EISA Awards 2019-2020: INCAR EXPERT GROUP

As of last year, EISA dropped ‘European’ from its name to become the Expert Imaging and Sound Association, as it welcomes new member magazines from Canada, Hong Kong, India, Japan, the United States — plus our titles Sound+Image, Australian Hi-Fi and Australian Incar here in Australia.

You might imagine that getting editors from 61 special interest magazines across 29 countries to agree on a final list of winners might be quite the process. We have been pleased to find it a highly organised one. Note that while most winners have identical or near-identical Australian counterparts, sometimes our outlying region gets a significantly different model, or the brand is not available here at all. The rest, however, represents the world’s best.

For 36 years EISA has been selecting the most innovative, cutting-edge products for its prestigious EISA Awards. For its 2019-2020 Awards, technical experts from 55 member magazines and websites in 27 countries across the world have recognised and awarded the following products as the best in their categories.

The Awards are debated and voted upon by groups of specialist judging panels covering the full spectrum of consumer electronics and photographic products, including Hi-Fi, Home Theatre, In-Car Electronics, Photo, Video and Mobile Devices. Key to the success and relevance of the annual EISA Awards lies in the evolution of its categories, always reflecting the changing trends and technologies of the consumer electronics world.

To win an EISA award all products undergo a comprehensive multi-step judging process. Products are intensively tested at the facilities of individual EISA member magazines and are also presented at the Association’s annual Convention in Antwerp in May. Products that pass this stage already rank among the best in the world. The final deliberations take place at EISA’s annual General Meeting in June where a democratic voting process establishes a consensus of excellence and determines the winning products.

The EISA Awards will be officially presented on September 6th at a gala event during IFA, the world’s largest consumer electronics fair, held in Berlin. But why wait! We've got all the winners below — starting, natch, with the Incar categories...

INCAR EXPERT GROUP AWARDS

EISA IN-CAR HEAD UNIT 2019-2020
Kenwood DMX8019DABS
The In-Car Entertainment landscape is changing, and the DMX8019DABS is totally up-to-date for the new connected world. By removing both optical disc drive and navigation features, but retaining a hi-res 7in touchscreen and DAB+, Kenwood has ensured this Double-DIN head unit is affordable and ready to interface with your smartphone or portable media device. This flagship of the DMX series includes USB, HDMI, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay wireless and, mirroring Android phones through Wi-Fi, Spotify ready. Hi-res audio capability is backed up with DSP for sound tuning, making this the complete music and information hub.

 

EISA IN-CAR SOUND PROCESSOR 2019-2020
Brax DSP
DSP for optimising in-car sound is nothing new, but Brax takes it to the next level with no fewer than 12 channels of processing across modular input and output cards. This design allows complete tailoring to your in-car audio configuration, with digital or analogue inputs, or a mix of both, using three Analog Devices Sigma 350 64-bit processors, capable of an incredible 3.6 billion calculations per second. ADCs and DACs are by Asahi Kasei, there’s extensive power supply regulation, while the modular approach extends to an add-on card for direct Bluetooth and hi-res USB streaming. This is signal processing without limits.

 

EISA IN-CAR AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
ESX QE1200.4
If there are two requirements for In-Car power amplifiers, it’s that they should deliver healthy output without filling all the space available – the QE1200.4 meets that brief in style, with a 1200W output spread over four channels, and all from a remarkably compact, but solidly built, enclosure. Digital amplification ensures it runs cool, with extensive measures to avoid interference, and automatic switching and speaker detection makes it ideal for hideaway use. Add in configurable crossovers and bridging to allow it to drive subwoofers, and you have the ideal add-on for both factory-fit and aftermarket systems, bringing premium sound and design at a sensible price.

 

EISA IN-CAR SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
Morel Elate Carbon 603
Morel is one of the best-known names in speaker drivers, and the latest version of its Elate Carbon 603 In-Car speaker system sees all that expertise in action to amazing effect. Using famous Morel technologies, including Hexatech voice-coils and passive crossovers, this three-way system features the company’s handmade ultra-slim 28mm silk dome tweeter plus a 10cm midrange driver using a DPC cone for smoothness and transparency. Backing all this up is a 16.5cm woofer with a titanium voice coil former and double magnets for clarity and power. This is a fine way to add high-quality sound to your vehicle.

 

EISA IN-CAR SUBWOOFER 2019-2020
Ground Zero GZPW 10SQ
The requirements of an In-Car subwoofer are simple: powerful, extended, yet controlled and tuneful bass, preferably from an enclosure still leaving some room in your car for the shopping. Ground Zero’s GZPW 10SQ meets that brief perfectly. Its 25cm driver draws on the design of the company’s flagship model, complete with an aluminium cone for speed, lightness and control, plus a long-throw voice-coil for plenty of air movement. It is designed to perform at its best in compact, sealed enclosures of as little as 26 litres – big bass from small boxes is exactly what this Plutonium Series sub delivers.

