2019 Top Picks of the Year Audio Separates & Integrated Amps


Audio Separates & Integrated Amps

Top Pick of the Year:

NAD M17 V2 Surround Preamplifier/Processor
(June/July 2019) Read Review

This A/V offering from NAD's Masters series of components provides superb sound and features all the connectivity and processing options you'd expect from a high-end surround preamp. Add in the company's BluOS multiroom music streaming and Dirac Live room correction, and you have a very compelling option for the hub of a high-end home theater. $6,000, nadelectronics.com


Simaudio Moon 390 Network Player/Preamplifier
(April/May 2019) Read Review

When it comes to audiophile-grade streaming, the Moon 390 has it all: built-in Tidal and Qobuz and other music services, wired and wireless networked multiroom playback, and DSD and MQA support. Even better, its extensive connectivity options include HDMI and a high-performance phono stage compatible with MM and MC cartridges that provides multiple EQ options. $5,300, simaudio.com

NAD D 3045 Integrated Amplifier/DAC
(April/May 2019) Read Review

Equally at home on the desktop or component rack, this compact, affordable NAD integrated amp delivered surprising power when we tested it. The D 3045 also offers generous connection options, including bi-directional aptX HD Bluetooth, an HDMI ARC port, a moving-magnet phono input, and line-level preamp/subwoofer outs. $699, nadelectronics.com

Sonos Amp Streaming Amplifier
(April/May 2019) Read Review

Designed with the pro custom installer in mind, the Sonos Amp takes the concept behind the company's popular Connect:Amp to the next level by adding HDMI ARC connectivity to a compact and visually striking 2 x 125-watt class-D amplifier that provides all the multiroom streaming capabilities the Sonos platform is known for. $599, sonos.com

Primare Prisma I15 Integrated Amplifier/DAC
(June/July 2019) Read Review

Hailing from Malmö Sweden, Primare has been producing design-conscious hi-fi components since the 1980s, and this integrated amp/DAC combines that heritage with a thoroughly modern feature set including wireless Chromecast built-in, AirPlay, and Spotify Connect streaming—all of it packed into a compact chassis with 60 Wpc of class-D power. $1,999, primare.net

Cary Audio DMS-550 Network Audio Player
(October/November 2019) Read Review

Audiophiles who have left the analog world behind will find lots to appreciate in Cary Audio's DMS-550, a cutting-edge network audio player that offers native playback of up to 32-bit /768 kHz PCM and DSD512 files, and is MQA Certified and Roon Ready. At five grand-plus, it's among the pricier options we've tested, but delivers when it comes to sound quality, build quality, features, and flexibility. $5,495, caryaudio.com

Hegel Music Systems H390 Integrated Amplifier
(December/January 2020) Read Review

This integrated amp from Norwegian manufacturer Hegel sports a tank-like build and a basic, well-considered feature set, including AirPlay and wired network connectivity, that's designed to last many years into the future. Most important, its high-quality DAC and dual mono 250Wpc class-A/B amp delivers clean, dynamic sound that instantly grabs your attention. $6,000, hegel.com

NAD C 658 Streaming DAC/preamp
(February/March 2020)

NAD's streaming preamp delivers great sound, along with many of the features found in similarly equipped high-end products, including wired and wireless multiroom streaming (via the company's BluOS protocol), MQA support, and a moving magnet phono stage—all at a fraction of their price. It also features Dirac Live room correction to get your speakers sounding their best in your space. $1,649, nadelectronics.com

AudioControl Avalon Four-Channel G4 Amplifier
(February/March 2020)

AudioControl's latest amplifier is among the most flexible we've seen, allowing for use in four-channel, two-channel, and bridged mono mode. It also features built-in crossover controls to power a 2.1 setup with a passive subwoofer. Along with being flexible, it's powerful, delivering 230 watts per channel (at 8 ohms). $2,200, audiocontrol.com