Speakers

Gift Guide
Music to His Ears

12 Guys of Christmas: The Mediaphile

Thought purchasing a Christmas gift for your in-laws was tough? Try shopping for someone who knows everything about media gadgetry and can't abide anything but the best. The Mediaphile's affinity for films, games, music, and yes, eBooks, goes beyond the bounds of reason and continues to expand as the consumer market welcomes the latest tech innovations daily. Best believe he's on top of everything from next-gen gaming consoles to popular subscription-based apps. This presents a problem, because you think HDMI, DSLR, DAC and WAV are medical tests and/or prerequisite exams for grad school applications. Don't run to the Geek Squad yet. We've pulled together some awesome media-primed options worth your coin this holiday. He'll thank you -- and then you won't see him for a couple months, save for Doritos runs and the rare bathroom break.

The Latest

The best gets better

Tested: Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers

Audioengine's original A2 speakers launched in 2008 and were immediately showered with praise. They were sized to feel right at home on a desk but also boasted smart design decisions and spectacular sound quality, both of which were more in line with traditional bookshelf speakers or studio monitors. The newly updated Audioengine A2+ ($249) retains its predecessor's baseline of quality but builds upon that wide range of usefulness with notable improvements for a variety of audio setups.

Gift Guide
Music to His Ears

12 Guys of Christmas: The Mediaphile

Thought purchasing a Christmas gift for your in-laws was tough? Try shopping for someone who knows everything about media gadgetry and can't abide anything but the best. The Mediaphile's affinity for films, games, music, and yes, eBooks, goes beyond the bounds of reason and continues to expand as the consumer market welcomes the latest tech innovations daily. Best believe he's on top of everything from next-gen gaming consoles to popular subscription-based apps. This presents a problem, because you think HDMI, DSLR, DAC and WAV are medical tests and/or prerequisite exams for grad school applications. Don't run to the Geek Squad yet. We've pulled together some awesome media-primed options worth your coin this holiday. He'll thank you -- and then you won't see him for a couple months, save for Doritos runs and the rare bathroom break.

Original Series
Speakers that speak for themselves

Design Spotlight: Joey Roth Ceramic Speakers & Subwoofer

Pursue perfection. Some people -- people at the top of their games -- consider it a personal mantra. That theory holds for the design world, too, and it's why industrial designer Joey Roth recently released a third version of his celebrated speaker system. Apparently, he just wasn’t satisfied yet.

Nocout Punch

Tested: Nocs NS2 Air Monitors

There's no shortage of speakers vying for your computer's affections. The trouble is, most have land grab aspirations that put Ted Turner's to shame. Nocs NS2 Air Monitors ($450) are precisely designed to suit even the "coziest" of desktop environments, but like any child of the information age, prefer not to be pigeonholed by any single role.

Roundup
Air superiority

The Best AirPlay Speakers

Originally designed to play music on only their own products, Apple's AirPlay technology now allows users to stream multimedia from iPhones, iPads and computers to any enabled HDTV or speaker system via wi-fi. Because Apple now allows third parties to use their tech, myriad standalone speaker systems designed specifically for AirPlay are on the market: some are better than others, and they all span the price and design spectra. Here are our 10 picks for some of the best AirPlay speakers available.

Look nice for twice the price

Symbol Audio Tabletop Hi-fi

The Symbol Audio Tabletop Hi-fi ($1,800) speaker is positioned as an attractive and space-saving solution for discerning listeners in search of better home audio. The console includes two 4-inch full-range drivers, which boast titanium cones, paired with a down-firing 1/4-inch sub, and is powered by a 2.1 channel class D amp; this is capable of pushing 8 watts to the stereo drivers and 15.5 to the sub.

CES 2013
Cloudy with a chance of tunes

Teenage Engineering OD-11

The damn Cloud. Everything's going there. Pretty soon, you'll have to go to the Cloud to change your underwear. But for now, you'll have to settle for the OD-11, the world's first Cloud speaker -- just introduced at CES 2013 -- by the incredible folks at Teenage Engineering.

Putting off aires

McIntosh McAire

While iDevices flipped the consumer audio industry ass over tea kettle in a brush of a click wheel, the audiophile world stubbornly weathered the storm for years, hoping the digital compression nightmare might just vanish away in time. The introduction of

Sonic boom

KEF X300A

Look around at today’s computers and you’ll see exactly where companies are putting their money. Better-than-high-def screens with touch-sensitivity, ThunderBolt this and that, blisteringly fast graphics cards -- it's all about the visuals. And while we’re not ones to complain about

Wi(reless)-Fi

Audyssey Wireless Speakers

Looking back on the past twenty years, we’ve made some pretty big strides when it comes to consumer technologies. But with all these advancements, why are we still listening to music through the same speaker wire our dads used? Up until

Well read? TED well.

