The price is jaw-dropping. So is the sound. The idea of a standalone music player might seem prehistoric, but the Sony NW-WM1Z Walkman Music Player makes a strong case for its continued existence. It has a gold-plated, oxygen-free copper chassis that reduces contact resistance and magnetic interference, and an intuitive touchscreen interface. But the real magic happens on the inside, thanks to a dual clock circuit, 384kHz/32bit recording, Quad DSD playback when used with a balanced connection, DSEE-HX signal processing, and a robust FT CAP power supply to improve low-end performance. Just remember: to sound its best, it's going to need a better source than your library of torrented MP3s.
With 360-degree sound and a design that begs to be seen, Bang & Olufsen Beosound 2 Wireless Speaker give you maximum placement flexibility. The 3/4-inch tweeter uses Acoustic Lens Technology to spread high frequencies around the room, back-to-back 2-inch drivers provide midrange punch, and adaptive technology lets the 5.25-inch woofer feed off extra power from the three Class D amps for added bass when needed. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth let it support a host of different wireless streaming options, and the cone-shaped aluminum cabinet will look great in any room of your home.
Lots of people use their Amazon Echo as their main speaker for the simple convenience of voice control. Unfortunately, it doesn't sound all that great. The Whyd Speaker does. Like the Echo, it lets you use your voice to control the action, and taps in to nearly every popular music service so it's sure to find and play what you want. Multiple Class-D amplifiers drive the four full-range drivers that are spaced around for 360º coverage, and another drives the integrated subwoofer. There's a glass touch surface at the top that lets you take manual gesture control, and since you're going to want to keep it close, the organic design comes in multiple colors to suit your tastes.
Created in collaboration with industrial designer Joey Roth, the Grovemade Wooden Speaker System uses its natural material to full effect. Each set's enclosures are crafted one at a time in Portland using CNC machining and hand forming, leaving the interior without any parallel walls or flat surfaces, eliminating distortion. The 2-inch full-range drivers benefit further from the back-loaded horn, as well as the 2x25W amplifier. Each shell is finished with two coats of natural oil and set atop a leather stainless steel stand. Available in maple or walnut.
Known for their high-end loudspeakers, Danish Audiophile Loudspeaker Industries is ready to take their show on the road with the Dali Katch Portable Speaker. Its body is made from extruded aluminum, and holds a 2 x 18W Class-D amplifier powering a pair 21mm soft-dome tweeters and dual 3.5-inch aluminum woofer. One of each is aimed out the front and out the back, and the speaker has built-in profiles to optimize the sound whether the speaker is in the middle of a room or up against a wall. It connects over Bluetooth 4.0, has Apt-X support for cleaner audio, runs for up to 24 hours per charge, and has a built-in sliding leather strap for maximum portability.
Visualizers, and even visualizers with lyrics, aren't anything new. They just require a computer. Or did, until now. When you play a song on the Lyric Speaker, it uses its built-in Wifi to lookup the lyrics to the song and analyze its mood, displaying both the words and algorithmically-created motion graphics on its translucent LCD screen. Dual high-res drivers ensure your music sounds good, and Google Cast support means it plays nice with a host of other gadgets.