Best Home AV Products of 2021 - Editor's Choice Awards

Nick74

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the write up. Appreciate the time and effort taken.

I hope my AVR has a good few years left in it. The cost of a suitable replacement seems to have skyrocketed, with little prospect of notable discounts in the near future.

I fully appreciate that the lowest price AVR listed is described as "value" rather than "budget," though it's definitely not cheap.

If I was shelling out £1,200 for an AVR, I'd want to feel confident it would last a good many years, which given how rapidly technology and formats evolve, may not be the case.
 

steve sph

Well-known Member
Not sure about Rel T/9x as Best High End Subwoofer either.
Hard to take issue with anything else though.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Thank you for the article. I'm a but surprised no Monoprice featured in the sub awards - and not because I'm a fan boy owner 🤣 just because of what they offer per pound sterling!
 

Dean

Well-known Member
Thanks Steve
Now I had got it into my head I don't need to upgrade my AVR..
But then now I see the Anthem MRX-740 in this list I may now have a relapse of upgraditis :eek:
 

gpt

Active Member
When 3k is the entry level speaker system . ouch
 

THX1138UK

Well-known Member
It's a shame that in the Editor's Choice Awards there is a disproportionately high number of soundbars featured (8), compared to only three home cinema speaker packages. Is this because home cinema speaker manufacturers are less inclined to supply review samples?

It's so important that there's a good match between centre and stereo speakers - we need detailed reviews from a trusted source to narrow down the field - especially as some people are unable to try before they buy. I'm sure they'll be a much greater selection in Ed's two channel speaker roundup.

I'm afraid I find soundbars to be a rather uninspiring product category.


Regards,
James.
 

dan~

Active Member
Remember that top gear episode years ago when James May was reviewing an Alfa and every time he said certain words he had to put £1 in a pot? The same should be applied when using the word “immersive” 🤪
 

Amorris

Member
Thanks @Steve Withers

Love these posts and perfectly timed for me. Recently moved my B7 55” upstairs after putting QN94A 65” in living room, so our bedroom Hisense 43” 4K TV and Yamaha YAS-103 have gone into one of my sons rooms.

Needed a new sound bar which wouldn’t terrify the wife in the bedroom and this fit the bill. Plus £240 from Hughes new on eBay atm with the Black Friday code. Happy bunny, comes Wednesday.

Out of interest how good is the Alexa in terms of microphones and picking up ya voice? As I have an Echo Studio in bedroom, will move it to another room if the sound bar is good on the far field mic side (needs to be good as all our lights are voice controlled)
 

Case Closed

Standard Member
Do we really need eight separate awards for soundbars alone?
 

mclingo

Distinguished Member
i have to say i felt a little disappointed with AVFs output of the last 2 years, so much so I dont use this site for reviews at all now, I do dip in from time to time still though. I do wish all the reviewers well though and I hope I am in a minority here as its great site run by a lovely set of lads. it just feels like TV reviews are always too late and videos reviews even later so any initial excitement I had about the product has already gone by the time the review is released. Is also feels like a lot of the hardware output is too high end and unaffordable. Lastly the movie / tv scoring between different reviewers can be all over the place and not just by a bit, I would say however I feel Cas mostly gets the scoring and the review body right, in my subjective opinion.
 
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Hoku

Active Member
I’m really grateful for this site personally.

I’d agree with those above about soundbars - I think they’re awful things, but it’s one of the few sites where you can view thorough reviews of Home Cinema kit that’s not US-centric. So much US made gear isn’t available here.

Ed’s Hifi reviews are always a good read even if you’re not personally considering purchasing the product. And I think the balance of 2-channel and HC gear is about right. It certainly reflects my own level of interest.

And although there are many very skilled and knowledgeable posters on the forums here, you can’t beat the experience that Steve and Ed have of actually listening to lots of kit in the same listening space.

But being able to view a review and then view the discussion for actual long term user feedback too is invaluable. It’s nice to know about the glitches and how each company responds to them before you purchase yourself. And it’s also good to hear about products that are reliable and have positive user experiences.

