1. Chord Hugo2 DAC- this digital to analog converter takes Chord's world class processing to an even more organic natural sound with a potent headphone amplifier included! Also can be used directly into an amp (includes remote volume).
2. Audeze iSine-20 In Ear Headphones- Taking the performance of an LCD-2 and squeezing it into a truly comfortable in-ear form-factor might seem like collapsing a neutron-star into a AA battery - but that's the most apt description we can offer for the physics-bending $600 pair of planar-magnetic offerings from the folks at Audeze. (Includes cables for use with iPhone and standard headphone amps.)
3. Nordost Q-Kore Grounding System- The pursuit of higher fidelity is and always has been a war between signal and noise, and grounding seems to be the new front where massive fidelity gains can be had. Nordost's flexible, easily installed grounding system is a silver-bullet for all your domicile's grounding issues - and a perfect upgrade for our SF-based renters, who often find themselves fighting with inept power and grounding.
4. Sonoma Acoustics Model One Headphone and Amp/DAC- A closed-loop headphone and amplifier, leveraging amazing DSP from the people who invented DSD-recording. Electrostatic drivers, ample amplification and both a digital and RCA input ensure you can bring it all together with jaw-dropping clarity. Kudos on the best packaging we've *ever* seen!
5. Astell+Kern SP1000 Ultima DAP- Redrawing the line of what a portable audio device is capable of, the SP1000 is both better sounding and more beautiful than you'd dare to imagine. The fact that it can drive most headphones with ease and is good enough to act as a source for a serious HiFi rig, makes it even more astonishing.
6. Technics 1200/1210GR Turntable- The return of the legend, now in black as well as silver. A bevvy of advancements - all nods to over 30 years of 1200 owner's gripes, new feet, new motor, new tonearm - it's back and better than ever by a mile!
7. McIntosh Labs MA252- The most affordable Integrated amplifier Big Teal has ever made, and they took the path we love them best for: Tube pre/solid-state amp. It's neoclassic looks and chrome fascia scream McIntosh and the sound is warm, effervescent and sublime.
8. Naim Uniti Atom Integrated Amp/DAC/Streamer- The theme of amazing things in tiny boxes deserves a triple underlining where the Atom is concerned. A streaming integrated amp, with DAC-access, Tidal and Spotify and Roon partnership, coupled to an optional HDMI input and a supremely easy to use interface make this 40wpc (deeply underrated!) beast seem like beautiful Science Fiction, nestled in it's pint-sized chassis. The OLED screen and smart remote top it off as a staff favorite.
9. Moon Neo ACE Integrated Amp/DAC/Streamer/Phonostage- and right on to another excellent streaming integrated, the ACE, or A Complete Experience, from our pals at Simaudio offers streaming, a DAC and a brilliant phono-stage, with a bit more power than was strictly required at it's price - and it sounds like classic Sim: warm, muscular and transparent! The inclusion of the MiND streamer on board makes getting up and running a breeze, and the 10-year warranty keeps you playing.
10. Woo Audio WA33 Headphone Amp- Do you have a yin for unlimited tube power? Are you done playing around the edges of what is possible in terms of grip, transparency and tone? Well, this behemoth of a tube-offering is the best we've heard - and can drive almost anything *easily*. Also, can be used as a Reference Preamp for your home stereo system.
11. AudioVector Loudspeakers- New to the U.S., and new to Us, we had to put the whole line of Danish, modular loudspeakers on this list. We are gob-smacked. Efficiency, performance and unparalleled musicality make the AudioVectors World leaders!
12. ELAC Adante AF-61 Loudspeakers- Andrew Jones working with a sizeable budget on a sizeable speaker? Sounds good in theory - and great in person. These vault-like giants energize any room with ease and make for effortless, rich playback at almost any volume. Balanced and sublime - and an AMAZING value.
13. Bel Canto Black EX Integrated Amp/DAC/Streamer/Phonostage- This remarkable trickle-down from the reference 'Black' series packs a huge slice of the best kit in their lineup into an integrated form-factor and at a more reasonable price - offering every feature you could beg for, including a leading-class phonostage and more power than just about anyone could need.
14. Rega P6 Turntable/Ania Cartridge/FonoMC- A package like this stealthy grey chip of a turntable, with requisite MC cart and matched phonostage don't hit the market often, and at their price they redefine what listener's with broad tastes can achieve at this price-point. Enough of a reference to allow most folks to say they're 'there' and well under $3K!
15. MoFi StudioDeck Turntable/StudioTracker Cartridge- The first turntable from a company that actually produces reference LP's is a retro-futurists dream aesthetically, and contains the work of many industry luminaries. Engineered to be black as midnight and hit like a stone hammer - it's also smooth and tuneful.
16. Dynaudio Special Forty Loudspeaker- Dynaudio is known for their monitors - and known for their venerable Esotar tweeters and woofers too. This 40th anniversary speaker showcases both a brilliant new Esotar lineup and a heavily hot-rodded crossover, that's bone-simple and refined - as beautiful as Danish woodworking is, it's the sound that you'll notice first.
17. Audio Physic Codex Loudspeaker- Oh to be both big and agile, immensely powerful - the Codex is a contradiction: the gentle giant that can move a ton of air, and yet images with the deftness of a planar speaker. It's sensitive too - so you can pour your budget into a well-mated amp and have money left over to feed these monoliths the resolution they deserve.
18. Devialet 220Pro Integrated Amp/DAC/Streamer/Phonostage- Newly revamped this Amazing sounding leap of technology is both Elegant and Beautiful!
19. Lyngdorf MP50 Home Theater Pre/Pro- The line in the sand defining the high-end for home theater enthusiasts, Lyngdorf's room-correction DSP is flat-out the best there is, and in every other respect, this unit is at a reference level as a stand-alone preamplifier. With music or film, it just doesn't get better.
20. AudioQuest Power Solutions- While the Niagara power solutions had an astonishing impact on the noise floor of every system we tried it on - we were most surprised by their new Storm Series power cables. They went toe-to-toe in rapid fire auditions with the world's best alternatives - and came out as equal and diverse enough sounding to earn a place on our floor in every room.
BONUS ITEM!! WE JUST GOT IN THE NEW.. iFi AC iPurifier Actice Noise Cancellation with Intelligent AC Diagnostics. A must for any HiFi!! and $99each!!