Home Theater Review’s Best of 2013 Awards

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[The same as last year; instead of wasting time doing the research that’s already been done, I won’t post my own “best of 2013” choices. I’m going to pick out my favorite items from Home Theater Review’s annual awards. With that been said, here’s the introduction to the original article along with my favorite items and their short descriptions.] 

Value, performance, and cutting-edge technology headline the 2013 HomeTheaterReview.com Best of Awards. Of the 43 products included on our list, 29 are priced below $2,000 per component (or pair of speakers); 19 are retail-priced below $1,000, with no component even coming close to the $10,000 mark this year. This shows a significant move in the industry toward value. Plasma HDTVs make a big splash on the list, perhaps for the last time – given Panasonic’s confirmed departure from plasma production and the arrival of big-screen OLED TVs on the market. If you are looking for the best products in the specialty audio/video world, you’ve found your resource.

GIK Acoustics Scatter Plate – $49 
Room acoustics are the most overlooked element of both audiophile and home theater systems, and they might be the most important way to get great sound in your specific room. GIK’s scatter plate is an add-on option to the many tools in GIK’s acoustic arsenal, costing just $49 each. It’s a simple tool to help you design an AV room with professional room tuning without breaking the bank.

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EMP Tek E5Bi Bookshelf Speakers – $250 per pair
Selling speakers Internet-direct is all the rage these days, and this is where many of our readers go to get the best value and killer customer support. RBH has entered the fray with its new EMP Tek brand, and the E5Bi bookshelf speakers we reviewed did not fail to impress.

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Aperion Allaire ARIS Wireless Tabletop Speaker – $297-$374
We’re not sure which aspect of the ARIS impressed us more – its versatility or its sound quality. Connect audio sources via the basic aux input, or step up in price to add Bluetooth and/or DLNA streaming. This well-built, stylish tabletop speaker has great dynamic ability and surprisingly good bass for its size.

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Oppo BDP-105 Universal Blu-ray Disc Player – $1,199
Big brother to last year’s “Best Of” entry, the BDP-103, the BDP-105 is more than just an audiophile-oriented universal disc player. It can also serve as an AV preamp, a high-performance DAC and headphone amp, a video switcher, and a media server, which actually makes that $1,199 asking price a true value.

 

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Astell & Kern AK120 Portable Music Player – $1,299
We reviewed both the AK100 and AK120 players from Astell & Kern this year, and our nod goes to the AK120. You can enjoy a variety of file formats (including DSD 64x) at a resolution up to 192 kHz, and this model can also serve as a USB DAC. Its sound quality far surpasses that of any other portable player we’ve tested.

 

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Read the entire original article here:

Home Theater Review’s Best of 2013 Awards & Page 2 | Home Theater Review

 

 

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