Nov 29 AT 7:15 AM Clark Wimberly 57 Comments

8 Items Every Music Nerd Should Have on Their Wishlist


It’s a great time to be a music nerd with an Android phone, for we’re in the midst of a wave of the coolest music accessories ever. Speakers are getting smaller and louder and my music is magically floating around in the cloud. The eBay Electronics blog has asked me to curate a list of all the gear I use to get the most musical bang for my buck, so here we go:

Jambox (Big or small)

While devices on-board speakers have been steadily improving, they’re no match for the kick provided by a real set of horns. I’ve had a Jawbone Jambox (original size) for months now and it travels almost everywhere with me: the gym, the pool, walking trails- I’ve even strapped it to my handlebars while riding my bike around Austin (in true ultimate hipster fashion).

Recently Jawbone released the Big Jambox, an even beefier (yet still portable) version, and I hear only good things. If you’re music feels trapped inside your tiny device, try setting it free with a Jambox.

Sonos Wireless HiFi

When portability isn’t factor (or you’re just looking to blow the roof off), look no further than Sonos. The Sonos Wireless HiFi comes in a variety of mix-and-match flavors, including speakers like the Play:5 and Play:3, as well as the dedicated Sonos Sub. Got you’re own speakers? Sonos makes an amp that’ll smartify everything.

What makes these connected speakers smart? They all sync up over wifi and allow you to play not only your own library, but tunes from a number of online services like Pandora, Rdio, and Spotify (plus dozens of others). You can even install speakers in different locations around your home, creating zones that can play different music at the same time. It’s music bliss. At brain-rattling volume.

Nexus 7 (or 10 if you’re a high roller)

Once you’ve got some serious speaker power, you’ll want a way to control everything from the couch. Lately, I’ve found using a tablet as a remote to be quite boss. You can click around your library, surf Google Play, queue up YouTube videos- as well as pass the tablet around so your friends can join in the action.

The Nexus 7 (and bigger & newer Nexus 10) are great tablets to have as the heart of your music command center. I’ve had more than a few parties where I run the Sonos paired with a tablet and Rdio to provide an infinite jukebox that guests seem to love. Next time someone yells “Dude you’ve never heard that song!?” you can make sure they hear that song, mannn.

Vizio Costar

Another way to get music blaring is to use some speakers you’ve already got, like the ones inside (or currently hooked to) your TV. Using a GoogleTV device, like the Vizio Costar (or older Logitech Revue) is a great way to cobble together a music/media center. GoogleTV has a built-in Google Music app, which works with your own library and music purchased in the Play Store.

GoogleTV also has a remote app that you can run on your devices, perfect for the social playlist passing I was talking about earlier. Some nights we all sit around queuing up video after video, laughing all the while.

Extra solid-state storage

While a bunch of my music is in the cloud, sometimes you can’t beat having the space to keep everything local. If your phone supports it, you might as well max out your storage space with a new SD card. The class 10 MicroSD cards are finally available and affordable, so why not cram one full of music?

Sennheiser earbuds

You can’t always blast your music, sometimes it’s only polite to listen in private. For those times, I like Sennheiser earbuds (or headphones). I’ve bought a handful of Sennheiser products over the years and I’ve always been happy with them. One time I even washed a pair of earbuds with the laundry and they survived just fine. Combine that with the fact that they fit perfectly (even on my bike), sound great, and won’t break the bank and you’ve got a set of winning cans.

3.5mm splitter

Just because you’re listening silently doesn’t mean you can’t jam out with a partner. A 3.5mm splitter is perfect during travel with a companion or any other time when you might want to share some tunes on the downlow. For style points, score a splitter with some personality, like a little white tree branch or a tiny robot.

Google Play giftcards

This might seem like a weird one, but don’t forget that folks routinely sell giftcards at less than their face value. They need some cash and you get some credit in the Play Store at a discounted rate. Currently there are a handful of cards selling for $5 less than face value- that’s like a free movie or book.

DISCLAIMER: This post is part of eBay Finders, a new partnership that presents collections of items curated by a carefully selected group of electronics experts. Meet more of the Finders on the eBay Electronics blog. #eBayFinders

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • Franz

    Does the 3.5mm splitter in the picture even exist? I have a regular one, but that white one looks cool…

    • iamXiV92a

      Indeed it does exist:

      • FranzVz

        Thank you very much!

        Man, the shipping+tax makes this less attractive. Amazon Prime spoils me.

    • Brittany87

      I always have my ipod classic (and itunes) with me. Never wanted anything else. Its perfect.

      • sbala

        isheeps loves ibricks only

  • iamXiV92a

    The Jambox is REALLY nice and produces some very decent sound! I read somewhere they’re supposed to let purchasers customise it in any colour they want…

  • Sara

    pretty much want everything on this list….

  • OpenIntro

    I love my Sonos S5. It makes impromptu dance parties so easy….and they sound is excellent!

  • mark

    I’d recommend a bluetooth receiver for your stereo. This is by far the easiest way to play your music on the equipment you already have. It works with any bluetooth device (phone, tablet, laptop) and is easy to connect. I am really happy with my Advance Acoustic WTX 500 ( – but seems like they don’t sell it in the US.

    • CW

      I agree. Why not use audio gear that you know can produce good sound? All of these blutooth speakers, audio docks can’t compare to a good amplifier and speakers. Just use one of these:
      if you want bluetooth.

    • jonstle

      That is wwhat I have done and love it. Really easy to set up and operate. I can deliver sound to my whole house that way.

  • Luke

    UltimateEars UE18s

    I have a pair and there’s nothing that compares to custom.

