Ready yourselves (and your wallets), for you are just moments away from discovering the very best hi-fi and home cinema products on the market.
This morning we have announced the 111 winners of our Best Buy Awards for 2019, decorating class-leading kit across 26 product categories, from dependable budget headphones and ever-reliable radios to eye-poppingly premium TVs and sublime stereo speakers.
Some are repeat winners from last year while others are among the 260+ products our expert reviews team has tried and tested in the last twelve months, and they all share something in common: best-in-class performance.
So without further ado, what has won?
Sony stole the show with the most (eight) Awards in 2018, and it’s replicated the feat again this year with winners across – deep breath – TV, soundbar, Blu-ray player, AV amplifier, headphones, projector and portable music player categories. All-new Sony champs include the NW-A45 Walkman, the KD-49XG9005 49in 4K TV, and the WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds.
The increasing popularity of true wireless (in other words, completely cable-free) headphones sees us decorate not one but two models this year, with the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 coming in under the aforementioned Sonys at the budget end.
Rega has somehow managed to dominate the turntable category to an even greater degree as we daren’t overlook its new Planar 8/Apheta 2, and Technics makes a return to the record deck category with its SL-1500C.
Bowers & Wilkins’ 606 standmounts represent the peak value of the brand’s 600 Series, while Cambridge Audio and Naim Audio – both big winners this year – share the majority of the stereo amplifier Best Buys between them with their latest models. And who knew that a £2199 soundbar would ever demand to be taken so seriously as the Sennheiser Ambeo has?
While 2019 has thrown up a plethora of boundary-pushing products, typically there are some familiar faces at this year’s Awards table too. Among them are the KEF R3, Dali Oberon 5 and Spendor A7 stereo speakers; Audio Pro and Sonos' multi-room speaker families; Chord Electronics' Mojo, Qutest and Hugo 2 DACs; and the UK Edition of Marantz’s 6000 Series CD player and amplifier.
There’s plenty, plenty more to celebrate too, and you can spy the entire list of 111 Best Buy 2019 winners here. Happy shopping!
For the unaware, one Best Buy in each of the 26 product categories will be awarded an even more prestigious Product of the Year trophy at the annual What Hi-Fi? Awards ceremony on the evening of Tuesday 5th November. So there’s a date for your diary… in fact, have two: the special What Hi-Fi? Awards issue of the magazine will go on sale the next day, Wednesday 6th November.
As is now par for the course, there will also be five special Product of the Year Awards to give out on the night: Innovation, Temptation, Readers’ Awards and Hall of Fame, as well as an Outstanding Contribution Award to recognise the career of one particular member of the AV industry.