Take music to the next level with high-resolution audio
From better-than-CD-quality streaming to portable speakers with spacious sound – we’re across the latest trends in home audio…
18 Jan 2016
Home audio used to be all about Hi-Fi separates, and massive speakers that dominated your living room.
But now Hi-Fi is going Wi-Fi.
High-end sound is getting smaller and smoother with trends like wireless multi-room, High Resolution Audio and Bluetooth speakers.
Read on for the lowdown on our state-of-the art audio highlights.
Better-than-CD streaming with High Resolution Audio
The digital music we listen to on iPods and streaming services is not of the same quality as CDs and records. But you can enjoy digital music that’s better-than-CD quality with High Resolution Audio.
Hear music closer to how the artist intended – whether that’s a guitarist dragging out a strummed chord, or a singer reaching for a high note.
Traditional MP3 files are compressed to make them smaller, this means information from the original recording is deleted or lost.
High Resolution Audio files retain everything from the recording – making them ‘lossless’ and therefore better quality. How does High-Resolution Audio work?
How can I enjoy High Resolution Audio?
You need two things: High Resolution Audio music files, and a compatible speaker or music player.
You can download hi-res albums from sites like Qobuz and HDtracks, or stream in high-res via Tidal and Deezer Elite.
The NAIM Mu-so wireless speaker is compatible with high-res audio and standard MP3 files. We love this award-winning speaker. Benefits of the NAIM Mu-so:
- 2015 What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision Awards winner
- Currys audio buyers praise its ‘amazing sound quality’
- 6 custom-engineered speakers and a wooden cabinet for great acoustics
- easy hi-res streaming with full Tidal integration
- control what you’re listening to from an app on your phone
Sony offer fantastic high resolution audio quality with their SRS X88B and the larger, more powerful SRS X99 (pictured above) speakers.
Benefits of the SRS X88B and SRS X99:
- Connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Easy "touch" connection with NFC compatible devices
- Compatible with iOS, Android, Mac and PC
- Supports streaming services like Google Cast and Spotify
You can also get high resolution audio from Panasonic's multi-room speakers, the SC-ALL2EB and the SC-ALL5CDEBK (pictured above).
Benefits of the SC-ALL2EB and SC-ALL5CDEBK:
- Compatible with Panasonic's ALL series multi-room speakers
- Connect via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth
- Easy control via the Panasonic Music Streaming app
- Compatible with services such as Spotify, Napster and AllPlay Radio
Stylish on-the-go listening with high-end Bluetooth speakers
These small, wireless speakers are designed to be taken out and about, or carried from room to room.
They connect to your phone wirelessly over Bluetooth, so you can play Spotify, iTunes or other music stored on your handset.
They’re more about portability than power, but the latest speakers have more oomph, and increasingly premium features.
Take the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2. It gives you big, spacious sound in a bag-friendly portable design. Currys audio buyers praise its ‘excellent sound quality’.
Bang & Olufsen has a reputation for making high-quality, good-looking audio products – and the BeoPlay A2 speaker continues that tradition. Benefits of the A2 speaker:
- enjoy same sound quality when stood behind speaker thanks to drivers on each side
- Stylish, round-edged aluminium finish – the perfect addition to a minimalist room
- Perfect for using on the go – with 24 hours’ battery life and a tough leather strap
Beef up your TV’s speakers with a soundbar
Your TV speakers need beefing up, but you don’t want the hassle of setting up surround sound. Give your TV a serious upgrade in a simple way with a soundbar.
A soundbar is a slim, oblong-shaped box containing several speakers. Mount it on the wall beneath your TV to deliver true stereo sound to your living room. Two soundbar options:
- BOSE audio. Bose is synonymous with high-quality audio. And the Solo 5 is ‘BOSE’s cheapest-ever soundbar – with amazing sound quality,’ according to Currys audio buyers. Check out the BOSE Solo 5
- Curved TVs. If you have a curved TV then a curved soundbar would work better. Some wireless curved soundbars can also be hooked up to a multi-room network with compatible speakers such as the Samsung the LG HW-J600 curved soundbar and the LG HS8 4.1 curved soundbar