Sonneteer, British made luxury hi-fi, news blog. Established 1994.

Pressing News

Press extracts:

“All the technical details can wait. Eleanor Rigby from the Beatles’ Love album has just started and we need to talk about the sound – Now! Anyone familiar with George Martin’s re-engineering of the classics will know that this is a beautiful sounding album. But the Byron is revealing layers of detail I’d not tuned into before. And it’s doing this without sounding bright or cold…..The detail and insight are really remarkable and yet there is no price to pay for this. The bass goes deep, the mids have warmth, the treble doesn’t tish or splash –  it’s an enjoyable easy sound…..This kit sounds good dammit and people deserve to know.”

HiFi Wigwam August 2013. Read the full review here.


“The build, fit and finish is exceptional. It’s quite Germanic in this respect, I really can’t see this thing letting anyone down for 20 years to come. Fit and forget? Nope, you’ll be having too much fun playing air guitar to ever forget it. This is an amp that manages a rare trick: you get oodles of pace rhythm and timing, but without it ever sounding in-yer-face or shouty. My first day with the Orton was spent re-visiting my extensive collection of Rock and Electronica, it was huge fun with dynamism and pace in spades….

Tonally the Orton is very neutral, I get an honest reproduction without colour. It inspires confidence.

Do you get the impression I like this amp? I’ll tell you how much I like it: I’m now feeling a bit of a fool for gushing so much over previous amplifiers I’ve reviewed. I didn’t leave myself enough headroom for weekends like this when I am properly amazed.”

HiFi Wigwam June 2013. Read the full review here.


“Like the typical British audio electronics this machine has a Gentlemanly sound. It won’t wake you up with over fresh brightness. At normal sound levels there is a great deal of depth. With Jazz music the beauty of the harmony stood out with depth not achievable with other products. In Classical music the intensity of the musicality and the separation stood together. Even the big orchestra can be heard with every small detail which is not true of every other high end model. This is a machine of very high musicality.”

Analog Magazine, Japan. Spring 2013

“I guess by now you could probably ascertain I like this amp. I like it a lot. This is probably the most musical gear I’ve had come through my music room in recent memory. Relentlessly, unobtrusively musical. It doesn’t jump out at you, announcing it’s presence, but instead pulls you into listening to and enjoying song after song, album after album.”…”Rogue Cronus Magnum: The Sonneteer may not image quite as expansively, but has the Rogue beat both in the PRaT and bass department. Compared to the Rogue, the Sonneteer has earth-digging, subterranean bass.”…”Cambridge Audio 840A: The 840A may probably be better suited to cranking out rock or metal at deafening levels, but the Sonneteer has it beat in the musicality department. No hint of “digital” processing… absolutely musical and organic sounding.”…”To sum up, if you’re ever in the market for a no bells and whistles, beautifully musical, well built integrated, this is the one.”

Audio Review, Canada October 2012. Read the full review.

” They [The British] don’t make their sound too loud in volume but like nuances and sensitive dynamics to be pronounced more than us [The Japanese]. The British manufactures produce high resolution audio products that maintain their resolution even at low sound volumes. We who live in cities in Japan cannot play music at loud volumes so we are very grateful to have Sonneteer products.”  ” The music was full of energy…clearly expressive with a very good perception of detail and rhythm.The playback Sound is Faithful to the principles [of the music] … The sound reproduction is not in the true ‘high end’ style,  so allowing the true music lover to concentrate the music.”
Translation. Audio Accessory, Japan Autumn 2012 issue..


“[The] Orton sound can also be called a classic. Main emphasis is on detailed, refined and expressive depth in the midrange charming the audience with the volume of musical information. We have yet to see and amplifier in this price range, which could so precisely and flexibly transfer the interaction of voices of Cantus Colin, performing Bach’s Actus Tragicus. At the same time, even in more complex compositions with greater number of musicians and dynamic range such as “Rite of Spring” by Stravinsky, the amplifier can deliver the frantic energy and changing diversity of every part of it. The dramatic performance is achieved not by a deafening volume, but by the exceptional solidity of the emotional expression- the same as a convincing actor with a well-trained voice and a deep understanding of the script. ” Translation. What Hi-Fi(Russia), October 2012.

See full News item for more.

“[On the Campion amplifier and Bronte CD player]..these machines are the objects of craftwork. Comparable to drinking single malt whisky, straight. You can enjoy the high quality sound without colouration. A person who like this is one who is a considerable lover of music and sound.”

