Part of the allure of vinyl is the tactile experience of selecting an album, pulling it from its sleeve, and dropping the needle. The Spinbox DIY Turntable takes it even farther, letting you experience the building of the player itself. It ships in multiple pieces, and takes five steps — and less than 20 minutes — to assemble. Spec-wise, it can play at 33, 45, or 78 rpm, is powered via a convenient Micro USB hookup, and has a built-in amp and speakers, with a line-out for improved sound.
Amazon and Google aren't the only ones bringing voice-powered assistants into your home. Microsoft's throwing its hat into the ring via the new Harman Kardon Invoke. Powered by Cortana, it lets you play music, place Skype calls, control your smart home devices, and do other Alexa-style tasks by doing nothing but talking in its direction. And unlike most other devices of its ilk, it takes sound seriously, with three woofers and three tweeters hidden inside its stylish aluminum shell.
Iconic as the cassette itself has become, most portable players obscured their contents inside plastic housings. The Elbow Cassette Tape Player is different. Simultaneously stripped down and innovative, this concept uses a single pulley to drive the tape and an optical sensor to track the speed. Combined with the bi-axial arm and control wheel, that means it's incredibly small and leaves most of the cassette exposed for your visual enjoyment. Audio is output via a standard 3.5mm headphone plug. The device recharges via mini-USB, a port that doubles as a way to transfer audio to a computer, and a small pin on the back lets you attach it to clothes and bags.
Built to deliver outstanding sound in a surprisingly small package, the Geneva Touring S DAB Radio is a powerful portable audio solution. In addition to its FM-RDS/DAB/DAB+ digital tuner, it also has Bluetooth and a line-in jack for connecting other audio sources. The rechargeable lithium battery lasts for over 20 hours per charge, the LED display is easy to read in any condition, and at nearly three pounds, its built quality is virtually unmatched. Available in black, red, or cognac.
For a company that's marketed "room-filling sound" for years, it's a little surprising that the Bose SoundLink Revolve Speaker is their first to incorporate 360-degree speakers. Highly portable, it overcomes its small body by using a downward-facing transducer, dual passive radiators, and a carefully-angled acoustic deflector to transmit full sound wherever it's placed. Its rechargeable battery lasts for 12 hours per charge, Bluetooth frees you from the tyranny of wires, and the water-resistant body means it's as welcome at the pool as it is on the patio. Also available in a larger, more robust "+" version for $100 more.
Designed to hang on your wall, the Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Shape Speaker is far more than a single speaker. The modular system incorporates as many as 44 individual speakers, as well as optional integrated acoustic damper tiles that can improve the sound from any source in any room you place them in. A connectivity hub handles incoming streams via Chromecast, AirPlay, and Bluetooth, and of course, it also plays nice with the company's other Multiroom components for a whole-house audio experience. Available in a variety of fabric covers, including exclusive wools from Kvadrat, it can be adapted to match nearly any space.