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.
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?
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.
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