Engadget's summer gear guide 2012: portable audio

In the interest of keeping cool this summer, we've put together a list of the hottest products out right now. From smartphones to e-readers and everything in between, there's no time like the present to re-up that post-spring-cleaning stash. So grab a popsicle or a cold one and dive in -- the water's just right.

Engadget's summer gear guide 2012: portable audio

With summer approaching, you're likely looking to get away from that stuffy apartment and out into the fresh air -- and if you're like us, you probably like to take your music with you wherever you go. Keeping that in mind, if you're ready to ditch the (likely) passable in-ears that came with your smartphone / PMP or want to find speakers that can move with you, we've rounded up a few new listening devices that might be worth having on your radar. Ready to bite the bullet and enter the big leagues of portable audio? Head down beyond the break for the ear-tingling details.

Editors' Choice

Jawbone Big Jambox

Engadget's summer gear guide 2012 portable audio

Headphones are great for zoning out during the commute, but what about when things get more communal? Meet Jawbone's Big Jambox ($300), the company's second Bluetooth speaker and speakerphone combo. Like the palmable Jambox from 2010, this bigger version packs more volume than meets the eye -- it's only 2.7 pounds and sized for one-hand carrying. The speaker can be paired with two devices at once (remembering up to eight) and you'll get up to 15 hours of listening time thanks to its 2,600mAh rechargeable battery. The Big Jambox also features Jawbone's MyTalk voice prompts / apps for customization and LiveAudio DSP to enhance the sound of games and movies. Whether you're scurrying from room to room taking calls or want some jams going while you're having lunch out with friends, the Big Jambox should have you covered.

Price: $300 at Jawbone

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Engadget's summer gear guide 2012 portable audio

Bowers & Wilkins P3

Looking to travel with a morsel of luxury wrapped around your ears? Although the P5 headphones ($300) are some of our favorite on-the-go cans for walking and talking, the leather-clad design means you'll likely be sweating in the heat. Fret not, because its new P3 headphones swap out the interior leather for a cloth interior and soft-touch outer, while maintaining a similar aesthetic. The P3s have hinged earcups -- perfect for storing 'em in a cramped bag -- and an iDevice-compatible remote / mic to keep you in touch with your playlists. Best of all, they can be yours for a more wallet-pleasing $200.

Price: $200 at Custom Cable

Engadget's summer gear guide 2012 portable audio

Plantronics BackBeat Go

Not a fan of plugging into your device's audio jack? Prefer the isolation provided by in-ear headphones? Say hello to Plantronics' new BackBeat Go. The only cord you'll find here is its anti-tangle cable connecting the earbuds, which also houses a noise-cancelling inline mic with remote. Although it can only be paired to one device at a time, you'll get 4.5 hours of listening time and 10 hours of battery on standby. The BackBeat Go weighs in at just 13 ounces, and at $100 to get your own pair, the price is light, too.

Price: $100 at Amazon