Translation. Audio Basic(Japan), Spring 2012.

“Majors on visual appeal and all in one simplicity”…”It was tempting to lie back and wallow in the delights of internet radio, which sounded excellent” Hifi News, UK, December 2011

“…The Morpheus Music Centre [from Sonneteer] will move you from the very first instant. This is not just a high technology laden piece of equipment, but clearly one created to bring music to life.”
Winson Ng, HiFi Review, August 2010 [more]

“….Sonneteer director Haider Bahrani showed us the Morpheus, which we imagined would look nice in our living room.”
“…The Morpheus from Sonneteer was the sleekest and most discreet. It stores three terabytes of tunes, and like the others, will rip your CDs while you “go make a cup of tea.” You can even control it, like most of the other music servers, with your iPhone[or iPod Touch]., February 2010.

“…… the positive impression I have of the Morpheus in Las Vegas and remained intact after the test. This is a very flexible system that will help you get your audio files, well-designed and easy to use. It is an excellent “next step” for anyone who wants to join in the virtual record collection and is recommended without reservation.”
Dimitris Stamatakos AV Mentor, December 2009, Greece

For the full review in our news item on our news blog.

“…..Right away I sensed there was something special happening. While some of the preamplifiers I auditioned were (as Goldilocks would say) too hot or too cold, the Sedley was just right. It was quiet, had good sense of space, nice top end without hiss or excessive sizzle, and images were appropriately sized and didn’t sound congested or obviously colored in any way. Soundstage wasn’t too wide or too narrow and image location was excellent as evidenced by the track ”Home At Last.” This is the first preamp that I’ve had under review that I could honestly consider using for the long term. This is not to say it’s perfect and there is nothing better, but only that it doesn’t have any egregious flaws. I felt comfortable sitting and just listening (and without the feeling I was missing something or the music was being edited by the equipment).
…Tonally this preamp gets it right. I have to say that I had to be reminded I was working on a review and try to critically listen as I continually lapsed into just enjoying the music–as it should be! The other thing I noticed was that although the LP wasn’t in perfect shape the imperfections became less noticeable when the music was this engrossing.”
Brian Bloom, Audiophile Audition, June 2009, USA

“…a unique ‘media centre’ that lacks nothing in charm or seductive qualities and is very ergonomic and easy to use”
“…a digital amplifier of audiophile quality”
“…it’s reproduction [of music] demonstrates an incontestable transparency in the true spirit of digital amplification”.
“…an intelligently conceived product that is very attractive”.
Translated from Diapason Magazine July-August 2009, France.

“…And if you’re feeling really flush, look around for Soneteer’s Bard system, a USB dongle that plugs into your laptop and transmits to a receiver jacked into your stereo. The result is very high-quality sound that’s highly recommended by audioheads. However, it does cost around £240″
Bobbie Johnson, The Guardian, Saturday 21 June 2008


“…Bard is a beautifully simple solution that will stay true to your tunes.” December 2007 HOT BUY, FIVE STAR

“…That amp’s tiny, like a power supply:how’s it sound so impressive?”
What Hi Fi November 2007

“…Fire that turntable up, let it play through the Sonneteer, have a seat and enjoy it as you probably never did before.”
Albert Simon, UHF Magazine No.43, February 2007

[Click to read review here].

“…The Sonneteer Sedley USB is an excellent phono preamp, and its flexibility will allow it to adapt to any cartridge you own or may buy.”
UHF Magazine No.43, February 2007


“… the BardThree has a lively and highly resolved midrange, with dynamics and resolution to match..”..”High frequencies are clear and detailed..”…”in fact, it comfortably compares with a variety of integrated amps and receivers in its price range.”
The Absolute Sound, December 2006

“… the BardUSB is where the system really shines.” and on the BardOne:”..vintage British BBC sound.”..”..a highly musical experience.”
The Absolute Sound, December 2006

“… The BardOne system sounds very good”..”dynamic and wide band.”” it is especially great with satellite radio.”..”Cool stuff.”
Stereophile, November 2006

“I’ve even embraced multi-room — well, sort of: the excellent Sonneteer Bard One system links the main system and the one in the dining room, allowing music to be piped through part of the house. ” Gramophone, January 2006

“… takes a matter of seconds to set up, and the sound quality is top notch.”
The Mail on Sunday Live Night&Day November 2005

“The simplest wire-free music system ever … the Bardthree delivers uncompressed music and the results do impress. … simple to use; sounds great …. you’ll be astounded.”
What Hi Fi? Awards 2005

“Bard is a stroke of genius”
What Hi Fi? September 2005.

