Depending on your age and choice of music format, you may have access to some vinyl records. While we love our iPods, the warm sound from a record is really special and unique. The Crosley Traveler CR89 Turntable ($180) provides that sound in a portable setup, complete with Stack-O-Matic technology — meaning you can load up an entire stack of albums and simply walk away.
The BeoSound 3 ($850) from Bang & Olufsen is the ultimate clock radio for your bedroom or kitchen. This aluminum beauty combines an FM radio, a clock with alarm and sleep timer, a full-range loudspeaker, and a digital music player with support for SD/MMC memory cards. The BeoSound 3 is powered by a 10-hour rechargeable battery, has a tiny footprint to conserve space, and can even be hung on the wall with a supplied bracket. [via]
Make this bad boy the centerpiece of your home theater and you won't be sorry. The Sony STR-DA7100ES Receiver ($2000) delivers 170 watts x 7 channels of clean power and offers HDMI digital video switching and analog-video-to-HDMI video conversion. It's got Dolby Digital EX, DTS-ES, DTS 96/24, DTS Neo:6, and Pro Logic IIx surround decoding, and with its classy silver skin, it looks as good as it will make your components sound.
In the world of high-end audio, prices of components can quickly escalate out of control — and this is especially true with speakers. That’s why we were thrilled to find the Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 ($330 a pair). Perfect, almost angelic highs and more than adequate mid to low response make these the best speakers for the money, and they actually compare well when up against speakers costing hundreds more. [Thanks, Steve]
You cranky audiophiles out there can say what you want about Bose, but we've always thought their gear was top notch — especially their two-speaker 3·2·1 systems which deliver the theater-like sound of a five-speaker setup. The new 3·2·1 GSX DVD system ($1700) keeps the same simple setup, surprising sound and easy DVD playback options as past 3·2·1 systems, but adds the ability to also digitally store and organize up to
200 hours of your favorite CDs — without
the help of a computer.