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1st Place: Bowers & Wilkins MM-1With an elegantly understated design - and all the more attractive for it - the Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 speakers make up for their relative lack of physical presence with audio reproduction that truly impresses. The key to this is the USB connection to your computer; the MM-1 speakers don't require a high end sound card to sing - they handle the decoding and output of your audio on-board. Better still, if you have a decent pair of headphones you can use the MM-1's internal DAC and amplifier to drive them, so you can appreciate quality audio from your computer without annoying the neighbours.
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2nd Place: Logitech Squeezebox TouchWith its attractive design, intuitive, user-friendly user interface and comprehensive format support, it is no wonder the Logitech Squeezebox Touch impressed us. Whether you use the internal DAC and amplifier, or simply employ the streaming abilities of this device, it makes accessing music stored in one location in your home and playing it in another, an absolute breeze. You can even stream music from online services such as Napster. All told, the Squeezbox is a realistic alternative to a much pricier Sonos system, and that's high praise indeed.
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3rd Place: Philips MCi900Crazy though it may sound, we could almost be persuaded to part with £900 just because of the good looks of the Philips MCi900 all-in-one system. The design isn't just a success because of the aesthetics, though - those speakers sound as fantastic as they appear. Whether from CD, a USB drive, the system's local storage or from a network storage device, the MCi900 will give your music the treatment it deserves. Add in the MCi900's media-streaming capabilities and its excellent format support and it is clear why we were so enamoured with this system.
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