2017 Top Picks Of the Year

The year 2017 in the world of audio/video gear proved mostly evolutionary, with a touch of the revolutionary thrown in. The former was seen clearly in the flat-panel television category, which wholly gave itself up to not just Ultra HD resolution this year but also to the idea of high dynamic range (HDR) and wide color gamut displays. We saw Dolby Vision finally make its way to a few UHD Blu-ray Discs, and critically, watched OLED mature into a commanding market presence. Meanwhile, we got more, and cheaper, options for 4K signal-friendly front projectors. Audio gear—speakers, AVRs, stereo receivers, and integrated amps (a seemingly resurgent category)—all chugged along, with more equipment appearing to offer higher performance at lower prices. If there was a real revolution, though, it was in the explosive growth of the voice-controlled “smart speaker,” those microphone-enabled marvels that have yet to show us all they can and will do. You’ll be hearing more about these in our pages as we move into 2018.

In the meantime, here’s our annual list of those Top Pick products we tested last year that, on year-end inspection, warranted an extra mention. As usual, the list reflects gear reviewed in print and online during 2017, which includes our January and February/March 2018 print issues. Prices are suggested retail at the time of our review; as always, check the web for current discounts, especially on the TVs.—Rob Sabin

Traveler's picture

I bought a Sony Bravia X900E 55" and a Roku Ultra box and am very satisfied, it perfectly fills the field of view at 8' and the sound is just fine. Was going to buy an matching player but Netflix doesn't seem to carry 4K disks so I'm sticking with my OPPO 105D.

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Sorry, but the combination of ELAC with Roon (Essentials) is not at all professional. Since November 2017 Mac-, IOS- and Android-Apps are buggy. Freeze or shutdown when selecting Settings/Storage or Services and according to the Roon forums I am not the only one. From German Elac Support: "Unfortunately, we have no control over the software / firmware provided by Roon….". That is the position of Roon (Mike Roon Labs): "First, I should note that Roon and Roon Essentials are different products, with support for Roon Essentials handled by ELAC." Haaha.

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