CE Pro senior editor Robert Archer has been covering the custom electronics industry for 20+ years and never misses a CEDIA Expo. Over the years, Bob has also gone through curriculum from CEDIA and other associations like the Home Acoustics Alliance to further his AV expertise.
So when Bob does his annual top products of the year posts, we know he does not take the selections lightly and brings more than two decades of industry and AV knowledge to his choices. After he posted his favorite products for 2022, we asked Bob if he could join the CE Pro Podcast and share his rationale behind the selections, which represent a multitude of categories to help dealers.
Additionally, Bob, editor-in-chief Jason Knott and myself recently pulled together our annual list of suggestions for “5 Hot Technology Opportunities for Integrators” for 2023, which is covered in our January issue State of the Industry section. Keep an eye out for the issue for more in-depth information, but in this podcast episode Bob and I reveal the top five tech trends and offer some reasoning for the forecasted trend.
When Bob posted his picks, he noted: As for the best products from the past 12 months, the 2022 products list features a lot of familiar brands. To no one’s surprise products from Sony, Sonos, LG, Kaleidescape, Epson, Crestron and Logitech make the list. Joining these well-recognized companies are relative newcomers to the custom install market: C SEED, OSD Audio, DALI and SVS.
“I suppose in a lot of ways I’m not different than a dealer in that I try to look at things that I think are reliable when I look at a product,” Bob says when I asked him to explain his picks, which are culled from his visit to the Expo, reviews, press releases, etc.
“No disrespect to a new company, but I want to look at products I believe are proven, from proven companies,” he continues, “that I think deliver high levels of performance. Based on whether it’s my experience with that brand, my experience with that version of the product if it’s in an ongoing series of solutions – like the Sony projector and Epson projector … I try to put a lot of faith in my personal interaction with the products.”
Bob adds that, of course, we can’t see every product that’s out there, though we do also get feedback from integrator conversations during tradeshows and buying group conferences.
If you want a look at some of the previous years’ picks from Bob, check out his selections from 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Meanwhile, some of the favorite products also represent categories that CE Pro expects to be trending in 2023. Our top five is:
- MicroLED Technologies
- ATSC 3.0/NextGen TV
- EV Charging Stations/Integrated Power
- Indoor Air Quality/Whole-Home Filtration
- Design-Centric Solutions
Our picks for 2022, in case you missed it, had included: cybersecurity, invisible sound/speaker solutions, ultra-short-throw projection, virtual reality, and energy management.
You can click here to read more about our choices or watch/listen to the CE Pro Podcast episode above to hear brief explanations from the editors. Find past episodes of the CE Pro Podcast by subscribing to the CE Pro YouTube channel or our Apple and Spotify podcast feeds.