Stuff Gadget Awards 2012 – Audio Gadget of the Year winner

It’s rather fitting that these speakers look like their eyes are out on stalks because that’s exactly what happens the first time people catch sight of them

Philips Fidelio SoundSphere DS9800W/10

£700, philips.co.uk

It’s rather fitting that these AirPlay speakers from Philips look like their eyes are out on stalks because that’s exactly what happens the first time people catch sight of them. Of course, the SoundSphere’s protrusions aren’t actually eyeballs (probably due to audio being a largely ear-based medium – and the fact it’d be a bit weird) but tweeters to complement the wood-encased drivers below. Within each speaker is 50W of music-pushing power plus Apple’s AirPlay tech for streaming tunes over Wi-Fi from your iThing. A separate dock deals with charging duties while the SoundStudio app allows you to tweak the (excellent) sound to your audiophile heart’s content. But just try to keep those eyeballs of yours under control, okay? Read review

Runners-up...

Bowers & Wilkins P3

As the song says, forget about Dre – B&W’s folding P3s are the only headphones you need.

SoundMagic E10

If you’ve got just £35 left, why not consider spending it on a pair of E10 in-ears? Just eat them if you get hungry.

Parrot Zik

These cans have NFC for easy pairing with devices and motion detection to pause the music when taken off.

JBL OnBeat Xtreme

It looks like somebody tried to tie it in knots, but JBL’s iPad-friendly Bluetooth speaker sounds top notch.

NaimUniti 2

Prohibitively expensive but unbelievably good, this Naim is the Rolls Royce of streaming.

Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6

Both jack of all trades and master of every single one of them, the Stream Magic 6 shows the hi-fi dinosaurs just how digital is done.

Onkyo CR-N755

Onkyo brings Spotify streaming to micro hi-fis (plus a CD player, iThing compatibility and an optional aptX Bluetooth adaptor).

 

 

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