 

EISA IN-CAR SMART UPGRADE 2019-2020
Alpine PWD-X5
With so many cars now having custom-fit built-in audio systems, it’s sometimes hard to know how to upgrade them – but Alpine has the answer with the PWD-X5. Small enough to be hidden away under a front seat, it combines a digital signal processor, an active subwoofer and four channels of amplification, and can be fed with either speaker-level or preamp-level connections. It even comes complete with the all the cables required. Adjusted via the supplied wired controller or a smartphone app, it also has a dongle to add Bluetooth to your In-Car system. This is the easiest, and most effective upgrade you can make.

 

EISA IN-CAR DASHCAM 2019-2020
Alpine DVR-F800PRO
As well as world-class In-Car audio and infotainment products, Alpine also makes a comprehensive range of dashcams, and the amazing DVR-F800PRO is remarkably advanced, going way beyond simply recording your journey. As well as super-clear pictures both during the day and at night, the DVR-F800PRO also brings you driver assistance features usually found only in upmarket vehicles. These include Forward Collision and Lane Departure warning, plus an uploadable speed camera database. This is so much more than just another dashcam!

 

EISA IN-CAR HIGH-END COMPONENT 2019-2020
Eton Core S3
With each speaker handcrafted in Germany and packed with innovative technology, the Eton Core S3 is a true high-end In-Car component system. The 8cm midrange drivers and 16.5cm woofers use a unique engineering solution, with perforated magnesium composite cones coated with an ultra-thin film to create a light and rigid assembly with a ‘dimpled’ surface to break up resonances. This allows the system to deliver its warm and smooth sound, while the tweeters use a three-layer ceramic/magnesium sandwich dome with multistage ventilation to allow them to present the finest detail. It all comes together to offer wide-ranging dynamics, neutrality and fine imaging, for a true high-end experience on the move.

 

EISA IN-CAR INNOVATION 2019-2020
Zapco HDSP-Z16V
The HDSP-Z16V is a new and unique multifunction in-car audio device: for the first time we have a top-flight digital signal processor with an integrated high-resolution audio player. As well as being able to control a complete multi-amplifier system, optimising it for your speakers and car acoustics, it can play content at up to 192kHz/24-bit, either from connected storage or – using optional modules – via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Control of both the DSP and the player is via a full-colour 3in touchscreen, and the Zapco HDSP-Z16V uses high-quality analogue-to-digital and digital-to-analogue conversion. If you’re looking for an innovative way to improve your sound while also adding add hi-res playback, this is the solution.

AND THE REST OF THE AWARDS:

HI-FI EXPERT GROUP     

EISA ACTIVE STEREO LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
ELAC Navis ARB-51

EISA ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEM 2019-2020
Naim Audio Mu-so 2nd Generation

EISA BEST BUY AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
Rotel A11

EISA BEST BUY TURNTABLE 2019-2020
Pro-Ject X1

EISA BOOKSHELF LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
Monitor Audio Gold 100

EISA COMPACT STEREO SYSTEM 2019-2020
Marantz Melody X (M-CR612)

EISA DAC 2019-2020
Chord Electronics Qutest

EISA DIGITAL SOURCE 2019-2020
Pro-Ject CD Box RS2 T/Pre Box RS2 Digital

EISA HEADPHONE 2019-2020
Focal Elegia

EISA HI-FI UPGRADE 2019-2020
IsoAcoustics GAIA

EISA HIGH-END AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
Hegel H390

EISA HIGH-END LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
KEF R11

EISA LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
Bowers & Wilkins 603

EISA SMART AMPLIFIER 2019-2020
NAD M10

EISA STEREO SYSTEM 2019-2020
Primare CD35/I35 Prisma

EISA STREAMING DAC 2019-2020
Mytek Brooklyn Bridge

EISA TURNTABLE 2019-2020
MoFi UltraDeck+M

EISA WIRELESS STEREO LOUDSPEAKER 2019-2020
KEF LSX

COMBINED WITH HT AUDIO/HT VIDEO EXPERT GROUP

EISA AV ACCESSORY 2019-2020
IsoTek SMART Delta

 

HOME THEATRE AUDIO EXPERT GROUP               

EISA AV RECEIVER 2019-2020
Denon AVR-X2600H

EISA BEST BUY HOME THEATRE SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
DALI OBERON Series

