Best Gear of January 2019

Best Gear of January 2019

Speakers are front and center in our January 2019 mix of Top Picks — from a full-on audiophile-approved 5.1 speaker system to a Dolby Atmos-enabled soundbar system that provides an easy path to immersive surround sound plus two distinctly different takes on the ever-popular wireless speaker. Rounding things out is an impressive (and long overdue) update of the original Sonos Connect:Amp and an AVR that nabbed Top Value Pick status for packing an insane level of performance and features into a $700 piece of gear.

SVS Prime Wireless Speaker System: $600

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

SVS may be late to the wireless speaker party but the company known for delivering great sound at reasonable prices has made its presence known with the Prime Wireless. The powerful dual-speaker system delivers audiophile-caliber sound, uncompromised connectivity, and a wealth of streaming options — including Bluetooth/aptX and DTS Play-Fi support — in a stylish package that won’t break the bank. Reviewer Rob Sabin praised the system for having a near-perfect frequency balance down to its low-end limit: “As long as you don’t push it harder than you would any small speaker of its size, it does everything right.”

AT A GLANCE

Plus

Neutral, open sound
DTS Play-Fi hi-res and multiroom options
Extensive wired and wireless connectivity
Dedicated subwoofer out

Minus

Limited bass output begs for a subwoofer

Full Review Here


Onkyo TX-NR787 9.2-Channel Network AV Receiver: $699

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

Onkyo has outdone itself with a versatile nine-channel AVR that delivers an impressive blend of performance and features at a price that all but assured its status as a Sound & Vision Top Value Pick. With ample processing power to accommodate a DTS:X or Dolby Atmos 7.1.2 setup, the TX-NR787 is capable of delivering impressively rich, powerful sound in rooms as big as 2,000 square feet as confirmed by its THX Select certification. Its robust feature set, which includes ready access to a wealth of wireless streaming options and features like AccuEQ Advance room calibration, will more than satisfy most listeners.

AT A GLANCE

Plus

Powerful, full-bodied sound
5.1.4 and 7.1.2-channel surround options
AccuEQ Advance room calibration

Minus

No multichannel preamp outputs
Basic remote control

Full Review Here

Riva Concert Wireless Smart Speaker: $179

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value

The Riva Concert is a standout in the ever-expanding world of voice-enabled smart speakers. It’s splash-resistant, can play for up to 15 hours on a single charge, and is packed with features. In addition to Alexa voice control, it supports streaming via AirPlay, DLNA, and Bluetooth and delivers sound that is well-balanced with bass output that will surprise you. All that from a speaker that stands 7 inches tall and costs less than $200.

AT A GLANCE

Plus

Audio playback from connected USB drive
Portable with optional external battery
Solid bass performance

Minus

Narrow soundstage at close range
Treble could be more transparent

Full Review Here

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