The What Hi-Fi Awards 2017: the best Image & Sound products rewarded!


Like every end of the year, the What Hi-Fi Awards 2017 allow us to see a little more clearly before the Christmas period! This long-awaited best-of rewards the best products of the year in all the fields that are dear to us: TVs, Soundbars, Stereo speakers, Turntables, Wireless speakers, Headphones, Amplifiers, DACs, Video projectors and more. Moreover !

What are the best TVs of 2017?

32-39” TV: Samsung UE-32M5500

40-46” TV: Samsung UE-40MU6400

47-52” TV: Sony KD-49XE9005

52-60” TV: LG OLED55B7V

65” TV (- €2500): Samsung UE-65MU7000

65” TV (+ €2500): Sony KD-65A1

We can only adhere to this TV ranking, although certain themes could have been addressed (best screen over 65″, best TV gaming, etc.). We simply regret the absence of the excellent Panasonic EZ950/EZ1000 OLED televisions which, thanks to their image quality, fully deserve to be in this ranking.

What are the best soundbars of 2017?

Soundbar (- €500): Yamaha YAS-207

Soundbar (500 – 1000€): Dali Kubik One

Soundbar (+ than 1000€): Sony HT-ST5000

Sound deck: Q Acoustics M2

If the little Yamaha YAS-207 is also our favorite when it comes to affordable and high-performance soundbars, the presence of the Sony HT-ST5000 is not displeasing to us either (Atmos compatible)! It is a credible alternative to the Yamaha YSP-5600 soundbar, which until now had no equivalent.

What are the best hi-fi speakers of 2017?

Bookshelf speaker (- €200): Dali Spektor 2

Bookshelf speaker (200 – 400€): Monitor Audio Bronze 2

Bookshelf speaker (400 – 800€): KEF Q350

Bookshelf speaker (800 – 1200€): Revel Converta2 M16

Bookshelf speaker (1200 – 2000€): ATC SCM11

Bookshelf speaker (+ than 2000€): Dynaudio Special Forty

Column speaker (- €400): Tannoy Eclipse 3

Column speaker (400 – 800€): Q Acoustics 3050

Column speaker (800 – 1200€): Monitor Audio Silver 200

Column speaker (1200 – 2000€): Neat Iota Alpha

Column speaker (more than 2000€): Spendor A4

Desktop speaker: Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

Powered speaker: Dynaudio Xeo 2

Lots of English columns and libraries in this ranking… Are our British friends chauvinistic? Let them have the benefit of the doubt, and let’s assume that a Neat Iota Alpha 3 sounds better than a Triangle Quartet Genesis or a Focal Aria 936… In any case, they really appreciate Dynaudio as much as we do!

What are the best turntables of 2017?

Turntable (-200€): Audio Technica AT-LP3

Turntable (200-500€): Rega Planar 1

Turntable (500 – 800€): Rega Planar 3

Turntable (800 – 1200€): Clearaudio Concept

Turntable (+ than 1200€): Rega Planar 6

USB turntable: Sony PS-HX500

Not a single Technics SL-1200G or SL-1200GR turntable in this ranking? Nor any Project? Or Thorens? In our opinion, this is the most disappointing ranking of the What Hi-Fi Awards 2017… Are you going to tell me that there is nothing better than a Planar 6 above 12000€??? Good point all the same for the ingenious Sony PS-HX500.

What are the best wireless speakers 2017?

Portable wireless speaker (- €100): UE Roll 2

Portable wireless speaker (100 – 250€): Audio Pro Addon T3

Wireless portable speaker (+ than 250€): Dali Katch

Wireless speaker (less than 200€): Audio Pro Addon T5

Wireless speaker (200 – 500€): Audio Pro Addon C5

Wireless speaker (+ €500): Naim Mu-so

We had selected the small UE Roll in our special best-of outdoor speakers. The Dali Katch and Naim Mu-so are also among our favorite wireless speakers in their respective ranges… We could easily have found a place for the little Naim Mu-so QB and for Klipsch’s The One and The Three.

