AT A GLANCE Plus
Built-in noise cancellation for supplied earbuds
Selectable DSD rolloff filter
Up to 70 hours per charge
Challenging headphones will need more power
The Sony Walkman NW-ZX100HN delivers beautifully balanced and transparent sound in a not-too-bulky form factor with excellent ergonomics and the unique plus of built-in noise cancellation, but only for its proprietary earbuds.
With the iPod classic gone, smartphones in almost universal use, and streams elbowing out downloads, is the dedicated music player obsolete? Or could it possibly be a retro survivor that mocks its replacement, the way the resurging turntable mocks the CD player? With emerging specialists like Astell & Kern, FiiO, and Questyle being joined in the market by old-school manufacturers like Onkyo and Sony, there seems to be growing interest in building high-quality players that do a better job of delivering highresolution audio than a phone does.
When you stop and think how tech-infused our lives have become, it’s no wonder electronic gadgets are the most popular holiday gifts. Technology is cool. Technology enriches our lives. Technology… (add your declaration here). As the holiday shopping season gets under way, we’ve sifted through dozens of potential gifts and settled on 12 at prices ranging from $20 to $800. Approach these pages with an eye toward matching one or more of these gems with friends and loved ones on your list. Or maybe you’ll be inspired to put one or two on your wish list. I don’t know about you, but my family is always asking me what I want for Christmas. I now have a better idea…
Q Should I use the quartz lock feature on my Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable? I don't see or hear any difference when I press the quartz lock button. Same thing when I press the +10 /+20 pitch control button. FYI, I usually play records with the +10 pitch option selected. —Josh Rosenthal
In a world overcrowded with wireless speakers, Wren is carving out a niche and a name for itself as a higher-end alternative to plastic me-too models. The older Wren V5PF12 model has long been a favorite speaker in my office, so when pre-production samples of two new models became available, I jumped at the chance to audition them.
As part of an ongoing 360-degree video documentary from the International Space Station, Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko has recorded the first-ever 4K panoramic view of Earth—and it’s breathtaking.