Featuring more than 30 brands, the headphones category is another hotly contested Readers’ Choice category. After tallying the votes, Klipsch is the winner this year with 37% of the votes, comfortably beating last year's and five-time winner Sennheiser (which is now in third place). To recap, Klipsch's flagship headphones are the Reference On-Ear, and a new version 2 was just announced this past December. Moving down the ladder, we've the Reference R6 On-Ear and Reference R6i On-Ear, the key difference being the latter having a remote control. Bose, maker of the excellent QC35 noise-canceling headphones, is second with 11%.
Carrying the momentum from the headphones category, Klipsch is also the winner of our Best In-Ear Earphones Brand award, this time with a good 40% of the votes. To recap, the two-way, dual-armature-equipped X20i is the American company's flagship in-ears, followed by the X12i, XR8i, and X6i. And if you hate wires, the R6 has an Bluetooth in-ear version. Prefer something that's more resistant to moisture and sweat? Then take a look at the AS-5i and AW-4i. In second and third places are Bose and Sennheiser respectively.
With 38% of the votes, the winner of our Best Wireless Speakers Brand award is Sonos, which is known for its smart speakers such as the Play:1 and Play:5. For the past year, Sonos has been working hard to add support for streaming music services. In October 2015, Amazon Music support officially arrived on Sonos speakers, and this was followed by Apple Music in February 2016. Voice control is another area of focus: in 2017, owners of Alexa-enabled devices such as the Amazon Echo or Echo Dot will be able to use the intelligent personal assistant to control their Sonos sound systems. Bose, which won this category last year, is second this year with 20% of the votes. Creative, which launched the iRoar Go and several Nuno and Muvo series speakers last year, is third.
With 31% of the votes, this is the seventh straight year our readers have voted Bose their favorite home theater system brand. Just this past November, Bose launched three all-new wireless home entertainment systems: the 5-speaker Lifestyle 650 and 600, and the SoundTouch 300. In a nutshell, the Lifestyle 650 and 600 support Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless music streaming, 4K video compatibility, and have six HDMI inputs. The Lifestyle 650's OmniJewel satellite speakers are made from a single piece of extruded aluminum and offer 360-degree output; while the Lifestyle 600's Jewel Cube speakers feature direct/reflecting technology, with precisely angled transducers inside each of them. On the other hand, the SoundTouch 300 is a soundbar system that also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; and if you want more bass or more pronounced surround sound effects, you can add an additional bass module or a couple of rear surround speakers.