2014 was an interesting year for A/V enthusiasts. On the video side, plasma went away, while LCD technology, particularly the edge-lit models, took a leap forward, and OLED grew its presence. In audio, a slew of new competitors went chasing after Sonos in the app-based multiroom audio genre, high-res audio began to emerge from its audiophile obscurity, vinyl continued on its comeback path, Atmos came to the home theater market, and the best soundbars kept on getting better. Read on for our list of the crème de la crème from the 2014 calendar year, but make sure you check current pricing online, especially among the TVs. We list MSRPs as originally reviewed, and some products are now heavily discounted.
Here’s a happy problem: Following the merge of Sound & Vision and Home Theater last year, selecting our 2013 Top Picks of the Year involved culling through more than 120 products that had been granted HT Top Pick or S&V Certified status—13 issues’ worth, plus dedicated online reviews. While it was still easy to pluck out the stuff that really rose to the top, the end result was more standouts than usual. You’ll find several recommendable entries equally sharing the various category honors this year. Of course, we’ve still identified a single, very special piece of gear as our ultimate Top Pick of 2013. Care to take a guess?
Well, here we go again—time for another round of the best of last year’s best. As you’ll see (and forgive the old cliché), it was a year that was more evolutionary than revolutionary, but we were delighted to see the cost of excellent HDTVs and projectors continue to come down while the quality of some emerging categories, like soundbars, started to come up.
Wondering which HDTV or audio components to buy now? Look no further than Sound & Vision's Top Picks, our reviewers’ exclusive listing of recommended gear. Just determine your budget, scroll through the products, and use the links to read the full reviews. You’ll also find shopping and tech tips for the key categories. Happy hunting!