These are the headphones, speakers and audio gadgets to gift this season


All merchandise advisable by Engadget are chosen by our editorial workforce, impartial of our mum or dad company. Some of our tales embody affiliate hyperlinks. If you purchase one thing by certainly one of these hyperlinks, we could earn an affiliate fee.

The holidays are at all times an excellent time to assist somebody improve their audio setup, whether or not that’s earbuds, headphones, speakers or one thing else. We’ve curated a listing of the finest sounding gear you should purchase proper now, with choices for true wi-fi, noise cancelling, immersive audio and extra at a variety of costs and in quite a few product classes. There’s even a set of $20 earbuds that will make a wonderful stocking stuffer.

Sony WF-1000XM4

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Sony’s glorious WF-1000XM3 true wi-fi earbuds have been in determined want of an replace, and the company obliged earlier this year. The WF-1000XM4 are fully redesigned with a brand new look and smaller, extra snug physique. Sound high quality is great and highly effective lively noise cancellation (ANC) might be configured to modify robotically based mostly in your exercise or location. Sony elevated battery life to eight hours (ANC on) and tacked on wi-fi charging this time round There’s additionally LDAC help for high-res audio over Bluetooth and DSEE Extreme upscaling to get better particulars lost to compression. The company’s speak-to-chat characteristic, though imperfect, is useful if you want to have a fast convo.

Buy WF-1000XM4 at Amazon – $280

Sony WH-1000XM4

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

I mentioned “the best just got better” throughout my review of the WH-1000XM4 final summer season and that sentiment nonetheless holds true. No different company comes shut to what Sony presents on its flagship noise-cancelling headphones if you mix sound high quality, ANC efficiency and options. Multi-device connectivity is useful for leaping out of your laptop computer to your telephone throughout the workday whereas speak-to-chat and quick-attention mode permit you to take transient pauses for brief conversations. 30-hour battery life, deep punchy bass and 360 Reality Audio help are additionally objects Sony checked off the want listing.

Buy WH-1000XM4 at Amazon – $348

Jabra Elite 3

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Jabra was a shock when it burst on the true wi-fi scene with its Elite 65t earbuds in 2018. Since then, the company has continued to refine its lineup of mid-range and premium choices. In 2021, Jabra debuted the Elite 3: a tiny, snug set of earbuds that cover all of the fundamentals for simply $80. The cozy match, spectacular sound high quality, dependable on-board controls and strong battery life make the Elite 3 as shut to a no brainer because it will get if you happen to’re trying to give somebody earbuds this year with out breaking the financial institution.

Buy Jabra Elite 3 at Amazon – $80

Sony SRS-RA5000

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

For the audio aficionado in your life who has seemingly every part, it may be time to give Sony’s 360 Reality Audio a attempt. And even if you happen to’re not keen to splurge for a top-tier streaming plan to unlock the requisite content material, the company’s SRS-RA5000 speaker remains to be a pleasant centerpiece for a modest setup. With crisp and clear audio high quality, the RA5000 handles all music effectively thanks to upscaling tech, so that you’re not restricted to Sony’s immersive format. There are loads of methods to customise the sound and the speaker robotically calibrates itself to the room the place it’s positioned. Connectivity choices abound, so the particular person in your procuring listing can management every part from their telephone with out leaving their seat.

Buy Sony SRS-RA5000 at Crutchfield – $698

Sonos Roam

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Sonos’ second try at a transportable speaker is a extra compelling product which makes it a strong possibility on your vacation procuring exploits. On the Sonos Roam, good audio high quality solely will get higher if you use two of the speakers in a stereo pair. Even if you happen to simply go for one, the compact design is far more moveable than the bigger Move. It’s sturdy and waterproof, plus you get all of the advantages of different Sonos speakers — like multi-room audio, TruePlay tuning, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and extra.

Buy Roam at Sonos – $179

Audio-Technica ATH-M50xBT2

Audio Technica

Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50xBT have been my prime decide for non-ANC headphones since their debut. The mixture of a fold-in design, cozy match and heat sound high quality made these so nice. The company returned in August with the ATH-M50xBT2: an up to date model that gives an much more compelling headphone possibility for anybody in your listing. Alexa is now in-built and multipoint Bluetooth permits you to join to a couple of machine concurrently. There’s additionally a low-latency mode for video games and video on prime of LDAC help to get better a few of the sonic particulars sometimes lost to compression. And with claims of 50-hour battery life, there’s no want to plug these in usually.

Buy ATH-M50xBT2 at Amazon – $199

J-Lab Go Air Pop

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Earbuds aren’t sometimes one thing you’d buy as a stocking stuffer, principally due to value, however J-Lab has an especially inexpensive possibility if you happen to really need to go that route. At simply $20, the Go Air Pop covers plenty of the fundamentals, together with eight hours of battery life with three further costs in the case. Touch controls and EQ presets are in play as effectively, alongside IPX4 water resistance so these can simply double as a exercise companion for any New Year’s resolutions.

Buy Go Air Pop at JLab – $20

THX Onyx

Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

What do you give the one that already has a set of headphones they actually like? Something to make them sound even higher. The THX Onyx is a tiny USB-C DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that helps master-quality audio content material, although it clearly requires utilizing wired headphones. LEDs point out which format you’re listening to, together with customary, excessive decision, Direct Stream Digital (DSD) and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). Inside, the Onyx packs a THX AAA-78 amplifier chip: the highest-powered cell THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier configuration. THX says the AAA-78 makes the Onyx simply as highly effective as a desktop DAC or amplifier setup, nevertheless it’s a lot smaller. The chip reduces three varieties of distortion by up to 40dB and maximizes output energy for extra dynamic vary and sound stress stage (SPL). That’s plenty of energy in a tiny machine.

Buy THX Onyx at Razer – $200