There are some people who don't believe racks make much difference to the performance of a sound system. We disagree – hi-fi or home cinema electronics need support and isolation to have the best chance of delivering everything they've got.
In our experience, the best AV racks can have a notable affect on the performance of equipment. Clever design elements such as spikes and dampening gaskets help to kill vibration, upgrading the musical performance of your kit.
So what do you need to know about racks? Most are modular, so you can select the number of shelves you need. They're usually flat-pack but easy to assemble in around 15 minutes or so. You'll also want to pay attention to the type of wood used to make the shelves and choose a finish that suits your style.
We've drawn up a list of the best hi-fi and AV racks below.
If you’re of the opinion all hi-fi racks are created more or less equal, the Evoque Eco 60-40 SE2 will make you rethink your position. It's as fine an equipment support as we’ve tried for the money – and the winner of the Best Equipment Rack at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019.
It's well engineered and the bamboo shelving is beautifully finished. Great care has been taken to control the flow of mechanical energy in the rack’s structure, with each leg decoupled from the shelf it's attached to.
Paying just short of £600 for a three-tier Evoque Eco SE2 is hardly a trivial sum, but if you really want to hear just how well your system can perform, this is a sound investment.
Read the full review: Atacama Evoque Eco 60-40 SE2
The Hi-Fi Racks Omnium8 is an incredibly versatile rack. There’s a choice of eight standard finish options and no less than four different types of uprights. Buyers can specify the number of shelves, their spacing and whether the uprights are bolted or spiked. You get the idea – this rack can be configured to accommodate just about any set-up.
And whatever the configuration, this solid oak rack support will add sonic weight and warmth to your kit. The Atacama Evoque Eco 60-40 Special Edition (below) might offer a touch more agility and precision, but both set-ups render similar amounts of detail.
A superb, high-quality product. If its looks and flexibility float your boat, dive right in. You won’t be disappointed.
Read the full review: Hi-Fi Racks Omnium8
The Atacama Evoque Eco 60-40 Special Edition has an instant effect on our reference system, delivering crisper detail, tighter and more composed low end, and better-organised instrumentation.
It builds on the previous Eco 60-40's design with longer legs, tuning counterweights for dampening, channels carved into the underside of each bamboo panel to direct vibrations towards the legs, and steel feet with bronze to facilitate a steadier flow of mechanical resonance.
In short, the Eco 60-40 SE rack really has everything going for it – and at this price it's fantastic value for money.
Read the full review: Atacama Evoque Eco 60-40 Special Edition
Want to give your system adequate support for a decent price? Atacama has you covered with the Apollo Storm 6. It's a more affordable version of Atacama’s Award-winning Evoque 60-40 Special Edition: a modular support that blurs the lines between class-leading hi-fi component and typical household furniture.
It's built from 27mm blocks of warp-resistant oak, instead of the Evoque 60-40 SE’s bamboo, but they share the same impeccable build quality. You get a choice of four leg lengths and two finishes.
A decent step up from traditional living room furniture, the Storm 6 will help your system shine, delivering dynamic performance at a bargain price.
Read the full review: Atacama Apollo Storm 6
The larger, AV-friendly variant of the standard-size Podium has been an excellent option for a good while now. The XL uses a 40mm thick platform of solid oak and build quality is impressive throughout.
The Podium XL's expansive size (up to 1.2m wide) means you can fit a 65-inch TV, three components side-by-side on each shelf, and easily accommodate a large centre speaker.
It conveys plenty of openness in the midrange and treble, and can help add more weight, dynamics and top-end refinement compared to similarly-sized alternatives. It's not quite as easy to assemble as we'd like, but if the dimensions suit your needs, look no further than this stellar support.
Read the full review: Hi Fi Racks Podium XL
The Elite Eco 12.0 caters for AV use as well as hi-fi. It comprises a base unit and shelves that stack up on top, standing on isolation cones. Each module costs around £250, but while it's a pricey option, you won't be disappointed.
We were impressed by how our system performed when using this rack: our reference system delivered a fluid and spacious presentation, and we heard a high level of detail, precision and authority.
There are three leg lengths plus cable management loops carved out of the back at no extra cost. A stylish, solid option for AV kit and TVs.
Read the full review: Atacama Audio Elite Eco 12.0