11 New Audio Products to Rock Your House Under Quarantine

Billboard speakers
Courtesy of Billboard

Billboard speakers

We're all spending a lot of time at home together these days and what is music to someone's ears is the worst noise possible to another's. And don't get us started on whatever is rattling the floorboards until four in the morning. But with the weather warming up and social distancing loosening around the country, now's the perfect time to invest in some audio equipment that will get your summer rocking, wherever you need some space to jam.

One option: this new Billboard-branded solar-powered bluetooth speaker set* available exclusively at BJ's. The $39.99 set offers HQ stereo sound with distinct mids and highs from two precision acoustic drivers, with enhanced bass. Thanks to distortion-free sound at max volume, they're a good fit for the living room, kitchen, bathroom, car or outdoors -- especially since it's splashproof/rainproof with a solar panel for recharging outdoors.

*Billboard licensed its name and logo to ESI Cases & Accessories, Inc. and receives a portion of the profit.

Here are 10 other audio products to get you through the summer. This list was compiled based on researching products that earned overwhelmingly positive consumer reviews across retail and tech sites.

VanzonX5 Pro Portable Wireless Speaker -- One of the top-rated speakers among Amazon shoppers, this waterproof Bluetooth pair come in a durable silicone case with a port cover to protect their innards and weigh just 1.55 pounds. Easy to hang on a backpack and with a range of up to 66 feet and a lithium-ion battery that can last all day, both speakers can be paired with your phone and have a TF card that supports music replay in WAV/FLAC/APE and MP3 formats.

ANCwear Portable Bluetooth Speaker -- So small you can wear it on your wrist or belt, this 9.6 ounce wireless, waterproof mini speaker with enhanced bass has HD sound and a built-in mic for taking calls. Fully rechargeable in 1.5 hours, with play time up to 9.5 hours and 18 hours of standby, it is fully compatible all Bluetooth devices. As a bonus, the Bluetooth automatically disconnects after 10 minutes to save battery.

W-King Outdoor speaker -- If you're looking for a hefty but easy-to-carry speaker with HD sound, this bad boy has two 25-watt drivers and double passive bass radiators for a deep, deep bass sound in a sturdy, shockproof/waterproof/dustproof/sandproof shell. There's also an 8000mAh built-in power bank that will charge your phone, iPad, tablet or action camera, and, believe it or not, you can play up to 24 hours of music on a single charge.

OSD Audio AP650 -- Wirecutter blog called these super-durable powerhouses the absolute best outdoors speakers because they not only tolerate harsh weather but are easy to install and resist attack by dust and bugs. Plus at $150 for a pair they are a great deal and allow you to crank it up whether you're listening to rock, pop or hip-hop, even if paired with a small amp.

Monlith by Monoprice M565C -- Sometimes you need to just block everyone else out and for $200 Wirecutter described these as "perfect for the music connoisseur who wants better performance than standard cans offer but not something so expensive or delicate that you might be afraid to take them with you to work or school." Obviously written pre-pandemic, the review notes that they have "exciting, detailed sound" that beats out pairs that cost hundreds more thanks to planar-magnetic drivers in the isolating, closed-back earcups that block out distractions. The cable doesn't have a remote or microphone for calls, but they are sturdy and comfortable and they have an almost unheard-of five-year warranty.

Bose 700 -- If noise-cancellation is what you need, Popular Mechanics suggests these $349 headphones with unmatchable noise isolation and battery life. Alexa-compatible with intuitive touch controls, a 20-hour battery life and a quick charge time of 15 minutes for 3.5 hours of play, these lightweight (half a pound) cans are wireless (but also come with a cord) and have 11 levels of noise-cancellation and a four-microphone system, which helps isolate your voice from ambient sounds on phone calls.

Apple AirPods Pro -- We probably don't have to tell you this, but Apple's upgrade rival the best over-hear headphones for noise-cancellation according to Popular Mechanics, with active noise cancellation and Transparency mode that allows some ambient noise in to help you hear some of what's going on around you. The Pro also has a better seal thanks to silicone ear tips (which come in three sizes) and five hours of playback on a single charge and an extra 24 in the charging case.

Audioengine D1 -- You're spending a lot of time on your computer these days, so why not upgrade its audio? For $169 this 24-bit premium desktop digital-to-analogue converter and headphone amplifier for your PC or TV allows you to bypass your computer's sound card or headphone output to send audio through USB or optical, and it works with Apple, Windows and Linux machines.

IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors -- Your laptop has crappy sound, get used to it. But according to Wired, these $300 Bluetooth-enabled speakers sound "almost as good as speakers twice their price." Ultra-compact and designed specifically for the unique challenges of working in a small bedroom or project studio, with four class D power amps that pump out clear, crisp sound with deep, deep bass thanks to two 3/4" tweeters and two 3" woofers.

Audio-Technica AT-LP 120-USB -- At $249, this USB turntable helps convert your vinyl records to digital audio files, has fully manual operation and plays records at 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM speeds. The die-cast aluminum platter with a felt mat that Tech Radar calls a "great introductory turntable for any budding vinyl enthusiast," comes complete with an easy setup and built-in phono preamp that won't take the fun out of spinning records in your living room.


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