For audiophiles

Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphones
Bose QuietComfort 35 noise-cancelling headphonesPHOTOS: BANG AND OLUFSEN, BOSE, SONY, ONKYO, ELIPSON, FUJIFILM, PEAK DESIGN, RICOH, SIGMA, LEICA, ISTOCKPHOTO

BOSE QUIETCOMFORT 35 NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES

$549 

The best accompaniment to good music is the sound of silence, which are exactly what the Bose QuietComfort 35 offers.

Bose has engineered the best mix of noise-cancellation and audio quality with these headphones, which are the company's first wireless active noise-cancellation cans.

It is able to cut background noise significantly, leaving you alone with your bubble of music. Its sound quality is generally clear and clean, tinged with a slight warmness.

Soft cushioned earpads make these headphones extraordinarily comfortable, even when wearing them for long periods - on a long-distance flight, for instance, where noise-cancellation is a welcome relief.

•ST Digital's Pick: These are the headphones you will reach for when heading out or commuting due to the combination of comfort, music quality, looks and noise-cancellation capabilities.

B&O BEOSOUND 1

$2,200

This set of portable Bluetooth speakers looks and sounds gorgeous. It'll sit nicely in the living room of a tasteful music lover who also wants a signature piece for decoration.

The sleek, conical shape of Bang & Olufsen's BeoSound 1's aluminium body looks more like a modern art piece than a set of speakers, especially when there are no visible speaker grilles on it.

But connect it to a mobile phone or music device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and the hidden speakers at the top kick in to blast clean, powerful tunes in 360 degrees, thanks to its sound dispersion features.

It also comes with full integration to streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer, and has a battery life good for up to 16 hours.

SONY MDR-Z1R HEADPHONES

$2,599

These are premium headphones for discerning audiophiles - who won't be taking these expensive, exquisite headphones out on-the-go, but rather whip them out for an aural experience while sinking in a comfortable chair.

The MDR-Z1R are Sony's top-of- the-line headphones for high-resolution audio and are made with high-end materials wrapped in a beautiful combination of sheepskin leather and brushed metal.

Plugging them directly into a music player won't do them justice. A headphone amp will be needed to properly drive their monstrous 70mm magnesium dome drivers, which can support playback up to 120kHz.

These over-ear headphones are closed-back cans on paper, but the unique mesh design of their earcup grills - patterned after a mathematical design called the Fibonacci series - allow them to breathe, much like open-back headphones.

ONKYO DP-X1 PORTABLE HI-RES MUSIC PLAYER

$999

Audiophiles will carry their vinyl records and listen to them on-the-go if they could.

The next best thing would be to listen to high-quality, lossless music on a portable digital music player, and Onkyo's DP-X1 offers a raft of high-end audiophile features in a portable package at a respectable price point.

It features two ESS Sabre digital-to-audio converters that ensure music playback is as true to the original as possible.

With 32GB of onboard storage and two microSD card slots for storage up to 288GB, music lovers will have no issue toting their large lossless files around.

The DP-X1 supports all the necessary high-res audio formats, such as WAV, FLAC, ALAC and AIFF up to 384kHz/24-bit, maxing out at 11.2MHz DSD support.

ELIPSON OMEGA 100 RIAA TURNTABLE WITH BLUETOOTH

$1,199 - available at absolutesound

Elipson's Omega 100 is not a turntable for vintage purists. It is, however, for someone who can appreciate the marriage of both vintage analog music playback and modern wireless technology.

Its acrylic, carbon fibre and aluminium build materials give it a distinctly modern look and feel. The inclusion of aptX Bluetooth for high-res streaming means fewer wires for those who don't mind listening to their records through Bluetooth speakers.

The deck also comes with a built-in pre-amp that contains a USB port, which allows it to convert music from vinyl records as digital formats into a computer.

Elipson has added other modern tweaks to the turntable's analog components, such as adding its own design slant to the tonearm and having a motor that can electronically adjust its speed.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 07, 2016, with the headline 'For audiophiles'. Print Edition | Subscribe