The Top Audio Releases of 2018

For a trip back in time, and to gain some perspective of what we’ll see in 2019, these were the best audio releases of the 2018.

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Over the past year, we’ve seen an explosion of audio products at both the consumer and professional-grade levels. There’s been a whole lot of wireless everything, of course, from earbuds to headphones to all sorts of speakers. With vinyl’s continued resurgence, there were a bunch of notable new turntables and accessories that have hit markets, as well, along with a bunch of other hi-fi components and home theater systems. For a trip back in time, and to gain some perspective of what kinds all all-things-audio we’ll see this year, these are some of the most memorable audio releases of the year.


Sony’s Newest Earbuds Are Made for Working Out

Focus on the workout in front of you with truly wireless earbuds that let you cancel out all the other noises.

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Upgrade Your AirPods With a Waterproof Case

If you're as clumsy as the rest of us and need a case for your phone, chances are extra protection for your AirPods is a necessity too.

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This Affordable Tool Lets You Convert Vintage Bang & Olufsen Models Into Wireless Loudspeakers

In cahoots with HiFiBerry, Bang & Olufsen makes an analog-to-digital conversion tool for their classic loudspeakers.

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This New CD Transport Might be McIntosh’s Most Affordable Home Stereo Component

The company's amps and preamps are adored by audiophiles, producing accurate sound and being majestic pieces of machinery.

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McIntosh’s Entry-Level Turntable Is All-Black and Glows Green

The belt-driven turntable is capable of playing both 33.3 and 45 rpm records.

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These Noise-Canceling Earbuds Are Ideal for Business Travelers

Expect them to compete directly with the Bose QuietComfort 20.

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Apple HomePod: One Accessory You Need, One You Don’t

Although it looks nice, do you really need a traveling case for your HomePod?

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This Turntable Package Makes It Easy to Play Vinyl on Your Bookshelf Speakers

It's the "perfect addition" if you already have the company's Stereo Console.

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Marshall’s First Noise-Canceling Headphones Are All Rock ‘n’ Roll

The company's first active noise-canceling headphones have an on-ear design and 20 hours of wireless ANC playtime.

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Cambridge Audio’s New Flagship Series Is the Pinnacle of Hi-Fi

The UK-based hi-fi maker has spent the last three years perfecting its Edge series.

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This Legendary Synthesizer Is Now Available in an App

Available for just $5, this software recreation of has all the features of the traditional synth, and also includes a few modern updates.

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These $90 Headphones Are For Casual and Pro Gamers

It works PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

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This Ridiculously Nice Vinyl Stand Is an Audiophile’s Dream

When all decked out and flanked by two-floor standing speakers, this stand could be the centerpiece of any audiophile's home.

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This Tiny MP3 Player Looks Like an iPod Nano and Can Play Tidal Tracks Offline

And it only costs $189 for early backers.

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Ruark Audio’s First Multi-Room Speaker Is Stylish With Old-School Charm

It's available in either a white or wooden finish.

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Yamaha’s Affordable AV Receiver Brings the 4K Sound Experience to Your Home Theater

The Yamaha RX-V385 AV receiver will be available at the end of April.

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This Minimalist Bluetooth Speaker Is Your Next Ikea Impulse Buy

The Sweedish furniture giant's first step into home audio.

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The Best Part About These Pretty New Bluetooth Speakers? Real Knobs.

UrbanEars's new wi-fi speaker kicks, is compact and looks damn good.

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Audio Research’s Vacuum Tube Amp Costs $30K and Glows In the Dark

The REF160M can output 140-watts continuous power from 20Hz to 20kHz.

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Next Year, Vinyl Records Could Play Louder, Longer and Sound Way Better

HD records could hit stores near you as early as the beginning of 2019.

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Sonos Is Releasing New Colors of Its Sonos One Speaker — Same Sound, Fresh Look

New color palette. Same sound.

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Can’t Afford Our Favorite Bookshelf Speakers? Get These Instead

If you're looking to start a hi-fi system on a budget, these new speakers, particularly the 3010i and 3020i, might be the best place to start.

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Bang & Olufsen’s Wireless Earphones Blend Iconic Design with Modern Acoustics

The new Earset has adjustable ear-hooks and a 90s aesthetic based on Anders Hermansen's original design.

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Shure Makes Portable Hi-Fi More Affordable With Its New Earphone System

Shure’s new KSE1200 earphone system is a newer, cheaper version of its KSE1500 system ($2,999).

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These Affordable Bookshelf Speakers Are a Great Entry-Level Upgrade

No stereo or AV receiver required.

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This Pretty All-In-One Music Player Looks like Old-School Furniture

Meet Tivoli Audio's new all-in-one music player, the Music System Home.

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Yamaha’s A/V Receivers Use Artificial Intelligence So Movies Sound Even Better

They support the latest HDR and surround sound technologies, too.

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Every Traveling Wireless Headphone Owner Needs This $40 Accessory

Don't be forced to used the cheap wired earbuds from Delta.

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Master & Dynamic’s New Headphones Let You Swap Between Over-Ear and On-Ear Fits

Can't decide want style of wireless headphones you want? Now you don't have to.

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This Beautiful All-in-One Turntable, Amp and Speaker Is a First for High-End Hi-Fi

Symbol Audio's new all-in-one system can play records and streamed music. You can also integrate it into your home's existing Sonos system.

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This Design-Focused Hi-Fi Speaker Can Wirelessly Charge Your iPhone

Native Union's new powered Bluetooth speaker is being sold at the MoMA Design Store.

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This $20 Leather Cover Brings a Little Style to Your AirPods

And it'll help you tell the difference between your AirPods and everybody else's.

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This Compact Reverb Pedal Offers a Surprising Value

11 highly-tweakable reverb modes.

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Meet the Sonos Beam — Here’s What You Need to Know About Sonos’s Newest Speaker

It's 60-percent smaller and $300 cheaper than a Playbar.

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Marantz’s New Hi-Fi Receivers Are Perfect For People with iPhones

Stream music to the receiver directly from your iPhone, iPad or MacBook.

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Bose’s Revolutionary Sleepbuds Promise a Better Night’s Sleep

What's the difference between 'Sleep-Masking' and 'Noise-Canceling'? We explain.

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This Super Pretty Headphone Amp Is Perfect for Audiophiles

The 3ES is compatible with high-end electrostatic headphones, by the likes of HiFiMan, Stax and MrSpeakers.

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This $35 Accessory Lets You Turn Your Tablet Into a $160 Smart Speaker

The Amazon Echo Show used to cost $230, and now this charging dock can make your tablet function just like it.

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Cambridge Audio’s Wireless Hi-Fi Speaker Doubles As a Soundbar

It comes with built-in Chromecast, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth -- basically everything you need.

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This Is McIntosh’s Most Powerful Stereo Amplifier

It's another beautiful stereo component to put on your wishlist.

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Fender Just Added 3 Essential Pedals to Its Effects Lineup

A boost, a fuzz and a distortion.

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This Is the Ideal Vinyl Accessory for Large Record Collections

Don't lose track of your favorite records.

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Have A Roku TV? Get These Great Wireless Speakers for Just $150

Because your TV's built-in speakers suck.

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Klipsch’s High-End Soundbar Brings Bespoke Beauty to Your Home Theater

You won't find a more gorgeous soundbar.

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This Year in Gear


Just like that, 2018 has come and gone. Take a look back at the best of what the past 365 days had to offer in This Year in Gear

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