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Best Home AV Products 2019 - Editor's Choice Awards & Comments

bogart99

Active Member
I am sometimes confused by these awards, take for example the subwoofers the BK P12-300 SBN-PR, needs an award just for that name, and the REL HT/1205. Both look very similar but both win a category only because the REL tops the £500 mark. Again in the REL review it is mentioned as a alternative to the BK but is pricey, so how does that work when it gets 10/10 in value for money, as does the BK, lost how this works.
Do agree entirely with the sub £500 soundbar still love my under £200 Polk.
I will not even start on why do the AV receivers kick off in the £1k plus ball park.
 
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Coulson

Well-known Member
I am sometimes confused by these awards, take for example the subwoofers the BK P12-300 SBN-PR, needs an award just for that name, and the REL HT/1205. Both look every similar but both win a category only because the REL tops the £500 mark. Again in the REL review it is mention as a alternative to the BK but is pricey, so how does that work when it gets 10/10 in value for money, as does the BK, lost how this works.
Do agree entirely with the sub £500 soundbar still love my under £200 Polk.
I will not even start on why do the AV receivers kick off in the £1k plus ball park.
I was a little confused by this as well. The REL doesn't "seem" to be much better (if at all) in terms of actual sonic performance than the BK, but costs more.
 

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
I was expecting the beam to feature in the soundbar category
 

furryhobnob

Distinguished Member

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
Style over substance im afraid with sonos
I think it’s more than that. It’s not cinema but it’s decent sound with good smart features and for the average person a good product. It’s also scooped up plenty of other awards this year
 

furryhobnob

Distinguished Member
I think it’s more than that. It’s not cinema but it’s decent sound with good smart features and for the average person a good product. It’s also scooped up plenty of other awards this year
Havnt heard it, but had the sonos playbar before with 2 play 1's as rears, and was underwhelmed, for that kind of money you can get better sound.
 

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
Havnt heard it, but had the sonos playbar before with 2 play 1's as rears, and was underwhelmed, for that kind of money you can get better sound.
Of course you can... but you are paying for convenience and usability. Remember these products almost all soundbars are for the average consumer not the enthusiast
 

furryhobnob

Distinguished Member
Of course you can... but you are paying for convenience and usability. Remember these products almost all soundbars are for the average consumer not the enthusiast
Not an average consumer when spending well over a £1000 if buying the soundbar, sub and rears surely, I'd agree on anything below £500 that it's for the average consumer
 

UMAR 3:16

Well-known Member
Not an average consumer when spending well over a £1000 if buying the soundbar, sub and rears surely, I'd agree on anything below £500 that it's for the average consumer
As mentioned the beam is under £400
 

furryhobnob

Distinguished Member
As mentioned the beam is under £400
I know, it can be picked up for around £350 at the minute, i still think you can get better sound for the same price, i understand if you're already invested in the sonos ethos, then the playbase makes sense.
 

Dubliner1

Well-known Member
Nice selection of products there- can never go wrong with a good Denon Receiver the things are really great.
 

steve sph

Active Member
Good to see BK take the sub-£500 subwoofer award - for my money it's a no-brainer as their products are quite possibly the biggest bargain in hi-fi history.
For me REL are overpriced, and BK used to make their parts anyway so basically they're a BK with a fancy cabinet.
Oh, and a much higher price tag.
As for the best AVR over a grand, then the Denon is a fair shout although strictly speaking the Arcam 850 is in another league.
Although I guess at the price it's a bit like comparing apples and oranges.
 

Steve Withers

Reviewer
The list is based only on products that AVForums has reviewed from November 2018 to October 2019.
 

bogart99

Active Member
I think it actually appeared on RS at £169 or £179 not sure which but either must be bargain of the year.
 

