Whenever you’re shopping for gifts, you’ll find that stores are flooded with cheap, disposable gadgets and toys that are made to be forgotten moments after they’re unwrapped, or soon replaced with the next version. Why not break the cycle with something that’s both unique and built with a level of care beyond most of what you’ll find at your average big box retailer? Why not give the gift of Hi-Fi audio?
Gifts Under $200
You might think that there aren’t a lot of Hi-Fi options under $200, but there are some very solid products which provide both a great build quality and an excellent listening experience.
The Final Audio E4000 are earphones crafted in Japan with sound quality that blows the competition away without breaking the bank. With a sound that has both powerful bass and revealing highs, they make a great entry into audiophile earphones or a solid set of earphones for exercise or travel for the more discerning audiophile.
At $199, the Meze Rai Solo provides an incredible level of detail, accuracy and low-end impact for the price. The stainless steel shells also give you a look and feel that’s durable, and has a more upscale feeling. Like the E4000, they’re an all-around great product that anyone can appreciate.
While wireless noise cancelling headphones at the same price can give you more convenience, you’re going to have a hard time finding a $200 headphone that provides the level of sound quality that the 99 Neo provides. Plus, its closed-back design does a great job of blocking out unwanted noise naturally – without any fancy electronics. For the listener who values the experience of the music above all else, the 99 Neo runs laps around the competition.
Gifts Under $500
A $500 gift isn’t for just anyone. These are some options for giving that special someone the gift of world class sound.
oBravo is known for creating premium high-end IEMs, and Cupid offers the same level of premium design with a sound signature that will leave you breathless, all at a more affordable price point.
The DragonFly Cobalt has a simple promise: plug it into almost any device and it will make it sound better. Whether it’s a laptop, phone, or tablet, the DragonFly Cobalt provides improved digital processing and better sound quality with a simple plug and play design.
The HIFIMAN Sundara is one of our best selling audiophile headphones – and for good reason. It’s $349 of pure audio experience. There’s no fancy case, no frills, just a solid aluminum frame, and incredible, powerful, detailed sound that brings your music to life.
If you need a portable music player that can do everything, the DX160 might be it. It takes audiophile sound processing and adds a load of features and convenience. Whether you want to just load it up with music and play, or you want to download your favorite streaming app (or any other Android app), the DX160 can do it with style
Gifts Under $1000
At this range, we’re talking about some incredible gear that will genuinely transform how the receiver listens to music.
The Audio-Technica WP900 provides a stunning mix of a striking design, excellent craftsmanship, and incredible sound quality. They’re sure to blow anyone away from the casual music listener to the seasoned audiophile.
For an easy-to-use, powerful desktop DAC/Amp, it’s hard to beat the NEO iDSD. With features ranging from Bluetooth streaming to full MQA unfolding, as well as connectivity for modern game consoles, it’s ready to become the centerpiece of your home audio setup.
The SR25 takes Astell&Kern’s expertise from creating DAPs like the $3499 SP2000, and puts it into a smaller, more affordable package. You get the SR25’s unique styling along with world-class sound quality, in a sleek portable package.
Vega provides an incredible earphone package with remarkable build and design. Inside that delicate looking glossy white shell is a powerful bass cannon. Vega delivers thick low end rumble, but balances it out with a smooth, musical treble response.
While often the best in audiophile sound and modern conveniences like Bluetooth are seen as mutually exclusive, they don’t have to be. The Ananda BT takes a neutral, detailed sound signature, along with the other technical capabilities that audiophiles crave, and puts them into a wireless Bluetooth package that gives listeners the best of both worlds.