This article first appeared in HIFI Trends,”the journal of accessible hi-fi!”.
Prices listed in US$.
Looking for the perfect gift for the audiophile in your life? Check out our comprehensive 2023 Holiday Gift Guide that features audiophile gift ideas for every budget. Whether you’re looking for headphones, speakers, or other audio accessories, we’ve got you covered. Don’t miss out on these top picks for music enthusiasts.
It’s November, and that means Holiday Gift Time! Audiophiles are known for their love of high-quality sound. If you’re shopping for an audiophile this holiday season, you’ll want to get them a gift that will help them enjoy their music to the fullest.
Here are some audiophile gift ideas for every budget!
Audiophile gift ideas under $50:
SoundPEATS Free2 Classic Wireless Earbuds ($39.99): For a great stocking stuffer, check out these affordable earbuds with their stylish design and comfortable fit. The long-lasting battery can be easily charged with USB-C, providing up to 30 hours of listening time. The earbuds offer high-quality sound with strong bass and clear vocals. They also have Bluetooth 5.1 for a reliable connection during workouts.
FiiO JadeAudio KA1 DAC/Headphone Amp ($49.99): The great-sounding KA1 headphone DAC/Amp allows you to use wired audiophile headphones with most portable devices, and it supports high-resolution sound with up to 32bit/384kHz PCM and DSD512 decoding. The tiny amplifier is compatible with Android/Windows devices and supports smartphones, portable players, tablets, and computers. It’s also very compact, measuring only 43x15x8mm and weighing just 10g.
Audiophile gift ideas between $50 and $100:
iFi Zen Air DAC ($99): This quality Desktop Headphone Amp/DAC is a great way to improve the sound quality of a computer or smartphone, and it’s perfect for those who like to listen to music at work. It’s got sound power output, so it can drive most full-sized over-ear headphones.
EarFun Bluetooth Speaker, UBOOM L ($79) This portable Bluetooth speaker offers excellent sound quality for a very affordable price. It’s also very durable and waterproof, so you can take it wherever you want, even to your favorite beach.
SoundPEATS Air4 Pro Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds ($89.99):
The new Air4 Pro is a remarkably affordable pair of in-ear wireless earbuds that has a ton of features previously only found on top-of-the-line models. For one, they support aptX Lossless and Snapdragon Sound for CD-quality sound. They also feature a 13mm dynamic driver for immersive sound and include adaptive ANC tech with triple mics for quality noise cancellation. The earbuds also have a low latency game mode with 88ms latency, and they offer a total playtime of 26 hours with app control. Perfect for the audiophile with a long commute.
Audiophile gift ideas between $100 and $200:
HIFIMAN HE400SE Stealth Planar Magnetic Wired Headphones ($109): Planar headphones have conductive wires that almost completely cover a super-thin diaphragm, resulting in less distortion than dynamic headphones. Along with that, HIFIMAN’s advanced magnet design reduces wave diffraction turbulence along the diaphragm, providing pure and accurate sound. Its high sensitivity makes it suitable for low-voltage sources like portable audio players and smartphones. The adjustable lightweight headband ensures comfort during long listening sessions. Great for the audiophile looking for an upgrade to their old faithful cans.
Spin-Clean Vinyl Record Washer MKII Deluxe Kit ($124.99): The patented Spin-Clean Record Washer MK II is a complete record cleaning system that allows you to quickly and effectively clean both sides of any record simultaneously without using your turntable. It improves the sound quality of records, prolongs the life of the turntable, and preserves LPs.
Atlantic Technology’s TWS1 True Wireless Earbuds ($149): These top-rated wireless earbuds provide a lot for the money. First, they include Qualcomm aptX Adaptive technology, which supports high-resolution audio up to 24bit/96 kHz. That, paired with the 7mm Titanium-Coated drivers, delivers accurate and balanced sound. In addition, the Atlantic Technology TWS App (iOS and Android) offers an array of features. One is Ai-Tune, a program that optimizes the earbuds based on the user’s personal hearing profile. The app also includes seven pre-programmed EQ presets for various music genres or podcast listening. The earbud run-time is nine hours, which extends to 35 hours with the case.
