Stereophile's Products of 2022 Editors' Choice

Editors' Choice

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dCS Rossini Apex
With so many great products passing through my test lab and listening room this year, it was difficult to choose just one. I must give shoutouts to the KEF Blade Two Meta loudspeaker and the Channel D Lino C3.3 phono preamplifier for their audio engineering excellence. But in the end, the honors go to the dCS Rossini Apex. Yes, it also features superb engineering, but the two weeks it spent in my system after the test bench work was done were the most musically involving I have experienced from digital audio.—John Atkinson

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Wilson Audio Specialties Alexx V
As others have written here, the speaker makes the biggest difference in what you hear in your listening room. That means that speakers get a leg up in contests like this. No matter: The full-range Alexx V—or rather, a pair of them—did more than any component has ever to enhance my audiophile journey, except perhaps for the Polk Audio Reference 7B Studio Monitors I bought when I was 16 years old, which first showed me that music can sound better.

These big speakers can do big music well—but they also reproduce the most delicate notes of a piano's top octaves with delicacy and veracity. Not many speakers can do that, and it matters for the experience of music.—Jim Austin

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Fozgometer V2
The Fozgometer V2 impressed me with its simplicity, quick setup, and clear instructions.—Larry Greenhill

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Lejonklou Entity
This minimal, high-value phono stage from Fredrik Lejonklou looks like an external hard drive but sounds clear, detailed, and exciting. The product of thousands of hours of obsessive listening and experimentation, the Entity is not sonically perfect, but it captures the living essence of the performance more vividly than many full-featured, more expensive components. The Linn Silver interconnects recommended by Lejonklou significantly improve its performance.—Alex Halberstadt

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KEF Blade Two Meta
Speakers still have the biggest impact on your overall system. Here's one that only costs an arm (and not a leg) but will get you almost to the top.—Jon Iverson

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Audio Research Reference 6SE
I have lived with several tubed preamplifiers for extended periods of time. The ARC Reference 6SE beats them all handily: the limitless airy extension on the high end; the tight, authoritative lows. The unique balance of ultrareal and wide soundstaging without etching or harshness. The ability to decode any vocal track, no matter how mumbled. Beautiful ability to sort out massed strings and orchestral textures, while also delivering gorgeous jazz trios. It's a Classic already.—Sasha Matson

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Fleetwood Sound Company Deville
The DeVille rewrote the rules for what I thought was possible from a two-way standmount speaker. Midrange to treble was incredibly open and liquid, giving instruments extreme depth, body, detail, and extension. It's fussy, won't work with just any speaker cable, and requires careful system matching, but no other speaker in its price range that I've heard opened such a vast, canyon-like window to midrange to treble, with solid bass fundamentals.—Ken Micallef

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MBL Radialstrahler 120
The 120s have a perennial place in my room—and in my heart. Whatever music I send their way, they radiate lifeblood and energy, substance and detail. The speakers consistently strike a balance between precise mechanical realism and believable human warmth. Smooth treble and well-rounded midrange come from handmade omnidirectional drivers that cohere with a pair of push-push, side-firing woofers. Designer Jürgen Reis's "tricks" extend the ported cabinet's bass; I seldom miss a subwoofer. The 120s interact with the room, filling it with freed-up, 3D musical energy. Many nights of "just one more track" and the occasional goosebumps can't be ignored.—Julie Mullins

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Genelec G Three
Besides being hipper and more pro-style-smart looking than any of those wood-veneer or painted-up floozie speakers, Genelec's active G Three showed me the cleanest, clearest, and flat-out most alive view of what's on my recordings. Think low distortion with thrill factor. It's designed or nearfield listening and you can place it almost anywhere. And, at $1390/pair, it costs almost nothing.—Herb Reichert

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KEF Blade Two Meta
The Blade Two Meta updates KEF's original Blade's breakthrough design from 2009 with a 12th Generation Uni-Q coaxial midrange/tweeter, a Meta-material Absorption Technology disc to absorb the tweeter's back-wave energy, and a more sophisticated crossover design. These elements, coupled with two pairs of force-canceling woofers in independent subenclosures, create a Single Apparent Source (or point source) with wide-band controlled dispersion, and a pair of Blades creates a spectacularly clear and stable stereo soundstage. Despite their dimensions, they are easy to place and seem to evanesce, leaving only powerful, beautiful music in the room. I just could not resist; I bought them.—Kal Rubinson

