Music fans can be tricky to shop for. Streaming music reduces the need to buy albums, and people who purchase records are always updating their vinyl collections. Our gift guide hopes to solve those dilemmas and aid your holiday shopping.
Not only do we know where vinyl enthusiasts shop, but we've also got a bunch of more-modern gadgets for shoppers who live on Spotify and want to rid their lives of wires. We've even tested headphones and Bluetooth speakers at a wide range of prices, so you can buy something great even if your budget is tight.
Credit: Bowers & Wilkins
You've likely noticed that one friend of yours who's constantly unknotting their headphone cables. This problem isn't going away soon, unless you want to get your friend one of the Bluetooth pairs or or wireless earbuds listed later in our guide. Consider buying your friend one of these colorful, rubbery cord wraps. It's the gift that keeps on giving, as it will save them time from here on out.
Giving someone a month of premium Spotify means you care about their music experience. Not only does the card provide playlists built using that individual's preferences, but it also removes the ads from the streaming service. Now, the good times will never get interrupted by a car-insurance ad. It also unlocks the option to save songs for offline, a feature beloved by people who don't have unlimited cellular data. If you want to give the gift of a year of Spotify Premium, look out for the $99 payment option, which packs a $20 discount.
We all have friends and family members whose music tastes live on the cutting edge. They're the hardest folks to shop for, and they're the reason gift certificates exist. Show them that you value their wizened, hip opinions (that compliment is a gift in and of itself) with a gift card to the super-indie Rough Trade record stores, which started in the United Kingdom and opened a Brooklyn outlet in 2012. These gift cards are good for purchases in Rough Trade's online and retail stores alike, which isn't always the case with other vinyl purveyors.
Credit: Rough Trade
If you've got a friend who keeps going through pairs of earbuds, constantly losing or breaking them, then you know someone who will love this pair of earbuds from HC-RET. Not only do they have a durable cable, but also their thunderous bass, accurate midranges and natural-sounding highs earned them a place as our pick for the best affordable earbuds. These buds also have a stylish look that we're shocked to find at this price.
Available in multiple colors, our pick for best cheap sports headphones is both stylish and sweat-resistant. While Koss claims these headphones are the first of their kind to be designed for women by women, they fit just about everyone. Not only can you adjust their flexible hooks to fit over any ears — even if you wear glasses — but they also come with three tip-cushion sizes to make them fit more comfortably. Last but not least, they emit music that sounds richer and more bass-heavy than what you get from other, similarly priced models.
The films of John Carpenter, the mastermind behind the Halloween franchise and They Live, carried haunting scores so beloved that the director and composer helmed performances of the songs around the country. Now, 13 of these tracks have been reproduced for a vinyl compendium release, so you can enjoy these synth-heavy gems in the comfort of your own home.
Credit: Sacred Bones Records
Not all cords need to get cut. Take, for example, the highly affordable Anker Soundbuds Slim wireless Bluetooth headphones, which latch together using magnets when you hang them on your neck. Rated for 7 hours of activity on a single charge, they also feature a clip so you can keep the headphones on a sleeve or collar.