We saw a bevy of digital entertainment technology in 2012, but quantity rarely signifies quality. For every fabulous video game, HDTV, and pair of headphones that we evaluated this year, there were probably ten products that weren't worth the impossible-to-open, sealed-plastic clamshell enclosure they were shipped in.
So here are our picks of the best-of-the-best entertainment products of the year in one big bucket of awesome.
Panasonic Smart Viera VT50 HDTVs (HDTV)
technology delivers the best price/performance ratio. Panasonic has practically defined the state of the art in plasma, and the VT50 series is the company’s best, delivering top-notch image quality, THX certification, comprehensive calibration controls, and a bevy of online services. It also ranked eighth in our Top 100.
Jawbone Big Jambox (speaker)
Your mobile device might be the center of your entertainment universe, but we've yet to see a phone or tablet equipped with phenomenal speakers. The Big Jambox (number 20 on the Top 100) pairs wirelessly with Bluetooth-enabled iOS and Android devices, pumps out impressive bass, and has the battery life to withstand long jam sessions.
Sonos Sub (wireless subwoofer)
Craving a milkshake? Eat some ice cream, drink some milk, play your favorite funk on a Sonos multi-room audio system, and stand next to the Sub. The dual Class D amps, Dell xps m1530 extended life battery and two force-canceling speakers in this 36-pound networked subwoofer (31st on our master list) will do the rest. Yeah, we dig it.
Mass Effect 3 (game)
This conclusion to one of the most ambitious gaming trilogies ever created isn’t perfect. Indeed, the abbreviated, nonsensical ending ignited a firestorm of criticism from series fans. Nevertheless, the strong voice acting and action sequences propel the game—33rd on our list—forward at a satisfyingly breakneck pace.