EISA HOME THEATRE HIGH-END 2019-2020
Focal Astral 16

EISA HOME THEATRE SPEAKER SYSTEM 2019-2020
Arendal Sound 1723 Monitor S THX 5.1

EISA HOME THEATRE SUBWOOFER 2019-2020
SVS SB-3000

EISA PREMIUM HOME THEATRE RECEIVER 2019-2020
NAD T 758 V3

EISA PREMIUM SOUNDBAR 2019-2020
Sennheiser AMBEO Soundbar

EISA SOUNDBAR 2019-2020
LG SL8

EISA TV SOUND SYSTEM 2019-2020
DALI KATCH ONE

COMBINED WITH HI-FI/HT VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP                         

EISA AV ACCESSORY 2019-2020
IsoTek SMART Delta

COMBINED WITH HT VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP      

EISA UNIVERSAL PLAYER 2019-2020
Pioneer UDP-LX500

 

HOME THEATRE VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP                           

EISA 8K TV 2019-2020
Samsung QE82Q950R

EISA BEST BUY OLED TV 2019-2020
Philips 55OLED804

EISA BEST BUY PROJECTOR 2019-2020
BenQ CinePrime W2700

EISA HOME THEATRE PROJECTOR 2019-2020
BenQ CinePrime W5700

EISA HOME THEATRE TV 2019-2020
Philips 65OLED984

EISA BEST PREMIUM OLED TV 2019-2020
LG OLED65E9

EISA SMART HOME TV 2019-2020
LG 65SM9010


COMBINED WITH HI-FI/HT AUDIO EXPERT GROUP             

EISA AV ACCESSORY 2019-2020
IsoTek SMART Delta

COMBINED WITH HT AUDIO EXPERT GROUP        

EISA UNIVERSAL PLAYER 2019-2020
Pioneer UDP-LX500

COMBINED WITH PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERT GROUP                            

EISA PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERA 2019-2020
Sony α6400

 

PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERT GROUP

EISA ADVANCED CAMERA 2019-2020
Fujifilm X-T3

EISA ADVANCED FULL-FRAME CAMERA 2019-2020
Panasonic LUMIX DC-S1R

EISA BEST BUY FULL-FRAME CAMERA 2019-2020
Canon EOS RP

EISA BEST BUY ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Tamron 35-150mm F2.8-4 Di VC OSD

EISA CAMERA INNOVATION 2019-2020
Fujifilm GFX100

EISA CAMERA OF THE YEAR 2019-2020
Nikon Z 6

EISA COMPACT CAMERA 2019-2020
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI

EISA LENS INNOVATION 2019-2020
Canon RF 28-70mm F2L USM

EISA PHOTO INNOVATION 2019-2020
Sony Real-time Eye AF

EISA PHOTO SOFTWARE 2019-2020
Skylum Luminar

EISA PORTRAIT PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 135mm F1.8 GM

EISA PROFESSIONAL STANDARD ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S

EISA PROFESSIONAL TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
SIGMA 70-200mm F2.8 DG OS HSM | Sports

EISA STANDARD PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM

EISA STANDARD ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM

EISA SUPER-TELEPHOTO PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM

EISA TELEPHOTO PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 400mm F2.8 GM OSS

EISA TELEPHOTO ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
SIGMA 60-600mm F4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM | Sports

EISA WIDEANGLE PRIME LENS 2019-2020
Sony FE 24mm F1.4 GM

EISA WIDEANGLE ZOOM LENS 2019-2020
Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD

COMBINED AWARDS WITH MOBILE DEVICES EXPERT GROUP                       

EISA BEST SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Huawei P30 Pro

COMBINED WITH HT VIDEO&DISPLAY EXPERT GROUP      

EISA PHOTO/VIDEO CAMERA 2019-2020
Sony α6400

 

MOBILE DEVICES EXPERT GROUP            

EISA ADVANCED SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
OnePlus 7 Pro

EISA BEST BUY SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Xiaomi Redmi Note 7

EISA BEST EARBUDS 2019-2020
JBL Reflect Flow

EISA BEST NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES 2019-2020
Sony WH-1000XM3

EISA CONSUMER NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES 2019-2020
JBL LIVE 650BTNC

EISA ELECTRIC VEHICLE 2019-2020
Xiaomi Mi Scooter Pro

EISA LIFESTYLE SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Honor 20 Pro

EISA MOBILE SPEAKER 2019-2020
LG XBOOM Go PK7
in some markets (LG XBOOM Go PK7W, LG PK7, LG PK7W)

EISA PARTY SPEAKER 2019-2020
JBL PartyBox 100

EISA WIRELESS IN-EAR HEADPHONES 2019-2020
OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2

COMBINED AWARDS WITH PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERT GROUP           

EISA BEST SMARTPHONE 2019-2020
Huawei P30 Pro

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