6 Must-Have Pieces of Audio Equipment

We’re always looking for bigger and newer and better, so why are we content with the free earbuds that come with our iPods? “People are spending thousands of dollars on iTunes, and then listening to them on headphones that come for free,” says Paul Sandquist, COO of audiophile heaven Hifi House. Digital music isn’t just an Apple-born tech trend; it’s an era that’s seen CDs go the way of eight-tracks, the total rebirth of vinyl, and a rising demand to listen to songs better. (See: hi-def music.) Whether you’re looking to upgrade your headphones or want to rock out with speakers that match (and cost more than) your Benz, it’s time to rethink how you listen.