What Hi-Fi? Awards 2014

 

 

What Hi-Fi? is the world’s most trusted home entertainment buyer’s guide, with a 37-year heritage of providing clear, expert and independent advice. Through news, reviews, videos and one-to-one online advice, its experts are helping millions of people get more from their music, movies and TV - however and wherever they want to enjoy them.

 

2014 AWARD WINNERS

 

MULTIROOM SYSTEMS

Product Of The Year - Bluesound  (Best multiroom system £500+) "There's a new leader in the wireless multi-room music market - Bluesound combines high-res audio and ease of use in one impressive system."

Sonos (Best multiroom system up to £500) "Reasonably priced, effortlessly stylish and with a plethora of options to expand as you go - Sonos is still one of multi-room's leading lights.

 

TELEVISIONS

Sony KDL-32W706B  (Best 32in TV) - "With an attractive, punchy picture, detailed sound and a smattering of features, this has all the trimmings of a well-designed telly."

Samsung UE55HU7500 (Best 52-60in TV) - "Top marks for another outstanding all-rounder from Samsung, and this one is 4K-capable too. Picture performance is exemplary with 4K, high-definition and standard-definition material."

Samsung UE65HU7500 (Best 60in+ TV) - "A great 4K performance that doesn't forget the importance of other resolutions. If you want the best, big-screen 4K TV around, this is it."

 

PROJECTORS

Sony VPL-HW55ES (Best projector £2500+) - "A seriously capable performer with a clean, sharp, natural picture that is nothing short of stunning."

 

STEREO SPEAKERS

Product Of The Year  B&W 685 S2  - (Best standmounter £400-£800) "A superb pair of speakers that are hugely thrilling. These are the speakers we'd put on to get our friends into hi-fi"

Q Acoustics Concept 20 - (Best stereo speaker £200-£400) "Looking for a top-quality sub-£500 standmount speaker? Ignore this one at your peril."

PMC Twenty 22  - (Best standmounter £1200+) "Nothing has managed to beat these highly impressive speakers. If maximum detail retrieval and top-class agility are your thing, these are the ones to go for."

Q Acoustics 2050i - (Best floorstander up to £600) "Great value for money, with excellent refinement and great dynamic ability."

Bowers & Wilkins 683 S2  (Best floorstander £600-£1200) "Another winner for B&W, these speakers are tremendously talented. We're impressed by their power, scale and delicacy – they're wonderfully versatile."

Ruark MR1 (Best desktop speaker) "Stylish, well featured and delivering hi-fi quality sound, the MR1s certainly mean business."

 

SOUNDBARS & SOUNDBASES

Product Of The Year - Q Acoustics Media 4 "Q Acoustics is in a rich vein of form at the moment, and the Media 4 is another excellent option - it's sensibly priced and sounds fantastic."

Yamaha YSP-2500 (Best soundbar £600+) "Yamaha raises the bar to new heights – this is an amazingly talented soundbar delivering captivating sound."

Canton DM75 (Best soundbase £300+) "A bigger and better version of the successful Canton DM 50, the DM 75 is a worthy alternative for larger TVs."

 

STEREO AMPLIFIERS

Product Of The Year Arcam FMJ A19  - (Best stereo amp £500-£800) "Our Product of the Year for the second time in a row, and with good reason: once you hit the sweet spot, this is a wonderfully talented amp."

Marantz PM6005 - (Best stereo amp up to £500) - "A fantastic budget stereo amp. Delivers superb sound quality for your analogue and digital music."

 

TURNTABLES

Pro-Ject Essential II - (Best turntable up to £400) "An excellent entry-level turntable that gets all the basics spot-on. It makes listening to records fun, and we can't ask for more than that."

 

DACS

Product Of The Year AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 (Best DAC up to £300) "The original DragonFly blew us away, but the v1.2 takes performance to a whole new level and at a great price too!"

Arcam irDAC (Best DAC £300-£500) - "A brilliantly talented DAC with bags of sonic appeal. None of its direct rivals get close to matching its performance."

Audiolab M-DAC (Best DAC £500-£700) - "The M-DAC raises the performance bar even higher, with a solid build, high-res audio support and superb sound."

