SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

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jblbar51blkas 1 SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

BEST SOUNDBAR: JBL BAR 5.1 SOUNDBAR WITH WIRELESS SUBWOOFER
By: April Glover
JBL does it again in the soundbar range with the 5.1 Soundbar, a powerful soundbar kit with a subwoofer which turns any TV room into a cinema. It has 510W of power for rich surround sound and 10 hours of playing time, while thrilling bass emerges from the 10-inch subwoofer. With no wires to complicate things, the JBL Bar 5.1 streams music wirelessly and works seamlessly with many TV controls on the market. With Dolby® Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS, your movies, music and video games will never sound more incredible with this soundbar.

echo 4th gen SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

BEST NETWORKED SPEAKER: AMAZON ECHO 4TH GEN
By: Jake Nelson
While Google’s Nest line is the more popular here in Australia, the new and stylishly spherical Amazon Echo is our choice for the best of the networked speakers.
Amazon has ditched the old cylindrical Echo for a ball shape on both the full-sized device and the Echo Dot, which we noted in our review was a much softer and more appealing design for a home environment.
Its smart-home capabilities are robust, backed by Amazon’s famous Alexa voice assistant. Though Alexa doesn’t quite beat out Google Assistant in our rankings, she’s nonetheless a solid choice to run your connected home, especially as more and more compatible devices launch here.
Audio quality – the “speaker” part of a smart speaker – also impressed us, with a three-inch woofer and two tweeters providing good sound without the flatness or tinniness of other products.
Though it doesn’t have the smarts of Google Nest or the sound of a dedicated Klipsch or Anthem speaker, the 4th-generation Amazon Echo is still a great… ahem… all-rounder.

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BEST PORTABLE SPEAKER: JBL BOOMBOX 2 PORTABLE
By: April Glover
JBL’s next-generation portable Bluetooth boombox is an audio staple of many Aussie households. The popular speaker has a nifty little handle for easy carrying, comes with 24 hours battery life and an IPX7 waterproof rating – perfect to make a splash at an outdoor party. Sound-wise, the $629.95 boombox has powerful audio output with 2x40W RMS in AC mode and 3x30W in battery mode, plus the added feature of PartyBoost allows you to pair multiple compatible JBL speakers for maximum volume. Despite its compact size, the JBL Boombox 2 has monstrous bass and deep rich sound which doesn’t get drowned out even when outside.

pro ject x1 turntable walnut project audio systems SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

BEST VALUE TURNTABLE: PRO-JECT X1
By: April Glover
Pro-Ject’s X1 turntable brings the classic design of the retro record player into the modern era. It has a quiet-running motor which ensures liquid smooth rotation, so the music of your old records drifts beautifully and fills a room with rich and powerful sound.
The X1 allows users to switch easily between 33⅓ and 45 RPM records with the push-button speed control, and even plays 78 RPM records with a suitable cartridge. It is supreme value for money, with the addition of a dust-cover, power supply and RCA cable all for $1349.

MUSIC HALL MMF 9.3 SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

BEST PREMIUM TURNTABLE: MUSIC HALL MMF 9.3 TURNTABLE
By: April Glover
Music Hall’s MMF 9.3 Turntable is a record player for die-hard audiophiles wanting true, unencumbered sound. The $3999 turntable is a two-speed, belt-driven device using the company’s Triple Plinth construction and has a completely isolated DC motor with 33 1⁄3 and 45 rpm speed controls located in the front left corner of the turntable, thus cancelling any potential vibration from the motor/belt to the cartridge. The combination of its unique design and isolated components means nothing distracts from the tapestry of sound it produces. It has a beautifully constructed all-black finish too, making it a stylish addition to any music lover’s space.

DENON AVR SmartHouse Best Of The Best Awards 2020: Soundbars, Speakers, And Turntables

BEST AV RECEIVER: DENON AVR-X1600H
By: Jake Nelson
If you’re looking for a new receiver to revamp your home theatre system, it’s hard to look past the 7.2-channel Denon AVR-X1600H. Featuring 4K compatibility; 145W per channel; six HDMI inputs; and support for 3D audio such as Dolby Atmos, Dolby Atmos Height Virtualisation Technology, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X, the receiver also has Denon HEOS multi-room wireless streaming built-in.
Not only that, but it’s compatible with Apple’s Siri voice control as well as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant – so whatever your smart-home ecosystem, the AVR-X1600H has you covered.

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