The weirdest and wildest AV gear of 2023

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This year has been abounding of some appealing accomplished and innovative tech products, and that includes audio/video and home amphitheater accessory — from blisteringly ablaze TVs to headphones with Wi-Fi and earbud charging cases with LED screens to new-and-improved articles from all the big shots like Apple, Sony, Amazon, and more.

But I’m actuality for the awe-inspiring stuff. The absorbing stuff. The being that fabricated our eyes widen and our eyebrows do funny things. And throughout 2023, there accept been a few acceptable ones, including a fire-breathing $3,900 beleaguer complete setup, a turntable you ability appetite to eat with a ancillary of fries, and a James Bond-worthy TV in a suitcase. Here, then, is some of the weirdest AV accessory of 2023.

The soundbar basic of the Nakamichi Dragon Surround System.Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

Nakamichi Dragon 11.4.6 beleaguer complete system

The smoke-and-fire puns were laid on thick, but you can’t accountability our own Caleb Denison for that in his excellent video review because the Nakamichi Dragon beleaguer arrangement appealing abundant set our flat afire (great, now I’m accomplishing it). Denison alleged it “without a agnosticism the best over-the-top home theater-in-a-box I’ve anytime seen” — and for acceptable reason. The $3,900 arrangement consists of a capital soundbar assemblage that weighs 32 pounds, is fabricated of stainless steel, and appearance 14 drivers, three tweeters, and seven amplifiers. Then there are two beleaguer speakers (each with bristles drivers) and two subwoofers, anniversary with two 8-inch woofers in them. The accomplished affair blasts out a absolute arrangement ability of 3,000 watts at a aiguille achievement of 125 decibels. And like Smaug laying decay to Lake-town, this Dolby Atmos arrangement is aloof a face-melting home amphitheater in a box.

Audio-Technica AT-SB727 Sound Burger arena a 33 1/3 RPM record, awning closed.Simon Cohen / Digital Trends

Audio-Technica Sound Burger

Would you like chips with that? Back in the mid-1980s back vinyl annal ruled, the aboriginal Audio-Technica Sound Burger was awash as the iPod of its time — a compact, battery-powered record player that you could booty anywhere … if you were accommodating to lug a milk crate abounding of LPs alternating with you. Its sandwich-like architecture and basal appearance were accepted abundant that Audio-Technica saw fit to copy the Sound Burger this year, arresting while the spatula’s hot (man, I’m hungry) to booty advantage of vinyl’s still-sizzling homesickness agency (someone amuse augment me). This time around, though, A-T has accustomed it some upgrades, including Bluetooth connectivity and new rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Sadly, there’s still no accepting about alteration your abundant vinyl records, but maybe you can hit a drive-thru for some burger ability first.

A man adjusts the 27-inch adviser of an LG StanbyMe Go.Zeke Jones / Digital Trends

LG StanbyME Go carriageable attache TV

The LG StanbyME Go is the affectionate of espionage-tinged monitor-in-a-briefcase you could see Mission Impossible‘s Ving Rhames hunkered over in the aback of a van as he helps Ethan Hunt shimmy through air ducts. Coincidentally, it’s additionally not too far off from the affectionate of attache you’d see apartment the golden-glowing body of one Marsellus Wallace (see what I did there?). Sadly, you won’t acquisition Marsellus’ body central the 28-pound, $1,200 StanbyMe Go. Instead, there’s a 27-inch, 1080p LCD touchscreen that can hinge vertically, horizontally, up, down, left, and right. Throw it in the aback of the auto for your abutting tailgate affair (like we did with it). And while it’s technically not a TV as it doesn’t accept a tuner, its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, as able-bodied as its webOS operating system, agency you can casting to it from your accessories via AirPlay or acceptance alive casework like Netflix. Plus, you get to attending like a badass spy.

A man wears Apple Vision Pro.Apple

Apple Vision Pro

We couldn’t allocution about awe-inspiring and agrarian 2023 tech after advertence the Apple Vision Pro mixed-reality angle that Apple apparent at its annual WWDC accident in June. And while it isn’t carefully an AV device, Apple gave us a lot to allocution about with the headset’s TV- and movie-viewing features that affiance an immersive acquaintance that simulates a awning up to 100-feet advanced that can alive aural a ambit of apish environments. The micro-OLED affectation central appearance 4K resolution and can affectation 3D content, and the angle has abutment for spatial audio. Aside from the actuality that it looks like it was ripped anon from Ready Player One, the Vision Pro accustomed added than it’s allotment of criticism, mainly for its aerial $3,500 amount tag, but additionally because the VR amplitude has been well-trodden, abrogation abounding apprehensive what makes this any altered from, say, a Meta Quest. However, several hands-on reviews from WWDC appear an absorbing experience, and if Apple can abode its abounding issues afore its barrage abutting year, 2024 will be giving us a ton to allocution about with the Vision Pro.

The Dyson Zone air-purifying ANC headphones on a model.Dyson

Dyson Zone noise-canceling, air-purifying headphones

In accession to vacuums, duke dryers, and beard accessories, James Dyson has acutely invented a Time Machine. That’s the alone believable account for the Dyson Zone headphones, a accessory that is acutely from our dystopian future. But until beforehand this year back they were assuredly released, us bald civilians mustn’t accept been accessible for their Optimus Prime-like stylings. At a whopping $950, the Dyson Zone appearance ANC (active babble cancellation) and complete affection that got appealing favorable reviews above the board, but it’s the magnetically affiliated air antibacterial “visor” that’s adamantine to get accomplished visually. But do they work? When connected, air is pulled in through the earcups and through two layers of electrostatic filters afore alive out to your adenoids and mouth. And while the affectation doesn’t allowance up deeply like an N95 mask, or clarify out viruses, the Dyson Zone can clarify gases and odors, as able-bodied as air pollutants as baby as 0.1 microns. Weird, yes, but absolutely added than meets the eye.

The capital advertence alert allowance of the McIntosh Group House of Sound townhouse.Derek Malcolm / Digital Trends

McIntosh House of Sound

OK, so it’s added of a agrarian experience than one distinct allotment of AV tech, but the McIntosh House of Sound, a five-story townhouse in New York City that’s decked out top to basal with some of the best and best big-ticket audio accessory in the world, is article that has to be apparent (and heard) to believe. Opened to the accessible in the backward summer for private, guided alert sessions, the chichi accommodation appearance six curated alert apartment that the McIntosh Group has outfitted with the amplifiers, speakers, turntables, and added accessory of its abounding brands, including McIntosh, Sonus Faber, Pro-Ject Audio, and Rotel. Highlights accommodate its capital music alert allowance that appearance McIntosh’s 7-foot-tall flagship XRT2.1 speakers (pictured above) and a absolute achievement of 8,000 hair-blowing watts, and the arena floor’s home amphitheater with its 9.16.4 complete arrangement that includes 16 butt-rumbling subwoofers and a behemothic projector screen. It’s a must-visit the abutting time you’re in the Big Apple.

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