Looking for a new TV, or perhaps multi-room speakers for your home or even a pair of headphones for getting to work?
Before splashing out you want to be sure you’re buying the best.
What Hi-Fi? magazine names its products of the year in its annual awards – and we range some of the winners.
Super-sharp TV for watching 4K content
Award-winning TV: Samsung KS8000
Category: Televisions, Product of the year
2016 has been the year of 4K content with Sky launching services, Netflix massively increasing its offering and the arrival of proper 4K Blu-ray.
The Samsung KS8000 is one of the best TVs to watch 4K content on. 4K offers 4 times the detail of Full HD, but this TV goes way beyond resolution in improving picture quality.
It’s a 49-inch television with a flat rather than curved screen. But what a screen: it can produce incredibly high levels of brightness. While dark parts of the picture remain dark using local dimming. The TV can create more than 1 billion colours thanks to a layer of tiny quantum dot crystals.
This means the KS8000 gets the best from HDR video. Some Netflix shows and 4K Blu-ray combine 4K resolution with HDR, or high dynamic range, to dramatically improve contrast and colour accuracy. With HDR video and the KS8000 expect to pick out much more detail between dark and bright scenes.
The future of Blu-ray has landed
Award-winning Blu-ray: Panasonic DMP-UB900
Category: Blu-ray players, Product of the year
Blu-ray has always been the pinnacle of picture quality and now 4K TVs have got the Blu-ray they deserve. Ultra HD Blu-ray players and proper 4K Blu-ray discs are not to be confused with the earlier ‘mastered in 4K ones’.
When you watch a 4K Blu-ray on the Panasonic DMP-UB900 it will look incredible. You’ll enjoy 4 times the detail of regular Blu-ray, with superb colour range and contrast of HDR when paired with a compatible 4K HDR TV.
Expect deeper blacks and brighter whites and every shade in between with 4K Blu-ray with HDR. If you’ve been impressed by 4K streaming, wait until you see this.
Even standard (HD) Blu-ray will look better when played through the Panasonic thanks to clever upscaling technology. And Netflix and Amazon Instant Video are built-in for 4K streaming.
The player itself looks great in timeless black with a premium build quality and has Dolby Atmos and Dolby TrueHD 7.1 surround sound.
Headphones for commuting and home listening
Award-winning headphones: Sennheiser Momentum 2.0
Category: On-ear headphones, Best portable on-ear headphones £200+
We’re in love with the retro style of these Sennheiser headphones – all premium leather, stainless steel and big cans. They make for an incredibly stylish commute.
But inside their vintage design is some incredibly cutting-edge audio tech. Hook them up to your smartphone wirelessly for hassle-free Spotify over Bluetooth. Or listen plugged in if you prefer.
The listening is pretty special either way with clear, detailed and full-bodied sound. Pick out the sounds of individual guitars or drums with superb clarity. The ear-cups have been redesigned to retain more bass for a deeper sound.
Audiophiles will love the high-resolution audio support. These digital music files have better-than-CD quality, and you can stream or download them from services like Qobuz and HD Tracks.
When you’re done listening, fold the headphones small and pop in your bag or pocket.
Headphones for running and life on the go
Award-winning headphones: Sennheiser Momentum 2
Category: In-ear headphones, Product of the year
Whether you’re jogging on country lanes, or rushing around town on your lunch break – these Sennheiser Momentum headphones will see you right.
Stylish design and a comfortable fit meet excellent sound quality. Sound is crisp and clear, smooth and balanced and surprisingly big for in-ear headphones.
You can even take calls on your iPhone using the mic and line remote on your headphones.
If you’re out running, you’ll appreciate the secure fit – with 4 different ear-bud size options and a design that moulds to your ear.
Fill your home with music with multi-room
Award-winning multi-room: Sonos
Category: Multi-room speakers, Best multi-room system under £500
Want to listen to one album in the bedroom and another in the kitchen? You can fill your home with a network of connected speakers with Sonos.
Sonos smart sound multi-room speakers connect to your home Wi-Fi and are controlled via an app on your phone. From the app you can choose what you’re listening to and where by sending different music to different speakers or the same music to several – perfect if you’re having a party.
You can choose between streaming services like Spotify, and music on your phone, tablet or laptop.
The speakers are designed to suit different price ranges and rooms. Start with 1 before adding as many as 32. The smaller, more affordable Play: 1 is a great way to start your Sonos journey.
Still looking? Find your perfect TV, home cinema and audio tech
Share this article
Related in Speakers