 

BLU-RAY PLAYERS

Product Of The Year Sony BDP-S7200  (Best Blu-ray player £150-£300) "Sony is nothing if not consistent when it comes to making Blu-ray players: this one serves up a classy picture and stunning sound"

Sony BDP-S5200 (Best Blu-ray player up to £150) "Superb value for money"

Panasonic DMP-BDT700 (Best Blu-ray player £300+) - "If you want a premium Blu-ray player for a premium home cinema system, this is it.""

 

HOME CINEMA AMPLIFIERS

Product Of The Year Sony STR-DN1050  (Best home cinema amp £350-£700) "Sony raises the bar once again: this is a seriously good mid-range amp that balances muscle and subtlety with stacks of features at a good price."

Yamaha RX-V377 (Best home cinema amp up to £350) - "Superb surround sound on a budget – an absolute no-brainer if you're building your first home cinema system."

Pioneer SC-LX58 (Best home cinema amp £700-£1500) - "The reigning champion gets even better. Superbly detailed and dynamic sound combined with all the features you need make this a natural winner."

 

SPEAKER PACKAGES

Q Acoustics 2000i (Best traditional package up to £700) "A must-hear for anyone who wants an attractive and affordable 5.1 system that works as well with music as it does with home cinema."

KEF R100 5.1 (Best traditional package £2500-£3500) "Gorgeous looks, gorgeous sound, gorgeous package – nothing's managed to knock this superb set-up off its perch."

Tannoy HTS-101 (Best style package up to £700) "It may be small, but this Tannoy package is perfectly formed, with an open sound and good integration. A terrific buy at less than £400."

Q Acoustics Q7000i (Best style package £700-£1000) "Got £900 to spend on a sub/sat package? Spend it here. At the sub-£1000 level you'll struggle to top it."

Bowers & Wilkins MT-50 (Best style speaker package £1000-£1400) "A small, flexible and hugely impressive sounding package with excellent build quality and stylish looks."

Monitor Audio Radius R90HT1 (Best style speaker package £1400-£1800) "With its classy-looking design, beautifully balanced sound and excellent integration, this has Best Buy written all over it."

Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D (Best style package £1800+) "Ticks all our performance boxes: a true all-rounder, confident in multichannel and stereo, beautifully built and versatile."

 

WIRELESS SPEAKERS

Product Of The Year Naim Mu-so  (Best wireless speaker £750+) "Naim's first entry into the wireless speaker market, and it's an absolute belter. It may command a premium price, but you won't be disappointed"

Monitor Audio Airstream S200 (Best wireless speaker £150 - £300) "Excellent performance, great price and streaming features galore – this is a very desirable wireless speaker."

 

STREAMERS

Bluesound Node (Best streamer up to £600) - "Redefines the market for music streaming with its high-resolution capability at an affordable price."

Cyrus Stream Xa (Best streamer £1000-£1500) - "A great addition to the Cyrus family, with a lively and engaging character."

Cyrus Stream XP2-Qx (Best streamer £1500+) - ""Cyrus has done it again – this superb streamer sounds absolutely fantastic with an energetic, enthusiastic and immersive performance."

 

SYSTEMS

Denon D-M39DAB (Best music system up to £400 - "A system that manages to keep things simple and still knock your socks off is very special indeed."

Naim UnitiQute 2 (Best music system £800-£1500) - "Naim has delivered an authentic hi-fi streamer that provides a compelling argument for that upgrade you've been thinking about."

Cyrus Lyric 09 (Best music system £1500+) - "A strong style statement and an even stronger sonic performance makes the Lyric 09 a must-audition. It’s a superb system."

Sony BDV-N5200W (Best cinema system) - "A well-featured package that delivers an exciting and convenient home cinema performance for a great price."

 

ACCESSORIES


Product Of The Year Arcam miniBlink - "This level of sound quality doesn’t come easily to products like this, which makes the miniBlink’s abilities all the more special."

 

CD PLAYERS


Product Of The Year Cyrus CDi - "It's no surprise to see a five-star CD player from Cyrus, but the CDi takes things to a whole new level. It's hugely impressive."

Marantz CD6005 (Best CD player up to £500) - "Marantz's CD6005 has picked up where the CD6003 and CD6004 both left off. This latest effort is the best CD player we've heard at this price."

Roksan Caspian M2 CD (Best CD player £1500+) - "In our opinion the finest CD player available at anywhere near this price."

 

READERS AWARD


Product Of The Year KEF LS50 - "The terrific KEF LS50 standmounters show no sign of losing their sparkle after dazzling our readers for a second successive year."

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