It’s that time of year again, the Holidays have arrived and so have your loved one’s wish lists. Odds are, you have no idea what to get them. And if they’re an audiophile like I am, then you DEFINITELY don’t know what to get them. That’s why I’ve to create this best gift guide for audiophiles 2018 to help you get through this noisy holiday season!
1. Best Bluetooth Speaker
UE Boom 2
This sequel to the UE Boom nails everything a Bluetooth speaker should be. It delivers a clean, clear image and can get incredibly loud, I also love how it doesn’t sacrifice durability for portability. Somehow they’ve managed to nail both. Plus, the addition of waterproofing turns what used to be the best Bluetooth speaker around for most occasions into the best one for every occasion. Pairing to multiple UE speakers is a breeze and its interface is intuitive for even first time Bluetooth speaker owners.
If you’re deep in the search for your next –, or first – Bluetooth speaker, you can stop looking now. (But if you’re looking for a little more power, the Megaboom – also from UE – is a great choice, too.)
2. Best Over Ear Listening Headphones
Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro
Beyerdynamic makes some of the best sounding gear on the market – the DT770, DT880 and DT990 are very well known for the sound and build quality.
The Beyerdynamic DT 1990 Pro, an open-back version of the Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro is a gift from God. And the price isn’t too bad either.($599).
If you’ve been searching for a pair of Hi-Fi headphones that are used by some of the world’s leading audio engineers, these are them.
3. Best Audio Gadget For Home
Amazon Echo Link Wireless Music Streamer
Stream audio through your legacy stereo equipment with the Amazon Echo Link Wireless Music Streamer. It has Wi-Fi and Ethernet built-in to connect to your network and connects to your stereo system via optical, digital coaxial, or stereo RCA outputs. The Echo Link also has an 1/8″ output for connecting headphones or powered speakers, with an onboard volume knob for fine control. Once connected, you can control playback from your compatible device through your Alexa-enabled equipment.
Plus, since it’s an Alexa device, you can voice control your music selection and playback with your compatible Echo device or the Alexa app. So not only does it turn your legacy stereo equipment into essentially a giant bluetooth speaker, it’s also voice activated.
4. Best Tool For The Budding Podcaster/Filmmaker
Hooke Verse Wireless 3D Audio Recording Headphones by Hooke Audio
Transport your audiences into the moment when you record it in spatial 3D audio with Hooke Verse. First and foremost, Hooke Verse are a great sounding pair of headphones, but the special sauce is in the 3D audio makes positioned in each earbud. Hooke Verse pairs with your iPhone or Android and acts like an external microphone when you capture videos. When you hit record wearing the Hooke Verse, you capture sound identically to the way you hear the world. Meaning if you were walking through a busy night market in Bangkok and the sounds were coming from everywhere, you’d capture it that way.
3D audio captured with Hooke Verse can be experienced on any pair of headphones or speakers, no special algorithms or hardware required. Making it an incredible tool for podcasting, adventure fillmaking or VR storytelling where you want the audience to really feel like they’re there.
5. Best Tool For The Bedroom Musician
Tascam DP-24SD 24-Track Digital Portastudio
Along with their inventory of smaller portable recording studios, Tascam maintains a line of more elaborate, detailed and capable all-in-one console recorders. The Tascam DP-24SD is a stand-alone tabletop recording studio that records 24 tracks to built-in solid state recording media. No fussing with onboard CD burners, cards and data transfer. The hard drive is built right into the recorder. Along with the convenience and power of an internal hard drive, the DP-24SD has a mountain of essential features that will help you present your productions with a professional sheen and clear, intelligible audio.
With its high number of tracks and rich features, the DP-24SD is one of the easiest to use multi-track recorders on the market. And it’s pretty cheap at only $499.99.
6. Best Musical Instrument they likely don’t own
Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano
The Critter & Guitari Pocket Piano brings together serious synth power and an immensely fun interface for a portable music-making experience that affords hours of play. Housed in an anodized aluminum chassis ready for all the nicks and dings of travel, the Pocket Piano sports 18 real maple keys controlling seven different synth modes including an Octave Cascade, FM Arpeggiator, and Harmonic Sweeper. Toggle between the synths via the Mode button and dial in waveform, tuning range, and two unique parameters for each setting. For even fuller sound, engage the Hold function for keeping notes going while you flit around the keyboard to set up even more chords and melodies coming out of the onboard 3W speaker.
7. Best Audio Gadget Under $100
AUDIO TECHNICA AT-LP60 ($100)
The second vinyl renaissance is surely upon us. You could easily spend $1,000 on a quality turntable, but Audio Technica’s AT-LP60 is perfect for the amateur audiophile, built with automatic operation in mind and catering to two speeds (33½ and 45 rpm). It has a built-in phono amplifier, a replaceable stylus, and smooth performance. All you have to do is place a record on the aluminum platter, press play, and listen to the iconic fuss and pops that defined a generation years before Apple was a tech company.
If you have an audiophile gift that you think should be included on this list, please drop it in the comments section below. Hope this helps you get through the busy (and noisy) 2018 holiday season!
From One Ear To Another,
Founder, Hooke Audio