What's your choice for best budget component of the year?

What's your choice for best budget component of the year?
Here it is
84% (37 votes)
Don't have one
16% (7 votes)
Total votes: 44

Sure, anyone can design a cost-no-object product. But it's the big bang-for-the-buck components that often demonstrate real talent. What's your choice for best budget component of the year?

Dave Bennett's picture

Edirol R-09. An "iPod" (pocket digital recorder) that allows you to actually record analog in 24-bit resolution to boot.

Dennis's picture

B & W 685 Speakers- You gotta hear them. $600! When Mattel started making their products in China, they pocketed the savings instead of reducing consumers prices; B & W makes these in China in order to offer an incredibly affordable speaker to the public. All should take notice.

macksman's picture

I like what those Finite Element ceramic ball feet did for the clarity & dynamics of the big AirTight preamp.

Douglas Bowker's picture

The Rega Appollo. No, it's not going to make inroads at Circuit City, but for the price it offers amazing value and is the product of truly creative engineering. Bravo for another Rega great!

H.  Williams, Hollywood Hills's picture

Whose budget did you have in mind?

S.  Chapman's picture

Slim Devices Squeezebox3: This elegant little $300 device has changed the way I, and many others, listen to music.

Mike Agee's picture

Speltz cables, "budget" only in price, as in my system they perform better than some of the most revered and well-reviewed $800-1200 (each) wires out there. I systematically replaced all but my power cords, noting improved detail, neutrality, and "life" with every change. I'd say what they replaced but hate to add to the E-traffic in blanket statements, knowing full well how system dependent cables can be. Suffice it to say the Speltz products replaced what are generally regarded as reference-quality cables within their respective price points, and that I am very sensitive to bright or aggressive sound.

Johannes Turunen, Sweden's picture

NAD C315 BEE. An integrated amp that really is a statement in value for money.

max's picture

Vincent Audio sp331

nat's picture

iPod. If it's about the music, this has got to be the choice.

stephen w sweigart's picture

Sennheiser noise cancelling headphones: PXC-450.

oscar_access@yahoo.com's picture

Paradigm Signature S2 v2 Monitor Speaker. State of the art sound reproduction at a very affordable price. No gimmicks or hyperbole claims, just speaker design engineering at its best.

David Thomas's picture

Rel T-1

PornFreek's picture

For 2007 (or any year, for that matter) the biggest bang-for-the-buck comes from used gear. Let other people take the depreciation hit. Their loss is your gain.

CharlyD's picture

E-MU Systems (Creative Sounds pro division) 0202 USB 2.0 Audio Interface. For a whopping $129.99 retail, you get a USB 24-bit, 192kHz DAC with a S/N ratio of 112dB with an outstanding mic preamp, a very high performance A/D and a pro-level headphone amp. Add a decent laptop with a good (high capacity and quiet) hard drive and you've got a digital source that can hold its own with nearly anything else out there.

Jose I.  Nieto's picture

Rega Apollo CD player. Extreme audio quality is not contradictory with the convenience and functionality of new technologies. MP3.

audio-sleuth@comcast.net's picture

Manley Mahi's 50 watt mono blocks. If your speakers like tubes, they'll love these little devils.

Duane Ferguson's picture

Cambridge Audio 840C cd player

Joe Bohan,Jr.'s picture

Anti-Cables Speaker cables

Jason M.'s picture

Okay, an old product, but one that consistently delivers: the Vandersteen 2Ce Signature II. Through its long evolution, reviewers have had a tough time finding any real faults in this $2k speaker. It can play low and loud when called upon, has a magic midrange, a commendable soundstage, is reasonably faithful to the source and won't melt your earwax with a sizzling top end (you know, just like in real life), and rewards associated aquipment upgrades. The Model 2 has been the first and last speaker many audiophiles ever buy and I'm proud to have sold a few pairs in a past life and to own a pair currently. What makes this even more remarkable is that Vandersteen, along with a few other value-oriented manufacturers, has stuck with mid-fi pricing in the unsustainable and nutty world of hi-fi pricing.

Edw.A.Roth's picture

My CAL Icon Mkll died a while back and I did not want to outlay large money on another CD player. Went to K-Mart, yeah, K-Mart and plunked down $59 for an Oritron CD/DVD player. This l'il cheapie is truly wonderful, for the money and way more money. And it'll play every kind of disc I have stuffed into its belly and plays them very well. Now, what to do about Martha...?

Daniel, Buenos Aires Argentina's picture

Slimdevices Squeezebox media server. Great device, only $299, easy setup and the chance to find music I did not listent to for ages!

Ed Strand's picture

Infinity's P-162 speakers. I got a new pair for under $160 and they are quite a bargain, as your review said!

Dean Khor's picture

Promitheus Audio TVC Passive Preamp. For $400 plus shipping, it is a steal in today's stereo world. I am a proud owner. The TVC is connected to Bel Canto mono power amps.

Gregg Deering's picture

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It might not have been introduced this year, but it holds its own with the competition.

David Milo's picture

Cambridge Audio

Anonymous's picture

Music Fidelity's X-Can V3

Jerry's picture

160 gig ipod. You can put a ton of music in lossless format, and still have room for a ton more--all for 350 bucks. I can't think of anything else as cool as that.

Chris Kenney's picture

Promitheus Audio TVC. I own a similar passive and allowing the signal to come through without added electronics enhances the transparency and realism.

Dimitris Gogas's picture

Anything from Cambridge Audio's Azur line of components.