This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

For plan B, I retrieved my Samsung from the car. Downloading Hi-Pro's app from the 'Play Store' first required that I open a Google account. Big Brother wants your data at every opportunity. I proceeded with a few peppery curses whilst making sure to decline any and all unessential offers. Finally I was allowed at the actual app. Once the Galaxy's WiFi settings had connected with the Tornado, I tried to open the app to input the required data. Except the app wouldn't open. Again. The screen just flashed briefly, then reverted to Samsung's display. Off went another email to Yvonne to greet her with her morning coffee. Meanwhile I hardwired the smartphone to my HP work station, logged into my Qobuz Achats page via Firefox and downloaded some past purchases. I made sure not to exceed the 16/44.1 limit and stick to FLAC. It felt weird to dump music files to my work computer when I already had access to 10'000s of albums in full Redbook resolution.

The first four rows of my 'purchases' page in Qobuz.

Downloading a Sœur Marie Keyrouz album via the Qobuz Downloader for Windows.

The next step was syncing my Galaxy with the basic Windows Media Player to transfer the files. This worked very much like syncing an iPod to an iTunes library. A short while later those files had migrated. To be sure, I played back a few seconds of each album. This was new to me. I use my cell phone only when on the road and to make phone calls. I never use it to play music. For portable music I have an Astell&Kern and various iPods. Tinny as hell through the Samsung's speaker, it still was a mystery how that tiny squawker inside the shallow casing could even do what it did. We're so inured to the marvels of miniaturization.

Transferring from Windows Media Player to Samsung Galaxy.

But I felt all set for next morning's briefing with Yvonne. She either thought me a complete idiot by now; or had to have a little chat with engineering. One unexpected bit of homework still required tracking down a pervasive new noise around my work desk. Had my HP work station's fan gone overdrive? No. Had my downstairs neighbours fired up an air-con unit? No way I'd hear that through the concrete floor. The refrigerator in our open floor plan kitchen was its usual quiet self too. The Tornado amp was powered down. That wasn't it either. Finally the penny dropped. It was Hi-Pro's SMPS sitting on the floor nicely tucked out of sight. It runs a very fast hence very noisy fan. You can eliminate it only by unplugging the power supply. Powering down the Tornado won't do. Not very nice. My inner judge was about to ask what one could realistically expect for €365. Then his secretary in the archives reminded him. Similarly priced NuForce gear also made in Taiwan had always been dead quiet. Hard to argue with that. Where was Mrs. Lai?

She popped up in my inbox half an hour later. "Please check what version Android your Samsung runs. If it has been updated to 4.4 , our app won't work because it only supports Android 4.3 for now. That's mentioned in the manual. Same for iOS. An app update is in the works." At least she didn't say idiot. Very diplomatic. And yes, looking closely it did in the manual say "supported up to". Having run updates on both devices, I'd paid no attention to their current OS version. My bad. Proper smartphone users and pad people probably have all that intel at their fingertips. Note to self. Get with the program.

Seriously though, it's a reminder how this sector of hifi forces ongoing software updates on its vendors who play perennial catch-up. Whenever Apple, Windows, Android & Co. launch changes to their operating systems, there's a chance that a 3rd-party plug-in or program will encounter issues or stop working altogether until such vendors can release a patch. Progress has its price. Hence this review had to hit pause until Hi-Pro's app supported the latest OS.