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There’s no shortage of decent audio gear on the market these days, from Bluetooth headphones (that now double as a work-from-home essential) to wireless subwoofers that promise room-shaking bass. But which devices are actually worth buying? And what new releases actually live up to their hype? After all, your favorite songs and soundtracks will only sound as good as the devices they’re being played on.
Our editors have spent the past year testing out hundreds of headphones, speakers and sound systems to put together the list for our first-ever Rolling Stone Audio Awards. These products earned a place on our list for superior performance, advanced technology, inspired design and utility. From the best wireless earbuds, to headsets for gaming, here’s what caught our eyes (and ears) over the past year.