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Best Products of 2015: Home Theater

LG's 4K OLED casts inky shadows so black, they simply swallow the competition

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LG EF9500 4K Ultra HD OLED TV

Each year, we get to review the best TVs from all of the top manufacturers. Usually, picking the “best” is an arduous task – the competition is fierce and plentiful – but making a call this year was a piece of cake. Frankly, LG’s first flat 4K Ultra HD OLED TV is everything we were hoping to get in 2015 … and then some.

Contrast is perhaps the most important aspect of a TV’s picture quality, and when it comes to contrast, OLED technology reigns supreme. Since OLED pixels are self-emitting (they make their own light) they are able to go completely black when turned off. True black is the basis for the best possible contrast, and, ultimately, picture quality.

The brightest LCD TVs in the world may dazzle with their brilliance on the short term, but OLED’s deep blacks and a complete absence of halo effect and other backlight anomalies wins out on the long term.

There is no television that can do what the LG EF9500 can do

Samsung, Sony, and Panasonic all deserve recognition for redefining what LED televisions can, do. But OLED remains vastly superior, and now a 55-inch or 65-inch OLED isn’t much more expensive than a competing flagship LED TV.

With LG’s best OLED yet, expect those perfect blacks, brilliant and luscious colors, and one of the thinnest TVs you’ve ever seen. It makes everything you watch look its absolute best. You’ll also get a slick motion-controlled remote control and our favorite smart TV interface, WebOS.

Bottom line: There is no television that can do what the LG EF9500 can do.  Own this TV, and you’ll be the envy of everyone on the block … at least until LG comes out with its next OLED TV.

Runners up

Sennheiser Orpheus

Sennheiser-Orpheus

Don’t get hung up on the $55,000 price – yes, we know it’s more than your car – Sennheiser’s Orpheus headphone system gave us the most moving, life-altering sonic experience we’ve ever had. Imagine being placed on an emotional roller coaster where the soundtrack is the ride. More importantly, though, all the next-gen tech at work here will change headphones in the future, and that gets us really excited.

Sprout by PS Audio

Sprout-by-PS-Audio

No audio device introduced in 2015 makes as much sense as the PS Audio Sprout. This handsome all-in-wonder is a phono preamp, headphone amp, DAC, Bluetooth receiver, and speaker amplifier, all housed in a super-handsome, compact chassis. After using it daily for six months, we’re convinced we can’t live without it.