AirPlay, Spotify and DLNA all made significant changes to the way people listen to music in 2012. The technologies started to appear in pieces of Hi-Fi hardware, reducing the need for laptop-connected cables and even the iPhone dock.

There was certainly a lot of audio tech to enjoy and Pocket-lint had to work hard to keep on top of it all. Standing out above the crowd however were the following nominations for the 9th Pocket-lint Gadget Awards home audio category.

March 2012

Onkyo's 818 brought with it just about every possible form of connectivity you could possibly want from an AV receiver. Be it Spotify integration or Simfy apps, this was one feature-packed piece of kit.

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The receiver also used Audyssey MultEQ XT32 to assess and work out exactly the right set-up for different room styles. Throw in industry leading upscaling and decoding tech and you have the makings of a cracking piece of kit.

READ: Onkyo TX-NR818 review

Free on contact
September 2012

As much as we mocked YouView for its late arrival, it turned out to be a much better product than we expected. Talk Talk's Huawei-made box was particularly good, especially when you consider it was include free on some Talk Talk contract deals.

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The clever trick the box managed was that it could offer linear streaming via an internet connection. This meant you could do things like subscribe to Sky 1 via your YouView box.

READ: TalkTalk YouView review

November 2005

The Xbox 360 became centre of the living room in 2012 and not just for games. A steady stream of updates and a new-look user interface meant you had access to a whole number of IPTV services.

Apps like BBC iPlayer launched and towards the end of the year, Xbox Music arrived, bringing free music streaming to the Xbox 360. For a piece of tech so long in the tooth, it proved it could still impress.

READ: Xbox 360 news

Contract dependant
May 2006

Sky TV also expanded in a big way in 2012. Applications such as Sky Go, in particular, brought increasing levels of value to subscribers.

The service also saw an update to Sky Sports News on the iPad, inline with the launch of its dedicated F1 channel. This brought an incredible amount of second-screen functionality and was a big boost for F1 fans.

READ: Sky TV news

March 2012

The Apple TV alternative was Roku 2 XS in 2012. A powerful video-playing box which was incredibly compact, it kept the non-Apple crowd more than satisfied.

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Apps such as iPlayer and Netflix were also a highlight, as was the price tag, which made the Roku 2 XS a persuasive piece of kit for those serious about movies. 

READ: Roku 2 XS review