Best of 2023: from top-tier OLEDs to retro revivals, our team picks its favourite products

Best products of 2023 including PMC Prodigy 1 speakers, Cambridge Audio MXN10 streamer, Musical Fidelity A1 amp, Sony WF-C700N earbuds, Sony A95L TV
(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)

2023 is all but over, but what a year it’s been for hi-fi and home cinema fans. Over the past 12 months, we’ve seen everything from cutting-edge new TV screen technologies, like the award-winning Micro Lens Array (MLA), to revivals of classic amps, like the Naim Nait 50, arrive.

In fact, the sheer volume of great new products to arrive and pass through dedicated testing rooms made judging the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2023 one of the toughest to date.

Here to help send 2023 out with a bang, our team of expert reviewers has created this list detailing their personal product highlights for the year.

Sony A95L 

The Sony A95L TV playing a nature documentary

(Image credit: Future / Netflix, Our Planet II)
Alastair Stevenson What Hi-Fi profile
Alastair Stevenson

The Sony A95L was a blow-your-socks-off moment for myself and the wider reviews team. Once it landed in our test room, it proved to be one of the biggest generational jumps in quality we’ve seen in some time. Featuring a second-generation QD-OLED panel, the A95L delivered the best holistic home cinema we’ve seen from a flagship TV this year. Colour accuracy is excellent, motion handling is top tier, and it even sounds good (by in-built TV speaker standards). And that’s why for me, it’s the most exciting product to arrive this year.

Musical Fidelity A1

Musical Fidelity A1 on a rack

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Ketan Bharadia
Ketan Bharadia

Okay, I'll admit it, I've always had a soft spot for the Musical Fidelity A1 amplifier's angular appearance and the exotic nature of its Class A circuitry. That circuitry was designed by legendary engineer Tim de Paravacini, which makes the product all the more special. A word of warning, because of the way Class A works, the A1 runs hot – very hot. While the new version is surprisingly faithful to the original, bar a larger case to help heat dissipation and a revised power supply arrangement to improve the sound. 

The sonic character remains wonderfully familiar, though. The A1's presentation is bolder than the modest 25 watts-per-channel output figure would suggest and it delivers a combination of fluidity, dynamic expression and solidity that leaves most modern alternatives sounding a little meek and sterile. The resurrected A1 may not be the most detailed or transparent amplifier you can get for its price, but it remains one of the most beguiling.


TCL 65C845K on a table

(Image credit: Future / David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet, Netflix)
Tom Parsons
Tom Parson

I love testing and using next-gen flagship kit, but I really got into reviewing to find the bargains. There’s nothing as satisfying as unearthing and being able to recommend a seriously excellent TV that’s actually affordable, and there simply haven’t been enough of those over the last few years. That’s what made testing the TCL C845K so exciting. This is a TV with an excellent feature set, thrilling picture quality and surprisingly good sound for around half the price of a typical flagship. I’m all about the bargains, and that’s what this is.

Sony WF-C700N

Sony WF-C700N on a red background

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Andy Madden bio pic
Andy Madden

I’ve heard some fantastic wireless earbuds this year, and quite a few of them have been flagship pairs. Sony’s WF-1000XM5, for example, stole a lot of headlines – and quite rightly too – but there’s a cheaper pair in the company’s stable that you need to hear first. The WF-C700N just blew me away for its modest price, and you could argue they are probably all the wireless earbuds a lot of people will ever need. I find them seriously comfortable to wear, while sonically they offer a level of musicality and refinement I just haven’t heard at this level before. And the best part is they don’t cost a small fortune.

Eversolo DMP-A6

Eversolo DMP-A6 on a rack, its touchscreen being used

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Kashfia Kabir
Kashfia Kabir

There have been a whole lot of excellent hi-fi products I've tested and listened to this year – amazing amplifiers, stunning speakers and retro-tastic radios – but the one I'd like to give special mention to is the Eversolo DMP-A6. Eversolo is a new brand for us, but what a debut! The DMP-A6 streamer's incredibly well-designed touchscreen interface, packed streaming features and punchy, bold performance make for a really enjoyable product. But it's the streamer's design that appeals the most and makes it a joy to use. Its powerful, intuitive, well-laid-out app and display show just how intelligent and user-friendly a complex product like a streamer can – and should – be. We hope established hi-fi brands take note. We'd love to hear Eversolo products dig into the subtler, more dynamic and emotional aspects of music replay more in future products. If the brand can take its audio performance up a notch or two, it could be a force to be reckoned with.

Cambridge Audio MXN10

Cambridge Audio MXN10 on a hi-fi rack

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Harry McKerrell headshot
Harry McKerrell

2023 was the year of cheap and cheerful tech, a trend that was exemplified by the Award-winning budget Cambridge Audio MXN10 music streamer. The dinky box may be small and aesthetically unassuming, but it trounces its rivals at this price level with a refined, well-balanced sound and a versatile, adaptable temperament. Add to that a solid feature list and a host of supported files, including streaming of hi-res audio up to 32-bit/768kHz PCM and DSD512, and you’re looking at a seriously attractive proposition for the money. If you're hunting for an affordable source component for your budding system, the Cambridge Audio MXN10 is the smartest choice I've come across.

PMC Prodigy 1

Pair of PMC Prodigy 1 speakers on a rack

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Becky Roberts
Becky Roberts

When a product's performance surprises enough for you to double-check its listed price, you know it's doing something very right (...or very wrong). These 'Plain Jane' PMC bookshelf speakers may not look like much in a market where colourful cabinets and drivers and glossy and leather-look finishes have become familiar embellishments, but they blow similarly priced rivals away with a sound that's clearer and more precise and insightful than anything I've previously heard at this price point. PMC was, evidently, serious about taking its studio-grade sound mainstream, having implemented many of its premium, tried-and-tested technologies into this new entry-level model – it is even measured and listened to alongside the company's reference models, and signed off by their assembler before being boxed up. Such attentiveness has certainly paid off: the Prodigy 1 are small speaker superstars.

Sony TA-AN1000

Sony TA-AN1000 next to its remote

(Image credit: What Hi-Fi?)
Lewis Empson author profile image
Lewis Empson

This should come as no surprise to regular readers considering I've spent most of this year banging on about how good this home cinema amplifier is. Sony's first AVR to launch in the UK in over five years is an absolute triumph, and while it's not as cheap or feature-rich as some rivals, its masterful sonic presentation makes up for any shortcomings. Staggeringly dynamic and steadfastly cinematic, the Sony injected the necessary emotion, energy and tension into Christopher Nolan's Interstellar during my testing, ensuring I was on the edge of my seat despite it being the sixth time I'd watched the movie. While it can certainly do big and bold, the Sony is equally capable of delivering a delicate and balanced performance when necessary, making it an all-round winner. Not only is it talented in the sound department, but it's also impressively intuitive to set up and control; just make sure you have your tape measure ready.


13 products we want to see in 2024: new AirPods, PS5 Pro, Sonos headphones and more

I've heard over 150 products this year, and these are my 5 hi-fi highlights

Alastair Stevenson
Editor in Chief

Alastair is What Hi-Fi?’s editor in chief. He has well over a decade’s experience as a journalist working in both B2C and B2B press. During this time he’s covered everything from the launch of the first Amazon Echo to government cyber security policy. Prior to joining What Hi-Fi? he served as Trusted Reviews’ editor-in-chief. Outside of tech, he has a Masters from King’s College London in Ethics and the Philosophy of Religion, is an enthusiastic, but untalented, guitar player and runs a webcomic in his spare time. 

With contributions from