AudioStream's Products of the Year 2015

Why a Product of the Year? The easy answer is there always is one, in our minds, so why not share. This year was no exception, and while we are clearly living in a golden age of great music and playback abundance, a few things have stood out and above the rest. Without further ado, we give you AudioStream's Products of the Year 2015:

Michael Lavorgna's Product of the Year 2015

totaldac d1-tube-mk2 DAC
Anyone who reads AudioStream on a regular basis, and I thank you for that, can more than likely guess my pick. The totaldac d1-tube-mk2 DAC is the most musically satisfying DAC I've yet heard, turning reproduction into experience.

Runner's Up

Roon & Tidal
My music loving listening has been greatly enhanced by Roon and Tidal, together. The integration of Tidal in Roon is seamless, and Roon's ability to allow you to discover music from your own collection and Tidal's vast library have become addictive and added hours and hours of pure musical enjoyment to my listening experience.

Ayre Acoustics AX-5 Twenty
Yea, my new amp. The Ayre has added a new level of beauty, refinement, and nuanced brute force to the barn's ouvre. It's also very important to highlight the importance of the system which we don't get to do with our component-based reviews.

DeVore Fidelity gibbon X
The loaner pair of pre-production DeVore Fidelity gibbon X's fill the barn with utterly captivating and powerful music while offering a very clear picture into what's going on upstream. I do not want to see them go back to their maker...

Melco N1A
I very much like the idea of getting my MacBook Pro and Ethernet network out of my direct playback chain and the Melco N1A offers very competitive performance while costing thousands less than its competitors. When/if Melco, or anyone else, integrate Roon/Tidal into their product, I may make the move away from a computer.

Steven Plaskin's Product(s) of the Year 2015

Wavelength Audio Crimson / Quotient Q1 DAC
The Wavelength Audio Crimson / Quotient Q1 DAC displays harmonic qualities and a spectacular sound stage that ranks with the best DACs Steven Plaskin has heard. The Crimson / Quotient has fabulous resolution and transparency, especially when purchased with the Silver transformer option.

Ayre Acoustics Codex USB DAC
A DAC that gets everything right and sounds as good or better than DACs costing a great deal more. Given that the Ayre Codex includes an excellent headphone amplifier and very good sounding digital volume control for driving amps directly, it is a highly versatile product that will delight most users.

Runner's Up

Shunyata Research TRITON v2, HYDRA TYPHON, HYDRA DPC-6 v2, and ΞTRON Sigma AC Power Cables
A state-of-the-art power conditioning system that allows one’s components to perform at their best.

Synergistic Research Atmosphere Level 4 interconnects and speaker cables
Transparent and revealing cables that eliminate cable induced artifacts to an amazing extent.

Kubala-Sosna Research Realization LLC USB Cable
Simply the finest sounding USB cable I have yet experienced.