Struggling with Christmas Gift Ideas? Don’t know what to get the Audiophile/Music lover in your life? Freaking out because you’re running out of time? Well, don’t worry, our list of affordable high-end gifts has stuff that will make them grin from ear to ear!
HIFIMAN SUNDARA Planar Magnetic Headphones
At $349, the HIFIMAN SUNDARA may be the best value in high-end audiophile headphones. The extra-thin Planar Magnetic drivers provide fast, accurate sound, especially in the midrange (vocals). Add to that a well-controlled punchy bass, and you get a headphone that will make any music sound amazing. The big, soft earpads also make them super-comfortable. Perfect for a long, relaxing music listening session. Grab these for the headphone junkie.
GRADO GW100 (v2) Wireless Bluetooth Headphones
These lightweight wireless headphones are the only Bluetooth headphones with an open back for big, spacious sound. They also have aptX for CD-quality streaming, so music lovers can take audiophile quality sound wherever they go. For the headphone lover who can’t stand wires.
EarFun Air Pro Wireless Earbuds Active Noise Cancelling
These nice-looking True Wireless Earbuds are perfect for the price…the fit is comfy, noise-canceling surprisingly effective, and the sound is remarkably crisp. They’re also sweat and water-resistant, which makes them exercise ready. An awesome Christmas Gift for only $79. Great for the jet-setter.
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iFi Zen DAC – HiFi Desktop Digital Analog Converter/Headphone Amp
If you have a loved one that works from home and loves music, then this affordable high-resolution headphone amp/DAC is the perfect gift. If they already have a favorite pair of headphones, then it will make them sound incredible. If they don’t, then pick this up along with the SUNDARA headphones ($349) mentioned earlier on this list or the HIFIMAN HE400i ($169), and you will make their day! It comes with a USB cable in the box, so all they have to do plug the ZEN DAC in their laptop and go! Great for those who work from home!
AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt USB Digital-to-Analog Converter
Like the ZEN DAC above, the AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt bypasses your laptop’s (or phone’s) crappy audio circuit to provide audiophile sound. However, what makes the Cobalt special is its size! The pocket-sized wonder will drive headphones like a desktop amp, and it also has a flagship DAC chip for a three-dimensional presentation. It comes with a nice USB-C adapter to plug into smartphones and computers. Great for the Road Warrior!
KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
The KEF is a fan-favorite speaker since they are clear and accurate and have a wide sweet spot. That means no matter where you sit in front of them; you will get a full stereo sound. That also means they are easy to set up and will work in a wide variety of spaces. Plus, right now, they are on sale for $299.98, which is $300 off the regular price! That is a steal for the #1 best selling speaker on Amazon! Great for audiophiles building a system on a budget
PSB Alpha AM5 Powered Bookshelf Speakers
For $599, the Alpha AM5 Powered Bookshelf Speaker gives you a complete audio system at a price that isn’t too far above the award-winning passive speakers they’re based on. With this setup and a smartphone, you can have an excellent hi-fi rig up and running in minutes. Just pair with Bluetooth and play music from any streaming service. They have good detail, imaging, and nice bass response, making them a great speaker for any genre. Nice setup for a young music lover!
Bluesound Node 2i Wireless Multi-Room Hi-Res Music Streaming Player
This excellent music streamer will give the audiophile in your life access to just about any song in the world with just a tap of their phone screen. It handles just about every hi-res audio format, including MQA (which should TIDAL fans happy). It also has two-way Bluetooth, which means it can stream music from a smartphone and stream music out to your BT headphones. Speaking of headphones, it also has a built-in headphone amp, which you don’t see in too many streamers. Perfect for someone looking to upgrade their stereo system.
Audiolab 6000A 2-Channel Integrated Amplifier
The integrated amplifier is the heart of an affordable high-end stereo system, and If you have a friend or family member looking to upgrade from a budget amp, they need to check this one out. It has a clean, high-current Class AB amp section along with a dedicated headphone amp. It also has a great digital section backed up by an ESS Sabre DAC chip. Bluetooth is on deck as well. If you pick it up right now, you can get it for $799.99, which is $200 bucks off! That’s a steal; you can’t do better at that price. Also on sale: Audiolab 6000CDT Dedicated CD Transport
Andover Audio Spinbase Turntable Speaker/Spindeck Turntable
If you know someone with a small apartment or room looking to get into vinyl, the Spindeck/Spinbase combo is an excellent option. It’s a special package that combines connections for several sources (Bluetooth, Phono, Line-in), 270º hi-fi music reproduction, and a headphone amp in the smallest footprint I have ever seen. It’s also amazingly simple to operate. With this compact system out there for less than $600, there’s no reason for anybody to go without good music. (BTW, the Spinbase is our 2020 Powered Speaker Of The Year) Great for the vinyl lover without a lot of space.
SpinBase Turntable Speaker System
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I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.