|Classy compacts: high-end CD radios|
Senior associate editor
Chances are, you have an ancient CD boombox or minisystem sitting in your bedroom, office, or kitchen. For a lot of people, it's a trusty old Aiwa with dual cassette decks--maybe even the same one that graced your college dorm room. But now that you already have an HDTV, a surround-sound home-theater system, and an iPod, it's time to bring your equipment upgrade to your secondary systems. While the phrase luxury tabletop radio used to begin and end with Bose, there are now a handful of high-end models from competitors such as Boston Acoustics and Cambridge SoundWorks. In addition to providing excellent AM and FM reception, each plays standard and MP3 CDs. Even better, each model includes line-in connectors so that you can listen to your iPod or any other audio source, such as a DVD player. Each one will set you back $350 to $500--but you'll be getting sound quality that is discernibly better than the Reagan-era model you're replacing.
Looking for even more features? Consider holding out for Polk Audio's I-Sonic. Due in the first quarter of 2006, the company's first tabletop audio system adds DVD playback, support for digital HD Radio reception, and--with a special antenna attachment and subscription--XM satellite radio.