Products of the Year

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Art Dudley Posted: Dec 16, 2014 6 comments
No one spells it out anymore: Ours is a culture of BTW, TIA, AFAIK, and other letter-lumps, some of which have taken on meanings beyond their original intent. (Only recently did I discover that LOL stands for "I'm certain you find my attempts at humor as riotously funny as I do.") I am scarcely young enough to adapt.

Our interoffice communications are no different. Once a year I am jarred to find in my inbox a message from John Atkinson with the curious subject line "POTY." I am scarcely old enough to be perturbed: Every 12 months, I have to be re-reminded that POTY stands for Product of the Year.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 03, 2013 6 comments
It's time to celebrate another memorable year in high-end audio. Each December since 1992, Stereophile has named a few special components its Products of the Year. These are components that not only define the present audio landscape, but that we hope will someday be seen as classics—things you'll want to pass on to future generations of audiophiles and music lovers.

And the winners are . . .

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 27, 2012 51 comments
It's been a long year. Now it's time to party.

Each December since 1992, Stereophile has named a few special components its "Products of the Year." These are products that not only define the present audio landscape, but that we hope will someday be seen as classics—products you'll want to pass on to future generations of audiophiles and music lovers.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 01, 2011 3 comments
What makes one particular hi-fi component stand apart from all others in its class? In this issue's "The Entry Level," I state that an outstanding hi-fi component will fuel the listener's desire to explore new music. If a component does not achieve that fundamental goal, it has failed altogether and should be passionately heaved from the nearest listening-room window to hit the unforgiving asphalt with a definitive, satisfying boom (or traded on one of the online auction sites). But that rule is most pertinent when the discovery of new music is the listener's only goal. Most of us want our hi-fi components to also be attractive, well-built, versatile, and user-friendly; we want them to represent good value for our hard-earned money; and we would appreciate it if they stuck around for a while, rather than have to be too soon replaced by something new and "better."
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 06, 2010 0 comments
Since 1992, Stereophile has named a few choice components as its "Products of the Year." In doing so, we happily recognize those products that are capable of providing musical pleasure far beyond our formal review period. If one of our reviewers raved in Stereophile about a component, that component is mentioned here. These are products that not only define the current audio landscape, but that we hope will someday be seen as classics—products to be handed down to future generations of audiophiles and music lovers.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 30, 2009 Published: Dec 06, 2009 0 comments
I was sitting in the main listening room of In Living Stereo, a small Manhattan hi-fi shop nestled between Greenwich Village and the East Village, when my conversation with store owner Steve Mishoe turned to the economy's current dismal state. In the face of slow sales, Mishoe had noted an encouraging trend: Because we have less money to spend, we want to make sure that what money we do spend goes for products that not only deliver the thrill of something new, but also promise enduring quality. If this is true, then we have reason to celebrate. By shifting our focus from the so-called "latest and greatest" to that which will provide lasting enjoyment, we set ourselves up for some real happiness and fun. Editor John Atkinson had this in mind 17 years ago, when he began our "Products of the Year" ritual. He felt it important to distinguish the truly good products from all the flashy pretenders that too often win the affections of our capricious hearts.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 09, 2008 0 comments
Times are hard. Our current economic landscape bears more than a passing resemblance to that darkest of American nightmares, the Great Depression. As I write this, the House of Representatives is set to vote on a $700 billion bailout plan to buy distressed mortgages and thereby offer a crutch to our ailing financial system. Times are hard, yet we persevere. Though we may lack some discretionary income, we find ways to maintain the essentials: food, clothing, shelter, and, for audiophiles, music. So for a short while at least, let's put aside our struggles and lighten up. After all, this great hobby of ours is meant to be fun, and is supposed to cure any depression. Let's celebrate music, and those wonderful audio components that bring us closest to it.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Nov 25, 2007 Published: Dec 25, 2007 0 comments
Well, ladies and gents, it's been a long year. As I write this, on an unusually humid and hazy October morning, I'm still feeling the lingering effects of my beloved Mets' sudden and tragic collapse from the top of the National League East. I sat there, at Flushing Meadows' Shea Stadium, covered in peanut shells and with tears in my hazel eyes as the scoreboard went cruelly blank and Coldplay's "The Scientist" wept over the stadium loudspeakers. It was brutal.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 10, 2006 0 comments
This Is The Perfect Time—the time of year we love most. Madison Avenue's confounding street signs are suddenly dressed in green and red wreaths, the city's weary scaffolding blinks happily with golden light, the ordinary clamor of traffic and jackhammers is magically transformed into jingle bells and drummer boys. There is music everywhere and nothing to get in our way: A look down the avenue in either direction throws open a window to all that is past and all that is to come.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Dec 11, 2005 0 comments
What're they all about, these so-called Products of the Year? Why do we put so much time and energy into the voting? Why compile a list of all the products we've reported on in Stereophile over the last 12 months, putting little checkmarks and stars and numbers and other irreverent doodles and dashes beside their already silly names? Certainly all this hullabaloo isn't for our health. It's not even fun. It doesn't promote that strange, weird, and wonderful tingling feeling way down in the toes. It doesn't taste good. And chicks don't really dig it. So: Why?
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 12, 2004 0 comments
Stereophile's "Products of the Year," now in its 13th year, recognizes those rare components that prove capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period. These are the components that can be recommended with no ifs or buts, that will grace any system in which they are used.
John Atkinson Posted: Nov 17, 2002 0 comments
"Most important." That was the phrase I used when I e-mailed the members of Stereophile's extended family of reviewers and writers to ask for suggestions when I began to compile this list. I didn't want to be more specific because I wanted to cast the net as wide as possible. But there are many factors that make an audio component "important": design innovation, sound quality, sales figures, influence on other designers, influence on the evolving market, influence on system synergy.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 09, 2001 0 comments
For the tenth consecutive year, Stereophile recognizes components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period by naming its "Products of the Year."
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 03, 2000 0 comments
Since 1992, Stereophile has named a select few audio components its "Products of the Year." In doing so, we recognize those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period.
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John Atkinson Posted: Dec 05, 1999 0 comments
Since 1992, Stereophile has named a select few audio components its "Products of the Year." In doing so, we recognize those components that have proved capable of giving musical pleasure beyond the formal review period.

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