This is the Big One… The Absolute Sound picks the best gear at every price level in every product category.
of ascending cost (though a few items, like cables and accessories, are listed alphabetically). Each ecommendation is also accompanied by a capsule review, the original reviewer’s name or initials, and the issue number the review appeared in. Note that in a few cases a product may have been reviewed in one of our sister publications, Playback or Avguide.com, or the review may be pending publication, or the product may not have been formally reviewed but earns a recommendation based on one or more writer’s extensive experience with it. Given that this is the high end, where components generally have long lifespans, some of our recommendations look back several years. At the same time, in an effort to be as selective and up-to-date as possible, we have dropped some components that appeared on last year’s list, usually because they have been discontinued but sometimes because fresh competition has caused us to reconsider the choice.