Capital Headphones

If your headphones look anything like mine, months of bottom-of-the-bag abuse and subsequent tape jobs have them looking more like an IED than anything resembling a piece of audio equipment. Thankfully, the Danish design crew KiBiSi made a foldable pair of cans, dubbed Capital, that are expressly designed to take a beating. Employing lightweight rubber for the band, stretched foam for the ear cups, and a fiberglass-reinforced nylon exterior, these are headphones you can toss around guilt-free. Snag a pair for $100 via AIAIAI.

Hidden Radio & Bluetooth Speaker

Sometimes, when it comes to newfangled wireless speakers, it’s not only about how they sound but how they work, too. And in terms of user experience, the Hidden Radio, an AM/FM radio and Bluetooth speaker, is undeniably clever. The diminutive device’s cylindrical design lets it pump out 360-degree sound, but what’s best is that the whole thing is basically a single, satisfyingly huge knob. Give it a little twist, exposing a bit of the speaker, and the device turns on; twist it a bit more to crank up the volume. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, the unit’s now available for preorder for $150.

Ceramic Subwoofer

To go along with a gorgeous set of ceramic speakers he released last year, Joey Roth crafted this stunning ceramic subwoofer--a piece of gear that’s as beautiful as it is fragile. Sure, looking at it, you might wince a bit as memories come flooding back of favorite coffee mugs dropped and discarded, but when’s the last time you were carrying your subwoofer around your kitchen--or anywhere for that matter? You can order one from Roth directly for $695.

Beats Pill

The Beats by Dre headphones may be anathema to true audiophiles, but clearly they’re doing something right--the things are everywhere. Now, the good Dr. is offering up a piece of gear you don’t have to wear on your person: the Pill, a sleek, Bluetooth-equipped wireless speaker that’s shaped like an antique hand saw. Just kidding, it’s shaped like a giant pill. Grab one for $200 from the Beats by Dre site.

Libratone Zipp

You’ve got a nice winter coat, so why shouldn’t your wireless speaker have one too? The Zipp, $400, Airplay-ready tube o’ sound can be outfitted with an array of colorful wool coverings to match your decor (or your own outfit, if you’re crazy like that). Plus, Libratone’s got ties to the high-end Danish audio outfit Steinway Lyngdorf, so the Zipp’s guaranteed to sound as good as it looks. You can pick one up at your local Apple Store or on the Libratone site.

Case Logic AG++ Earbuds

Designed expressly for the iPhone, Case Logic’s AG++ earbuds might succeed at out-Apple-ing Apple itself. They ditch that chunky white plastic for a nice aluminum casing, sport an in-line mic and playback-control buttons, and have a unique looped design that should help keep cables out of your face. Available for $35.

Big Jambox

The original Jambox ushered in a wave of playful, decent-sounding wireless speakers that you could bring along with you on a trip to the park or just to the back porch. The Big Jambox takes that idea and supersizes it: bigger speaker, more decibels, greater potential for jamming--think barbecues, beach trips, and slightly bigger impromptu dance parties. Bonus: It doubles as a high-quality speaker phone. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Expense it! Available for $300 via Jawbone.

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Our Holiday Gift Guide For Audiophiles

From ultra-durable headphones designed for life on-the-go to a ceramic subwoofer that’s probably best kept on the shelf, here’s a collection of gifts that are sure to please the audiophile in your life.

Sure, you’ve probably got a few family members that can’t tell earphones from ear muffs. But for the person in your life who really can appreciate a nice piece of audio gear—be it a speaker with top-notch sound or maybe just one with top-notch design—here are a handful of items that are sure to please. Just make it clear in the card: The Christmas playlist gets retired on January 1st.

Add New Comment


  • Drew Downie

    You missed the Zooka Bluetooth Speaker by Carbon Audio.

    $99 and it fits snugly on right on your iPad.www.carbonaudioinc.comJust sayin.

  • Vickie Barnachea

    Ah technology, you love them for the fanatics they can't live w/o 'em for others,they hate them and can't understand 'em. But now a-days fast track learning is a must
    or else you'd be left behind!

  • Croc Ography

    Audiophile is a word tech sites throw around very loosely.

    As a note, these are at best low end devices and don't even begin to be categorized as audiophile devices.

  • Clayton Pipkin

    Right. But, as made by obvious by our half eaten forbidden fruit designers, appearances will forever remain deceptive.