Soundbars aside, it’s a pretty good roundup. Yes there could be a little more budget gear, but AV product prices have risen across the board pretty dramatically in the past few years.

But I’ve learned so much from this site, including some very experienced posters on this forum.

Chapeau all round in my opinion.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
@mclingo I too have the same feeling. However, I assume that AVF reviews focus on what the majority want. I'm the bloke with a mixture of new budget kit, with used slightly better kit and that falls in a small gap!
If most users are soundbar users then that is where the focus has to be...
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
Don't forget the podcasts and YouTube content as well. Beats every other website unless someone tells me different. They also have some good industry contacts/experience which adds more value to the content and insight.
 

Pogg

Member
The AV products i am most looking forward for reviewing is the new Sony Flagship Soundbar, Sub and Sony 4x AV Speakers system. I think they would have been on this list if Sony supplied them in time for a review here.
 

Steve Stifler

Well-known Member
I’m a sound bar agnostic because I’m fortunate enough to buy gear from time to time that is not high end, but does a good job. The gear reviews by Phil, Steve and Ed are always comprehensive. I find Ed’s humour and take on things reviewed are spot on. I’m in both AV and HiFi camps.

Don’t forget COVID and the flippin‘ rest of it all has probably cut down on R&D and production of new products, which might explain what’s not been on offer to AVF for review.

Another good year you guys and thank you 👍
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Don’t forget COVID and the flippin‘ rest of it all has probably cut down on R&D and production of new products, which might explain what’s not been on offer to AVF for review.

So true... AND THIS WEEK ARE REVIEWING erm, the same products that have been on the market now for years, dear consumers (say the OEMs) still go out and buy them even if what you have ain't broke! 🤣
 

AndyF83

Novice Member
Having gone for the SVS PB1000 sub this year, it feels as though maybe I slipped up with not going for the smaller SB version, having heard so many good things.

I wanted ported in fear that movies wouldn't have such good bass with a sealed sub, but I don't even have it cranked up often anyway.

Any other PB1000 owners around?
 

DB9S

Well-known Member
For the Reavon UBR-X100 it says:

"This attractive and solid player...."

Just don't open it up and look inside.
It has 'cheap' and 'short changed' written all over it.

But it is okay, because it has a 3mm steel plate on its underside.

;):D
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Soundbars are great!

Okay, I have a B&O Stage which is not a typical budget purchase, but it is WAY better than my flatscreen TV speakers - it looks wonderful and sounds fantastic.

This is a specialist AV site for enthusiasts, we rarely shop at Currys, do lots of research before buying anything and are usually better informed than the salespeople! For us, generally speaking, it's all about the quality you're getting for your money.

I see Soundbars as being far better than built-in speakers, but nowhere near as good as separates - they're more of a halfway house based on convenience and decent sound quality at the budget end.

They're perfect for people who don't want lots of boxes and cables, who want convenience in set up and use, and who just watch everyday TV broadcasts or the occasional film.

There is clearly a market for them and I'm glad they exist.
 

Joe C

Well-known Member
Having gone for the SVS PB1000 sub this year, it feels as though maybe I slipped up with not going for the smaller SB version, having heard so many good things.

I wanted ported in fear that movies wouldn't have such good bass with a sealed sub, but I don't even have it cranked up often anyway.

Any other PB1000 owners around?

I’ve got the PB1000 Pro, and am also wondering if I should had gone for the SB.

I went ported as my previous MA Bronze had a downward firing speaker, and given my cinema room is only small it was over some speaker stands I had (speakers have subsequently been wall mounted), so I figured front firing was best. Now I’m not so sure.

I mean, I’m not unhappy with it, but I kind of expected more for its size
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
@AndyF83 and @Joe C on the basis that the PB1000 Pro outperforms what I've got, I am surprised to read your comments. Have you asked for any help with position, placement, room size and EQ? Or is that all good? Sorry, I'm not being condescending here just suggesting that if my slightly inferior product is completely awesome (both for TV/films and music) then I don't understand.
 

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