Audiophile gift ideas between $200 and $500:
WiiM Pro Plus Multi-Room Network Music Streamer ($219): This best-in-class affordable streamer allows you to stream high-resolution music from various sources to your home audio system. It’s also very easy to use and has many features, like seamless streaming with AirPlay 2 and Chromecast, so you can easily connect your Apple and Android devices. In addition, you can enjoy high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/192 kHz with gapless playback and stream directly from Spotify, TIDAL, or Amazon Music apps using Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, or Alexa.
Audio-Technica AT-LP60XBT Bluetooth Turntable ($219): This turntable is a great way to get into vinyl. It’s easy to set up and use, and it sounds great. It also has a built-in Bluetooth transmitter to stream your vinyl to Bluetooth speakers or headphones. It’s a fully automatic turntable with two speeds: 33-1/3 rpm and 45 rpm. It also has a low wow and flutter (< 0.25%) at 3 kHz and an anti-resonance, die-cast aluminum platter. The tonearm base and headshell have been redesigned to improve tracking and reduce resonance.
Sony WF-1000XM5 Wireless Earbuds ($249): If you know an audiophile who wants the best of the best, these wireless earbuds offer the best noise cancellation on the market, as well as excellent sound quality. They also feature adaptive sound control and Speak-to-Chat technology, which automatically pauses music when the user starts speaking. In addition, they also have a sleek and lightweight design that makes them comfortable to wear, along with a long battery life.
SIVGA Luan Hi-Fi Dynamic Driver Open-Back Wood Headphones ($299): Want to get them something that not only sounds good but looks good? Then check these out! The LUAN headphones are like a work of art, featuring a wooden housing carved by CNC and traditional methods, along with a 50mm driver with nickel coating and carbon fiber composite dome for sound performance. They also have a lightweight and comfortable design with a velvet headband and earpads. (HIFI Trends Review)
Cambridge Audio AXA35 Integrated Amp ($399): Know someone who needs to replace an old amp without spending much cash? Well, the Cambridge Audio AXA35 is an entry-level amp for turntable and audio enthusiasts that features a simple design and fantastic sound quality due to its high-quality build, including short signal paths, a high-spec heat sink, and a damped power supply. It also has four analog inputs to easily connect CD players, streamers, TVs, and game consoles. In addition, it has 35 watts per channel and a 1/4-inch headphone socket for private listening.
KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers (On Sale for $349): Looking for a capable pair of speakers to go with the amp above? Well, the KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speaker, which is now on sale for the holidays, is a great match. This speaker is the latest version of KEF’s award-winning Q Series. It features a nicely built cabinet, sleek finishes, and an impressive 5.25″ Uni-Q coaxial driver Array. The speaker has enhanced treble frequencies and clean bass. The front port has been moved to the back for audio clarity. The Q150 is available in matte Black and White vinyl finishes.
Audiophile gift ideas over $500:
Focal Bathys Over-Ear Hi-Fi Bluetooth Wireless Headphones (On sale for $699): Got someone who likes the finer things in life? Well, these classy headphones are the best-sounding active noise-canceling cans on the market. They also have a luxurious design with a refined leather and microfiber headband for comfort. There are many connectivity options, including a 3.5mm jack, USB-C outlet, and Bluetooth. The battery life is over 30 hours, and they support fast charging.
Kanto TUK Powered Speaker with Headphone Out ($599): Looking for the best-powered speakers under $1000? Well, look no further than the Kanto TUK. The TUK’s AMT tweeters and aluminum woofer provide remarkable sound quality for a speaker this size. Additionally, they also offer a ton of connectivity options, including optical, RCA, phono, USB DAC, headphone amp, and Bluetooth. TUK’s active crossover also filters out frequencies below 80Hz for enhanced resolution when a powered sub is connected. (HIFI Trends Review)
SpinTrio Record Player System ($749): Do you know someone who wants an excellent vinyl system but is short on space? Well, this little system, complete with a stand, will make them very happy! This value-packed bundle includes the SpinBase speaker, a SpinDeck 2 turntable, and SpinStand to put them one. The SpinDeck 2 is a Semi-Automatic turntable with an Auto-Off function; the speaker provides High-Performance Playback with IsoGroove Technology, a Class D amplifier, and a 270° loudspeaker array. The SpinStand is an elegant storage solution for the speaker, turntable, and some records.
No matter your budget, there is an audiophile gift that is perfect for the person in your life. So get shopping and give the gift of great sound this holiday season!
For more, visit HIFI Trends,”the journal of accessible hi-fi!”.