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Geared Up

Presenting our annual Tech Special, starring smart TVs, cutting-edge audio and robots, robots, robots!

Author Adam K. Raymond


Although carrying a boom box on your shoulder during a hike is never a good idea, carrying the Rugged Rukus is. The sturdy, splashproof speaker is lightweight, powered by the sun and easily strapped to a backpack. It streams music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-compatible device and can even pass along solar power to anything that needs a charge. The sound is booming and lasts for eight hours on a single charge. That means if you’re hiking the Arctic Circle under the midnight sun, it’ll play forever. $100 / www.etoncorp.com



In a time when everything is smaller, lighter and (typically) uglier, Polk Audio bucks the trend with its Woodbourne wireless speaker system. At 2 feet wide and nearly 18 pounds, this mahogany-topped beaut is meant to find a permanent spot on a shelf in your home. But what it sacrifices in mobility it makes up for in sound, with a 180-watt amplifier, two 5.25-inch mineral-filled midwoofers and two silk-dome tweeters. In other words, it’s really loud. $599 / www.polkaudio.com

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