Do you have an audiophile in your life - that person who takes their love of music and high quality sound to the next level? And are you at a loss when it comes to buying for them at Christmas time?
We've compiled some gift ideas for audio-obsessed people that will quite literally be music to their ears.
This buying guide is brought to you by Oppo Digital. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley their high quality digital electronics that deliver style, performance, innovation, and value to A/V enthusiasts and savvy consumers alike. consumers alike. From market-leading 4K Blu-ray players and the planar magnetic range of hi-fi headphones, OPPO is the leader in video and audio reproduction.
Wireless Noise-Cancelling Headphones
I didn't know just how badly I need a pair of high quality, noise-cancelling headphones until they first graced my ears. And if they're wireless - all the better. These are a great gift, even for someone who has a more casual relationship with music.
Not only have they given me a deeper appreciation for the nuances of the tunes that I love, they have completely transformed my work life. If I really need to concentrate, I can pop them on and listen to binaural beats with zero outside noise to distract me. It really helps with the laser-focus.
People will obviously have different opinions when it comes to the best ones ton buy. I'm personally a fan Sony's WH-1000MX2 ($499.95) - the noise cancelling is superb and I only have to charge them every few days. Bose of course have to be mentioned some other great options you may want to look at are Bose Quietcomfort 35 (Bose in general do a beautiful job with noise cancellation) or Sennheiser PXC 550.
Summer is right around the corner, which is the perfect time to get a bluetooth speaker for your audiophile mate who likes to take their tunes outside or on the road. Plus, they're great for parties.
One of the coolest and most high quality products on the market is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+. It has 16 hours of battery life, can take is water resistant and provides 360-degree omnidirectional sound. It's also incredibly sleek and compact. However, it's around $400 for a brand new unit, which isn't cheap.
More interested in extra features? The JBL Link 20 ($299.95) is where it's at. In addition to being waterproof (it can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes) and having a pretty decent battery life, it also has Google Assistant built in, so you can control it with voice commands. It's a really good alternative to Google Home and tends to outperform it with its specs.
Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
If the person you're buying for is into recording on the go, a Zoom H6 is an excellent choice. I'm not even a musician, but I use mine for all of my interviews as well as high-quality podcasting recording. The sound quality is sensational and I absolutely love it.
The recorder ships with both XY and mid-side microphone modules, but you can also purchase additional attachments separately. It contains 4 x XLR/TRS inputs that you can plug mics or mixers into - each containing their own dedicated preamps, gain knobs and 20dB pads. You can also record up to 6 channels at once and set it to take backup recordings at 12 db in case the original is too loud and is suffering from distortion.
Basically, this bad boy means business. Hovering around the $500 price mark, it isn't a cheap recorder, but it's well worth the dollars. Alternatively, Zooms in general are great and you can always consider one of the less costly models such as the H5 ($379) or H4n Pro ($368).
For the people who are really serious about their music.
Headphone amplifiers are designed specifically to play music through headphones. This may not seem important - you can play music through phones and computers after all. Who cares? Audio lovers.
PCs, laptops and mobiles are built for many purposes and their sound capabilities generally don't have headphone audio optimisation or high-end audio components. Headphone amplifiers are and will provide the listener incredible sound quality specifically for headphones.
If you love your music-loving friend a lot, it might be worth gifting them Oppo's HA-1. At $1,799 it isn't the cheapest gift in the world, but you're getting quite a bit of bang for your buck. In addition to being a headphone amplifier, it's also includes USB DAC Up to 384 kHz and DSD256 Stereo Pre-Amplifier with Home Theatre Bypass.
Music Streaming Subscription
If you want a budget gift idea - why not buy a subscription service? It may sound simple and a touch practical, but there's nothing wrong with that. I would love to not having to think of one extra subscription.
Here are some of your options:
- Spotify Premium - perhaps the most well known and popular on-demand streaming services. As one of the earliest adopters in the market, it has a huge selection and comes in at $11.99 per month.
- Apple Music - great for Apple lovers due to the seamless integration with iOS and Siri searchability. $11.99 a month or can get a family subscription (up to 6 people) for AU$17.99.
- Tidal - it's definitely had its problems. Tidal's features, interface and library pale in comparison to its market competitors, but it does offer 24-bit audio resolution... for a price. You can get compressed 320kbps audio and $11.99 per month or lossless high fidelity for $23.99.
Now your loved one will have ad-free access to a plethora of great music for the entire year. It really is the gift that keeps on giving