Music: For some people it is entertainment, for others, it is the sound of life. If you are shopping for the latter, the soul afflicted with a music obsession, do not fret. You don't have to spend buckets on expensive audiophile kit to make them happy. Here are a few suggestions, that should fit into any tune snob's collection — of gear.
Soundfreaq Sound Spot
I like my Bluethooth speakers cheap—the quality of the sound on these tiny little guys is usually constrained by the size of the speaker, not by any of the slews of other "features" that companies will try to sell you. Thus, the Soundfreaq Sound Spot: it's cheap, and compared to its single-driver competition, it's actually a little bigger. It ain't the prettiest thing in the world, but for $70, it's going to make somebody very happy, even if it's only a backup speaker.
V-Moda Crossfade LP
About a year ago, I reviewed V-Moda's Crossfade M-100 headphones and I completely fell in love. The problem? They cost a whopping $300. Luckily, one of the company's first products is getting blown out on Amazon these days for just over $100 (depending on the listing). Like the M-100s, the V-Moda LP headphones are indestructible an sound amazing. Highly recommend—especially for the price.
Sol Republic Jax
I'd never recommend these headphones for a high-intensity listening session—although, they sound pretty freaking solid—instead, I recommend these for everyday use. That's how I use them and I totally love 'um. They're durable, excellent sounding, and at only$40, no one's going to be devastated when they break. When I got my first pair, I was all, "I have so many nice in-ear headphones why would I use these?" Answer: Because shit happens and you don't want to lug around fancy gear all the time. now I'm on my third pair.
Sonos Play:1 and Bridge
Sonos is wireless music the way that it should be. Once you've set it up with your Wi-Fi, and download the correct apps for your computer/phone/tablet(s)—whew—music turns into a wonderful seamless experience. WIth the introduction of the Play:1 earlier this year, Sono finally got a very inexpensive option. Sure, it sounds better in a stereo pair, but a single $200 Play:1 is going to sound better than any bluetooth speaker out there. Plus, if you buy one for the holidays, Sonos is throwing in the necessary Bridge to plug into your router for free.
Shure in-ear headphones
Shure in-ear headphones sound just as good as the very best out there. What I love about them is that they've got detachable cables. Most of the time, the reason headphones fail is because the cables go. With detachable cables, you can replace them. The buds range from $100 to $1000 dollars, but the lower end SE215 and SE315 will be more than enough to make anyone happy. $100/$200
These are pretty great headphones that are handsome and comfortable. I'm adding them to the list because these are the headphones that members of the Gizmodo staff (past and present) actually go out and buy, and use on a daily basis. Don't pay list price. You should be able to find them for $150 or cheaper.