As the holiday season approaches, you might be wondering what the best gifts are for the music lover or musician in your life. You might even be one of those yourself and are looking for a treat. We have assembled a variety of audio gift ideas to consider this holiday season, so without further ado, let’s take a look.
Bose® QuietComfort™ Ultra Wireless Headphones
There’s nothing that compares to the peaceful embrace of good headphones, which is why we think they make a great last-minute gift.
Bose®’s QuietComfort™ line enjoys much success with a loud and proud fanbase, but we want to specifically highlight the QuietComfort™ Ultra Wireless Headphones for gifting this season. These headphones boast impressive technology to deliver a tailored listening experience to every user. CustomTune™ technology and customizable listening modes allow users to adjust EQ settings and blend pre-existing modes together for the perfect sound profile.
Three different noise-canceling modes are available to tune in, or out, as well as an Immersive Audio mode for a more acoustic experience. These features are exciting enough, but the QC Ultra headphones also address some of the quirks found in older models, making them a worthwhile upgrade for any QuietComfort™ fan.
Apple AirPods Max
If you’re willing to spend a bit more, Apple AirPods Max is a sharp-looking pair of noise-canceling headphones that will thrill any Apple user in your life. In classic Apple fashion, the Airpods Max offers a streamlined user experience with just two buttons to control volume, playback, and noise-cancellation functions. The combination of spatial audio and dynamic head tracking creates a lifelike listening experience that you can dial into with powerful noise-cancellation technology. Or tune back into the real world with Transparency mode, where you can easily forget the Airpods Max are even on.
Audio-Technica Stereo Turntable
What's a better pairing for a slick new set of Bluetooth headphones than a stereo turntable? Since vinyl has made a comeback in recent years, the AT-LP60XBT Stereo Turntable, from Audio-Technica, is a fabulous introductory turntable for those looking to get into the scene.
This piece can accommodate 33 1/3 and 45 rpm vinyl records via wireless or wired connectivity. Available with kitted speakers, the AT-LP60XBT is a one-stop-shop turntable that delivers robust, room-filling sound with a sleek, minimalist look. These speakers are not a must―the built-in switchable preamplifier enables users to connect directly to any speaker with the included RCA cables, as well as any Bluetooth-capable listening device. Setting up the turntable is a breeze and it's compatible with plenty of old-school gear.
Read More: Turntable Buying Guide
Casio Portable Keyboard
If you or a loved one have ambitions to learn to play the piano during the upcoming year, the LK-S250, from Casio, makes for an amazing gift. This 61-key, piano-style keyboard with touch response has a key-lighting system designed to make the process of learning to play the piano as painless as possible.
The LK-S250 teaches users proper hand positioning and music notation, with LCD keys, while the Step-Up Lesson system evaluates your progress over 60 song tutorials. Users are afforded 400 instruments and 77 accompaniment styles for a richer learning experience. Equipped with built-in speakers, the LK-S250 makes playing with others a pleasure, although it also includes a headphone jack for some solo practice. The input variety on this keyboard additionally enables users to connect a smart device or microphone to play and sing along to your favorite tunes.
Read More: Digital Pianos for Aspiring Players
Edge Note Microphone
Speaking of singing along, you might consider gifting the Edge Note from Antelope this season. This small-diaphragm condenser modeling microphone is an amazingly compact studio solution designed for use in studio and live sound settings. With 13 microphone emulations of classic microphone models to choose from, the Edge Note can assume the sounds of the Berlin K54, the Hamburg 211, and the Freiburg 6, among others.
Offering great emulation variety, this mic affords beginners a sampling of many different sounds to figure out what works best for them. This is also a great mic for alternate creative media like singing and podcasting, where different emulations might be more appropriate.
Read More: Best Recording Microphones of 2023
Focusrite Scarlett Solo Audio Interface
Focusrite offers many audio interfaces for all kinds of users, but its third-generation Scarlett Solo continues to be an affordable hit. This type of gadget is necessary for any singer, musician, or podcaster looking to optimize their recordings. The Scarlett Solo is especially beginner friendly, offering straightforward controls and built-in functions to get the best possible sound. Users can record with a variety of sound resolutions while enjoying a streamlined, no-fuss creative setup that is conducive to rigs with limited space.
Mackie Big Knob Passive Studio Monitor Controller
Mackie has been in the pro audio game for more than a quarter of a century with its popular Big Knob line that includes three monitor-control models for the recording studio. We are highlighting the Big Knob Passive a rugged, no-nonsense piece of gear for multiple monitor listening.
The Big Knob Passive gives users the ability to switch between two monitor sources, which is particularly useful if you’re mixing a song and need to reference your masterpiece on different monitors for accuracy. There is also an integrated stereo 1/8" jack for connecting a portable player—or any source terminating in an 1/8" output—which makes it easy to reference songs from your personal music library. The convenient Mono, Mute, and Dim buttons give you further control over your sound sources. Because this utilizes passive circuitry, it won’t impart any strange artifacts onto your audio, so you can trust that what you’re working on sounds the way it should.
Electro-Harmonix Mod Rex
If you’re looking for a piece of hardware that will instantly throw just enough of a curveball into your workflow to get the creative juices flowing, check out the Electro-Harmonix Mod Rex. This pedal is essentially four independent modulators and sonic manglers in one housing. You get a filter section, a tremolo section, a panning section, and a modulation section capable of flanging, phasing, chorusing, or vibrato, tap tempo, MIDI functionality, and more. This pedal gives you access to an incredible range of effects—from simple, subtle tremolos to distortion-filled, maniacal soundscapes. Use it with your synth, guitar, bass, or any other instrument.
We hope our suggestions have given you gifting inspiration for a creative in your life. If you have favorite audio gifts, we want to hear about them! Share your recommendations in the Comments section, below.