Times, they are a changin' and you only need to look at our systems category over the last couple of years to see that. 2014 saw multi-room systems get their own product category, and this year we’re out with home cinema in-a-box and in with a new all-in-one music system Best Buy.
The four winners cover a range of tastes, needs and budgets, so whether you’re sticking by CDs or venturing into the wide and wonderful world of network streaming, there's an option for everyone…
A smattering of upgrades over its predecessor – from speaker revisions to a new-and-improved DAC – make it something of a star for traditional sorts happy with CD, radio and USB playback. It sounds even more detailed and organised and, at £350, doesn’t let anything come close to its performance-per-pound offering. It's a well-deserved Product of the Year.
The third iteration of Ruark's R2 is a gorgeous, space-efficient system packed with streaming features
Those looking for a streaming system may want to audition the Ruark R2 Mk3. For £400, this fun, clean-sounding and compact box is the perfect solution without breaking the bank – providing you don’t mind sacrificing a CD drive as part of the deal. It’s as much of a joy to use as it is to listen to.
The Cambridge Audio Minx Xi walks away with an award yet again - a hefty price drop to £400 makes it more of a bargain than ever before. Whether it’s streaming music over wi-fi, Bluetooth or via Internet radio, it pips the new Marantz M-CR611 to the post. Introduce it to speakers like the Q Acoustic Concept 20 standmounters or 3050 floorstanders, and you won’t be disappointed.
More after the break
Naim may have won a 2014 Best Buy with its UnitiQute 2 but it hasn’t rested on its laurels. Having added Tidal, Spotify Connect and aptX Bluetooth to the streamer in the last twelve months, this high-end system remains a hugely desirable machine. If you can afford the outlay, then dive straight in.
MORE: Awards 2015: Systems
See all the What Hi-Fi? Awards winners