GoldenEar AON 2
Blast from the Future
by HENRY PHILLIPS

Every day, hundreds of millions of people cram in tiny earbuds or crank up their laptop speakers to try to distract themselves from the tedium of work or the pain of exercise. And it works. That it still has such a profound effect, even pumped through thin, uninspiring speakers and headphones, is a testament to the music itself. But what if we gave it the stage it deserved? What if we gave our music the same treatment as our movies? For most, music has become a side project -- something to do while doing something else -- but GoldenEar's AON 2 loudspeakers direct it to center stage. 


The first and most obvious sign of GoldenEar's musical intentions is the configuration of the AON 2s. They're not sold as part of a surround sound kit, but rather are made as a 2-channel stereo set, just as the music was mixed. 


 CONTINUES BELOW


But what good are intentions without execution? The inverted-keystone shaped speakers cram an impressive amount of technology into a 12-inch case and a $400 price tag. Most obvious of these features is the High Velocity Folded Ribbon tweeter, a technology that GoldenEar uses in their more expensive sets to improve horizontal dispersion and clarity at higher frequency tones. To balance out that impressive high end, each speaker features a 6-inch bass driver and two 6.5-inch passive radiators, which give the AON 2 loudspeakers far more low-end power than speakers their size would normally allow. 


All of the technical specifications in the world are no substitute, though, for sitting down and listening. Put away your phone for a minute, turn on something that moves you, and let the AON 2s prove their worth. Design and technology, meet art and emotion.


$400/speaker, goldenear.com

BEST VINTAGE CAMERAS
BEST AIRPLAY SPEAKERS
BEST DESKTOP SPEAKERS

STATEMENT


Excellence, innovation, craftsmanship, and an unwavering desire to challenge expectations -- these are the constants that have captivated our attention since Gear Patrol's inception in 2007. This year we're proud to announce the next step in our role as a champion of quality in product design and execution: welcome to the GP100. Our inaugural product awards are dedicated to honoring the 100 best consumer products released during the calendar year by companies of all sizes and scope. 


The GP100 is not a ranking or a contest. These selections represent the collective expertise of our entire editorial staff, who have scoured every corner of the vast product universe -- from automotive and electronics, to men's style essentials, home goods, spirits and outdoors -- to find the inspiring and the practical, the ground-breaking and the traditional, the priceless and the accessible. In short: products that define or defy their respective categories to better the life of the modern man.



METHODOLOGY


The GP100 is not a contest influenced by marketers or brands, nor is it a ranking by specifications as determined by uniform tests. Instead, it starts with a comprehensive list of nominees released in the calendar year, researched and compiled by our editorial team of obsessed experts across all of Gear Patrol's major areas of interest including Motoring, Technology, Style, Home, Spirits, Outdoor and Watches. Brands are not part of the selection process. Nominees are then debated in context of the past, present and future of their respective fields. Which selections stand as significant innovations, category busters or faithful monuments to the icons of history? Do they adhere to Gear Patrol's core tenets of excellence, design, utility and the spirit of adventure? Distilled to the following 100 items, the GP100 represents the best products on earth released in 2013 -- easily inspiring consumers and creators alike during their search for guideposts of excellence in a vast world of products.



THE CATEGORIES


Motoring   Watches   Style   Technology   Sports   Outdoors   Home   Spirits

WRITERS


Jeremy Berger

Ben Bowers
Alex Bracetti
Nick Caruso
Ed Estlow
Jon Gaffney
Jonathan Gallegos
K.B. Gould
Bradley Hasemeyer
Jason Heaton
Mike Henson
Amos Kwon
Matt Neundorf
Scott Packard
Austin Parker
Henry Phillips
Peter Saltsman
Chris Wright
Eric Yang


CREDITS

Produced by Ben Bowers, Chris Wright, Eric Yang
Designed by Eric Yang
Edited by Chris Wright
Photography by Henry Phillips, Eric Yang
Special Thanks to Braun, Scroll Kit and Say Media

RESOURCES

Inquiries, Corrections  support@gearpatrol.com
2014 Submissions  100@gearpatrol.com