Welcome to Buy Choice, in which we pick one everyday item, cut out all the noise, and present you with nothing but the best options on the market.
Modern-day music systems seemingly have it all.
Big brains. Bold sound. The ability to play every song in your collection via voice command.
But aesthetically, they tend to be background noise, happy to fade into their surroundings.
We say put your music front and center again, the way it was in the days of hardwood speakers and artfully packaged vinyl.
Helping you do just that: the seven handsomest audio consoles for your home.
Consider them hi-fi systems qua high-end furniture.
Crafted by La Boite Concept, a French company that fuses hi-fi equipment with contemporary furniture, the LD S (Laptop Dock Studio) is exactly what it says it is: a speaker system built into a handsome wooden desk. The innards act as your soundboard, with a pair of aluminum mid-range speakers, a pair of dome tweeters, additional rear speakers and an aluminum woofer providing your soundtrack. Need to go smaller? The company’s Cube Woody is a great-looking loudspeaker shaped like a small coffee table.
Wrensilva Loft Sonos Edition
Analog looks, digital brains and sound. You can pair this handsome walnut console/vinyl player — featuring a welded steel base shelf with room for 120 records — with any Sonos speaker throughout your house. Bonus: all units handbuilt in San Diego.
Symbol Audio Stereo Console
New York-based Symbol has been making analog and digital crossover stereos since 2012; each unit is housed in walnut, with a '60s mod aesthetic that’s as timeless as the vinyl in your crates. The Stereo Console is a smart-looking table with speakers embedded in its surface (and an 8” subwoofer to boot). It can be used with turntables, wifi or your TV, and the exposed vinyl holder is a nice touch that doubles as display and function.
Sitskie Open 45 Credenza
The records on this beautiful modular unit sit high, both an aesthetic and ergonomic choice. And using divider panels, you can customize where your audio components and shelving fit best. While you’ll have to provide your own speakers or vinyl player (go for something that works well with walnut — perhaps this), the cord channel runs the length of the unit, meaning the wires to your handpicked audio system will stay hidden.
Hervet Manufacturier Audiosatt
Designed by Daft Punk’s creative director, this retro-future speaker is described as an “excellent vessel for supersonic cruise.” Yep. Crafted from Dos Santos rosewood veneer, natural wax finish, a stainless steel base and a smoky plexiglass, the wireless sound here is curated by Bose.
JLA M.1 NaturalxSilver
A wifi-enabled end table built from natural Baltic birch with subtle aluminum details that can automatically detect when music is being played from iTunes, Spotify or Pandora. The made-to-order M.1 is outfitted with a 100-watt speaker as well as a woofer and tweeter, and the cone of the speaker is angled down, so you’ll get a nice, deep bass.
Miniforms Skap X
Made in Italy, this retro music cabinet/sideboard (which has a bit of modish Austin Powers flair) is equipped with Bluetooth, a remote control and two audio inputs. Plus, you get your choice of multiple color combos between the structure/doors, the drawers and the groove finishes. (A longer and even more colorful sideboard from Miniforms, the Caixa, is available here.)