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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 (opens in new tab)!

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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Sound+Image is Australia's no.1 mag for audio & AV – sister magazine to Australian Hi-Fi and to the UK's What Hi-Fi?, and bestower of the annual Sound+Image Awards, which since 1989 have recognised the year's best hi-fi and home cinema products and installations. While Sound+Image lives here online as part of our group, our true nature is best revealed in the print magazines and digital issues, which curate unique collections of content each issue under the Editorship of Jez Ford, in a celebration of the joys that real hi-fi and high-quality AV can bring. Enjoy essential reviews of the most exciting new gear, features on Australia's best home cinemas, advice on how to find your sound, and our full Buying Guide based on all our current and past award-winners, all wrapped up with the latest news and editorial ponderings. Click here for more information about Sound+Image, including links to buy individual digital editions and details on how best to subscribe.