TED Books

Five years ago, Mexicans who sold tacos out of the back of a van were targets of the health department. Now, kids from suburbs buy trucks, sell mashup tacos, and get their own TV shows. How did they do it? The

Sound, barrier

Eclipse TD508 Mk3 Speakers

If these speaker look like they belong on the side of a jet fighter, then you haven't heard anything yet. Despite their stratospheric look, the Eclipse TD508 Mk3 can faithfully mimic the sounds of terra-bound sonics using a proprietary Time

Free Bass'n

Sonos Sub

Sonos’ Play:3 wireless HiFi speakers were a huge hit when they were first released in the middle of last year. Great sounding audio quality from a wireless product isn’t always guaranteed, but the Play:3 did the trick. The one the portable

Everything you need to live it up

Roundup: Memorial Day Weekend

Looking to make your extended weekend celebration extra memorable? Well, our editors have culled through our latest posts to help provide some last minute inspiration for your Memorial Day weekend, whether the festivities are at your place, or elsewhere. You

See right hear

Well Rounded Sound

Some of the best sounding speakers could use a pleasing aesthetic touch. A basic black box is nice and simple, but also a tad boring in the realm of desktop audio. If you have a desire for high fidelity and high-end

Long live the clock radio

Geneva Sound System Model XS

The radio alarm clock business has never been a particularly sexy one, not counting, of course, the occasional technological breakthroughs in snooze technology (we set ours at 9 min). But Geneva is waking up the sleepy clock radio industry with

Loud and Studious

Adam ARTist 5 Monitors

Ask any studio engineer worth his ponytail about Adam speakers, and they will tell you their monitors have populated some of the best recording facilities in the world for years. The reason for this is a passion for forward thinking design

Home sweet home theater

Gift Guide 2011 | 10 Picks for the Home Theater Buff

As rabid movie, music fans and gamers, we're always on the hunt for gear that can push our home entertainment experience to 11 (much to our better half's chagrin). This roundup includes some of our favorite home theater products out

Tower Records

Revo K2 Digital Radio

Shrouded in gleaming aluminium and molded rubber, the Revo K2 ($470) tower not only out-looks other, plebeian docks, but also offers access to virtually every radio signal under the sun including old-fashioned over-the-air and internet streaming stations including last.fm. Perfect

Boom Stick

Yamaha YAS-101 Soundbar

Most TV speakers have the acoustical chops of a cowbell orchestra. We put up with them simply because alternatives are pricey, bulky, and a pain in the ass to install in a clean and proper manner. The Yamaha YAS-101BL Front

The (True) Sound of Music

Paradigm Studio 10 Reference Speaker (v.5)

Believe it or not, there is an entire generation of 'audio-orphans' who have never known that music isn't meant to come out of undersized, mass-produced, plastic boxes. And standing right behind them is a slightly older generation who may know better

Bringing Boom to Any Room

Razer Ferox Portable Speakers

Okay, we'll come clean. Technically these speakers are marketed for portable gaming. They'll actually work with any device with a 3.5mm jack to deliver decent room-filling sound, though, thanks to their 360-degree omnidirectional speakers. More importantly, each speaker can pump out

Gift Guide 2010: The Technophile

As men, we'll always be suckers for shiny things. There's no point in fighting it. Particularly when they can help do things like battle our inbox(s), catch up on missed episodes of the shows we're too busy to watch, or single-handedly

Aperion's Take On Wireless* Surround Sound

Aperion Zona Wireless Surround Speaker System

Probably the biggest issue most people have with installing a surround sound setup is dealing with wiring. Hiding the wires for the center channel, sub, and left/right surrounds is typically easy since they often tuck behind the entertainment console. It's really

Loud Pipes

Ikyaudio Audio Speakers

Our tech lust knows no bounds. The same goes for our desire to own custom and unique products that distinguish our possessions from the average catalog trawler. Unfortunately gadget manufacturers typically think in quantities of millions, not hundreds, which makes owning

Cut the Bulk, Keep the Sound

Definitive Technology Mythos XTR-50

mythos-xtr_50-wallspeaker_l

Some folks hate fat people and others hate fat speakers, particularly when they happen to get cozy to über-slim televisions like the Samsung 9000 series. That's why Definitive Technology (affectionately known as Dev Tech by home theater nerds) felt it

Logitech Z323 Speakers

logitech-z323-speakers

We've said it before and we'll say it again: your laptop's puny speakers simply won't cut it. They're not even good enough to aptly project the beeps and boops of your NES emulator, much less to accompany your iTunes library. That

Compact Size. Compact Price. Big Sound.

Yamaha NX-A01 Compact Cube Speaker

yamaha-nx-a01-compact-cube-speaker1Where do you listen to your music? We here at GP are all about quality sound systems but we also recognize that every occasion may not be the right one for a six-piece, $6,000 sound system. If you

Velodyne MiniVee 8 Subwoofer

Velodyne-MiniVee-8-Subwoofer.jpgGood things can come in small packages. Right? Right. The Velodyne MiniVee 8 is a hard-hitting subwoofer that will round out any man's home theater. Built with an 8" woofer made of Kevlar, mounted to a diec-ast aluminum basket and powered by 1000 watts