Picking the best stereo gadgets for 2010 is a tough job. Many great products have hit the market, but a few rise above the rest and rank at the top of my list. My top picks were chosen from the many things I've reviewed this year and are 'must have' gadgets.
The Sonos multiroom music system tops my list this year. It's an elegant, wireless solution with an intuitive user interface that thinks the way you do about using a multiroom music system. The Sonos S5 Zone Player is the newest in the Sonos line. It has five speakers for great full-range sound and is simple to connect and operate. It's also a lot of fun to use. You can start with a simple two-room music system and expand as needed to as many as 32 rooms. Read my full Sonos review and learn more about this great wireless multiroom music system.
I like this gadget because it works well and is very easy to use. If you want to get your music wirelessly from here to there, the Aperion Audio Home Audio Link should be on your list. The Home Audio Link can be used between almost any two audio devices - I use it to play my computer's iTunes music collection on my home stereo system. It works up to 150' range, it's affordable and can be expanded to as many as three zones or rooms.
Attention Audiophiles! If you like the convenience of storing your music on an iPod, but you demand the best sound quality, check out the Wadia 170i Transport. This unique component actually taps the digital output of an iPod, bypassing the lower quality iPod output used by a typical docking station. It's the only component that works this way. The difference in sound quality is so clear, a caveman could hear it!
Mordaunt-Short Carnival 2 Speakers
I remember the TV commercial where the spokesperson said "I liked the shaver so much, I bought the company". That was my reaction when I reviewed the Mordaunt-Short Carnival 2 speakers. I didn't buy the company, but I did buy the speakers. They sound great and are uber affordable. Read my review and learn more about these remarkable bookshelf speakers.
Anthem AVM-50v Preamp & MCA50 Power Amp
Building a top class system starts with the controller. Despite its complexity, the AVM 50v delivers the rich sound quality of the finest analog audio components, but with superb digital audio processing, video upscaling and control features and a plethora of useful system controls. It's one of the best audio components I've tested. The companion MCA 50 power amp is a robust powerhouse, and I'm sure I never tapped its full potential. The Anthem separates are among the best of the best in home entertainment components. Read my full review and learn why.