Audio Brands ranking

Here’s my ranking of audio brands

Entry level ($50-$300)

Audio-Technica

Beats Audio/SMS Audio/SOUL by Ludacris/House of Marley/etc other artist sponsored brands (please avoid these)

Skullcandy (please avoid)

Apple/Google/Dell/Microsoft/Lenovo/Amazon/etc tech brands getting into audio

Logitech/Razer/Corsair/Roccat/Steelseries/etc gaming brands (Logitech is ok, the others are usually way overpriced)

Creative Labs

Bose (entry level is better value than their high end)

Cambridge Audio

Monster Cables (their non-cable stuff is actually decent value)

JBL

Etymotic

Samsung

LG

Altec Lansing

Vizio

Pioneer

JVC

Ultimate Ears

Boston Acoustics

JAMO

Yamaha

Libratone

Edifier

Fluance

Fender

Marshall

Philips

Audioengine

Peachtree Audio

Koss

V-Moda

Cowon

Oppo/FiiO/Xiaomi/iBasso/Shanling/Cayin/good quality Chinese brands

Midrange ($300-$1000)

Klipsch

Polk Audio

Harman Kardon

Beyerdynamic

Definitive Technology

Shure

Westone

Sony

Sonos

Acoustic Research

Grado

AKG

Lexicon

Master&Dynamic

Bowers and Wilkins

B&O Play

Infinity

Denon

Onkyo

Marantz

Sennheiser (actually they are good at every range but I like their midrange the best)

High end ($1000+)

Linn Audio

Hifiman

Woo Audio

KEF

Audeze

Bang and Olufsen

Astell&Kern

Jerry Harvey Audio (i.e the ‘new’ Ultimate Ears since UE got acquired by Logitech)

Ultimate Ears Pro (custom monitors)

Noble Audio

Revel

Wharfdale

Focal

Fostex

Stax

Naim Audio

Devialet

Meridian Audio

Audioquest

Burmeister

Dynaudio

Mark Levinson

MartinLogan

Magnepan

Wilson Audio

Quad Electroacoustics

Eminent Technology

What phone do you use right now?

I have 2 phones I use right now, and surprise neither of them are Apple or Samsung.

  1. Essential Phone (Ocean Depths color)

Previously I was using a Pixel 2 but switched to the Essential because it just looks gorgeous. The bezel-less design, the materials the ceramic/titanium back, its not a very popular phone but it feels unlike any other phone I’ve used. There’s two gripes I have about it: 1) the camera is good but not great, it’s definitely a step below the Pixel 2 and 2) no headphone jack. How many meetings have I had to take on the street while going to work and had to find somewhere quiet all because no headphone jack and all my headphones are wired? I really wish companies would stop doing this. Otherwise, its a great phone. And it comes with 128GB of space standard which is ALOT. As a bonus, this phone costs about $250 on the market right now.

2. Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact

This has replaced my iPhone SE as my small phone of choice. This phone (like many of Sony’s products) is so underrated its ridiculous.

  1. it costs less than $400
  2. it has a headphone jack (which Pixel 2 / Essential / iPhone X all lack).
  3. it has expandable microSD storage.
  4. it is IP68 water resistant despite having the headphone jack.
  5. The battery life lasts for 2 days. seriously. A full day on this with regular usage only takes up around 40–50% of battery life
  6. speakers are awesome.. they are so loud they put the iPhone to shame
  7. dual front facing cameras – one regular, one wide angle. Great for those wide angle selfie pics!
  8. you can play PS4 on it remotely using remote play.
  9. it charges with USBC. I know, most phones should these days but still! some still came with microUSB
  10. fingerprint sensor on the power button. So convenient
  11. dedicated camera shutter button

2 great phones, both underrated.

