The audio industry has been experiencing a revolution ever since Apple had the ‘courage’ to remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7. Wireless headphones/ speakers are gaining in prominence and their wired counterparts are increasingly drifting away from the mainstream, towards the audiophile realm. As such, 2018 saw mainstream manufacturers like Sony and Jabra shift their focus towards wireless products, with new and emerging brands like Fiio and 1More catering to purists.
Without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the best audio products of 2018.
Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset
A very unique offering in this list, the Sennheiser AMBEO smart headset is capable of recording binaural audio, which can then be heard via any ordinary pair of headphones. Today’s smartphones offer the ability shoot crystal-clear 4K videos but most lack any means of capturing spatial 3D audio. This niche offering from Sennheiser fills this gap in the smartphone world.
While the ear hooks can get a bit fatiguing after a while, the sound on offer is detailed and crisp, with punchy bass and expressive mids. The AMBEO smart headset is compatible with iOS devices and is a great way to add a whole new dimension to the videos you record.
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The M3K is an entry-level high-resolution audio player from Fiio, a company which has garnered a lot of respect amongst audiophiles in a relatively short span of time. The M3K uses the AKM AK4376A DAC (digital to analog converter) which is capable of decoding up to 384KHz/ 32-bit audio.
The device supports almost all popular high-resolution and lossy music formats (such as FLAC, ALAC, WAV, and MP3), and has a claimed battery life of 24 hours. Additionally, it supports microSD cards of up to 512GB and can be used as an external DAC with your Mac, PC, Android smartphone, or iPhone.
This product offers immense value for money and is the perfect gadget for an audiophile on a budget. At Rs. 5,999, it lowers the entry point into the world of high-resolution audio and that is the primary reason for its inclusion in this list.