We've racked our brains to compile a list of the finest hi-fi equipment, iPod docks and headphones that pleased our lugholes this year – it's the Audio Gadget of the Year shortlist for the Stuff Gadget Awards 2012!
The second pair of on-the-ear headphones from the Brit speaker stalwarts, the P3s are more portable, more durable and more glamorous than the P5s they supersede. Oh, and they sound the business too, with mid-range detail and weighty bass.
Bowers & Wilkins P3
Proving that eardrum-strokingly great sound quality doesn't have to come at a high price, the E10 earbuds deliver superb clarity and bass for less than the price of a steak dinner (with wine). The build quality is excellent too.
Pricey? Yes. But look at what you get for your money: Bluetooth, NFC, touch controls, EQ settings – and all wrapped in that gorgeous Phillipe Starck-designed frame.
The DS9800s might look a little "weird" with their eyestalk-like appendages, but there's nothing strange about the sound quality. 100W of power allows the system to go room-fillingly loud while retaining clarity – and AirPlay for wireless streaming is always welcome.
More after the break...
The OnBeat Xtreme is a feature-packed beast, with Bluetooth streaming, iOS dock, USB, mic and video out complementing the great sound and sparky design.
The price is eye-wateringly steep, yes – but the NaimUniti 2 takes all-in-one hi-fi to stunning, audiophile-friendly heights. 70W per channel amplification, excellent CD playback, every kind of radio under the sun and a streamer that supports full 24-bit/192kHz lossless audio. Just add speakers.
Able to stream almost anything from hi-res audio to Internet radio, the Stream Magic 6 also works as a classy DAC. It's fully controllable through an iOS and Android app, making the whole thing far more user friendly than the average slab of audiophile gear.
Philips Fidelio SoundSphere DS9800W/10
A micro hi-fi with a difference: hook it up to your router and it'll access streaming services like Spotify and Last.fm, as well as web radio stations. Use the iOS or Android remote control app and you'll also be able to suck up lossless audio from a PC or NAS. Lovely stuff.