2015 Top Picks Of the Year Value


Vizio E65-C3 LCD HDTV
(December) As the Ultra HD camp slowly introduces critical new features like high dynamic range and wide color gamut, Vizio’s budget 1080p E65-C3, with its 16-zone full-array local dimming backlight, is a super-high-value option to tide you over. $1,000, vizio.com

Zvox SoundBase 570 Soundbase
(December) Zvox, inventor of the soundbase, keeps delivering better performance for both movies and music—even in the budget-priced 570, which handles TVs up to 60 inches and delivered bass down to a quite satisfying –3 dB at 42 Hz in our bench tests. $350, zvoxaudio.com

Elac Debut F5 Speaker System (January 2016 issue, watch for our review.)
(January 2016) Speaker designer Andrew Jones left Pioneer in 2015 to join German stalwart Elac, and the aptly named Debut, reviewed in a 5.1-channel array with the F5 mini-towers ($560/pair), blew out the stops on value with its stellar, neutral performance. $1,470, elac.us

Dayton Audio B652-AIR Speaker System
(September) That $299 price for a 5.1-channel system is no misprint: Thanks to the pleated diaphragm air-motion planar tweeter in the B652-AIR bookshelf speaker ($60/pair!), Dayton Audio gives up true audiophile-quality surround sound for the cost of a cheap soundbar. $299, daytonaudio.com

Polk Model T Speaker System (February/March 2016 issue, watch for our review.)
(February/March 2016) For surprisingly little coin, this 5.1- channel system based on the T50 tower ($130 each), delivers a big boatload of performance. $690, polkaudio.com

AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 Headphone Amp/DAC
(July/August) Audio editor Mark Fleischmann reviewed this latest version of the DragonFly as one of five portable headphone amp/DAC combos, and it shined, delivering even more open sound than the original at a still-bargain price. $149, audioquest.com

Sennheiser HD 598 Headphone (February/March 2016 issue, watch for our review.)
(February/March 2016) These high-value, extremely comfortable over-ear, open-back cans sound a lot like the renowned Sennheiser HD 600 for a much lower list price—and they’re heavily discounted online as well, typically to less than $175. A screamin’ deal for wanna-be Hi-Res Audio fans. $250, sennheiser.com

Koss Pro4S Headphone
(July/August) What can we say? For $150 (a bit less with discounts) the over-ear, closed-back Koss Pro4S delivers refined mids and highs, authoritative tight bass, and excellent design and build quality. Koss even throws in its usual limited lifetime warranty. $150, koss.com

Traveler's picture

No OLED? From what I've read in the past QD is supposed to be a cheap but inferior technology, nice to find out that it's performing better than advertised (such a rarity).

blabling2's picture

It is our list of standout products reviewed in the 2015 calendar year.
connect 4

lisawindy907's picture

Your main concern is presumably if the price quote is competitive now that you have the car's io games quote.