2017 Top Picks Of the Year Value



Vizio M65-E0 LCD UHD Monitor
(January 2018) Vizio’s mid-line M Series appeared on our Value list last year as well, and this year is an even better bargain, with the 65-inch model priced out of the gate for $200 less while delivering improvements in both image quality and the Chromecast built in user interface. $1,100, vizio.com

Epson Home Cinema 3700 LCD Projector
(July/August) As 4K content becomes ubiquitous, it’s harder to justify spending more than a few hundred bucks on a straight, non-pixel-shifting 1080p projector. But the Home Cinema 3700, with its installation flexibility, bright picture, and dynamic iris for better contrast and blacks, makes a good case for stepping up. $1,500, epson.com

BenQ HT1070 DLP Projector
(May) At $699, the BenQ HT1070 was, very simply, a good picture for a good price and the best of the under $1K budget projectors we tested last year. $699, benq.com

Elite Screens Aeon CLR Ultra Short Throw ALR Projection Screen
(February/March 2018) Ultra short throw projectors are coming on strong as an alternative to oversized (and expensive) flat panels, but they require a special ALR screen for use in ambient light. Elite’s Aeon CLR material offered excellent performance that was nearly the equal of UST screens costing multiples of its price. $799 as reviewed (90-inch, 16:9), elitescreens.com

Emotiva BasX A-500 Power Amplifier
(January 2018) Emotiva’s low-profile Class A/B, five-channel amp represents an inexpensive, robust alternative to the power plant in most A/V receivers. $499, emotiva.com

Pioneer VSX-832 A/V Receiver
(November) This 5.1-channel receiver, which was selling promotionally for about $300 by year end, offers more bells and whistles than most budget AVRs have a right to claim, while delivering robust power on our test bench that exceeded its published specs. $479, pioneerelectronics.com

Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 Speaker System
(January 2018) Focal updated its sub/sat system featuring egg- shaped satellites to include an Atmos-enabled monitor, but it was this 5.1.2 system’s “remarkable imaging and timbral distinction,” plus its surprising little subwoofer, that most impressed reviewer Dan Kumin. $1,299, focal.com/en

RSL Acoustics CG3 Speaker System and Speedwoofer 10 Subwoofer
(April) RSL delivered solid imaging, timbral accuracy, and better-than-expected dynamics from this compact, affordable 5.1 system that also featured the snappy Speedwoofer 10 sub, a Top Pick of the Year from 2016. $1,079, rslspeakers.com

Q Acoustics 3000 Speaker System
(September) A “smooth, sweet, spacious midrange” from the compact 3010 satellites and the well-performing vertical sub featured in this 5.1 system allowed audio editor Mark Fleischmann to “recommend these speakers to budget buyers with unbridled enthusiasm.” $900, qacoustics.com

Polk MagniFi Mini Soundbar System
(May) Polk tapped a DSP-driven version of its classic SDA (stereo dimensional array) spatial processing and a proprietary six-speaker driver array to deliver both surprisingly neutral tonal balance and a shockingly huge image from this 13-inch-wide, bargain-priced soundbar. $300, polkaudio.com

Emotiva SB12 Subwoofer
(January 2018) Emotiva’s ported 12-incher from its BasX value lineup proved an impressive performer for its price, delivering usable bass down to a measured 20 hertz. $399, emotiva.com

1More Quad Driver In-Ear Headphones
(July/August) 1More’s Quad Driver ’phones combine a dynamic carbon driver and three armatures, all proprietary, inside solid-aluminum earpieces to deliver sound and build quality that greatly betray the asking price. $200, 1more.com

Sonos One Wireless Speaker
(December, soundandvision.com / April 2018) Sonos upped its game by introducing a replacement for its high-value Play:1 entry-level speaker featuring Alexa (and soon, Google Assist- ant) voice control. $199/pr, sonos.com

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.

brenro's picture

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German-Pete's picture

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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Looking back at 2017, this annual list of top picks reflects the exceptional products that were reviewed and stood out during the year. It's worth noting that the prices mentioned are suggested retail prices at the time of the reviews, and it's always advisable to check for current discounts online. | Suburban Elevator