Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Holiday gift guide: 5 ideas for the music junkie in your life
From head gear to home listening, we've got you covered.
Music lovers are easy to spot this time of year. They're carefully curating holiday playlists and rummaging through record stores in search of a gem to suit everybody on their Christmas list. How do you surprise that person who’s always ahead of the music curve? Try one of these gifts to help your music maven rock on.
Vinyl records — and to a lesser extent CDs — are classic holiday gifts. Half Price Books has an extensive selection of used records for the vintage seeker at a steep discount, while Good Records on Lower Greenville keeps up with the latest releases. Specialty box sets are also good for die-hard fans. A hot one this year is Bob Dylan’s The Complete Album Collection Vol. 1 ($179.98), which includes 35 studio albums, six live albums, bonus “side tracks,” and a hardcover book with every album’s liner notes. Digital savants will also appreciate an iTunes gift card, so they can buy exactly what they want online.
A year’s subscription
Each music lover has a go-to source to find the latest buzz bands or mp3 downloads. A year’s subscription to his or her favorite magazine or digital archive is, most literally, the gift that keeps on giving. Plus, they are relatively inexpensive. Know a rock 'n' roll fanatic? Try Rolling Stone ($29.95/year). Indie band specialist? Go with Paste ($35.88/year). Flower child stuck in the 21st century? Relix ($24.95/year) is a good bet. Subscriptions to audio and video streaming databases like Spotify ($9.99/month) or Concert Vault ($39.99/year) are also surefire wins.
For those music lovers and musicians who hang on beats and bass lines, audio quality is imperative. In the world of headphones, German brand Sennheiser reigns supreme. New to the company’s collection is the Momentum On-Ear ($229.95), which has been praised for clear sound, warm bass and impressive frequency range (from 16-22,000 Hertz). The Momentum On-Ear has a sleek, retro design with adjustable headband and comes in seven different colors, including red, green and brown. For something more discrete, check out the Sony MDRNC13 noise-canceling earbuds ($69.99). This product’s high points include instrument separation, full bass and clarity. It also comes with several different sized earpieces for custom comfort.
Long gone are the days of wired home audio systems. Upgrade friends or family with a wireless network that can reach any and every room. The Sonos Play:1 ($199.99) is a wireless HiFi system that streams music from a digital device to brand-specific speakers throughout the house. Users can access their personal music library, Internet radio stations or podcasts through the Sonos Controller app, which is compatible with iPhones, iPads, iPods and Android phones. Sonos can play the same song or different songs in every room from one or multiple devices. Apple TV ($99.99) offers similar audio features with additional streaming capabilities for web-based services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go. However, one Apple TV router is required for each separate stereo system.
Only recently have cars become equipped with an mp3 jack, which means many music lovers depend on scratched CDs while driving. Bring them into the 21st century with an mp3 player hookup like the iSimple BluStream auxiliary cord ($59.99) or eforCity FM transmitter ($20).