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iXoost Xilo 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker

Like many Italian supercar producers, the iXoost Xilo 5.1 Bluetooth Speaker is built in Modena, Italy, for one primary reason: it’s built right into a Formula 1-inspired exhaust. The speaker employs twin 4-inch mid bass drivers, two 3-inch midranges, one 2-inch tweeter at the center, and a single downwards-firing 8-inch subwoofer, each at the end of curved and hand-welded pipes that act as a bass reflex conduit for the speakers, producing sound as rich as its design. Bluetooth 4.0 and auxiliary inputs support both wireless and wired connectivity while iXoost’s Audio Suite app allows for customizing the audio output of your speaker, or instead for using it to listen the sounds of various vehicle engines.

Find it at iXoost – roughly $5,700

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

It’s small, but that doesn’t stop the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Bluetooth speaker from packing a serious punch. The round speaker is encased in an aluminum grill over a double-molded polymer base, forming a durable shell that’s surprisingly tough. Two 30W Class D drivers handle tweeter and woofer duties, the latter enhanced by an aluminum core sub-woofer and a powerful magnetic system. It’s also equipped with a built-in microphone for calling, a 2,200 mAh Li-ion battery that offers 24 hours of play time, and a leather string to hang it or secure it to your wrist.

Learn more at Beoplay – $250

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs

Loud music will eventually damage your hearing. Wearing foam earplugs, on the other hand, obliterates clarity by muffling treble and letting through lower frequency bass, in large defeating the purpose of going to a show or concert in the first place. Vibes High-Fidelity Earplugs instead promise to lower decibel levels in your environment without unpleasant changes to any particular part of the audio spectrum. They’re far less expensive than custom earplugs and stay in place thanks to one of multiple size eartips, reducing sound levels by about 22 dB via an acoustic filter and inner sound tube. They’re also reusable and relatively subtle, with a crystal clear outer sound tube that sticks out just slightly from your ears (and doubles as a grip to pull them out after the fact).

Grab a pair at Amazon – $24

Tags: Audio, Gadgets
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Normal Suit Earphones

Ditch wires entirely. But while they rely on Bluetooth, Normal’s Suit Earphones aren’t just wireless: they’re also completely charge-cable independent, meaning you won’t need to lug around any extra accessories whatsoever since a swing-out USB allows them to plug straight into a computer or charge pack for refuelling. And they’re true to their name. Constructed of anodized aluminum and hand-stitched Napa leather in black or tan, Suit is stylish enough to complement your most formal wear. Capacitive touch controls on one ear governs volume, play/pause, skipping tracks, and answering calls, while soft silicone fit dots and 5-way articulating ear hooks ensure a perfect seal and a perfect fit, respectively. They’re also available in a similarly-designed Sweat Edition that’s water resistant, made of silicone, and fifty bucks cheaper.

Learn more at New Normal – $200

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Amazon Tap

Amazon Tap is a Bluetooth & WiFi speaker before all else, with 9 hours of playtime, dual stereo speakers backed by Dolby processing, and a small, cylindrical form factor that begs to be carried about. But more than this it’s equipped with Alexa Voice Search when connected to WiFi or tethered to your smartphone. Which means you can ask for music from Spotify, Prime Music, Pandora, TuneIn, and more, order pizza, get the local weather report, call an Uber, and more, all at a tap, and constantly improving over time as Alexa’s capabilities are increased. It’s also got an auxiliary in for older devices and controls up top to skip, pause/play, and boost the volume.

Find it at Amazon – $130

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Marshall Major II Bluetooth

Featuring the same acoustic performance as the brand’s previous wired over-ear headphones, the Marshall Major II Bluetooth finally cuts the cord between, well, itself, and your Bluetooth-enabled device. The cans feature the same custom 40mm drivers as the Major II and include Bluetooth’s aptX codec for CD quality wireless streaming, a solid 30 hours of battery life, plus a 3.5mm audio jack that works to either listen with a wire (useful if the battery dies) or to share what’s playing with someone else by having them plug their headphones in. They’re also still collapsible and come packed with the same detachable coil cord with mic, though an on-board mic alongside an analog control knob lets you answer calls as well as pause, play, skip tracks, and play with the volume.

Grab a pair at Amazon – $150

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Using Spotify while running and working out isn’t simple, namely because we don’t always want to lug around increasingly larger smartphones with us while partaking in physical activity. And like an iPod shuffle was to your iTunes playlist, Mighty is the fix for your Spotify account. It’s got just about as many main buttons, a clip to attach to your clothing, plus a dedicated playlist selector and pairs to your smartphone to sync over up to 2GB of the music you want wirelessly using WiFi. It’s also water resistant, compatible with wireless Bluetooth-enabled headphones as well as wired ones, and is currently lasts for at least 5 hours (but with a goal of 10+ hours) of continuous playtime.

Hit up Kickstarter to learn more – $80

feature post image for Master & Dynamic MW60 Wireless Headphones

Master & Dynamic MW60 Wireless Headphones

Decked out in premium grain lambskin leather, stainless steel, and machined aluminum, Master & Dynamic’s MW60 Wireless Headphones aren’t your average flashy plastic headphones. Bluetooth 4.1 with the aptX codec streams high quality audio from your device wirelessly and from far (about 100 feet), with a best-in-class signal range that’s augmented thanks to its exposed all-aluminum antenna that borders one of the cups. Custom 45mm neodymium drivers — the same as on Master & Dynamic’s heavier, wired MH40 headphones — accurately reproduce details while a folding design makes them easy to throw into a bag on the go, also aided by a 16 hour battery life.

Grab a pair at Amazon – $550

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Fender Pro In-Ear Monitor Series

The famed guitar maker is now in the earphone game as well as well with the Fender Pro In-Ear Monitor Series thanks to a little help from Aurisonics, their recent acquisition. The range — minus the base model — boasts a 3D printed shell that provides a universal fit by basing its every contour to thousands of ears scanned, accommodating a vast 95% of wearers as well as would a custom-made earphone. Five models span the series, from the entry-level DXA1 to the pricier FA7. The latter comes equipped with a Hybrid-Dynamic and Balanced Armature Array that includes a pair of tweeters plus a 9.25mm precision rare-earth driver for solid performance across the spectrum. SureSeal tips also cut out up to 22dB of ambient noise to protect your hearing in live settings while detachable cables ensure the main limiting factor of earbud longevity — fragile cabling — is a non issue.

Learn more at Fender – $100 to $500

Tags: Audio, Tech
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Porsche Design 911 Soundbar

Porsche Design’s creations usually have little to do with the cars by its namesake brand, but their 911 Soundbar is an exception. It starts with an original rear silencer and twin exhaust pulled from a 911 GT3 that’s then modified into a 200 Watt 2.1 virtual DTS TruSurround system. The soundbar also includes a remote and works with both Bluetooth aptX and wired systems using RCA analog, coaxial, or optical inputs. And if the powerful resonating bass — amplified by the exhaust system — isn’t booming enough, an additional output allows for an external subwoofer to be plugged in.

Find it at Porsche Design – roughly $3,150

Tags: Audio, Cars, Tech
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