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WINNERS: Loudspeakers: Sound+Image Awards 2021

Sound+Image Awards
(Image credit: Future)

Loudspeakers are the miracle of our age - just a box with some drivers, yet ble to reproduce every sound from the growl of a guitar to the perfect vocal of a soaring aria. In this category we announce our loudspeakers of the year - from small portable speakers up to smart multiroom wireless units and on to conventional loudspeakers small and large, delivering the ultimate in hi-fi happiness. And if it's bass support for both movies and music you're after, our subwoofer award-winners will surely oblige. 

You can read the Judges' Comments below: for the full details on each and every winner, check out the Special Awards Issue of Sound+Image magazine, on sale in December in print and digital editions. Print subscriptions here; digital issues here!

Now let's meet the winners!

Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

STANDMOUNT LOUDSPEAKERS OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$2000
Bowers & Wilkins 606 S2 Anniversary Edition
AU$1299
Judges’ Comment: Even better than the standard 606 S2, and resplendent in the new oak finish with white baffle, these are standmounts that truly sing. Click to read What Hi-Fi?'s full review.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

FLOORSTANDING LOUDSPEAKERS OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$2000
Richter Harlequin S6
AU$1899
Judges’ Comment: The latest Aussie-designed Harlequins deliver Richter’s signature size and quality of sound from a stylish and usefully compact floorstander. 

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

LOUDSPEAKERS OF THE YEAR AU$2000-$5000
Paradigm Premier 800F
AU$3499
Judges’ Comment:  The overall frequency balance is just perfect, a natural sound serving all genres of music beautifully.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

LOUDSPEAKERS OF THE YEAR AU$5000-$10,000
JBL Synthesis HDI-3600
AU$6999
Judges’ Comment: JBL became one of the world’s most famous loudspeaker manufacturers by building extraordinary speakers. The HDI-3600 is the latest of them.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

LOUDSPEAKERS OF THE YEAR OVER AU$10,000
Vivid Audio Kaya 25
AU$15,500
Judges’ Comment: Loudspeakers look like large boxes because that’s the easiest way. But it’s not necessarily the ideal way, as Vivid Audio’s Kaya 25 attests.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SMART SPEAKER OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$500   
JBL Link Music
AU$169.95
Judges’ Comment: The mains-powered Link Music offers great sound for the price, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SMART SPEAKER OF THE YEAR AU$500-$1000
Denon Home 250
AU$849
Judges’ Comment: Solid sonic performance backed by HEOS platform’s wireless multiroom abilities and easy and extensive access to music. Click to read our review of Denon's Home range. 

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SMART SPEAKER OF THE YEAR OVER AU$1000 (joint winner)
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge
AU$1499
Judges’ Comment: Despite offering zero physical inputs, the Formation Wedge is an undoubtedly premium performer in the wireless speaker space, with real visual style and a luxuriously expansive sound. Click to read What Hi-Fi?'s full review.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SMART SPEAKER OF THE YEAR OVER U$1000 (joint winner)
Naim Mu-so Qb Gen 2
AU$1475
Judges’ Comment:  Find the right home for the Naim Qb and you won’t be disappointed in its sound, while the app, remote and useful inputs all score points towards this award.

Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

PORTABLE SPEAKER OF THE YEAR   
JBL Link Portable
AU$249.95
Judges’ Comment: With Bluetooth, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2, waterproofing, battery operation and good sound, the JBL Link Portable is a winner.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SUBWOOFER OF THE YEAR UNDER AU$5000
Bowers & Wilkins DB4S
AU$2799
Judges' Comment: The DB4S delivers rich, satisfying, full-bodied bass from an attractive cabinet, along with app control for fine adjustment.

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Sound+Image Awards 2021

(Image credit: Future)

SUBWOOFER OF THE YEAR OVER AU$5000
Magico ASub
AU$10,900
Judges' Comment: Magico’s ASub is a phenomenally good-sounding, high-performance subwoofer with  astoundingly flexible computer-based room and speaker tuning.

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Sound+Image Awards

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