CELEBRATING
50 YEARS

Audio Files: Best Audio Gear of 2019

From affordable to audacious, here’s our favorite new stuff from this year

Because audio technology just keeps marching on, every year sees success and failure. Some manufacturers, through skill or luck, are able to master the latest tech trends and bring in terrific new products, sometimes at surprisingly comfortable prices. It’s those companies and products we’re here to celebrate, in our list of the best audio gear of 2019. While some of these selections aren’t necessarily the absolute state of the art in their categories, most of them are products that practically every jazz fan can afford and enjoy.

Bose NC 700 headphones
Bose NC 700 headphones

Bose NC 700 headphones

I can’t say that Bose has finally come up with the perfect noise-canceling headphones, but I also can’t name a single thing I dislike about the NC 700. Its state-of-the-art noise canceling is adjustable in 10 steps, from light to extreme—whatever level is comfortable for your ears. The NC 700 sounds very good, it’s incredibly comfortable, and it looks much sleeker than Bose’s past models. At $399, it’s pricey, but this is one case where you clearly get more by paying more. You can read more about these headphones at Sweetwater!

Brent Butterworth

Brent Butterworth has been a professional audio journalist since 1989, and has evaluated and measured thousands of audio products. He is currently a writer at Wirecutter and editor of the SoundStage Solo headphone site; served as an editor at such magazines as Sound & Vision and Home Theater; and worked as marketing director for Dolby Laboratories. He also plays double bass with several jazz groups in Los Angeles.