AudioStream 2016 Product of the Year

We've made a list, checked it twice, skipped the naughty, so here's the nice. Enjoy!

Michael Lavorgna's Product of the Year 2016

ELAC Discovery Series DS-S101-G Music Server ($1099)
The ELAC Discovery: A one-box solution, digits in/analog out, for streaming and serving employing the best interface to your music (Roon) and CD-quality streaming (Tidal HiFi) that also happens to sound really (very) good . (see review)

Runner's Up

AudioQuest DragonFly Red ($199) & Black ($99) (see review)
Ayre Acoustics QX-5 Twenty Digital Hub ($8950) (see review)
dCS Rossini DAC ($23,999) & Rossini Clock & ($7499) (see review)
Sonore microRendu ($640) (see review)

Honorable Mention
Tellurium Q Black Cables
Honorably mentioned because, while I did not review them, I use them every day.
totaldac d1-six
Honorably mentioned because, while I did not review it, I bought it (and enjoy it every day).
Steven Plaskin’s Product of the Year 2016

Shunyata Research Denali Series (starting at $2995)
The Denali series of power conditioners were the most impressive power conditioners I have had the opportunity to use or evaluate. The Denali employs new component designs that allowed it make a significant improvement to not only my DAC and preamp, but my Ayre MX-R Twenty power amps as well. (see review)

Runner's Up

Playback Designs Sonoma Series ($6500/ea.) (see review)
Synergistic Research Tranquility Base UEF (starts at $2250) (see review)

Paul Williams UK's picture

Michael, I was hoping product of the year would have been TIDAL loaded with MQA files. What on earth is happening with TIDAL and MQA? It seems like I've been waiting all year for this to launch. I've got the hardware all wired up and ready to go but nothing to play on it. I've gone back to vinyl - which is no hardship except for lack of new music to listen to. It's pants!

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I'm sure I will have some news from CES but my guess is this news may not include a specific date for Tidal/MQA.

We shall see.

jhanken's picture

Curious where the Meridian Explorer2 fits into your rating schemes for 2016. Your colleagues Jim Austin and perhaps even John Atkinson can be said to have been complimentary. Curious if you think it is a reasonable competitor to the Audioquest Dragonfly options, given its audio quality merits and the MQA angle. Thanks for a great site!

coleenmctrevs's picture

Is there any news from CES already? 2017 is here and I want to write my essay based on the TIDAL loaded with MQA files.

MusicloverVA's picture

How do you like the totaldac d1-six vs. the dcs Rossini?

Michael Lavorgna's picture
I live with the totaldac and enjoy it every day. I'm sure I would enjoy the Rossini every day, too.