  • MitchRapp81

    damn, I started searching for these items one by one …. 200, 300, 400$ … leave me alone I don’t wanna spend that much!!! :(

  • Gr8Ray

    I wish you would have linked to product information on the MFG sites, rather than those lame Ebay auctions.

    • MitchRapp81

      wild guess, but it’s HIS ebay auctions (worse than an ad!!!)

      • kazahani

        Did you RTFA? Because there’s this disclaimer at the bottom of it that begs to differ.

  • TwTeel

    Definite a fan of the Sennheisers and the Sonos. Are the jawbones any good?

  • chief113

    Sonos is great when Stern is on. I love listening to some Tradio prank calls on my Sonos!

    • longhairbilly

      Baba Booey loves his Sonos..

  • Stella

    Great list! I want some speakers and the Jambox looks awesome. I’ll have to do my research, but I’m adding it to my wishlist.


    A better Blue tooth speaker is the Soundfreaq Soundkick

    • ColtonC

      I was just going to say the same thing! The design is ingenious – the speaker chambers snap closed to make it JUST the right size to fit right into a 12″ netbook case (perfect for tablets, especially my ASUS Transformer). The sound is incredible, especially when its plugged in. Its worth every penny!

  • Karthik

    Nice list although I would substitute the nexus tablets with the note tablet or even the note 2. They have a microsd slot, so it makes the microsd card useful. Also the note 2 has much better audio hardware.

  • DroidPower

    Hey Clark, awesome post. Do you like any other Sennheiser models (other than the CX150)?

  • Edgar Ronda

    The Plantronics BackBeat GO is a excellent an beautiful wireless earbuds

  • txbluesman

    These are all some great products. I find myself using my Google Music on all my devices. Google TV, Nexus phone, Nexus tablet, Computer, Netbook, etc. Nice lineup there Clark!

  • Nathan J

    Missing one. I don’t know what it’s called. Cable with a male headphone plug on either end. Lets you jack any device with a 3.5mm headphone plug (smartphone, iPod, portable DVD player) into a car stereo (that has an aux in plug, a lot of them do these days). When Tasker detects it, it dims my screen, sets my Media volume to 13/15, and opens PlayerPro. Very cool.

  • JC005

    I am torn between the nexus 10 and the galaxy tab 10.1. Anyone have pros or cons to help in my decision? Thanks

    • dominik

      I’m not sure how you can be torn. The Nexus 10 is THE best 10 inch tablet on the market right now. Of course it costs more than the galaxy tab which is a bit dated in comparison. The only downside with the N10 is that it doesn’t have an SD slot. Also the Galaxy has HSPA+ if that’s something you need or are into.
      But I would still go with the Nexus 10 if you can afford it. If you can’t afford it, wait for the price to drop or for the competition to catch up.

    • raovallab

      I personally liked how the Nexus screen worked compared to Galaxy

  • JonJJon

    I reallllyyyyy need to get me one of those splitters, I have said I’ll get a spitter for ages and never got round to it, these look pretty cool

  • John Zwiers

    The Sennheisers earbuds are awesome! The expensive ones go on sale for more than 60% off on Newegg every once in a while.

  • aykutb

    FYI Sennheiser CX 400 blows your mind as well as your ears

  • KRS_Won

    The Sonos HiFi sounds great, haven’t heard the Jambox yet, but every review I’ve read is positive.

    I’m still skeptical about GTV. I want one, but what’s the next version going to be like? Is the Nexus Q ever coming back?

  • Rahul Verma

    How about adding a good music player app to the list as well? :)

  • MC_Android

    Did the price of the memory card go up? I thought when I first clicked the link, it was around $30

  • Brickerhaus

    Not a big fan of those earbuds. A little on the cheap side of mildly expensive. No better than the 15 dollar earbuds at your nearest big box store.

  • prime_optimus

    Great list! Sonos rocks !

  • friendlyfire

    Google offers has some good deals on earbuds from MEE

  • mario_1603

    music app?

  • juno23

    iPod docks rule, just sayin :)

    • Nwemo

      You should get me one then Juno.

      I def need some of these gadgets in my life!

      • raovallab

        Hope they include these in the 25 day giveaway :)

  • cainneach

    Is Jambox really worth the price?
    I’d say get Spotify Premium!!!

  • melloburger

    Jambox would pair well with a Lumia 920 it seems

  • kookeetree

    Way too harcore for me. I’ll just stick to my $10 earbuds from Walmart. lol.

  • YodaDaCoda

    I have an 8-way 3.5mm splitter. I use it to provide inputs from my TV, htpc and consoles to my 5.1 system.

  • melan26

    Would really love one of those Sonos as well as some really good earbuds.

  • Ilyse Rose

    Those 3.5mm splitters are fantastic.
    And I would love it if people got me Play store gift cards this holiday season. I’m sick of iTunes gift cards I’ll never use and end up regifting to people I know with iPads

  • sncrmck

    That Nexus 7 is so smooth, but it could definitely use an microSD slot.

  • tanman888

    Jambox looks promising and the texture/colour combo gives it some style. Though the premium pricing might put it out of reach of the mainstream. But then again it is for the music enthusiast who like to share. :)

  • juno23

    I really have no idea what a jambox is, but it sounds interesting! Anyone wanna explain to me?

  • raovallab

    Like the colours of Jambox

  • Puck69

    Where can we find those items? really nice

  • ArticulateFool

    I would love a Bluetooth jambox.
    Bluetooth speakers are starting to sound pretty decent these days.

  • humidity

    That robot headphone splitter looks so cute!