THE BEST Audio

SoundBoks Bluetooth Speaker

SoundBoks Bluetooth Speaker

Probably the loudest portable speaker ever. SoundBoks has four drivers – two woofers and two tweeters – each boosted by a 42W digital amplifier. Its DSP allows it to blast up to a scary 119dB, yet its swappable battery lasts between 8h to 100h per charge. And yes, it goes to 11.

Amazon Tap & Echo Dot

Amazon Tap & Echo Dot

New variants of the increasingly useful Amazon Echo. The Tap is a portable stereo speaker that lets you use Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant on the go. The Echo Dot is a more affordable version of the Echo that needs to be connected to speakers to play music.

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Normal Sweat/Suit Headphones

Normal Sweat/Suit Headphones

Normal’s new wireless headphones feature custom made soft silicone earplugs and adjustable arms for a secure yet comfortable fit. They also have an integrated USB charging plug. Available with a silicone or a leather band. Sadly, Nelly had nothing to do with this.

Tiny Cloud Lamp & Speaker

Tiny Cloud Lamp & Speaker

The Tiny Cloud is about 2.5 times smaller than the original Cloud lamp and doesn’t have a motion sensor or a subwoofer. But it has the same Bluetooth speaker and light-up features and costs about 1/6th the price. You can control multiple clouds as one unit.

Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00

Fostex x Massdrop TH-X00

Exclusive to Massdrop, the Fostex TH-X00 is based on the TH-900 but tuned for a more balanced sound, with mahogany earcups inspired by the Denon AH-D7000. The result is a pair of headphones that’s easily worth twice its price. Review here.

2016 Pocket Operators

2016 Pocket Operators

New additions to the cheap and compact synths. The PO-20 Arcade is loaded with chiptune sounds, the PO-24 Office uses samples from old hardware such as typewriters and fax machines, and the PO-28 Robot has a real 8-bit synth with separate melody and drum channels.

iLoud Micro Monitor

iLoud Micro Monitor

IK Multimedia’s desktop speakers are designed to provide accurate and transparent sound, perfect for music mixing. Each speaker is powered by a Class-D amp (50W RMS total), has a 3″ woofer, and a 3/4″ tweeter. They even work via Bluetooth. Out Q2 2016 for $299/pair.

Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC

Audio Technica ATH-MSR7NC

Audio-Technica challenges the beloved Bose QuietComfort 25 with an active noise cancellation variant of its critically-acclaimed MSR7 headphones. Audio-Technica says these sound equally great even with the ANC turned off. Drops 04/16 for $300. More on Reviewed.

Blipcast

Blipcast

Blipcast is a small device that sends sound from your TV, home theater receiver, or anything with an audio output to one or more Android or iOS devices so you can listen without disturbing others.

Porsche Design 911 Soundbar

Porsche Design 911 Soundbar

Porsche Design integrated the rear silencer and twin tailpipes from a 911 GT3 into a 200W 2.1 Dolby surround sound system such that they now amplify sound instead of dampening it. The speaker has a subwoofer output and Bluetooth, RCA, coaxial and optical inputs.

Technics EAH-T700

Technics EAH-T700

The EAH-T700’s low impedance (28 Ω) means it works well with mobile devices even without an amp. But it should also shine with your home system, thanks to a pair of 50mm drivers and 14mm tweeters. It also has horizontally adjustable ear cups. Drops soon for $1200.

Naim Mu-so Qb

Naim Mu-so Qb

A smaller and more affordable version of Naim’s critically acclaimed Mu-so speaker. The Mu-so Qb has two mid drivers and two dome tweeters, each driven by a 50W amp, a woofer with a 100W amp, and a pair of passive radiators. Available 03/16 for $900.

Pavilion Bluetooth Speaker

Pavilion Bluetooth Speaker

Hult Design’s Pavilion is a beautiful Bluetooth speaker inspired by organic architecture. It has a 20W driver, a copper spiral reflex port and a concrete base to minimize vibrations. It also has an internal battery that lasts up to 5h per charge and a 3.5mm port.

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Philips Fidelio Atmos Soundbar

Philips Fidelio Atmos Soundbar

This streamlined home theater sound system uses 18 speakers to provide truly immersive sound, including upward-firing drivers and Dolby Atmos compatibility for 3-dimensional sound effects that bounce off your ceiling. The 400W system includes a 220W wireless sub.

Phazon Wireless Earbuds

Phazon Wireless Earbuds

Samus wouldn’t put it anywhere near her person, but for the rest of us, these Bluetooth earbuds will supposedly fit on all and any pair of ears, thanks to its unique shape. They last up to 6h per charge and their case doubles as a portable charger.

GoldenEar SuperSub XXL

GoldenEar SuperSub XXL

GoldenEar’s $2000 freestanding subwoofer will shake your world with a pair of 12″ bass drivers and two 12″ passive radiators. All four are diametrically arranged resulting in a balanced output and a stable cabinet. It’s powered by a 1600W amp and a 56-bit DSP.

Audeze EL-8 Titanium

Audeze EL-8 Titanium

Along with its standard 3.5mm cable, the Titanium variant of the critically-acclaimed EL-8 magnetic planar headphones has a Lightning cable that has a built-in amp and DAC for vastly improved listening on iOS devices.

Revols Custom Fit Earphones

Revols Custom Fit Earphones

Revols claims that you can customize the fit of its Onkyo-based Bluetooth earphones in just 1 minute. Its app lets you make the soft earbuds permanently harden and fit your ear’s shape. Engadget tested a prototype and says it works as advertised.

Master & Dynamic MW60

Master & Dynamic MW60

Master & Dynamic’s new wireless over ear headphones promise to sound as good as they look. The MW60 can sustain Bluetooth connections up to 100ft. away and can pair with two devices at once. They last up to 16h per charge and come with a cable for wired use.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Triple Black

Bose QuietComfort 25 Triple Black

Bose’s flagship headphones are now available in all black. The QuietComfort 25 has excellent active noise cancellation powered by a single AAA battery. It also has an inline mic and remote for iOS and Android devices.

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Gramovox Gramophone 2.0

Gramovox Gramophone 2.0

Gramovox updates its retro Bluetooth speaker with a dual-driver design. The Gramophone now has a 2.5″ low frequency driver hidden in its base, powered by a 2W amp, to go with the 1.5″ mid driver that’s aimed at the horn.

Clublife Adagio Headphones

Clublife Adagio Headphones

Designed in collaboration with DJ Tiësto, The Clublife Adagio in-ear headphones offer big, bold and dynamic sounds in a compact package, thanks to their powerful, but well-balanced 9mm drivers. Includes an inline mic for phone calls, and a leather storage wallet.

HiddenHUB Sound System

HiddenHUB Sound System

The HiddenHUB sound system dynamically adapts to the shape of the room you set it up in, and can be wirelessly connected with other HUBs and HiddenRadio2s to create a whole home audio system. Audio can be controlled via its smart dial, or via your wireless devices.

2015 Sonos Play:5

2015 Sonos Play:5

The new Play:5 has three mid-woofers and three tweeters and can be set up in three orientations. It will also work with the upcoming Trueplay app, which will automatically optimize Sonos speakers based on the room they’re in. Drops Q4 2015 for $499.

Yamaha YSP-5600 Sound Bar

Yamaha YSP-5600 Sound Bar

The YSP-5600 not only has a whopping 46 speakers, it also uses Dolby Atmos technology to bounce sound around the room. The result is a convincing emulation of a 7.1.2 setup that left folks at the IFA trade show dumbfounded. Drops 12/15 for $1700.

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