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Best audio for the spring

Now is an exciting time for audio gear nerds, and this spring the theme is converging technologies, so you'll see headphones with combined features like noise cancelling, completely wireless earbuds and military-spec durability.

Our preview list also includes waterproof Bluetooth speakers with integrated solar panels for charging, home theater speakers, receivers and more.

Many of the products in this slideshow don't have exact release dates yet, but they're all scheduled to come out before the end of June so check back with CNET soon for full reviews.

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If there's one audio product we're the most jazzed about in 2016 it's this one. After a spectacular showing at CES 2016 we have high hopes for the $500 ELAC UB5s. Designer Andrew Jones says he's improved on the already great debut and based on our ears-on demos we'd say he's right. Look out for these April 4.

$499.98 at Walmart
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Jaybird Freedom

When it released its X2 wireless sports headphones in 2015, Jaybird drew some criticism because it didn't seem like much of an upgrade over the predecessor. Well, now the company finally has headphones -- the Jaybird Freedom -- with a totally new, more compact design that should offer an even better fit for most people.

$54.49 at Amazon
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Ecoxgear Sol Jam

Ecoxgear's Sol Jam is billed as the industry's first portable Bluetooth speaker that's both 100 percent waterproof (to the IPX67 standard) and has integrated HD solar panels for charging.

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JBL Clip 2

JBL's Clip speakers have been among our favorite micro Bluetooth speakers, and the new Clip 2, which features improved battery life and a metal (not plastic) carabiner, comes five color options for $60.

$39.95 at B&H Photo-Video
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Motorola Verve Loop

These earbuds are only certified for IPx4, which means they're sweat- and water-resistant, but definitely won't survive a dip in deep waters.

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Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Motorola VerveOnes earbuds

These are among the first batch of completely wireless earbuds announced this year. Motorola's version are the VerveOnes. They fit into a carrying case that also doubles as a wireless charger and the package includes six pairs of extra gel tips so you can secure a good seal while they're in your ears.

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Published:Caption:Photo:Sarah Tew/CNET
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Sony H.ear MDR-100ABN

The Sony MDR-100ABN has built-in active noise cancellation as well as Bluetooth connectivity to keep tangled wires from interrupting your music.

Available in five matte finish colors, the LDAC claims to sound three times better than Bluetooth-connected products.

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Sony H.ear MDR-EX750BT

The Sony H.ear MDR-EX750BT takes on the familiar Bluetooth earbud form we've seen in the past, with a band that drapes around your neck.

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LG Tone Platinum HBS-1100

The Tone Platinum gets two new features that set it apart from LG's current headphones lineup.

First, the Platinum is treated to a balanced armature driver that is said to generate more detail with less distortion than a typical dynamic driver headphone.

It's also using the aptX HD Audio Codec, which is supposed to improve wireless sound quality when used with source devices that are also similarly equipped (such as the Samsung Galaxy S6).

$155.00 at Amazon
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Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller
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Zvox SB500 sound bar

Once upon a time you could spend $300 on a soundbar and stop there -- there was no real reason to spend any more. But ZVOX may just have the reason to spend twice that with its $599 SB500 soundbar. Its inventors say it's the best sound bar ever made, and as the creators of the sound bar category itself they might know a little something. With aluminum construction and a potential for integration with Google Chromecast Audio this could the soundbar to beat this year.

$369.99 at Walmart
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Published:Caption:Photo:Ty Pendlebury/CNET
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Sony PSH-X500

Thought to be a relic of the '80s, Sony is now back in the turntable-making game. The new PSH-X500 has a distinctly 2016 tint with a digital DSD output in addition to a modern-looking tonearm. Expect more details soon!

$398.00 at Walmart
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Published:Caption:Photo:Josh Miller/CNET
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