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The Sennheiser MM 500-X sounds great; it's comfortable, it's easy to use, it's highly portable, and it's affordably priced at $330.
Created by acclaimed designer Philippe Starck, the ZiK has a slick touch-sensing control that lets you adjust volume and skip tracks with a swipe of your finger. Every physical aspect of the ZiK reveals thoughtful, polished industrial design. The controls work intuitively and, in my experience, flawlessly.
This lifestyle music system contains a CD player, AM/FM tuner, iPod/iPhone dock, USB port, alarm clock, amp and speakers in one very stylish package.
Paradigm is a Canadian speaker brand with an international following among audiophiles. Recently, the company has created a new sub-brand, Paradigm Shift, targeted at people who use computers rather than audio components to listen to music. The Active Atom, or A2 for short, is the first Paradigm Shift speaker.
Canadian-owned NAD has a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of high-quality amplifiers. This is its first iPod speaker, and the first of a series that departs from the traditional audio-component mold.
iPod speakers come in all shapes and sizes: from B&W's acclaimed Zeppelin (now with AirPlay capability) to JBL's circular On Stage 200ID. Arcam's rCube is (you guessed it) a perfect cube.
The Pioneer VSX-1021's leading-edge network features coupled with very fine sonic performance earn this receiver an unreserved recommendation.
Combined with the optional matching SC-N7 speakers, Denon's RCD-N7 is a very pleasant-sounding desktop music system for small to medium-sized rooms, with some very attractive network music features.
Apple's AirPlay technology lets users beam music wirelessly to an AirPlay-compatible component from a Mac or PC running iTunes, or from an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. Early in 2011, Denon and Marantz added AirPlay functionality to several products, including the AVR-4311CI AV receiver reviewed here.
Sirius (www.siriuscanada.ca) is known for its satellite radio service and complementary receivers. But this year marks the company's entrance into the portable Internet radio market.