 Great?

Great sound quality

Play all your music wirelessly

Control each speaker separately or together from the app

 

What’s not so great?

No inputs for other devices

 

See the SONOS PLAY: 1 here –

SONOS PLAY: 1 Mini But Mighty Wireless HiFi System Speaker

Cowon Plenue 1 - £740

AMP3′s High Resolution Player Buyer’s Guide

If you’re going to listen to your favourite tunes, they may as well sound the best they can and that’s where High Resolution audio comes in. With demand for High Resolution music growing by the day, we’ve put together a list of the best sounding players, designed to give you the best from your favourite artists.

 

Cowon Plenue 1 High Resolution Player

 First up in our list is Cowon’s Flagship player, the Cowon Pleune 1.

The Plenue 1 features a beautiful new UI

Cowon Plenue 1 – £740

Cowon’s greatest player to date, the Plenue 1 is Cowon’s first big step toward the top end of the market. All support for ‘unnecessary extras’ such as video playback has been stripped away, allowing the P1 to focus on producing the best sound it possibly can, making your favourite tracks a joy to listen to.

 

With 128GB of internal memory and the option to expand up to 256GB, support for FLAC, WAV, DXD and DSD up to 192kHz/24-bit resolution and a streamlined UI, Cowon have created one of the best sounding players on the market at the moment.

 

What makes the Cowon Plenue 1 great?

128GB of internal memory with the option to expand

Support for high resolution file types

Intuitive user interface

 

What’s not so great?

Battery playback time of ~ 10hrs

No earphones included with player

 

See the Cowon Plenue 1 here:

Cowon Plenue 1 High Resolution Music Player

 

iBasso DX90 High Performance Digital Audio Player

iBasso DX90 - £295

iBasso DX90 – £295

Identical in almost every way, the DX90 may be easily confused for its little brother the DX50. The same simple UI, 8GB internal memory with support up to 2TB promised, and supporting all the usual audio files the DX90 may not seem so exciting at first glance.

 

The main difference between the two players is the DX90’s Dual ES9018K2M DAC design. Incorporating a single DAC per channel (one left, one right) the DX90 manages to minimise interference between channels, providing you with an excellent sound quality hard to find at this price.

 

What makes the DX90 great?

Same great file support and UI as the DX50

8GB internal memory expandable up to 2TB with future firmware updates

Dual DAC design provides superior sound

 

What’s not so good?

Only 8GB of internal storage, though this is expandable

Screen may be difficult to see in direct sunlight

 

See the iBasso DX90 here:

iBasso DX90 High Performance Digital Audio Player

 

Sony NWZ-A15 High Resolution Walkman

Sony NWZ-A15 £159

Sony NWZ-A15 – £159

The A10 series is the new range produced by industry experts Sony in their new drive towards high resolution music. The A15 has proven very popular already, and it’s no surprise.

 

The A15 is the world’s smallest and lightest Hi-res audio player, making it great for listening on the go and features both Bluetooth and NFC support. The 16GB player also features a Micro SD card slot with support for up to 128GB.

 

What makes the A15 great?

Very portable and easy to use

Expandable memory with 16GB built-in

50 hour battery life

 

What’s not so good?

Proprietary port for charging/syncing

 

See the Sony NWZ-A15 here:

Sony NWZ-A15 High Resolution Walkman

 

Astell & Kern AK240 High Fidelity Sound System

Astell & Kern AK240 - £2199.99

Astell & Kern AK240 – £2199.99

The Astell & Kern AK240 is unquestionably the best player on the market at the moment. Designed and built by a division of iRiver, the AK240 will bring you closer to your favourite artist than you probably thought possible.

 

The Grand-daddy of portable audio players, the AK240 features a sleek UI and a space-age body. Inside, the AK240 has 256GB of memory and supports expansion via Micro SD card up to a massive 384GB. A Dual DAC design, balanced output, DSD support, MQS streaming and USB DAC functionality mean the Astell & Kern AK240 is truly the best sounding piece of kit in the portable audio market at the moment.

 

What makes the AK240 great?

Huge 384GB memory (with 128GB Micro SD card)

Great file support, including high resolution formats

MQS streaming

The best sound quality of any potable audio player on the market

 

What’s not so great?

The odd shape may not suite everyone’s taste

The price

 

See the AK240 here:

Astell & Kern AK240 256GB Portable High Fidelity Sound System

 

FiiO X3 All New 2nd Gen High Resolution Digital Audio Player

FiiO X3 2nd Gen - £159

FiiO X3 2nd Gen – £159

Lastly, but certainly not least is FiiO’s X3 High Resolution player. Despite being at the lower end of the market, the X3 2nd Gen can still hold its own against more expensive players. With support for all the usual file formats (including DSD and ALAC), the X3 2nd Gen offers immersive sound quality that belies its low-end price.

 

The X3 2nd Gen will do double duty as a digital audio player and USB DAC when connected to your computer, satisfying your music needs at home and on the go. With a Micro SD card slot supporting cards up to 128GB you can literally bring your entire music library with you.

 

What makes the FiiO X3 2nd Gen Digital Audio Player great?

Excellent sound quality for the price point

Doubles up as a USB DAC

Support for in-line remote

 

What’s not so great?

No internal memory

Scroll wheel and UI can be fiddly

 

See the FiiO X3 All New 2nd Gen High Resolution Digital Audio Player here:

FiiO X3 All New 2nd Gen High Resolution Digital Audio Player

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Cowon Release new the Cowon Plenue M 64GB High Resolution Player

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Riding on the back their success with their flagship Plenue 1 Cowon are set to release a pared down version aimed at the middle of the market.

The new Cowon Plenue M is very much the P1’s little brother. Featuring only half of the P1’s 128GB internal memory and utilising the lesser Burr-Brown PCM1795 DAC the Plenue M is also set for release with the lower price tag of £540.

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All this talk of being the P1’s smaller brother and using a less expensive DAC shouldn’t worry audiophiles though, as Cowon are determined that their new offering still offers high end quality sound at a more affordable price. If the sound of the P1 is anything to go by, this will sound excellent too.

 

Keen-eyed observers will have noticed that Cowon have also made some small changes to the Plenue M’s casing. There is a raised edge on both sides of the player that is likely to make it even nicer to hold than the luxurious aluminium heft that the P1 offers. The ‘analogue’ on/off button of the P1 which sat flush has been replaced with a smaller, rounded and slightly raised button; the LED has been moved from underneath to the inside.

 

The Cowon Plenue M will shortly be available from AMP3 for £540 – please see the product page for more info:

Cowon Plenue M (PM) High Resolution 64GB Music Player

The AMP3 Luxury Glass Skull Headphones Stand - from £24.50

The AMP3 Luxury Glass Skull Headphones Stand

The AMP3 Luxury Glass Skull Headphones Stand - from £24.50

The AMP3 Luxury Glass Skull Headphones Stand – from £24.50

New to AMP3’s virtual shelves, the Glass Skull headphone stand is the perfect spooky accessory for your headphones. If you’ve been looking for a creepy companion to guard your headphones when not in use, then this fella is perfect for scaring away would-be headphone thieves.

Who's a handsome boy then?

Who’s a pretty boy then?

Cousin of the famous AMP3 Glass head, the Glass Skull is available in 7 creepy colours and replete with anatomical features, the Glass Skull will provide quite the talking point. Not for the faint of heart!

See the Glass Skulls over at AMP3:

The AMP3 Luxury Glass Skull Headphones Stand

*Please Note – no headphones are included*