Interior design for retro/modern styled electronics/speakers

When it comes to furniture and electronics I’m actually quite interested in how things look and are placed. That’s why I like playing The Sims a lot just for the ability to design your own home and place all the furniture and stuff. When I first got my SF apartment I carefully selected the right furniture from IKEA. I wanted to have to a sofa with the one section being a section you could lie down on and convert into a bed. I think I’ll get a massage recliner in the future so that I can pair it with my various HMD headsets for the ultimate relaxing experience.

Since I’m a gadget geek I like to imagine the style and placement of my electronics too. At the moment, the style of my electronics are ‘retro’ styled. What this means is most of my electronics look like something that could be from the 1970s or 1980s. Retro designs, black or woodgrain finishes, etc. There’s also another design aesthetic I like which is modern-futuristic design. I’ll show a few examples of what I’m talking about.

Klipsch The Three – current (retro) wireless speaker (matches well with a record player)

The Klipsch Three Wireless Stereo System - Home Audio That ...

turns into..

BeoSound 1 - Wireless music system « B&O | LuxusSound.com

Bang and Olufsen Beosound 1 – (modern/futuristic) wireless speaker

Polk Audio Hampden – current (retro) computer speakers

Polk Audio Hampden Desktop Speakers - Hey Gents

turns into…

Creative T4W – (modern/futuristic) computer speakers

移动端接入 Creative T4W无线2.1蓝牙音箱_天极网

Denon MM400 – current (retro) headphones

Denon AH-MM400 Test: Over-Ear-Kopfhörer | MODERNHIFI

turns into…

Porsche Design Space One – (modern/futuristic) headphones

KEF x Porsche Design Space One | werd.com

Yamaha B72 – current (retro) alarm clock

turns into…

JBL Horizon – (modern/futuristic) alarm clock

JBL Horizon Alarm Clock » Gadget Flow

AudioEngine B2 – (retro) wireless speaker

Audioengine B2 Walnut Wireless Bluetooth Speaker ...

turns into…

Naim Audio Mu-so – (modern/futuristic) wireless speaker

16 Best High-End Bluetooth Speakers for Unchained Troubadours

Even for smart speakers, you can get retro styled or modern styled ones

Sony S50G – current (retro) smart speaker – good for kitchen use

Sony's smart speaker gives Google Assistant a more capable ...

turns into…

Panasonic GA-10 – (modern/futuristic) smart speaker

JMtech: Así es el Panasonic SC-GA10, el nuevo altavoz ...

LG WK9 – current (retro) smart display

LG Smart Display ThinQ WK9 Review: Hand-on with the Echo ...

turns into…

JBL Link View – (modern/futuristic) smart display

Best Android announcements at CES 2018

Lenovo Thinkpad 25 – current (retro) laptop

Lenovo ThinkPad 25 review: An anniversary gift for ...

turns into…

Microsoft SurfaceBook – (modern/futuristic) laptop

Microsoft Surface Book Unveiled | Gadget Review

There’s lots of cool and interesting designs for other speakers as well like

Harmon Kardon Allure (modern/futuristic) smart speaker

Harman Kardon Allure smart speaker Review

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Review - Reviewed.com ...

Porsche Design Gravity One (modern/futuristic) portable speaker

KEF Porsche Design Gravity One Speaker Price in Pakistan

Definitive Tech W9 (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Definitive Technology W9 Enceintes sans fil - Son-Vidéo.com

Devialet Phantom (modern/futuristic) wireless speakers

Test Devialet Phantom : présentation : notre avis - CNET ...

Sony LSPX-S1 (modern/futuristic) speakers

Image result for SONY LSPX-S1

Jamo by Klipsch (modern/futuristic) speakers

Image result for jamo DS6

Master & Dynamic MW60 (modern/futuristic) headphones

Master & Dynamic Unveils MW60 Bluetooth Headphones

I think we live in a time where the choices for speakers and headphones and design is endless so we can model our furniture and electronics setup however we like, and that’s great. These are just a few ideas I have. Right now my home is more ‘retro’ styled than modern but that may change in the future.