Myro Air If you care about your sound, Bluetooth speakers won’t cut it for you. You need lossless streaming through AirPlay. But, don’t just get any AirPlay speaker, get Myro Air. Powered by the highly renowned Wolfson WM8741 Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC), this receiver offers optical output, two-way AirPlay control, UPnP support, a USB port for docking and charging, RCA outputs and even an RS-232 port for home automation. Around Rs 36,000
Bang & Olufsen Form 2i Headphones
Bang &Olufsen is fanatic about creating audio gear that looks as good as it sounds. Back in 1983, Steve McGugan, a 23-year old Canadian industrial designer, built what would become one of the most popular sets of headphones ever: Form 2. More than three decades later, Form 2 receives a welcome update with the addition of an in-line microphone, a three-button remote and improved comfort design. Form 2i (as it’s called now) is available in a total of six vibrant colours. Rs 12,490
If you’ve heard Britney Spears without Auto-Tune, you don’t need a reminder of how your friends sound on karaoke. Fear not, you can now get the Singtrix, the next-generation karaoke machine that “makes bad singers sound great and great singers sound amazing”. You can use any device with a headphone output, including smartphones and tablets, to play the songs. Singtrix will strip the vocals and convert it to a karaoke track. Pick from 300 vocal effects (including one that makes you sound like Barry Manilow). The kit comes packed with a 40-watt 2.1 stereo speaker, mic and a device holder for phones and tablets. Around Rs 21,000
B&O Beolit 12 Wireless Speaker
Reminiscent of transistor radios, the Beolit 12 from Bang &Olufsen has a feature set that’s anything but old-fashioned. It comes with a 120-watt amplifier and AirPlay compatibility for seamless wireless streaming from Apple devices, alongside two 2-inch tweeters and a 4-inch subwoofer to give the user outstanding sound. The device’s rechargeable battery has a playback time of approximately eight hours when wired (four hours on AirPlay), and is capable of simultaneously charging iPhones, iPads or any other connected devices. Around Rs 40,700
After decades of amplifier innovations, tube amplifiers have staged a powerful comeback in the last few years, with hobbyists pushing the demand for power amplifiers across price ranges. This rock-solid amp is rated to deliver 35WPC with EL34 tubes or 40WPC with KT88s and can produce a more natural, lifelike sound than what a solid-state amp churns out. And, there’s no denying that the glow of the vacuum tubes and the warm analog sound is alluring to any audiophile. Around Rs 1.38 lakh
Harman Kardon Aura Wireless Speakers
With its transparent enclosure that lets you see the subwoofer and its custom-built metal housing and illuminating LED, the Harman Kardon Aura wireless speaker system has always had a distinctive look. Its sound is as rich and rewarding as its appearance, with a 6 X 1.5 inch high and mid-range drivers and a 4.5-inch subwoofer that delivers omni-directional, all-round sound. Other new features include full-range sound, built-in Bluetooth streaming, built-in Apple AirPlay system and DLNA for Windows and Android devices. Rs 8213
Pro-Ject Debut Carbon
There’s been a big vinyl revival, and turntables are the new love of hi-fi aficionados. There are plenty of options in the market, covering a wide range of price points and audio quality, but what we love about Carbon is that it produces sound that vinyl snobs will approve of. The 8.6-inch carbon tone-arm increases stiffness and decreases unwanted resonance. Around Rs 28,422
Live-stream the next gig you attend or edit your next track by using Soundsight wireless headphones. It features full audio and video recording capabilities, thanks to six microphones and an HD rotating camera that’s mounted on the ear cups, so you don’t miss anything. With a generous battery life of four hours while recording and an included app for editing and applying filters, the Soundsight headphones can stream via Bluetooth. Around Rs 21,000
B&W 685 S2 Speakers
It has taken B&W seven years to update its highly popular 6 series, but the new generation of Bowers & Wilkins 685 speakers is finally here. Designed for hi-fi or home cinema in small to medium-sized rooms, these speakers don’t take up floor area. They can sit on a shelf or be mounted on a wall. The 685 S2 incorporates decoupled double-dome tweeters, found in the award-winning CM10 speakers. The dual-layer design combines a thin aluminium dome for lightness and a thicker aluminium ring for rigidity and greater clarity. Around Rs 42,000 a pair
Bose Quiet Comfort 15
We know it’s been out for a while and every Bose lover probably already owns one, but we still couldn’t resist mentioning the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 headphones as the best noise-cancelling headphones we’ve experienced. These headphones will truly let you escape the screeching traffic and/or screaming children. The sound is wonderfully rich and full, and the device folds up and is light to carry. Take it along on your next long flight and let Diana Krall breathe into your ear in all her luscious, husky goodness. Around Rs 16,260
If you store all your music on a computer, but still want the warmth of analog sound, Peachtree Nova is your path to audio bliss. The Nova 220SE is a 220-watt integrated amplifier, DAC, headphone amp and 220×2 muscular amp all rolled into one. Even compressed audio files sound shockingly good when run through the Peachtree’s DAC. Hook it up to great speakers and hear Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ in glorious detail. Around Rs 1.2 lakh
The Future of Digital Music
The mass return of global vinyl sales could potentially give momentum to a high-quality music movement. Can Pono and Sony be the drivers of this change? Or, will they just be a laughable novelty in the history of digital music?
Sony Magnetic Cassette Tape
While you may have fond memories of cassette tapes and Walkman, Sony’s latest cassette can hold a lot more, and some. It has developed a magnetic tape technology that can fit more than 185 terabytes of data on a single cartridge. The average Blu-ray disc holds 50GB and a standard PC hard drive 1TB. That’s potentially over 25 million four-minute songs stored at 1411 kbps. Sony is now working to take its tape to commercial production.
If you’re unaware of Pono Music’s roaring success on Kickstarter ($6.2 million raised so far), Pono is Neil Young’s campaign to bring you wthe best possible listening experience of your favourite digital music. Pono is a music player with resolutions up to 30 times that of an mp3 file. Better than CD quality, it’s the next best thing to hearing a song in the recording studio.