THE BEST TECH FOR… au­dio­vi­sual supremacy

Australian T3 - - BEST TECH FOR EVERYTHING -

1 Sonos Beam

Sonos’ new sound­bar packs a stun­ning amount of au­dio into your bed­room or liv­ing room, lift­ing the flat sound you get from most TVs. But it’s also a great ad­di­tion to a smart home setup, thanks to built-in Alexa voice con­trol, and it’s part of a Sonos or Ap­ple Air­Play 2 multi-room mu­sic sys­tem. And that Sonos sup­port means you could add a cou­ple of Sonos satellite speak­ers or its sub­woofer to ex­tend it into a more com­pre­hen­sive sur­round sys­tem. There’s re­ally no bet­ter-value way to boost your home’s sound and smarts. $599, sonos.com

2 Sony AF8

Our favourite telly on the mar­ket right now starts with a gor­geous OLED 4K panel that pro­duces per­fect HDR vi­su­als, and then con­tin­ues with best-in-class im­age pro­cess­ing for mak­ing HD con­tent look great at Ultra HD, and mak­ing mo­tion per­fectly smooth in sports. It also comes with ‘Acous­tic Sur­face’ speaker tech: the whole screen it­self is a speaker (with a woofer at the back for added oomph), cre­at­ing a more en­gross­ing sound­stage than other TVs. From $3,499, sony.com.au

3 Sony WH-1000XM2

Get rid of the out­side world and fo­cus solely on your mu­sic with Sony’s ad­vanced noise­can­celling head­phones. They’re com­fort­able to wear for long pe­ri­ods of time, and do an amaz­ing job of cut­ting down on ex­te­rior noise (and even have spe­cial tun­ing for pres­surechange en­vi­ron­ments, such as planes). Most im­por­tantly, they sound fan­tas­tic. With lively de­tail and rich bass, it all sounds per­fectly balanced. Add smarts like be­ing able to place one hand over a cup to let in noise from the out­side tem­po­rar­ily, and you’ve got a win­ner. $498, sony.com.au

4 Op­toma UHZ65

When it comes to pro­jec­tors, you need to go laser if you want the best pic­ture pos­si­ble. But buy­ing this kind of cin­ema-qual­ity tech has al­ways been the re­serve of the re­ally rich… un­til the UHZ65 ar­rived. This pro­jec­tor blows the mind with its HDR pic­tures, the laser sys­tem cre­at­ing deep blacks and vi­brant colours. The 4K im­age is also packed with de­tail. It’s not too large ei­ther, so you won’t need to cre­ate a whole home cin­ema space just to ac­com­mo­date it. $8,999, op­toma.com

Pro-Ject RPM 9 Car­bon

Rec­tan­gu­lar turnta­bles? Forget it. Half the fun of get­ting back to vinyl is how ev­ery­thing looks on dis­play in your home, so you want to buy a player that’s as much ob­jet d’art as prac­ti­cal tool. Say hello to the RPM 9 Car­bon. The main plinth, with plat­ter and tone arm, is shaped like a gui­tar pick, and fin­ished in dra­matic car­bon fi­bre. The mo­tor is in a sep­a­rate sec­tion of the base, en­sur­ing that it doesn’t in­ter­fere with the smooth mo­tion of the plat­ter, so your records al­ways sound im­pec­ca­ble. $4,199 project-au­dio.com

Bang & Olufsen BeoSound 2

Con­tin­u­ing our ‘au­dio as art’ theme is B&O’s 360-de­gree wire­less speaker. The gor­geous alu­minium de­sign comes in sil­ver, gold and In­fantry Green fin­ishes, and is easy to play mu­sic to, thanks to wire­less sup­port for Blue­tooth, Air­Play 2, Chrome­cast and DLNA. The sound spreads around the room beau­ti­fully thanks to that striking ‘Acous­tic Lens’ de­sign at the top: the tweeter fires down­wards onto a teardrop­shaped struc­ture, which re­flects it out in all di­rec­tions. $TBC, bang-olufsen.com

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