2016 Top Picks Of the Year Value



Emotiva Airmotiv 5CH Speaker System
(January 2017) Emotiva’s return to the passive loudspeaker category resulted in a stupendously neutral and great-sounding system that stunned contributing technical editor Dan Kumin with its astounding value. $1,177, emotiva.com

RSL Speakers Speedwoofer 10S Subwoofer
(July/August) This ported 10-incher from high-value purveyor RSL delivered bass that was surprisingly clean and punchy, and at $399, you can afford to buy two. $399, rslspeakers.com

Vizio M65-D0 LCD UHD Display
(December) Cord-cutters beware: There’s no off-air tuner on board, hence the word “display” instead of “TV.” But no matter—Vizio once again proved itself a master of affordable excellence. Priced at $1,299 when we reviewed it in late fall, it was selling for $1,149 during the holidays. $1,299, vizio.com

Optoma HD142X 3D DLP Projector
(December) We tried out a few under-$1,000 1080p projectors during 2016, but at just $579, this Optoma delivered a notably good value. $579, optomausa.com

VApex PRO Fixed Projection Scree
(December) In our measurements and subjective viewing, this solidly constructed 1.1-gain screen compared favorably with a Stewart Filmscreen model costing eight times its price. ’Nuff said. $219 as reviewed (92-inch diagonal, 16:9), visualapex.com

Monolith 7 Power Amplifier
(June) A stupidly powerful, 7 x 200-watts-per channel, 93-pound, Class A/B beast built in the very best audiophile tradition and sold at a price that constitutes an absolute steal. $1,499, monoprice.com

Yamaha YAS-106 Soundbar
(December) A largely neutral, honest soundbar that’s well featured and delivers incredibly good value for its price; add your own subwoofer to its supplied output to kick it up another notch. $199, usa.yamaha.com

AudioQuest DragonFly Red & Black Headphone Amp/DACs
(December) AudioQuest’s latest Dragon- Flys are both a revelation and a bargain. Dragonfly Red, $199; DragonFly Black, $99; audioquest.com

Louis Gombos's picture

Where is GoldenEar among your Top Picks for speakers? This omission casts doubt on your choices in general.