Hans said: Monitor’s Airstream A100 is a honey of an amp that makes a compelling argument for never having to buy into traditional hi-fi of yore. With analog, digital, and wireless connectivity, an accomplished class-AB amplifier -- something its competitors can’t boast -- and sound quality that reaches well past its $499 price, it comes highly, highly recommended. $500 never sounded so good.
The gist: If you thought Monitor only made speakers, this component will make you think twice.
Price: $17,495 per pair
Jeff said: In some ways, buying a Devialet is like replacing your ancient flip phone with an iPhone 6: you won’t believe everything it can do, how it performs every function, and how it looks and feels in your hand while doing it all. It’ll seem kind of like magic. The question is: Are you ready for it? If you’re like me, once you hear the Devialet 400, there will be no going back. I’m as surprised as you that I’m saying this, but the Devialet 400s produced the best sound I’ve ever heard.
The gist: The state-of-the-art amplification device.
Jason said: Solid-state lovers would like it. Tube lovers would like it. But where it would hit a home run, I believe, is with two groups: those who would like to try a tube amp but are leery of doing so because of the perceived downsides of tubes, and tube aficionados who might be getting tired of unreliable, soggy-sounding tube amps.
The gist: An amp that expertly straddles the tube/solid-state line.
Colin said: Once the D 7050 is set up properly, the convenience of its wireless ability is undeniable and is, after its terrific sound, its main selling point. It’s so convenient, and sounds so good, that this member of the Direct Digital family is staying put.
The gist: NAD really has something with Direct Digital.
Sathyan said: In the mINT, Wyred 4 Sound has packed into a small package surprising amounts of features and quality. From the variety of input (and output) options to the room-filling amplification, I can imagine few scenarios in which the mINT could not find a place.
The gist: Functional and small, but with good sound, too.
Erich said: Simaudio’s Moon Neo 340i is an excellent example of just how good today’s integrated amp-DACs can be. It’s attractive, well built, easy to use, very easy to listen to for extended periods of time, and can provide nuanced sound at modest or high volume levels.
The gist: Mid-priced integrated with all the right attributes.
Hans said: The Devialet 120 is a state-of-the-art piece of hardware, an inspired design marked by deep originality and a thorough understanding of how humans actually interact with modern technology.
The gist: Simply groundbreaking.
Jeff said: With V2 of the Aura Note music system, April Music has produced a versatile, adaptable, complete home-audio system in a single box.
The gist: The centerpiece of your new living-room entertainment system.