Or should it be called What "should of won a" HiFi Award?
102 award winners in 27 categories. Champagne, food and plenty of fun!
As the dust has settled on the 2016 40th Anniversary What HiFi awards there have been countless social media posts congratulating brands on winning awards, and rightly so. What HiFi put on a great evening at the Hilton on Park Lane. Pre event drinks, a quality meal and entertainment from Comedian Mark Watson. The particular highlight was picking on a Panasonic PR girl called Helen who he had been stalking on Facebook. Drawing lots of laughs and making the poor girl the centre of attention. We were on the table closest to the stage and was dreading being picked on but luckily we got away with it!!
Once the hangover had started to disappear (Thursday I think) and the "congrats guys" posts started to roll through the internet, we started to think of the products that got totally over looked. With information so freely available on t'internet these days its all too easy to make up your mind by reading someone else's. What Hifi do a sterling job of reviewing products and have a very hi-tech listening room and reference system, but that isn't to say it will sound the same in your home, with your ears.
For instance, the biggest omision, and there are some big ones, is the Audiolab M-DAC+. How this amazing DAC didn't win "Best DAC £500 - £1000" is craaaaaazy! Solidly built, incredible resolution and detail but retaining its musicality, it is one of the best DACs to come through our doors. AND its got rave 5 star reviews everywhere.
The Marantz PM6006 amplifier improves over the PM6005 which won product of the year for the last 2 years. Its better, more refined, another Digital input and a perfect sub £500 amplifier. It also matches the CD6006 which did win best CD Player under £500! No one wants a mis-matching system anymore. Collars and cuffs and all that :o)
If you want the best Wireless speaker on the market, it is the Devialet Gold Phantom. Period. No question. There isn't another product out there that has the engineering and soundstage Devialet can achieve. Don't get me started on the Sennhesier HD800s, Momentum 2.0 Wireless or Covert Plato one box solution. Surely the best accessory has to be the Arcam MiniBlink?! Tip top Bluetooth performance for any amp and under £100!!
I hope the awards are judged like the Mercury Music Prize. There is a panel of tech-heads battling between each other over hours of coffee to who's makes use of a sabre DAC chip better or who's ears can tell if there is a mid-range hole they can here or not. But I suspect not!!
Sure, the review lead Magazines to an amazing job and without them it would be a minefield trying to work out where to start, but there are plenty of places you can go, to look at and listen to products and most of us have already celebrated our 40th year.
Use reviews as a guide 1st, then use your ears. It's totally worth it.
**This post is not written to offend, it's an alternative view, with a lot of tongue in cheek**If any offense is caused, please blame the hangover!!
#WhatHiFiAwards #Hifi #harrowaudio