Timing distortions are the lifeblood of magazine publishinga field of endeavor where cheers cheered in September can sound wistful by raw November, when readers read them. Then again, by the time you see this, an asteroid strike or an itchy finger on a nuclear trigger may have blown us all back to the age of bronzeoxygen-free, one hopesin which case this edition of Stereophile
's Products of the Year celebration will seem all the more nostalgic.
But this is no mere nostalgia: Only once every 12 months do we set aside our complaints, our contentions, our niggling criticisms, and simply declare: Here are seven products that kicked righteous wads of ass and made it worthwhile to be an audiophile this year. And precisely half of our top-place winners are priced within reach of the average consumer.