What are the best headphones of 2017?

Portable headphones (-150€): AKG Y50

On-the-go headphones (+ €150): Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 Over-ear

Stereo headphones (- €100): Grado SR80e

Stereo headphones (100 – 200€): AKG K550

Stereo headphones (200 – 400€): Grado SR325e

Hi-fi headphones (+ than 400€): Beyerdynamic Amiron

Just released, the Beyerdynamic Amiron is already one of the best hifi headphones of the moment! Our little favorites from Grado are also there, as are the remarkable AKG headphones whose price/performance ratio continues to impress. No Focal Elear in this ranking? This is our only regret!

What are the best in-ear headphones 2017?

In-ear headphones (- €50): Beyerdynamic Byron

In-ear headphones (50 – 100€): Sennheiser Momentum M2 In-Ear

In-ear headphones (100 – 300€): Shure SE425

In-ear headphones (+ €300): AKG N40

If the references in this category are indisputable, it is surprising not to find more high-end in-ear headphones like the incredible Audeze iSine 20 and iSine 10 with planar transducers. The small Pioneer SE-CH5T at 49€ also seems to us to be a very good competitor for the Beyer Byron.

What are the best wireless headphones 2017?

Wireless headphones (- €200): Philips SHB8850NC

Wireless headphones (200 – 300€): AKG N60NC Wireless

Wireless headphones (+ €300): Bowers & Wilkins PX

Best wireless intra: Sony WF-1000X

The new B&W PX wireless headphones certainly have a great future ahead of them! On the other hand, at less than 200€, we would choose the Plantronics BackBeat Pro+ without hesitation: it is certainly imposing, but has a beautiful sound and effective noise reduction. And strangely, the Bose QuietComfort 35 are not part of this TOP…

What are the best multiroom systems 2017?

Multiroom system (- €500): Sonos

Multiroom system (+ than 500€): Bluesound

It’s no surprise that we find Sonos, like every year, among the best multiroom systems. Rather than Bluesound, we would have welcomed Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom ecosystem, which boasts a very wide range of compatible products.

What are the best blu-ray players 2017?

Blu-ray player (- €100): Panasonic DMP-BDT180

4K Blu-ray player (- €500): Sony UBP-X800

4K Blu-ray player (+ €500): Oppo UDP-203

Today, you can find a Panasonic DMP-UB900 below the €500 mark: very complete, so it remains an excellent choice. Above €500, Oppo blu-ray players still rule the roost, thanks to high-performance video processing and a remarkable audio section.

What are the best stereo amplifiers of 2017?

Stereo amplifier (- €300): Onkyo A-9010

Stereo amplifier (300 – 700€): Rega Brio

Stereo amplifier (700 – 1500€): Rega Elex-R

Stereo amplifier (1500 – 2500€): Moon 240i

Stereo amplifier (+ 2500€): Roksan Blak

The selection of stereo amplifiers at these What Hi-Fi Awards 2017 is clearly amazing! Several things are shocking: the new Naim Uniti series is absent (released too late?), as are the magnificent Cambridge CXA60/CXA80. And no Rotel series A either… Is there favoritism or what?

What are the best DAC converters of 2017?

USB DAC (- €150): Cyrrus soundKey

USB DAC (+ than 150€): Audioquest DragonFly Red

DAC (- €500): Chord Mojo

DAC (500 – 1000€): Chord 2Qute

DAC (+ than 1000€): Chord Hugo 2

It’s undeniable, Chord largely dominates the DAC discipline! At 2395€, the Hugo 2 is a bit expensive? Think of the good deals on the first Hugo of the name, which you can find around 1299€… Very special mention to the formidable Audioquest DragonFly Red, which has impressed more than one!

What are the best home theater receivers of 2017?

Home cinema amplifier (- €1000): Sony STR-DN1080

Home cinema amplifier (more than 1000€): Denon AVR-X6400

The Sony STR-DN1080 retails for just over $700, but offers sound and video capabilities that go way beyond that. He really knows how to do everything! The AVR-X6400 is also very nice. Neither Onkyo, nor Pioneer, nor Yamaha? This audio/video amps section could have been expanded…

What are the best speaker packs of 2017?

