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.
It's hard to find over-ear headphones that are light, affordable and sound great, which is why we're shouting the praises of the Behringer HPS3000 studio headphones. At only $20 (the same price as two months of Spotify Premium) these cans offer a ton of bang for your buck, with solid audio quality that includes strong bass and clear vocals. Also, these headphones include a 1/4-inch adapter for those of you using mixing consoles and other pro-end equipment.
Buying — or gifting — affordable Bluetooth headphones often requires a leap of faith, but that's not the case with the iClever BTH20's. Not only do they offer strong, stable Bluetooth connections, but their earbuds feel secure in your ears, even while playing sports outdoors. Further, these buds offer solid sound quality, with deep, undistorted bass, and crisp, clear highs. And with 8 hours of listening on a single charge, they'll last more than a couple of workouts before needing more juice.
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.
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.
With Chromecast Audio, you can stream from the cloud to your speakers. So while your phone can act as a remote, it's still free for making calls and doing anything else. Plus, the units are so affordable that you can buy multiple Chromecast Audio receivers. Chain the speakers throughout your house to easily stream the same song from floor to floor.
If you're looking for a solid Bluetooth speaker for under $50, the Anker SoundCore 2 is an excellent option. It offers great, balanced audio quality; lasts 24 hours on a single charge; and even has enough water resistance to survive getting sprayed. There's also an 18-month "worry-free" warranty for returns.
AirPods are a super convenient way for iPhone owners to listen to their tunes, but they're useless for listening on any other devices. This is where Twelve South's AirFly transmitter comes in handy, which streams audio to the AirPods from connected 3.5mm analogue headphone jacks. This opens up the AirPods to a ton of other hardware, including seatback displays on airplanes, laptops and the Nintendo Switch.
Credit: Twelve South