20 December 2023    |    Hi-fi, Shop news

Matt’s December feature: A Christmas gift for you

A Christmas gift for you

At this time of year, when we are on the cusp of the winter solstice and the nights are at their longest, many of us spend the darker evenings at home listening to our hi-fi systems. And it is the forthcoming Christmas holidays which present an annual opportunity to assess how our loudspeakers, amplifiers and turntables are performing and whether we should upgrade and/or make the leap to the latest in streaming technology.

Whether you’re a seasoned audio enthusiast or just starting to explore the world of premium sound, this is the time for some product research by immersing yourself in the latest hi-fi industry news and reviews. As a guide to what to read, I’ve created a list of my favourite audio magazines and websites that will help make your holiday season a delightful blend of music and hi-fi. 

Here’s a Christmas gift for you:

What Hi-Fi?

The magazine is a global best-seller and was the first entry point to the world of hi-fi for many of us. Its reviews and articles are clearly written and easy to understand, the photography is usually pretty good, and it’s written by a knowledgeable and friendly team of writers. The associated website is a bit advertisement heavy, but it’s a fine way to read balanced product reviews for free. Just don’t rely on the magazine’s buying guide as the prices and products are often way out of date. 


This is a beauty and the magazine that will make most audiophiles drool. The product photography is exceptional and makes the dullest of product designs look special. The reviews are detailed and informative and the writer’s personality always leaps off the page. There’s no star system here to grade a product – if you are keen on a particular piece of equipment you’ll need to read the full review and then arrange an audition with your local retailer – just as it should be. 

If you are interested in moving up the hi-fi food chain, then this is the magazine for you. And if you subscribe, it arrives in a plastic wrapper that when opened releases a delicious smell of premium quality ink and superior paper stock. Sunshine in a bag? Probably.

Hi-Fi Choice

I like this magazine when I am in rush. The images are always good, and the reviews are mostly fun and accurate. The news section provides good industry coverage and lets me know which products are on the way. The interviews with musicians and the reviews of the latest album releases are an added bonus – it’s very evident that the editor used to write for the music press. Hi-Fi Choice is placed bang in the centre when it comes to the products that it reviews and so should appeal to everyone.

Hi-Fi News

Whilst it’s a valuable source of information, sometimes Hi-Fi News is a bit like the knowledgeable friend who is a little too clever for their own good. If you want detailed editorial, lots of numbers and swooping graphs, then this is the title for you. It also has pages of album reviews that can reveal new releases that you may otherwise have missed. I lean on it heavily as a resource and value its opinion, just don’t settle down to read it after a heavy Christmas lunch – you may be asleep quicker than you can say ‘It’s time for a read of the lab report’.

Hi-Fi World

As it is Christmas, I should mention the late and probably not so lamented Hi-Fi World. A financial casualty of the pandemic, this hokey title’s Christmas edition always made me smile: snow on the masthead, robins on every product and baubles galore – Christmas kitsch in excelsis!

If you think that enough trees have already been cut down this December, then I’d like to recommend a couple of websites:


This is a brilliant site to explore as it works equally well on your phone, tablet, laptop and PC to give an easy-to-navigate reading experience. The reviews are comprehensive and easy to understand and cover the full spectrum of products from entry-level to the kind of thing one used to see in an oligarch’s ballroom. The writers are knowledgeable and I fully respect their opinion: if they say a product is good, I believe them. 


This one is a newcomer. If you haven’t done so yet, I urge you to have a read as I’m certain it’s destined for big things. If you’re after a quick hi-fi fix, you’ll like Audiograde as the site is beautifully designed with excellent product images, detailed reviews and clear navigation. There’s also an informative newsletter that is worth signing up to (simply click here).


As they don’t say in the movies: ‘This Christmas, treat yourself to the joy of music and technology by delving into these hi-fi magazines and websites.’ Whether you’re a vinyl enthusiast, a digital aficionado, or someone who appreciates the artistry behind audio equipment, there’s a title here that will cater to your interests. So, (if you’re a drinker) pour yourself a glass of holiday cheer, find a cosy spot, and let these titles be your companions as you embark on a sonic journey over the Christmas holidays.

And if you discover a product that you are interested in purchasing, as always, I can recommend the UK’s finest hi-fi store: Loud & Clear Edinburgh! 


Matt Tasker (Ammonite Media), December 2023

Who is Matt?

Matt runs Ammonite Media, the PR, marketing and social media agency that we have used for many years. He has been working with the hi-fi industry for nearly two decades and has a unique, and sometimes irreverent, insight into the industry.

Each month, Matt will treat us to his views on what is making the world of speakers, cables, streamers and turntables tick.