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Holiday Gift Guide 2012: Audio Equipment

Once upon a time, there was one way to listen to music: live. These days we're expecting our audio to be wireless, portable, customizable—and sound even better than the original recording. Below, solutions that are analog, digital, and somewhere in between.

For Speakers of the House
B&O BeoPlay A9

Erected valiantly on a tripod, this dishlike loudspeaker from design maven Bang & Olufsen looks a bit like a modern mirror on an easel. Though it must be plugged in to access its 480 watts of power, audio can be streamed using the AirPlay or DLNA platform. A sensor allows you to adjust volume with a swipe of your hand, while four tweeters, a bass unit, and a class D amplifier ensure a clean, powerful performance in rooms of all sizes. Preset sound modes allow you to optimize your hook-up for a wall, corner, or freestanding position.
$2,699

Photos courtesy of the manufacturers
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