Is there a hardcore music fan you need to unload some holiday cheer at? Don’t buy them music! Mistake! Buy them gear to help them enjoy the music they already have.
If you want to know true happiness, get yourself set up with a wireless music system in your house. Our favorite right now is Sonos because it’s so simple to set up and sounds totally fantastic. The Play:1 is the starter package—don’t be surprised if the single speaker leads you to purchase one for every room in your house.
There are buds of all kinds in the world, but I love the Relays for the simple reason that they’ve got a little rib that keeps ‘um firmly in your ear when you’re running around—or actually running for exercise.
Parrot’s smart Bluetooth headphones look cool and come with a clever app that allow you to tune the sound exactly to your liking. Did I mention they look cool?
Bose’s omnipresent noise-canceling headphones are used by constant travelers mostly because they’re totally awesome and fold up into a tiny package while still delivering big sound. Don’t fly without ‘em!
Fashion-forward headphone brand Aiaiai came out with a pioneering new concept this year: Modular headphones. You can choose the sound of the drivers, type of earpads, the style of headband, and even the type of cable you want. (Amazon only has one configuration, so head to Aiaiai to see what else they offer.)
Teenage Engineering makes some of the coolest instruments around. Its latest effort is a line of tiny little beat machines that are surprisingly powerful, considering they’re about the size of a cheap-o calculator (and way more fun). Choose between a bass line, drum, and lead versions, depending on what you’re looking for.