The first winners of the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022, in association with Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, have now been announced.
Now in its 40th year, the What Hi-Fi? Awards once again celebrates the best hi-fi and home cinema products in the world, recognising class-leading kit across 26 categories, from awesome amplifiers and superb stereo speakers to top-notch TVs and standout soundbars.
Over the past twelve months, our expert reviews team has tried and tested hundreds of audio and video products across a wide range of prices to settle on these 109 Best Buy winners for 2022, so these are all recommendations you can trust.
Some are resilient repeat winners, having held off newcomers in their fields, while others have successfully risen to the challenge of toppling former champions to claim the throne as their own. But whether a fresh face or a golden oldie, they all share something in common: best-in-class performance.
So, who are these winners we speak of?
Last year, Apple, Cambridge Audio, Naim, Rega, and Sony were all big winners, taking home multiple awards across multiple categories – and in some cases, these champs have not let up their reign. Apple remains a phone and tablet boss; Sony is still sweeping up the wireless headphones market; Cambridge is once again a double winner in the stereo amplifier market; and Naim’s position in the streaming markets is unshakeable. Rega is still a tour de force in the turntable market, too, though one of this year’s headlines is that the Pro-Ject Debut Pro tussles the crown from the Rega Planar 3, which has donned it consistently for more years than we can remember, such has been its dominance in that price bracket. Honestly, we were starting to think it had been glued on...
Denon has once again secured two of the three AV amp Best Buys, only this time with two of its all-new 2022 models. Speaking of product categories that feature regularly updated models, we have a new haul of winning TVs in 2022 – seven, in fact. LG’s C2 OLED range takes four of them for itself in what could be a TV range record, though there’s room for Philips, Samsung and Panasonic to squeeze in there too. Sony might have scored a haul of 2022 Best Buys, but it’s left wanting here.
That isn't the case in the headphones category, mind you. Anyone who follows the headphone world’s comings and goings probably won’t be shocked to read that the Sony WH-1000XM5 scoop the premium wireless headphones award, though perhaps more surprising is the company’s presence at the bottom of the earbuds market with the super-affordable WF-C500. Elsewhere, Bose makes a welcome return to the wireless headphones category with its QC Earbuds II.
Speakers within Wharfedale's Diamond and Evo series have gathered gongs in both the individual floorstanding speaker and speaker package categories at their respective price brackets this year, while Mission breaks into the standmount speaker awards with its resurrected 770.
We also have twice the number of winning projectors – including the first winner of our new ‘Best UST Projector’ award too (that's ultra short throw, by the way), from LG – and, to wrap up the highlights, we warmly welcome Technics and Triangle into an ever-expanding and increasingly competitive Systems category.
Now, there are many more winners that deserve your attention of course, so this is where we urge you to have a good peruse over all 109 Best Buy 2022 winners, with credit card(s) at the ready of course…
But hang on another moment, because we aren’t done with you quite yet. You might also like to know that one Best Buy winner in each of the 26 product categories – the one that best represents ultimate value – will be handed the even more prestigious Product of the Year Award on the evening of Wednesday 9th November, the date of our traditional What Hi-Fi? Awards night celebration dinner for industry members.
As is now par for the course, the November ceremony will also be where five special awards are announced: Innovation Award, Temptation Award, Hall of Fame Award, Outstanding Contribution Award, and finally the Readers’ Award that you might well have had a part in yourself had you taken part in our online voting.
These – quick maths – 31 exceptional winners will be announced simultaneously online that evening, and the jam-packed What Hi-Fi? Awards issue of the magazine will go on sale in both print and digital editions the following day (Thursday 10th). So that’s your Thursday evening sorted, feet up and in front of the fire.
We thank all the manufacturers who have gone above and beyond to deliver new products to our test rooms in time for the What Hi-Fi? Awards judging process, and offer a hearty congratulations to all the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winners.