As if to prove the hi-fi adage that good sound doesn't get old, it is very much as you were for the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020 speaker package category – all five champions this year are repeat winners from last.
At the most affordable end sits the insanely good-value Wharfedale DX-2 speaker package. Home cinema packs are tough to find below £500, so to have one this good in production is a huge bonus. Considering the DX-2's compact size and punchy sound, it's of little surprise that this 2020 Award marks a hat-trick of wins.
Q Acoustics has slightly larger budgets covered with two systems based on the Q Acoustics 3000i speaker range. The Q Acoustics 3010i 5.1 Home Cinema Pack has four of the 3010i standmount speakers, plus a centre speaker and subwoofer – and it's a brilliant time to buy this package in light of its generous discount.
The Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1 Home Cinema Pack is something a little more scaled up with its floorstanding 3050i front pair working alongside the 3010i standmount surrounds. This is a beefy set-up for the money and, while it's tempting to run off with the savings, we'd suggest spending extra on the bigger Q Acoustics QB12 subwoofer to turn it into a real home cinema hotrod.
It could well be that this is the last time we see these Q Acoustics packages among the winners, though. The company recently launched the five-star 3030i standmount speakers, so a system based on those may be the next step when paired with a suitable centre and sub. But that's next year...
Dali seems to know that it's onto a good thing with the Dali Oberon 5 5.1 speaker package. Last year's Product of the Year is exactly the same price as it has always been and it doesn't look to be going down any time soon. (In fairness, they were only launched last year.)
Whatever the price, though, we'd highly recommend this speaker package. It's lean, attractive and delivers soundtracks with scale, warmth and detail. The Mission QX-2 home cinema package was the only reasonable challenger to its crown, but it couldn't quite disrupt the pecking order.
To take the next steps in home cinema reverie you'll need to nearly double down on your spend for the Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12 system. This is the fourth year that it has won a What Hi-Fi? Award, speaking volumes of its dominance at this price level.
As the previous top-end winner, the PMC Twenty5.23 5.1 system, is out of production, this is where the category comes to a close. But don't forget, we'll be hosting our annual awards ceremony online on Thursday 5th November to reveal which of these five sensational speaker packages wins our most prestigious Product of the Year award.
Until then, happy viewing and happy shopping.