Home Entertainment

 

10 Best Gear 2010

January 5, 2010 By HE Staff



The best gear of the year, as picked by the editors of Home Entertainment.

Simaudio MOON i3.3Simaudio MOON i3.3 Integrated Amplifier
The seemingly simple combination of a high-end amp and a well-designed DAC are nothing new, but adding in a USB connection is.

The sound from the i3.3 is, regardless of source, warm and detailed. It's definitely one of those components where you sit back and think, "so this is how audio is supposed to sound."

As if exceptional sound wasn't enough, the i3.3 is modular, allowing you to choose what inputs you need, and none that you don't. Full review here.

 

Pioneer BDP-09FDPioneer BDP-09FD Blu-ray Player
If the idea of a $2,200 Blu-ray player doesn't make any sense to you, maybe a test run with the BDP-09FD will change your mind.

The tank-like 09FD has the best possible audio and video decoding, thanks to eight Wolfson Audio DACs and Marvell's Qdeo chipset.

It will make your DVDs look amazing, your CDs sound amazing, output Blu-ray better than just about anything and even make you coffee.

OK, maybe not that last one. Full review here.

 

JVC DLA-HD750JVC DLA-HD750
Simply stunning. That's how good the DLA-HD750's picture quality is. The contrast ratio is so much better than every other projector on the market there isn't even a second place.

Add in accurate color and top-notch processing and you have the videophile's projector.

It's also quiet, stylish-looking and THX certified.

Check out the successor too, the DLA-HD990, which promises to be even better, and we'll review it soon. Full review here.

 

WooAudio WES Headphone Amplifier and Stax SR-007 Mk2 Electrostatic HeadphonesWooAudio WES Headphone Amplifier and Stax SR-007 Mk2 Electrostatic Headphones
In Steve's review of the WooAudio/Stax combo, his one complaint was that the pair wasn't perfect.

He followed that up with the admission that it's closer to perfect than anything else. Several of our editors have heard the combo and were floored by the sound.

Sure, a dedicated tube headphone amplifier and electrostatic headphones may not be what you thought you wanted for your home, but one listen will convince you otherwise. Full review here.

 

VPI 30th Anniversary Classic TurntableVPI 30th Anniversary Classic Turntable
Vinyl is back. Did it ever really leave? New Jersey–based VPI celebrates 30 years in the business with the aptly named Classic.

With turntables, the sky really is the limit, so it's refreshing to see such performance in a modestly priced package.

It's quiet in action and in sound, bringing a warmth and liveliness to the sound that is lacking in digital and even in other turntables. Full review here.

 

 

AAnthem Statement D2vnthem Statement D2v Preamp/Processor
We all spend a lot of time finding the best gear for our system, something that will make it sound just that little bit better. Well how about a product that not only sounds good itself, but will make everything else in your system sound better? Enter the Statement D2v, with Anthem's Room Correction (ARC), which does as it says: It corrects for the imperfections in your room so everything sounds perfect. Add in excellent video processing and a host of inputs, and you have one amazing pre/pro. Full review here.

 

BG Radia BGX-4850BG Radia BGX-4850 Subwoofer
Four-inch drivers. That's it. To say the THX Ultra2 Certified BGX-4850 has a unique design would be like saying the Louvre is a museum or the Veyron is a car.

By stacking two rows of six woofers facing each other, the BGX-4850 can have a radiating area similar to a dual 18-inch subwoofer, yet fit inside a standard 2x4 studded wall.

Add four around your room and you have bass nirvana. Full review here.

 

projectiondesign helios Projector

projectiondesign helios Projector
Why go with one when you can get two? Why go with one when you can get three?

The three-chip, dual-lamp helios offers flexibility few others can match. Want an enormous screen? The light output of the helios can handle that. How about decent black levels on a smaller screen? Sure. Accurate color and pixel-perfect processing? Check.

For that middle range between small home theater projectors (like the JVC) and near-professional DLP light cannons lies the gorgeous helios. Full review here.

 

PPanasonic TC-P46G10 Reviewanasonic TC-P46G10 Plasma HDTV
The TC-P46G10 is a bit of an anomaly on this list. It's not the top of the line, nor is it especially big.

What it is, though, is fantastic. From a picture-quality standpoint, it offers near-KURO levels of performance, but for a fraction of the price.

Contrast ratio, processing, color accuracy, are all as good—or better—than pretty much anything out there. It's not a shock how good it is, but it's a shock how good it is for $1,500. Full review here.

 

NaimUnitiNaimUniti Integrated Amp/Audio Player
If you're like us, you probably have music scattered all over the place, a few different computers, CDs, even listening to Internet radio once and a while.

The NaimUniti aims to be the central point for all of your music, and to play it back to the best it's able. Access UPnP computers in your home, Internet radio, the built-in audiophile-grade CD player, files on a thumb drive via the front USB input, all played back through the built in 90-watt amplifier.

It's a digital audio hub for audiophiles. Full review here.

Editor's Picks

If we had a 12 Best, we'd have picked these.
Hegel H100 Integrated Amp
SIM2 Grand Cinema C3X Projector

 

Also check out our

10 Best Design Winners

10 Best Software Winners

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