Top 10: Gifts for music lovers
From build-your-own mini synth kits to 3D sound headphones and turntables, we've rounded up the top 10 gifts to buy a music lover — guaranteed to make their heart sing.
Mixcder E8 headphones
If you're new to the world of wireless, noise cancelling headphones, then the Mixcder E8 would be a good place to start. They're an affordable pair of over-ear headphones that provide everything you need to enjoy your music while on the move.
For the most part, the E8 provides rich and bass-heavy sounds that make it easy to enjoy your favourite songs. And for under £60, it's difficult to deny that the E8 is anything short of excellent value.
A Brief History of Album Covers book
The cover art of an album can be so memorable that they go down in both design and music history. From Elvis and Nirvana to Prince and Madonna, the book takes you through the history of the most grungey, glamorous, infamous and iconic covers of the last 50 years.
The photos are also accompanied by entertaining and informative text, making it the perfect gift for any music aficionado.
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DIY Synth Kit
Do you know a synthesiser fan who also happens to like tinkering with tech? Well, look no further for a gift. This DIY Synth Kit from Firebox lets you plug components into the prototyping breadboard to create three different type of synth: a Dub Siren, Stutter and Atari.
Three potentiometers control the volume, pitch and frequency — but it's up you to to make circuit changes and add new parts to create an array of new sounds. You can even add a custom keyboard to hook it up with your computer.
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Anker SoundCore 2 speaker
Anker's SoundCore 2 wireless speaker offers 24-hours of battery life, a 66-foot Bluetooth range and booming bass. The water-resistant speaker is perfect for those who want a portable speaker to bring along to a BBQ or the like, and it comes with a worry-free 18-month warranty.
The speaker promises clear and loud sound but remains small and lightweight enough to chuck it in a bag if you want to take it out with you. It also has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on Amazon, based on over 1470 reviews.
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Lenco L400 turntable
The direct-drive L-400 is great value for money and comes with everything you need — including a phono cartridge, all the relevant leads and a nice smoked dust cover lid too. It has a built in pre-amp so you don't necessarily need a separate amplifier to use it. Alternatively, you can hook it up directly to a stereo system.
It can play both 33rpm and 45rpm records as you'd expect, plus it has pitch control, which allows you to adjust the speed by up to 10 per cent. Thanks to a USB output you can also save your vinyl records in digital form. For the aspiring DJ, this is a great bit of kit to get started with. Or if you're after something to listen to your old vinyl collection on, the L-400 will certainly do the job incredibly well.
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Sennheiser MOMENTUM 2.0 wireless headphones
Sennheiser's MOMENTUM over-ear headphones offer great quality sound with NoiseGard to block ambient noise, making them ideal for loud train commutes or busy workplaces. The wireless MOMENTUM connect via Bluetooth for a 22-hour battery life and feature a built-in microphone for making and taking phone calls.
The headphones also offer high-quality metal sliders and leather covered ear cushions, while a new hinge system on the ear cups allows for the headset to be folded up to make travelling with them easier.
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Studio19 London Solo E500X speaker
Studio19 London's freestanding speaker is rechargeable, lasting up to eight hours — which makes it ideal if you want a speaker somewhere where there's no power source. The wraparound metal speaker at the top creates a 360 sound effect. It's essentially designed to create the sound of a multi-speaker set-up from a single unit, and it's definitely loud enough to fill a large room.
The patented DPAC (Dual Pressure Air Compression) tech also means you get fantastic bass without bulky subwoofers, which is great for those that are looking for a home sound system. While most speakers force you to choose between sound quality and portability, the E500X offers great low-end frequencies and clarity in a compact package.
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Bragi Dash Pro
The miniature computers (as labelled by Bragi) are designed to sit in your ears all day long and assist you with whatever it is you want to do. Looking to summon an Uber? Just ask the in-built Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant. Off for a swim? The waterproof Bragi will automatically track your heart rate, activity duration, calories burnt and how many lengths you’ve swum.
There’s even an in-built translation service which helps you communicate in 40 different languages. Of course, the Dash Pro work as headphones too. They aren't cheap, but they might be the perfect gift for the gadget geek in your life.
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Hooke Verse audio recording headphones
The Hooke Verse are the first wireless binaural sound recording in-ear headset on the market. If you don't know what 3D sound is, it's virtual reality for your ears, basically. By placing a microphone at either side of your head, binaural recording returns an audio track that properly replicates the way you hear the world around you.
Although the Verse provide an average music listening experience, it’s exceptional at its main job - which is to add truly immersive, spatial audio to recordings.
Brainwavz B400 in-ear headphones
At under £200 though, there’s simply nothing else that offers such a high-quality product with such a wide soundstage, along with the bundle of accessories you get with the Brainwavz B400. Especially considering other quad driver in-ear headphones usually range from around £250 - £600.
The mid-range is fantastically detailed, meaning vocals are crisp. Percussion is executed well and a wide variety of music comes out astonishingly clear for the £170 these IEM will set you back. You also get some peace of mind with the Brainwavz 24-month warranty, which comes as standard on all of their products.