“Excellent performance with good levels of detail and base, and top-end clarity …”
MP3 Ultimate Guide – What Hi Fi? Summer 2005.

“The BardUSB is a great idea, its combination of style, simplicity of use and performance setting it apart from others.”
MP3 Ultimate Guide – What Hi Fi? Summer 2005

“Simple but highly effective …… the quality is excellent “ ….“The Bard Audio system is recommended without hesitation.”
Gramophone June 2005

“ ….. an ideal solution if you want to distribute high quality audio around your house.”
Computer Music May 2005

“ ….. one of the simplest wireless solutions we’ve ever used. ….. we are totally impressed. ”
What Hi Fi? March 2005

“ I hooked it up to a CD player on the other side of the room from the hi-fi and was impressed by the link’s essential transparency. ….. The practical applications are only limited by your imagination and lifestyle. ….. a simple and convenient means of extending your hi-fi to other rooms ….. “
Stereophile March 2005

“The new fully integrated amplifier from Sonneteer ads a few kilometres per hour to Mozart’s Don Giovanni. Apparently in a Ferrari….the music in my collection appears fresh and more alive than I have known it so far… Everything appears clearer and more spatially defined. All in all, Mozart’s Don Giovanni fits better in a Ferrari.”
Audio Swiss, November 2004

“ Sonneteer have gone to great lengths to preserve the purest possible audio signal path.”
What HI FI?, June 2004

“… prick up your ears maybe exactly what you’ll do the first time you sit down in front of the Orton to listen.”
DigitalHome, June 2004

“The sound of the Brontë amplifier is distinctive … has an exceptionally well controlled top end, … very beguiling mid-band, which sounds exceptionally clean, with a notable wide dynamic range and accurate dynamic tracking.”
Hi Fi +, January 2004

“The Brontë CD player performs quite admirably, … with very clean delivery and dynamic range making for a thoroughly natural all round sound that is always inviting, … ”
Hi-Fi +, January 2004

“…able to deliver the smallest nuance of a voice or solo instrument as well as it does the full force of the symphony orchestra …. the Sonneteer always seems to have power in reserve, and can play music extremely loudly without any signs of stress or distortion.”
Gramophone, December 2002

and ‘Editors choice’ at Gramophone stars of 2001

“The Brontë exhibits many of the hallmarks of an ‘audiophile’ valve amplifier, despite incorporating up-to the minute technology “…. “Expressive to the point of sounding haunting…voice was accompanied by a rich sound of piano to terrific effect”
Hi-Fi Choice, November 2002

“We can say, finally, that the digital amplification technology is now mature and as achieved a level of performance that can compete with the good analogue amplifiers.”
Portuguese Audio magazine 2002

“…. the sensation of amplitude and of a musical “generosity” difficult to beat.”
Portuguese Audio magazine 2002

“ ….. it outstandingly demonstrated clarity ….. has it’s own uniqueness both physical structure and sound character ….. it is truly outstanding ”
GM 2000 magazine (Thailand), June 2002

“…… Sonneteer …. has a reputation for solid, well-engineered equipment …”
Gramophone, January 2001.

“ … sounds pretty damned fine and will dazzle the neighbours with its good looks. ”
Stuff magazine, December 2000

“ ….. the top dog here is the Sonneteer. It’s the least expensive but sounds the best – how much more can you ask for ?”
WHAT HI-FI, June ‘99

“…I just stopped taking notes and listened to the album all the way through”
Hi-Fi World, May ’98.

“I suddenly remembered I was supposed to be reviewing the amp rather than sitting there transfixed…”
Hi-Fi World, October ’97.

“…this is one of the best amplifiers for voice around.”
Hi-Fi News, May ’97.

“Any damn fool can just play a tune and get it over with, but the best like the Alabaster, does more than that…it’s a ballet dancer that can’t be fazed by anything.”
Hi-Fi News, May ’97.

“Transparency is to a high order…a liquid flow of musical delight”
Hi-Fi News, September ’96.

“…on its own amongst its class.”
Hi-Fi News, September ’96.

“…utterly gripping.” “…extraordinarily lifelike. True quality stuff, this.”
Hi-Fi World, January ’96.

“…the Campion worked wonders, delivering near studio definition…”
Hi-Fi World, January ’96.

“…exceptional value for money.”
Hi-Fi News, December ’95