X

The best audio gifts for young graduates

It's not easy picking out an audio gift for your recent grad, but you'll definitely find some ideas in this roundup of CNET's favorite audio gear.

justinyu.jpg
justinyu.jpg

Justin Yu

See full bio

CNET editors pick the products and services we write about. When you buy through our links, we may get a commission.

u-turn-orbit-basic-turntable-02.jpg
1 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

U-Turn Orbit Basic Turntable

Younger generations are growing more and more interested in physical media now, which means you can expect every young person in your family to pillage your old hi-fi gear and records.

Keep your recent grad away from your stuff by picking them up his or her own U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable.

With its dead-simple setup, top-notch parts and a budget-friendly price tag to match, you can easily breathe new life into used old records without spending a lot of cash.

google-chromecast-audio-news-fd.jpg
2 of 10 Sarah Tew

Chromecast Audio

While Bluetooth is undoubtedly convenient, it also sounds like hell. If you have a budding audiophile in your family, a Chromecast Audio or two is all they'll need to bring their existing stereo into the 21st century.

carnoy_white_speakers_audioengine06_610x436_1.jpg
3 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Audioengine A2+

Computer speakers. They still make those? If your graduate is still using earbuds or worse, the speakers in their laptop, the Audioengine A2+ is a great deal for the money. Just plug the speakers into a spare USB port and the sound will be unlike any PC speaker they've heard before.

ak-jr11300dpiaa.jpg
4 of 10 Astell & Kern

AK Jr

The $299 Astell & Kern Jr is a dedicated music player that runs rings around the sound quality of any phone you could mention. It's also portable and can act as a USB DAC for improving the sound of a laptop.

dsc5913a.jpg
5 of 10 Steve Guttenberg/CNET

Audioquest DragonFly

The DragonFly family (from left to right, the original DragonFly, DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red) are a series of USB dongles that improve the sound of your grad's mobile devices, starting from $99.

asm5webfront1large.jpg
6 of 10 Emotiva

Emotiva Airmotiv 5S

The Airmotiv 5s is a direct descendant of the Airmotiv 5 that offers a folded ribbon tweeter and an onboard amplifier. The sound quality will rival that of a dedicated sound system.

magni-2-uber-main-1000.jpg
7 of 10 Schiit Audio

Modi 2

With its snigger-worthy brand name the entry level Schiit Magni 2 Uber headphone amp and Modi 2 Uber digital converter ($99 each) will offer your grad an audiophile-worthy performance for the price of a celebration dinner.

flklipsch.jpg
8 of 10

Klipsch R-15PM

The Klipsch R-15PM is a stereo system without "a stereo". It offers Bluetooth connection and even a phono input making it a perfect addition to a dorm room.

Pioneer_SP-SB23W_35799008_05.jpg
9 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Pioneer SP-SB23W

Whether it's for powering intense gaming sessions or listening to Pandora playlists over Bluetooth, the Pioneer SP-SB23W is arguably the best sound bar you can get for the money.

polk-signa-s1-01.jpg
10 of 10 Sarah Tew/CNET

Polk Signa S1

A cheap sound bar that sounds good, especially with music? The Polk Signa S1 can pull duties as a gaming speaker while also used to play the latest Pandora hits.

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

More Galleries

'Stranger Things' Stars Now and Then: Wow, They've Really Grown Up

40 Photos
2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

More Galleries

2022's Best TV Shows You Can't Miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and More

93 Photos
2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

More Galleries

2023 Genesis GV60 Is a Futuristic EV

53 Photos
The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The 40 Best Games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

More Galleries

Movies Coming in 2022 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

80 Photos
2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

More Galleries

2023 Nissan Z Gains Sharp Looks and a Turbocharged Personality

47 Photos
2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

More Galleries

2023 Toyota Camry Nightshade is a Bronzeworthy Family Sedan

13 Photos