The AudioStream Holiday Gift Guide

You look at the calendar on your iPhone and realize it’s December and a flush of panic turns your face red, which in turn is mistaken for rosy cheeks by your partner who squeals and exclaims “You’ve got the Holiday Spirit!” Unaware it’s fear that grips your heart in an icy embrace of commercialism, crowds, snow shovelling, Christmas trees, lights, ornaments and of course gifts.

If you’re an average Joe this means precarious balancing acts on ladders as you haphazardly string lights, trips to Xmas tree lots fighting off suburban housewives to get the best blue spruce and four-latte sojourns to the mall where the manic, jostling crowds leave you quietly sobbing in the parking lot as your boxed-in car remains immobile.

Now, if you’re an audiophile you may still have to endure some, or all of this holiday melee, but to help make it all a little more bearable I’ve complied some really cool gift ideas that you could get for the audiophile on your list, or let your significant other know that these are some ideas for gifts that you – the audiophile – are jazzed about.

So without further delay, here are some Holiday gift ideas from my overtaxed mind to you. They range in price from $10 USD to a maximum of $500 USD. I hope they offer inspiration and bring a smile to your face, or better yet, slot-in perfectly to what you were thinking of for the audiophile in your life but couldn’t quite put your finger on.

The Vinyl Detective ($6.85 USD) book series is one I’m an unashamed fan of, I own all three and can’t wait for the fourth instalment. From the web: “He is a record collector — a connoisseur of vinyl, hunting out rare and elusive LPs. His business card describes him as the “Vinyl Detective” and some people take this more literally than others. Like the beautiful, mysterious woman who wants to pay him a large sum of money to find a priceless lost recording — on behalf of an extremely wealthy (and rather sinister) shadowy client.Given that he’s just about to run out of cat biscuits, this gets our hero’s full attention. So begins a painful and dangerous odyssey in search of the rarest jazz record of them all…” Buy it HERE.

Sticking to an analog theme, I can’t recommend the Little Fwend ($249 USD) automatic tonearm lifter highly enough. If you have a vinyl nut in your midst, get them this and watch the savage beast be soothed. Buy it HERE.

Uncompromising Expression ($53.60 USD) is for me the definitive jazz album cover coffee book of record. You’ll be hard-pressed to put it down and often ponder ripping pages out to frame. From the web: “Featuring classic album artwork, unseen contact sheets, rare ephemera from the Blue Note Archives, commentary from some of the biggest names in jazz today, and feature reviews of seventy-five key albums, this is the definitive book on the legendary label.” But it HERE.

Hearing is believing and all it took for me to hear a difference was $49 USD. I’m talking of course of the PS Audio Power Port Classic. A Duplex-designed hospital-grade outlet with nickel coating and copper contacts, it’s a no-brainer among no-brainers as a stocking stuffer of legend for the audiophile in your life. Buy it HERE.

Tubes. If the audiophile on your list like amps – of any brand or price point – than 300B tubes may be on their list of most-wanted items for rolling (not what it sounds like). These Chinese made 300Bs retail for around $120 USD- $200 USD for a matched quad and in my experience sound far better than they have any right to, especially when many 300Bs are gong for $350 USD and waaaaaay up for a single tube. Buy it HERE.

Got pretty wooden floors? Got big speakers on stands? Don’t like the hideous gouge marks that spiked speaker stands claw into your pretty floors when you try and move them about for optimal placement? Then you need Linn Skeets ($70 USD). The UK built and designed spike floor protectors are built like pucks of unobtanium and weigh a ton. I‘ll never use anything else when I can’t spike directly into a floor. They come in packs of eight. Buy them HERE.

Compact all-in-one hi-fi units can be pricy propositions, not so with the Yoyo by Cambridge Audio ($399 USD). This six-speaker unit clad in treated acoustic wool and featuring Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Google Chromecast, HDMI, ARC, AUX, SPDIF and optical inputs not can connect to pretty much anything in your home, it sounds fantastic. I’ve been trying to keep it in the kitchen, but my son constantly steals it back to his room where the bass is prodigious enough for me to feel as I walk down the hall to retrieve it. Buy it HERE.

Cables for audiophiles are always a treat and the new Tellurium Black II come in under $350 for a 2.5m pair with current exchange rates on the British Pound. I use them in my system and am deeply impressed at their transparency. They also come in a small box which makes them quite the gift to find stuffed in a Christmas stocking. Buy them HERE.

Dressing the audiophile in your life probably isn’t easy, so Phonica Records in the UK has some pretty cool sweatshirts to help your music geek look hip ($40 USD). Buy them HERE.

Conversely, if it’s that vintage-T look they’re craving, Turntable Lab has some choice t-shirts ($20 USD) available to keep things hip and simple. Buy them HERE.

Does your audiophile want to get into streaming music but doesn’t want to pony up for a cloud-based subscription service? Luckily Tidal makes it easy with several tiers of membership (from $9.99 USD) to get you up and running with nothing more than your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Check out subscriptions HERE.

If the vinyl addict in your home is always hitting record shops and coming home with those environmentally-unfriendly plastic bags, then look no further for an eco-friendly alternative than in this hip record bag from Barnes & Noble ($20 USD). Buy it HERE.

Got some bookshelf speakers that you want off the bookshelf to make way for all the cool new books you got for the Holidays? Look no further than Turntable Lab out of New York for these simple, but funky Line Phono stands (from $298 USD/pair) that come in a variety of colours and finishes to suit your hip, modern, urban decor. Buy them HERE.

Everclear's picture

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a ...........

"Mercedes Benz" ................ Janis Joplin :-) .............

Vade Forrester's picture

Thanks for the gift ideas.

Vade Forrester
Reviewer, SoundStage! Network and The Absolute Sound
My words=my thoughts.