Speaker pack (less than 1000€): Dali Zensor 1 5.1

Speaker pack (1000 – 2000€): Monitor Audio Bronze B5

Speaker pack (more than 2000€): Monitor Audio Silver 200 AV12

Still no French brands… And two awards out of 3 are awarded to the English from Monitor Audio. Not that they don’t deserve it… But we would have appreciated a little more diversity, such as Atmos ready or THX certified speaker packs.

What are the best projectors 2017?

Video projector (- de 1000€): Epson EH-TW5350

Video projector (1000 – 2000€): Sony VPL-HW45ES

Video projector (2000 – 4000€): Optoma UHD65

Video projector (+ 4000€): Sony VPL-VW550

Well done What Hi-Fi: the quality of Sony 1080p or 4K SXRD matrix projectors is undeniable! The presence of the Optoma UHD65 is a good thing since, like its little brother UHD60, it has the great merit of “democratizing” 4K video projection.

What are the best CD players 2017?

CD player (- €1000): Marantz CD6006

CD player (+ than 1000€): Cyrus CDi

The Marantz CD6006 is undoubtedly the master standard of all players under the 1000€ mark. Although the Cambridge CXC, if you already have a good DAC, is an excellent alternative. Above, the Naim CD5si CD player seems to us to be a better choice than the Cyrus, at the same price.

What are the best network drives 2017?

Network player (- €100): Google Chromecast Audio

Network player (100 – 500€): Arcam rPlay

Network reader (500 – 1000€): Cambridge CXN

Network player (1000 – 1500€): Cambridge Azur 851N

Network player (1500 – 2000€): Moon Neo MiND

Well, the ranking stops at €2,000… All you had to do was ask us for our opinion! The prestigious Naim ND5XS and NDX are certainly the best “pure” network players currently on the market. Another solution: the Advance WTX-Microstream dongle which, for €149, brings Hi-Res network playback to your stereo.

What are the best hifi microsystems 2017?

Micro system: Denon DM-41

All-in-one (- 1000€): Revo SuperSystem

All-in-one (+ than 1000€): KEF LS50 Wireless

Compact stereo system: Naim Uniti Atom

The Naim Atom was the first item in the Uniti series to see the light of day. It is therefore logical that we find it alone in these 2017 Awards. Our favorite wireless hifi speakers are also there (LS50 Wireless). Finally, we would have gladly replaced the all-in-one Revo SuperSystem with a Technics SC-C70!!!

What are the best radios 2017?

Radio (- €100): Pure Evoke H2

Radio (100 – 200€): Roberts Stream 93i

Radio (+ €200): Revo SuperConnect

No comment. We even wonder if this “radio” section is still important… Finally, for those looking for a small table radio, these elegant creations will seduce you. The sound is light years away from that of your old radio.

What are the best DAPs of 2017?

Audiophile player (- €250): Cowon Plenue D

Audiophile player (250 – 750€): Astell & Kern AK70

Audiophile player (+ than 750€): Astell & Kern Kann

The Koreans know how to make very good walkmans! With all the variety of walkmans on sale, we would have liked another category for walkmans over 1500€. But hey, we should have chosen the incredible A&Ultima SP1000, which at the top of its 4000€ can be a little scary… No FiiO player?

What are the best smartphones & tablets 2017?

Tablet (- €200): Amazon Fire 7

Tablet (+ €200): Apple iPad

Smartphone: Apple iPhone 8 Plus

On this one, we can only join What Hi-Fi. Apple offers some of the best smartphones and tablets on the market. The experience offered by the iOS operating system has no equal. We love it, or we hate it.

What are the best streaming services of 2017?

Audio streaming: Tidal

Video streaming: Amazon Prime Video

This is a very curious choice… We much prefer the services Qobuz (Hi-Res and Lossless content available), Deezer or Spotify. And for video, it’s hard to opt for…


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