Headphones and Speakers

The latest


Because sometimes you don’t want to listen to bird sounds

It's waterproof, floats, and is 20 percent louder than its predecessor

Some cut down on waste. Some funnel proceeds to environmental organizations. Some are green literally and figuratively.

The runner turned entrepreneur talks about her most essential gear

The sound is amazing, plus it’s tough as nails

From pasta makers to candy bars, these eight items have totally transformed how we get after it

Let the music play, wherever your workout takes you.

Good looking and totally customizable

For 16 grand, you can bring the orchestra to your living room

Some designs endure. And for good reason.

Earin buds are fully wireless so there’s no cord to tangle or accidentally yank out. Plus, they sound great.

Travel feels the most glamorous when you’re not physically traveling. So it follows that the nicest thing you could give someone is a way to escape the dreariness of airports, nonreclining seats, and sad airplane food.

Headphones: Any device used for playing music close to or within a wearer’s ears.

The future has arrived, and because it’s built to fit you perfectly, it’s not going anywhere

Kuai is wireless, and doesn’t need your phone to track your workout

Buy them if for no other reason than they’re pretty

Portable sound for the active lifestyle.

With so many new tools to track performance, choosing the right one is its own sport.

Stop using that beat-up suitcase—and pack your new luggage with these foolproof essentials

New gear for more informed—and more fun—training

Your pounding headache is no excuse to not get after it on the mountain.

Music to your ears, training for your heart

A portable sound system built for the demands of the outdoors

Running to work is hard, especially when you have to contend with cold weather, poor visibility, and icy roads. On those days, your gear matters.

Tech to ensure you thrive on the sand and in the water this summer.

In praise of summer’s original combo deal: clear tunes and swimming holes.

Our five favorite gadgets for everything from recording splits to rocking out, including the New Balance Tri-Viz with four built-into-the-brim LEDs that can operate in three different settings; the Timex Ironman Run Trainer With GPS; and the Motorola Motoactv, a lightweight wristwatch that packs music and heart-rate tracking.

Outside reviews the best barbecuing gear of June 2012, including the Primo Oval Junior.

Two-way radios might seem absurdly retro, but having an open channel of communication can be priceless on a multipitch climb or when trekking through rainforest in Costa Rica.

In case you hadn't heard, headphone technology has gotten much better—and more specialized—since the advent of the mp3 player

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2012 Winter Buyer's Guide, including the Contour+ POV camera.

Five accessories to turn your iPhone into a supergadget, including the t-Jays Three earphones.

Five accessories to turn your iPhone into a supergadget, including the Original Koostik dock.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the Yurbuds Ironman Performance Raising Earphones.

Outside reviews the best gear in the 2011 Summer Buyers Guide, including the SuperTooth Disco Speakers.

Seven performance-boosting devices to give you an edge.

Whether you need to capture, connect, or just sit back and relax, the newest portable gadgets are ready to serve.

Not only do these noise-isolating audio/phone ‘buds have some of the best sound quality we’ve ever heard; they’re hands-down the most comfortable and wearable, with silicone and foam tips. ultimateears.com…

This tiny, lightweight travel alarm clock/speaker system charges your iPod and delivers surprisingly solid sound via a pair of stereo speakers at the sides. Plus you can throw a couple of AAs in it, toss it in your bag, and take it to the beach.

Hate wires? With its Bluetooth adapter, this noise-isolating stereo headset, which floats behind your neck, streams audio and calls (there’s a built-in mike). Fidelity is better than average for Bluetooth. motorola.com…

Delivering huge, rich sound in a slim package, the Max speaker system is a must-have travel accessory. Dock your iPod or iPhone—or use the aux jack for other devices—and listen for 3.5 hours per charge. alteclansing.com…

For pushing big sound around outside, the rugged Tailgater is a solid value. A 16-watt amp powers a six-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter; it’s not stereophonic, but it’ll get the party started. Just dock your iPod (or use one of several other auxiliary jacks) for 12 hours of audio…

Our criteria for a good travel speaker: light, tough, and sounds good enough to keep playing once you’re there. The last one is usually the deal breaker, but the iP49 docking station flips open and pumps out surprisingly rich, bassy notes. Plus it has FM radio, alarm clock, equalizer, and…

SKULLCANDY‘s lightweight CHOPS HEADPHONES. With arms that wrap firmly behind your ears, they keep the tunes coming at you loud and clear.

From game-changing new materials (like moisture-wicking cotton) to evolutionary leaps in engineering (like a rotating helmet for extreme crashes), the avant-garde of 21st-century gear has just one thing in common: a total disregard for the status quo.

WHERE TO USE IT: The best surf road trip begins in San Diego and heads north. Start mellow, with the friendly Tourmaline break, in Pacific Beach. Camp on the bluffs at San Onofre overlooking Old Man’s, a longboarder’s heaven (parks.ca.gov), then switch to your shortboard and hit…

Presenting nine foolproof rules to keep in mind when scouting for presents (or just a little swag for yourself), plus 67 great products we couldn't keep under wraps.

The tools and gadgets that made the cut for our second annual celebration of the best in design and technology.

Our esteemed gear editors offer the insight and advice you need to find the right gear for you.

Your audiophile brother who spent twice as much on his home theater system as you did on your bike? Ultrasone‘s velvet-lined, seventies-inspired HFI-2200 head­phones—the first cans to minimize eardrum pressure—are for him ($299; ultrasone.com). Untrasone HFI-2200 Headphones        …

Armed with rust-proof everything (brackets, grille, hardware), Polk‘s outdoor-ready Atrium 45 speakers can weather salt water, rain, and sandstorms. And, yes, even your buddy’s homemade recordings ($240; polkaudio.com). Polk Atrium 45            …

Thanks to bendable rubber clips, the Airdrives Interactive Stereo Earphones stay put even when things get bumpy. And, because the buds rest just outside your ear canal, you can hear oncoming cars while you’re riding or running ($80; airdrives.com). Airdrives Interactive Stereo Earphones        …

Go faster. Play smarter

What happens when training goes digital? Your workouts get real.