It may be more common than you think, connoisseurs of fine scotch also being audiophiles. To mark their 40th anniversary, Linn teamed up with Highland Park, makers of fine single malt scotch whiskey for the exclusive, and amazing Sondek LP12 Turntable ($40,000). Linn took their highest performance turntables and encased them in a remarkable whisky wood plinth, made from the actual solid oak casks that matured Highland Park whisky. If that sounds exclusive, it is, and there are only 40 of these that were made. But hey, at least they are throwing in a 40-year-old bottle of Highland Park, valued at nearly $1,500, to boot.
While most of the available portable speaker systems out there project sound in just one direction, the Ultimate Ears Boom Speaker ($180) projects sound 360 degrees, filling any space with immersive audio. At a weight of just above one pound, and just over a half-foot long, these speakers are also made to go anywhere, easily slipping into most bags. It's coated in an acoustic skin (available in a range of colors) that makes it resistant to water and stains, so you don't have to worry about ruining it if the weather turns sour. Wireless connectivity with a 50 foot range, 15 hours of battery life, and the ability to chain multiple speakers together gives it plenty of versatility and reliability.
Ever have one of those toy tape recorders as a kid? If so, the iRecorder Speaker ($50) should immediately spawn memories of packed lunches and horrible, thankfully-lost recordings of you singing along to Bon Jovi records. This novelty system features a built-in speaker, a pull-out handle for childlike ghetto blasting, working buttons, the ability to run off micro USB or 3AA battery power, and a "tape compartment" for your iPhone. The only thing that's missing? A built-in mic and a record button — although that might be a good thing.
Whether you're on the hunt for a beautiful set of wireless speakers to sit on top of your desk, or you're just looking to add to your existing home audio set up, the Harman Kardon Nova Sound System ($270) is a strong solution combining a great listening experience with striking design. Each speaker produces 40 watts of power played through two-and-a-half-inch drivers and one-and-a-quarter inch tweeters, while passive radiators provide powerful bass response. They're compatible with just about any device you could think of, thanks to wired analog and optical inputs, as well as Bluetooth connectivity with near field communication.