Some of the Best HiFi in the World is Made in the UK...

OK with a title like this you must think what the hell? and also think why is this the case, well with over 30 years of listening to so many different and wonderful brands in the HiFi Industry I have always gone back to British Hi Fi and it's because we have some of the most talented people and best sounding speakers and electronics within this industry. Other countries have some amazing sounding brands and products but for my ears and my taste I always come back and listen to what my ears and heart tells me.


The speaker industry has seriously evolved over the last twenty years or so with exotic materials and manufacturing advancing so rapidly that they are able to test and apply different techniques for testing and manufacturing so that the end users really do get the best sound for their money, but with this advance in technology and use of exotic materials the price of what we love has also increased exponentially, like everything in life everything comes with a cost, manufacturing and materials and most importantly labour all have higher prices involved and therefore passed on to the end user with the cost for their products. There is two types of speakers in this industry which I love equally and that is the passive versions and active ones, with some companies producing speakers not just for consumers but also the professional studio based market but surprisingly the active versions of some of best loved speakers work so well in a HiFi setup and allow you to save money on expensive amplification and focus on the preamp and source equipment, while others argue that allowing speakers to be paired with amps of their choice can offer their prefered sound, I see both sides of the argument in this case and see the benefits of both passive and active choices and what the end user wants to achieve.

For me the best sounding passive speakers are made from a brand I have known and loved for well over 30 years and that is ProAc, they make some of the most natural sounding speakers on the market and I have owned and reviewed so many of them that I always end up owning a pair or coming back to them which is a testament to the quality of their sound and also build, thanks to Stuart Tyler who created some of my best loved speakers that I have owned and currently do own. Stuart Tyler sadly passed away only recently but his legacy has been passed on, and into good hands with his daughter Zoe who now runs the company, it is a family business which has been in operation for over 40 years. Having owned the D15's, D25's, D28's, K6 and now most recently the outstanding ProAc D2Rs all of these speakers I have loved passionately and have spent hundreds of hours listening to my favourite music on them, but I have also reviewed others and listened to lots more and most recently the magnificent K10s which are the pinnacle of ProAc build, design and sound.

You can find my reviews on this page if you fancy reading them HERE

Another British speaker brand that I really love is ATC and they make both passive and active versions of their speakers but also for the professional studio market with many featuring in some of the best studios in the world. Most recently I listened to the ATC SCM50A speakers at the Bristol Hi Fi show in February of this year and out of all the rooms I visited they were the best sounding of the show with stunning reproduction of the music and partnered with the excellent CDA2 to create one of the most dynamic and natural sounds that I heard at the show, this led on to me reviewing the Editor's choice awarded SCM40A speakers which I loved with the partnering CDA2 preamp/DAC player, one of the best sounds I have had at The Speaker Shack.

You can find my reviews HERE

Wilson Benesch is another brand that I have huge admiration for and love the build and sound of their speakers having listened to many over the years and owning a pair of Discovery's which I always regret selling, this is a manufacturer which uses specifically Carbon Fibre to produce their cabinets and they have mastered the art of this futuristic and super car used material to produce cabinets which not only look stunning but allow their speakers to produce some of the finest sounds on the planet.

Unfortunately I have not had the pleasure of reviewing any of their speakers but hope this will change some time soon.

Another trailblazer in the Hi Fi and music industry is Meridian Audio who have over the years excelled in the art of digital audio reproduction and their fabulous DSP range of speakers and electronics, having owned some of their amplifiers and processors I have never been fortunate enough to own any of their DSP speakers but have listened and always been hugely impressed by their demos at Hi Fi shows, their latest DSP 9 speakers are supposed to be a revelation in regards to sound quality and unique and advanced technology which adapts the bass response to the rooms dimensions and surroundings to give a very flat and natural in room response.

Obviously there are more brands like Harbeth who make some stunning looking and sounding speakers, PMC who not only build for the consumer and HiFi market but also the professionals and studio productions, B&W is another huge brand who's speakers I have owned and loved and still do with their recent 800 Signature versions of this much loved brand wowing me at the HiFi Live Show 2023, would love to own another pair of the 805s. Tannoy is a much loved brand in the UK and among audiophiles around the world with their dual driver concentric cone technology development and beautiful designs playing a huge part in the audiophile communities. Monitor Audio have recently released the magnificent Hyphn speakers and they are a technological tour de force in speaker design with a sound to match and loved the sound of these speakers at the recent HiFi Live Show 2023, with the technology trickling down into their other range of speakers, this is another great British brand.

A total newcomer to me who I recently heard at the HiFi Live Show 2023 were Stratton Acoustics with their magnificent Elypsis 1512 speakers, these were some of the most impressive sounding speakers that I have heard at a show in recent years and will be keeping a keen eye on what David Fowler and his team produce over the coming years with their range of speakers !

Electronics and Components

Having owned many big brands and also having the pleasure of reviewing them I have again always come back to the British made HiFi products that have had a huge impact on my passion for HiFi and made music so enjoyable for me over the many years of listening to them.

Cyrus Audio is one of those brands who has made such an impact and with my first Cyrus system going back to the mid 90s which got me hooked on HiFi and the quality of music reproduction at home, I currently own a Cyrus 82 DAC and Integrated amplifier with PSXR and Cyrus CD8SE CD player for my main system but at one point had a complete system made up of separates which included Preamplifier, DAC, CD Player and PSXRs and their mighty Monoblocks powering my Wilson Benesch Discovery Speakers, this system absolutely rocked and loved the sound that this combination made. They have recently released the top of their range XR series which I have still not heard properly but am eager to hear and now they have also released their own turntable which coincides with their 40th Anniversary.

Chord Electronics is another brand to play a big part in my music listening and for good reason their DAC's are superb and some of the finest in the world with Rob Watts who is a genius with what he creates, not just for HiFi but also for the Head-Fi market with such creations as the Mojo2 and now Iconic Hugo2 headphone amplifiers and DACs, these are part of my main system at home and for listening of music on the go. I have listened to many of them over the years at HiFi Shows and also reviewed many which can be found on my review page HERE. I recently heard the new Ultima range of components and DAVE DAC at the HiFi Live Show 2023 and this system sounded sublime.

Naim Audio is another iconic brand here in the UK and around the world with their latest range of components taking on a new look and design which I think looks stunning, most importantly their sound is superb and have owned some of their equipment over the years and love the classic Nait series of components with a classic revived in the form of the new Nait 50 Limited Edition Integrated amplifier, their sound is so dynamic and musically engaging that this is another firm favourite of mine.

Leema Acoustics goes a long way back with me and was some of the first HiFi speakers and electronics that I listened to, with their creators Ex BBC engineers they have always designed great HiFi products and I recently got to review the stunning reference grade Integrated Leema Acoustics Tucana II Anniversary Edition Amplifier which is one serious piece of equipment, you can find my review HERE

Above is just a taster of what these exceptional British brands have to offer and why I think that they are some of the best sounding products in the HiFi industry at present and will continue to be a massive part of my search for the best sound at home and for listening to my music !

I do love what is available from around the world but this is just a snippet of the best of British HiFi.

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