The Audiophiliac's under $100 holiday gift guide (pictures)
It's that time of year, so the Audiophiliac rounded up affordable gift ideas for music lovers and audiophiles.
Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones ($10)
Granted, the Koss KTX Pro 1 headphones' silver plastic on-ear design has an all-too-generic look, but the sound is surprisingly good! Most cheap on-ears sound claustrophobic and pinched, but the KTX Pro 1's sound was big and spacious. Koss backs up the KTX Pro 1 with a lifetime warranty!
This London-based powerhouse female foursome's debut LP will light up your turntable. This is hard rock, executed with equal parts passion and precision, so it sounds best turned up nice and loud. The LP's sound crushes the digital versions of "Silence Yourself."
MA Recordings LP sleeves are made in Japan from extremely soft synthetic fibers with antistatic properties, so the sleeves will not attract dust or trap moisture. The package includes 50 sleeves to protect your most valuable LPs.
The HA-RX700 doesn't look or feel like a cheap headphone. Better yet, this full-size, over the ear model delivers a clear, highly articulate sound, with a wide stereo image, and it's the most comfortable budget headphone I've tried in years.
Unlike most budget speakers, the Dayton B652 has a large woofer -- it's a 6.5-inch polypropylene cone -- and the speaker also has a ferrofluid-cooled 5/8-inch polycarbonate dome tweeter. The medium-density fiberboard cabinet feels sturdy and it's nicely finished in matte black. If you think the $199 Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker is hot stuff, you'll flip over the B652s' sound. Amazon sells the B652 for around $44 a pair with free shipping for Prime members.
A career-spanning four-disc box set from the early masters of funk. Sly Stone's creative powers still astonish; the set includes hits like "I Want To Take You Higher," and there's a large helping of singles' mixes, live tunes, and unreleased tracks. I love the French version of "Dance to the Music." Box sets can sometimes seem like too much of a good thing, but the entertainment value of "Higher" never lets you down.
This live concert set by the leading audiophile diva is simply gorgeous; the sound, music, tunes, and LP remastering all come together. If you want to understand why some audiophiles aren't tempted to go digital, listen to this!
The Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder is exactly what the name claims. Measuring just 8 inches by 2 inches by 5 inches, it's very portable, and this little thing records high-quality WAV files at 44.1kHz to 96kHz sampling rates with 16-bit or 24-bit resolution. Amazon sells it for $89.
The Schiit Magni headphone amplifier takes up minimal desktop space; it's just 5 inches by 3.5 inches by 1.25 inches, but it puts out up to 1.2 watts, so it's considerably more powerful than your computer's headphone jack, and sounds way better at any sane volume level. The all-metal design is made in the US.
The RE-400's sound is so well balanced and pure, you might not at first realize how good it is. Its unforced clarity is easy to listen to for hours on end, probably because there's no boosted treble or trickery of any kind; the RE-400 just goes about its business sounding accurate and natural.