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Big elab­o­rate hi-fi sys­tems sound fan­tas­tic, but not ev­ery­one has the space or will to play with all the dif­fer­ent com­po­nents and ca­bling you need for a truly knock-out set-up. Some­times, you just want a sim­ple way to get top-notch sound. That’s where sonoroHIFI comes in. It’s a sin­gle box that’s amp, con­nec­tion cen­tre, CD player, DAB ra­dio and 240 watts of speaker power all in one. This is wrapped up in a gor­geous pack­age that comes in glossy white or piano black fin­ishes. The box it­self is de­signed to go out on a side­board or ta­ble, but Sonoro sells an op­tional stand (in match­ing colours, of course) so you can have it free­stand­ing. Hand­ily, the stand also acts a ca­ble tidy, which keeps things fully min­i­mal­ist.

Com­pared to a sys­tem of hi-fi sep­a­rates, it’s a re­ally com­pact unit, though in real terms that still means you need to find a place for a 536 x 297 x 400mm box that weighs over 20kg. That’s not too dif­fi­cult for most, but it’s not just about size – it’s also about po­si­tion­ing.

The sonoroHIFI’s eight speaker driv­ers (two sub­woofers, four mid-range driv­ers, and two silk dome tweet­ers) are lo­cated around its body, in­clud­ing on its sides. For the unit to be able to fill the room in the way it should, you need to make sure the grilles aren’t blocked (so don’t tuck it in a cor­ner), and that you don’t place it any­where that means you’d be sit­ting close to one side of it when lis­ten­ing.

Okay, so maybe there’s some of the clas­sic hi-fi has­sle when set­ting up this oth­er­wise sim­pler sys­tem, but it’s well worth it in the end, be­cause it sounds glo­ri­ous. It’s a clean, open sound­scape that’s just packed with de­tail. You can hear ever croak in a singer’s voice and every fin­ger move­ment across a gui­tar string. The bal­ance is ex­cel­lent too, with punchy bass that some may find a touch strong out of the box, but we loved. It has no prob­lem ra­di­at­ing this en­velop­ing sound across a large liv­ing room. In­evitably, the au­dio com­ing from one spot means you don’t get the same level of chan­nel sepa­ra­tion as with in­di­vid­ual speak­ers – in a $2,000 speaker, you could fairly ar­gue that’s a dis­ap­point­ment, but it’s ul­ti­mately a trade off for the more con­ve­nient as­pects of the sonoroHIFI, and we think it still jus­ti­fies its price.

That’s not to say it’s per­fect – it has aptX Blue­tooth, but lacks Wi-Fi for Air­Play and Chrome­cast. It also misses out on be­ing a true all-in-one for those tak­ing part in the vinyl re­vival, though you can just plug a turntable into its aux-in sock­ets. (We sim­i­larly plugged a Yamaha WXAD10 to add Wi-Fi fea­tures.) It even has an op­ti­cal in, so you can use it as a re­ally chunky TV sound­bar…

If you’re a high-end au­dio lover look­ing for a one-box sound so­lu­tion well be­yond what a non-spe­cial­ist speaker would of­fer, we think you’ll re­ally love the sonoroHIFI’s big sound and good looks.


sonoroHIFI comes in piano black or a shiny white that will get Ap­ple fans go­ing ABOVE RIGHT The stand is an ex­tra $200, but looks great, and hides ca­bles well

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