Symbol’s Stereo Console doubles as both a console for your audio system and part of that system itself. This stunning handcrafted piece boasts a powder-coated steel wire frame stand, an optional LP storage bin, room for a turntable, and built-in cable management to eliminate all wires from sight besides a single power cord. Oh, and it’s also got two 4″ full range titanium cone speakers and a down-firing 8″ subwoofer, powered by its 2.1 Class D amplifier and controlled by an included remote.
Learn more at Symbol Audio – $3,700
Sennheiser’s Momentum was — and is — an excellent choice for individuals looking to dull out external sounds while jamming, and cutting the cord was the logical next step what with wireless capabilities present on literally all our devices. Equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 and aptX, these cans deliver the same distinctive sound experience as the originals for 22 hours per charge without wires getting in the way. They also boast NFC for instant pairing with compatible devices, active NoiseGuard sound cancellation that attenuates outside noise by up to 20dB, a collapsible frame for easy carry, and the use of soft, breathable Alcantara for sweat-free comfort. Plus, in a pinch, they can also operate using the included [evidently removable] auxiliary cable.
Read more at Sennheiser – $400
You won’t often find high fidelity audio equipment wrapped in plastic enclosures, and for good reason. Based on their award-winning A2+ speakers, Audioengine’s B2 couples a hand-built, acoustically isolated wooden cabinet to hi-fi components such as an extended range Bluetooth module & aptX decoder (with A2DP and AVRCP support), a 24-bit DAC, dual 2.75″ Kevlar woofers, and a pair of 0.75″ silk dome tweeters. It pairs easily, without a password, at up to 100 feet away — roughly triple the range of most Bluetooth speakers — and also boasts an auxiliary audio input for wired use plus a detachable magnetic grill. And though it might not fare as well as others on the road due to a lack of built-in batteries and larger size, it handily overpowers similarly priced mainstream portable speakers, making it by far the better option for home use.
Check it out at Audioengine or Amazon – $300
Firing up a playlist on any device is as easy as clicking a few buttons, but getting the mood just right isn’t as obvious. Bang & Olufsen’s BeoSound Moment wants to earn your trust in handling this task. Touch the colorful MoodWheel on Moment’s display to instantly generate a playlist, from melancholic blue to energetic yellow, that simultaneously caters to your degree of openness towards hearing new, unfamiliar music when pressing further from the wheel’s center. Over time and through use, BeoSound Moment familiarizes itself to your taste in music, showing you tracks you’re more likely to enjoy. And while its detachable interface boasts a large display for browsing extensive music catalogs, on the flip side lies a minimal touch-sensitive oak surface that instantly plays your favorite music with just a touch.
Sign up to learn more at Bang & Olufsen – $2,800
Sony’s Walkman moniker is back, but it’s not the same yellow-and-grey cassette player that you’re all too familiar with. Instead, Sony’s ZX2 High-Resolution Walkman takes a stab at pleasing the audiophiles amongst us. This capable device features 128GB of built-in memory, a 4-inch touch-sensitive display, Sony’s S-Master HX digital amp, a high stiffness, low contact resistance gold-plated copper chassis, and attention to minuscule details that make all the difference when it comes to uncompromising sound. It’ll handle your DSD, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, ALAC, MP3 (upgraded via DSEE HX), or WMA tracks at resolutions of up to 192 kHz/24 bit for 33 hours per charge but, given its price, the ZX2 should probably not be your grab-and-go option before hopping on the tube or going for a jog.
Check it out at Sony – $1,200
Ultimate Ears’ Boom is amongst the overall best portable Bluetooth speakers you can buy, but if the compact device isn’t big or loud enough to fill your [evidently immense] room with music, the Megaboom should do the trick. This Bluetooth speaker blasts out 360 degree sound like its smaller sibling but boasts a longer, thicker form factor and bigger drivers, including dual 2″ drivers and two 4″ passive radiators, all in all translating into much more substantial sound. It can also Double Up with a second Boom or Megaboom to go full stereo, is IPX7 rated — i.e. fully waterproof to survive accidental trips to the bottom of your pool — and lasts for 20 hours on a single charge.
Find it at Ultimate Ears – $300
In this day and age, choosing a pair of headphones depends as much on your tastes in sound as it does aesthetics. Equally subjective, however, is fit and comfort, and that’s where Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay H2 headphones really shine. These sleek on-ear headphones are held together by a durable, textile-covered composite frame that adapts to the shape of your head, forming a perfect fit within minutes of sliding them on. Importantly, they also boast 40mm drivers in each leather-padded can, an inline 3-button remote with mic, and a lightweight design that stays comfortable all day long.
Preorder on Amazon in three colors – $200
Bose’s SoundLink Color rounds out their portable speaker lineup, bringing a touch of liveliness to their otherwise drab grey and black devices. This compact, lightweight Bluetooth unit weighs just 1.25 pounds and puts out a full, lifelike sound for up to 8 hours per charge. It also pairs easily with voice prompts that talk you through the process, boasts an auxiliary input for wired connections, and comes in 5 colors — Black, White, Mint, Red, and Blue.
Find it at Amazon – $130
Technically their first new product since their acquisition, Beats’ Solo 2 Wireless, as you’d assume, sees the cords cut on their most popular pair of headphones. While the internals are left mostly untouched, the Solo 2 Wireless packs along batteries good for 12 hours of Bluetooth playback or taking calls (thanks to a built-in mic). Fortunately, plugging them in with the included auxiliary cable remedies a depleted battery, and a set of on-ear controls — including the Beats “b”, which doubles as a button — lets you adjust volume and skip tracks without needing to reach for your device.
Arriving later this month. Learn more at Beats – $300
Headphones and earphones won’t ever replicate the spine-chilling bass of a live concert setup, but with Woojer you’re not far off. This matchbox-sized woofer clips to your clothing and sits between your headphones and your device, reproducing bass frequencies in form of vibrations that lets you feel the sound. It works great with music, games, and movies, runs for 4 hours on a charge, and is drop-dead silent, letting you enjoy seemingly loud music virtually anywhere without bothering those around you.
Read more at Woojer – $100 to $180