The OUT Guide to Mastering Aural

2.27.2014

By Out.com Editors

From the best headphones to speakers, we choose the best music tools on the market

Speakers of the House
A sound system for every type

The Jetsetter
TRANSIT BY SOEN Small really is beautiful when it sounds this good, with a balance and clarity that rises above Jambox, its most direct competitor. The solid, jet-black design is a marvel of engineering, with a sleek metal kickstand and a tilt to the body that helps project sound upward. It wouldn’t power a house party, but it’s excellent for casual home use and travel. $199.95; SoenAudio.com

The Nostalgist
MARSHALL STANMORE Long known as a maker of amplifiers, Marshall knows how to fill a room, and the Stanmore doesn’t even bother compromising on sound for portability. This is a big number with a big a matching price; like a 1970s hi-fi, it won’t be leaving your living room until it’s time to retire it. $400; MarshallHeadphones.com

The Modernist
WREN V5 WIRELESS SPEAKER SYSTEM The sound on the Wren V5 is almost as smooth as its bamboo or rosewood finish (you get to choose which). Succinct, with a great wireless signal, this is a very grown-up speaker that sounds great with acoustic instruments, if a little less so with big, bass-y songs. $399; WrenSound.com

The Hipster
GRAIN AUDIO PWS Grain Audio’s strategy seems firmly focused on the Girls-watching, selvage jeans–wearing Brooklyn set. Their portable PWS, in a (certified sustainable) walnut case, was anointed as “dope” by Complex, and in a comparison with the Big Jambox the sound seems brighter, with clean top notes. Dope, indeed. $249; GrainAudio.com

The Athlete
PUMA SOUNDCHUCK Weatherproof and lightweight, what the eye- catching Puma Soundchuck gains in portability it loses in sound quality. That may be less important if you want something to listen to while you’re working out or on a camping trip, but prepare to want something else to use at home. $129.95; PumaSoundchuck.com

Tags: Music
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