For people who are obsessed with music — no matter what kind — the gear they use to listen to hot tunes is sacred. Good headphones, speakers, and accessories make a big difference when it comes to sound quality. And that stuff doesn’t have to cost a fortune! Here’s a batch of Giz-approved gear for your audiophile friends and family.
Maybe you’re cool using Apple’s pathetic buds are good enough for your lame ears, but your music loving friend is going want something a little more robust. Cramming big sound into little in-ear monitors is a challenge and Shure nails it. We also really like that the cables on all of their headphones are replaceable because it’s a shame to lose a great buds over a wasted cable.
A good USB digital-to-audio converter helps turn all those bits on your computer into sound waves as accurately as possible. You absolutely need a good DAC to take full advantage of high-resolution audio files. Help your nerd friend swap the crap DAC on their MacBook for this affordable little box.
Harman Kardon CL
These super clear sounding headphones are some of our favourite new cans this year. The Harman Kardon CLs sound good with practically every kind of music. Plus, they’re light, comfortable, and portable enough to carry around as an everyday set of headphones.
Polk Audio TSi200 Bookshelf Speakers
Polk makes some of my favorite speakers I’ve ever owned. The company has got a long history of creating well-built speakers with exceptional clarity, balance, and fullness.
Pioneer XW-SMA3-K A3
This AirPlay speaker is everything a wireless system should be: Battery-powered, portable, excellent sounding, water-resistant, easy-to-setup. Oh and it sounds spectacular.
Pro-Ject Essential Turntable
Pro-Ject turntables have a minimal and effective design. But don’t let that gorgeous simplicity fool you. The Austrian company precision tunes their tables for low-vibration to achieve accurate sound reproduction.
Soundfreaq Sound Kick
We discovered this incredible portable speaker in the ghetto of $100 crap Bluetooth speakers. It delivers one thing that no other wireless speaker in its class can: Convincing bass.
Sennheiser HD-280 PRO
These studio quality headphones are perfect for your desk. Their flat frequency response curve represents music exactly the way it was recorded.
Got a better idea? Share it with us. We truly want to make sure these guides help people buy epic holiday gifts, and many minds are better than a few.