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Gryphon Apex Stereo
Combines high class-A power with solid engineering, robust build quality, excellent measured performance, smooth, rich, detailed sonics, and a cost that's high but given what's delivered is more than reasonable among the industry's top-tiered products.—Rob Schryer

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dCS Rossini Apex
In a year of major sonic advances in my reference system, including the remarkable clarity delivered by the Stromtank S 1000 battery power source (since replaced by the whole-system Stromtank S 2500 Quantum Mk. II) and Nordost QNet/Qsource Network Switch/Power Supply combination, the product most able to take advantage of their enhanced silence and reveal entirely new levels of detail, nuance, shading, and bass clarity was the dCS Rossini Apex DAC. It's the equivalent of upping your season subscription to the best rows in the house or, even better, revamping the concert hall's acoustics. Since the upgrade, every revisit to old favorites is a revelation.—Jason Victor Serinus

COMMENTS
Jack L's picture

......seven categories: Amplification Component of the Year,.."qtd Jim Austin

My question is: did "each reviewer" already auditioned "EACH of the 3 items in the seven categories" in order to give valid & impartial nominations ????

Otherwise, how could it be a valid nomination in case the reviewer(s) concerned never auditioned those particular candidate components out of the seven categories he/she nominated ????

IMO, actual personal in-depth audition of a candidate components is crucial of valid & fair nomination given by the reviewers concerned.

Listening with own ears is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

Jack L, do some reading.

Did you even read this article?

A priori?

Jack L's picture

Hi

I have read it. That's why I asked.

YOU think you read it but you don't seem to know what you are talking about !

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

A priori!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If I were a priori, you are a big mouthing posteriori !

Hahahahahaaha....

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...everything in your head?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sure, better than a huge posteriori like you "listen to your great stereo with your head so far up your ASS all the time" as per your pal: johnnythunder!

Johnnythunder1: get your kissing cousin johnnythunder2 talk to me as yr mouth stinks like your ASS !

Hehehehehe

Jack L

johnnythunder1's picture

with your head so far up your own ass all the time.

David Harper's picture

ignore this guy. everything he thinks is wrong.

ChrisS's picture

...between Jack L and David Harper.

Hehe...!

Anton's picture

I don’t think it would be a conversation so much as simultaneous monologues.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Since when Stereophile Components of the Years becomes a stage for you bunch of polylogue-jokers ???

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...believing, Jack L!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If here were a library, reading books there is believing.

Here is Audiophile, so LISTENING is believing, right?

Besides, who wants to read any nonsense from "you bunch of polylogue-jokers" here ?

Hahahaha..

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...Stereophile.

I can also read Herman Melville's Moby Dick on my computer.

Are we believing yet?

Jack L's picture

Hi

First off, what's Stereophile magazine in your "libray" to do with "Mody Dick" read from yr computer ??

Stereophile is about audio/music - we listen with our ears.
"Mody Dick" = The Whale, is an 1851 novel read by the eyes.

Apple to orange comparison ! Former is for real vs latter is a fiction. So you believe in fiction, be my guest ! I don't.

This is an audio/music venue, not for novels reading. Thanks but no thanks.

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

PS: I am never a novels reader since day one. Too busy with my music listening already ! What dragged me in to start my first novel reading was the billion-dollar top seller: "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown in 2003. The thriller was sooo popular I got to wait a while for it from my neighbourhood public library !

ChrisS's picture

...go round and round.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Come on. You should be "WATCHING yr eyeballs go round & round in your mirror to look for yr ears - gone with the wind !

For no-ear YOU, reading is believing, pal. HEhehehe...

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, why does everyone pick on you? Maybe it's because the L in Jack L is for LOSER.

For Jack L, SUCKING is believing.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Who cares, SOURgrapes !

What "everyone"?? The editor here is not a "LOSER" like YOU here as he does not "pick on" me.

YOU "sucking" "loser" is my believing !

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey JackOFF the Loser, keep sucking!

Jack L's picture

.

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, I am hearing from reliable sources that you pick your nose and eat it...

rschryer's picture

Btw, I'm eating dude. Gross.

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