The winners of the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020, in association with Sevenoaks Sound and Vision, have now been revealed.
It has, of course, been a turbulent year. The Covid-19 pandemic has understandably caused manufacturers stock shortages and production delays, but happily we've still received plenty of new products and been able to access our test rooms in order to review them.
The show must go on, and the 38th incarnation of the What Hi-Fi? Awards is once again a celebration of the very best hi-fi and home cinema products on the market.
There are 111 Best Buy winners for 2020, with our Awards decorating class-leading products across 26 categories, from dependable headphones and awesome amplifiers to top-notch TVs and exceptional stereo speakers.
Some are repeat winners, while others are among the hundreds of new 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 at great-value prices.
So without further ado, let’s get to the winners…
Sony has had another stellar year, bettering last year’s tally to reach a double-digit haul of Best Buys across a wide range of categories, from TVs to headphones, Blu-ray players to smartphones.
The brand-new Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless over-ear headphones, Sony KD-48A9 4K OLED TV and Sony Xperia 1 II phone have helped the Japanese giant become the most consistently decorated brand at the What Hi-Fi? Awards in the past few years.
KEF’s hard graft this year has paid off, too, with its new Metamaterial absorption technology more than proving its worth in the recently launched LS50 Meta speakers and LS50 Wireless II system. The smaller KEF LSX speaker system remains the one to beat, too.
Vertere Acoustics returns to the What Hi-Fi? Awards winners list with its "formidable" DG-1 Dynamic Groove/Magneto turntable and Phono-1 Mk II phono stage, while Sonos reaffirms its role in the soundbar market with its new Dolby Atmos-supporting Arc, while also taking a multi-room win.
Thinking about buying a new TV? It's been quite a year...
Despite another in-form year, ever-reliable LG (whose OLEDs have been some of our favourite TVs in recent years) is absent from this year's Best Buy TV list. Samsung, on the other hand, is extremely present, featuring at both ends of the price spectrum with the Samsung UE43TU7100 4K TV and Samsung QE75Q950TS 8K TV, as well as a mid-range winner. Philips and Sony shared the spoils elsewhere.
The surging momentum of the Apple AirPods revolution means that this year more than half of our wireless headphones gongs go to true wireless models, with the most affordable of our highly recommendable pairs, the little-known Earfun Air, starting at a much lower price than last year.
Of course, the What Hi-Fi? Awards are just as much about celebrating repeat winners as it is fresh-faced newcomers. The Elac Debut B5.2 standmounters, Technics SL-1500C turntable, Marantz PM7000N just-add-speakers system, Apple TV 4K video streamer, Grado SR325e on-ear headphones, Chord Mojo DAC and Audiolab 6000N Play music streamer, are all among the repeat winners.
There’s plenty, plenty more to celebrate too, so do run your eye over the entire list of 111 Best Buy 2020 winners.
But wait, that’s not all. For the unaware, one Best Buy in each of the 26 product categories will be given the even more prestigious Product of the Year Award on the evening of Thursday 5th November.
That’s usually when we would hold our traditional What Hi-Fi? Awards night celebration dinner, but due to Covid-19 restrictions, this will now take place online. You will still be able to watch the announcement live. So watch this space for details.
So, that’s one date for your diary… and here, have another: the special What Hi-Fi? Awards issue of the magazine will go on sale the next day, Friday 6th November, in both print and digital editions.
As is now par for the course, there will also be five special Product of the Year Awards announced alongside the Product of the Year winners: Innovation, Temptation, Readers’ Awards and Hall of Fame, as well as an Outstanding Contribution Award.
We know many manufacturers have worked extra hard this year to deliver new products to our test rooms in time for the What Hi-Fi? Awards, so our thanks to those companies. And of course, hearty congratulations to all the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020 winners.