Evinger

Well-known Member
I may have totally missed it, but the Monitor Audio does not include any Atmos speakers - is that correct, & if so, what other speakers might match well with this package?
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I may have totally missed it, but the Monitor Audio does not include any Atmos speakers - is that correct, & if so, what other speakers might match well with this package?
Monitor Audio don't make Dolby endorsed upward firing Atmos enabled speakers or any form of upward firing speaker, but do suggest using their conventional Apex A10 speaker as upward firing speakers. This option would however be rather an expensive one given the cost of the Monitor range of speakers. You'd not find another option that is tonally in alignment with the MA speakers so look at alternatives you can afford. I's suggest you avoid the ONkyo upfirers though.

The Apex A10 can be used to acheive a similar effect as dedicated "Pod" or Up-Firing speakers. Thanks to its table stand it can be adjusted to fire up to the ceiling. This will obviously take some experimentation to get it pointing in the right area to create the reflection, but it is a solution to the problem caused by not wanting to run more cables through the ceiling or cut holes in the ceiling.

The other option for Dolby Atmos - if you didn’t want speakers in the ceiling - would be to mount them on the ceiling. Here you can use the likes of the MASS 10 or Radius 90 with the Monitor Audio Speaker Mount (MASM).


If at all possible, consider using ceiling speakers as opposed to upward firing speakers. Monitor Audio suggest you use their own In-Ceiling speakers except the T2 and FX models for Atmos. The better options are those with the IDC module in them and MA recommend their C265-IDC as being the best option, but these are again expensive.

Any of our Custom Install In-Ceiling speakers (except the T2 and FX models) can be used for Atmos, the better options being those with the IDC module in them. In the vast majority situations the best speaker we would recommend is the C265-IDC. The reason being is that it provides a wide dispersion characteristic (as recommended by Dolby) from its use of an inverted mid-range and isn’t too big or imposing.

The larger 8” models and especially the CP 8” models can look a bit unsightly when there are 4 of them in the ceiling unless you have a large ceiling space to locate them in. Additionally, since Dolby Atmos channels are playing effects audio with more atmospheric sounds and reduced low frequencies, the extra bass achieved by a larger speaker can be seen as unnecessary.
 
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audiomonkey777

Novice Member
I am sometimes confused by these awards, take for example the subwoofers the BK P12-300 SBN-PR, needs an award just for that name, and the REL HT/1205. Both look very similar but both win a category only because the REL tops the £500 mark. Again in the REL review it is mentioned as a alternative to the BK but is pricey, so how does that work when it gets 10/10 in value for money, as does the BK, lost how this works.
Do agree entirely with the sub £500 soundbar still love my under £200 Polk.
I will not even start on why do the AV receivers kick off in the £1k plus ball park.
I've heard some good stuff about Polk recently. Which do you have? Am i right in thinking that they do a surround sound type system as well. I'm sure I've seen that somewhere. Time to investigate!
 

Astaroth

Well-known Member
The list is based only on products that AVForums has reviewed from November 2018 to October 2019.
Whilst understandable it does somewhat devalue the usefulness of the results... if you only review one >£2,000 soundbar in the year its the automatic winner. Even if its two and both are worse than last years winner you still promote one of the lower quality items.

Given the above its understandable that you want to limit the number of categories but it would be nice to see soundbars divided between one box and multi-box solutions. Some of us are going (or being forced) down the soundbar route for a minimal setup and so dont want subs or rears etc otherwise we'd stick with our existing 5.1 solutions.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
I've heard some good stuff about Polk recently. Which do you have? Am i right in thinking that they do a surround sound type system as well. I'm sure I've seen that somewhere. Time to investigate!
Sound United (DEI Holdings) own Polk and also own Denon/Marantz. Polk are a speaker manufacturer and do not make AV receivers. They do however manufacture soundbars and make a soundbar system that allows you to add additional surround speakers and sub to it.

You can find out more on the Polk MagniFi soundbar system here:

The MagniFi Max SR is a home theatre soundbar that includes a pair of wireless surround speakers and a sub.





Apart fron Denon, Marantz and Polk, Sound United also own Definitive Technology, Classe, HEOS and Boston Acoustics.
 

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