Hey Folks, Christmas is fast approaching, so here’s another installment of the Holiday Gift Guide For Music Lovers And Audiophiles to help you pick the perfect gift for the Hi-Fi enthusiast in your life!
This time around we’ve picked out five exceptional gifts between $150 and $250 that will make an Audiophile very happy, including the acclaimed IsoAcoustics zaZen Isolation Platform which is a nice gift for the Vinyl Enthusiasts out there. It will help them get better sound out of their turntable by soaking up detail-robbing vibrations, and with it starting at only $199, it won’t break the bank. Check it out along with our other great choices below!
Also, check out our Amazon Influencer page at https://www.amazon.com/shop/hifitrends for our regularly updated list of the best Cyber Monday/Black Friday deals on Amazon.
A quick reference list for those in a rush…if you need more info then keep scrolling for our full impressions!
- A Personal Sanctuary–Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless Earbuds w/ Advanced Noise Cancelling ($230)
- The Portable Powerhouse–iFi Hip Dac 2 Portable Balanced DAC Headphone Amplifier ($189)
- A Firm Foundation–IsoAcoustics zaZen I & II Turntable Isolation Platform ($199 & $229)
- A Remarkable Value–Andover Audio Songbird Music Streamer ($149)
- The Best Speaker You Can Get For Less Than $250!–ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (On Sale For $229.98/Pair)
1. Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless Earbuds w/ Advanced Noise Cancelling ($230)
A Personal Sanctuary
We really liked Technics’ first crack at True Wireless Earbuds, the EAH-AZ70W, as they sounded excellent, and had really good noise-canceling. Now with the sequel, the $230 Technics EAH-AZ60, we have an even sleeker pair of buds with a more secure fit, and better Call Quality using their new “JustMyVoice” Technology. They also added the LDAC Bluetooth codec for Hi-Res audio transmission, so now the sound is even more crisp and immersive than on the previous model. BTW, the ANC is still amongst the strongest on the market.
Perfect gift for the frequent flyer…
Buy at AmazonSHOP NOW
2. iFi Hip Dac 2 Portable Balanced DAC Headphone Amplifier ($189)
The Portable Powerhouse
If you’re looking for a battery-powered portable DAC/Headphone Amp combo under $200, the $189 iFi hip dac2 is hard to beat. It has an excellent mix of features like full MQA (Tidal Masters) decoding, balanced headphone output, and remarkable power that will drive most full-sized headphones. This lightweight device will take the digital audio signal from a computer or phone and convert it into a clean analog signal that will make a good pair of headphones sing.
So if you know someone still plugging headphones directly into a laptop or smartphone, get them this for an audio upgrade. If you need a nice pair of headphones to go with it, try the $200 Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones. (Check out our review here)
Perfect gift for the Work From Home or Office Audiophile…
Buy at AmazonSHOP NOW
3. IsoAcoustics zaZen I & II Turntable Isolation Platform ($199 & $229)
A Firm Foundation
If you have a turntable, then you know that any vibrations in its environment can be quite detrimental to sound quality. That’s why most vinyl aficionados have some kind of isolation system placed under their turntable, even if its just some foam padding. While that will help somewhat, the IsoAcoustics zaZen Isolation Platform is an attractive and sturdy option with IsoAcoustics’ award-winning isolation feet (just like the OREA and Aperta Stands we reviewed) integrated on the bottom. This base provides a neat, effective, and easy-to-use solution for detail robbing vibration, and it’s also very affordable. You can also use it for other equipment like tube amps, CD players, etc.
The zaZen Isolation Platform comes in two sizes: The $199 zaZen I has a weight capacity of 25lbs, and the $229 zaZen II has a weight capacity of 40lbs.
Perfect gift for the Vinyl Enthusiast…
Buy at CrutchfieldSHOP NOW
4. Andover Audio Songbird Music Streamer ($149)
A Remarkable Value
The $149 Songbird Music Streamer was originally marketed as a source for the excellent SpinBase turntable speaker, but it’s actually a great budget Wi-Fi for anyone who wants to bring high-quality network audio to their hi-fi system. This affordable, compact device has both digital and analog outputs that will connect to any component, plus it streams all the major music services (TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify). It also streams files from a network drive, Apple Airplay, or Bluetooth. It also sounds awesome, which makes it a great value. It’s available right now over on the Andover Audio website, as well as Amazon. (Check out our full review)
Perfect gift for those who want to add music streaming to their audio systems…
Buy At Andover AudioSHOP NOW
5. ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (On Sale For $229.98/Pair)
The Best Speaker You Can Get For Less Than $250!
The ELAC Debut 2.0 B5.2 Bookshelf Speakers have become a legend of sorts in the audiophile world due to their insane value. They have a 5-1/4″ woven aramid fiber bass driver for relatively deep bass and a 1″ soft-dome tweeter for smooth highs. When paired with a quality amp like the Cambridge Audio AXR85, you will have a nice starter hi-fi system that will give you a nice soundstage, decent imaging, and nice excitement without being too forward in any one area. What that adds up to is a system that is easy to listen to for hours and hours without any fatigue to your ears.
Perfect gift for those who want to build a starter hi-fi system…
Buy At AmazonSHOP NOW
More From The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide:
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