An affordably audiophile 2014 holiday gift guide (pictures)

Here's a tasty assortment of gear and music for the audiophile in your life.

Steve Guttenberg
1 of 12 FiiO

FiiO X1 High Resolution Music Player

There's something for everyone here, we've selected some pretty awesome analog and digital gear, and lots of great-sounding music!

It's $100, but the all-aluminum-bodied X1 certainly doesn't look or feel cheap. The user interface is more straightforward than FiiO's top of the line X5 music player -- it's FiiO's best yet. It's still nowhere as good as the interface of my iPod Classic, but the X1 sounds better than the Classic, that's for sure.

2 of 12 Elliott Landy, ©Elliott Landy, Landyvision, Inc.

Bob Dylan, 'The Basement Tapes Complete'

Dylan's Basement Tapes albums have been around since the 1970s, but now for the first time we have the most complete edition, with six discs containing a total of 138 tracks. Recorded in 1967 when Dylan was at a creative peak, but sound quality varies from track to track, from pretty nasty to surprisingly natural. This $82.79 box set's music and the accompanying, lavishly illustrated book are sure to please die-hard Dylan fans.

3 of 12 Barry Goyette

Audioengine D3 Digital Converter - Headphone Amplifier

The Audioengine D3's sleek aluminum body feels nice and solid, and its digital converter can accept 24 bit/192 kHz audio. The headphone amplifier works with low and high impedance headphones. The D3 now sells for $149 direct from the company's website with a 30-day home trial, free ground shipping, and no sales tax.

4 of 12 Etymotic Research

Etymotic Research ER20 Ear Plugs

It's the perfect audiophile gift, these $12.95 ear plugs will help protect your favorite audiophile's hearing in noisy environments! Unlike cheap foam plugs the ER20s won't dull or muffle the sound, just make it quieter.

5 of 12 Hifiman

Hifiman RE300h In-Ear Headphones

Hifiman is a bona-fide high-end headphone manufacturer, but they just recently dipped below the $100 price point with this $49 RE300 in-ear model. And it sounds sweet for the money!

6 of 12

James Brown, 'Love Power Peace: Live at the Olympia, Paris 1971'

Even for James Brown this is an astonishing performance, and the band is super-tight. One of the greatest live concert recordings of all time, yours for $5 on Amazon!

7 of 12

Tidal High Fidelity Music Streaming

Sure, Spotify or Pandora are fine, but Tidal sounds a lot better thanks to its lossless 44.1 kHz/16 bit FLAC streaming. That's CD quality sound for $19.99 a month. Check out the free 7-day trial offer!

8 of 12 Audio Technica

Audio Technica AT-LP60 Turntable

The Audio Technica AT-LP60 turntable has a metal platter, comes with a good quality phono cartridge installed, a built-in phono preamp, and the whole shebang sounds sweet! It's a great way to discover the joys of vinyl for just $100!

9 of 12 Emotiva

Emotiva Control Freak Desktop Volume Control

If you prefer the more hands-on feel of an all-metal, all-analog volume-control knob than onscreen "sliders" or up/down volume buttons this one's for you. With a flick of the wrist you can instantly get the exact volume you want; the $41 Control Freak is a winner.

10 of 12

Simon & Garfunkel, 'The Complete Albums Collection'

Simon & Garfunkel's music uniquely encapsulated America's optimism and turmoil of the 1960s; the duo parted ways in early 1970. All of their studio and concert albums are included in this box set. The 12 CDs have a sweet "analog" sound, the remasterings are first-rate. The set runs just $59.39 on Amazon!

11 of 12 Schiit Audio

Schiit Mani Phono Preamplifier

The all-new $129 Mani phono preamp is a very different kind of product from Schiit. Mani amplifies the miniscule voltages generated by a turntable phono cartridge so your LPs can be played over any AV receiver, desktop powered speaker, boom box, etc. The little Mani's all-metal chassis measures a scant 5 by 3.5 by 1.25 inches. It works with moving-magnet (MM) or moving-coil (MC) phono cartridges.

12 of 12

Bruce Springsteen, 'The Album Collection Vol. 1 1973-1984'

If you think Springsteen's best music dates from his early days this beautifully remastered set will be all you need. The eight-disc, seven-album collection runs from "Greetings from Asbury Park" to "Born in the U.S.A." Sound quality is improved over the existing CDs, and the beautifully printed cardboard album sleeves and included booklet should clinch the deal for the Boss' fans. It's $74.99 on Amazon.

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