Holidays are coming up soon, and depending on which you celebrate some sooner than later. We have compiled a list of gifts at various price points that we have actually used, most of which have reviews right here on Hifi Chicken. If you are unsure if a gift is something that would work well with something that the person you are buying for already has feel free to reach out to us and we will do our best to help you. Let’s get into the list.
When at all possible we recommend buying through local dealers and music stores, if not possible be sure to check online Audio Stores such as Audio Advice. If you are in the Ohio area we recommend Sound and Vision Inc, they carry many of the products listed below.
Hifi Chicken Merch $5-45
We may be a little biased but we really think some Hifi Chicken gear will make for a great gift for the audiophile on your list this season. Prices range from from a few dollars to about 40 so there is something for just about any budget.
Music or Streaming Subscriptions: $varies
If you are not sure about buying someone audio equipment, due to the complexity of systems being compatible, a great route to take is always music. While physical copies are king in my book and having a record or cd offers great sound quality as well as the actual interaction of putting your music on, not everyone has a CD player or turntable. If you know the person you are buying for has one or the other I highly, highly recommend hitting the local music shop and picking some of their favorites and maybe some stuff they haven’t listened to before. If you are unsure if they have a way to listen to physical media, a subscription to one of the major streamers would work perfectly. The most popular are Spotify Premium, Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer. Personally, I like Tidal’s Audiophile level and Spotify Premium the best.
iFi Zen Dac/Amp and or iFi Zen Blue: $129.00
Ifi makes a lot of great products and these are 2 of our favorites. They both work very well and come in a great price point. The iFi Zen Dac/Amp is a great digital to analog convertor as well as headphone amp that offers great performance. The Zen Blue is a bluetooth connection that can hookup to any pre/integrated amp that has an available RCA connection, it is perfect for someone into vintage audio or someone with a little older amp that wants the convenience of connecting a phone/device through bluetooth.
AudioQuest Dragonfly Dacs: $99-299
If you are buying for someone who uses their headphones on the go or at the office/school, a better DAC option is the Dragonfly line up. There is a Black, Red, and Cobalt. The Cobalt offering the best sound quality of the three but also the most expensive. The best part of all three is they can be used directly with a phone or laptop with no extra power source. You may need to buy a cable adapter depending on if you use it with a phone or laptop but they are not pricey. No matter which one you choose the listener will experience much better audio than straight out of the phone.
Meze 99 Classics: $309.00
The Meze 99 Classics are by far my favorite headphone I have listened to. They have great sound, appearance, and are extremely comfortable. They offer rich detailed sound and are easy to drive so even if your listener doesn’t have an amp already they can still enjoy these great headphones.
Ortofon 2M Series Cartridges : $99-750
The Ortofon 2M range of turntable cartridges offer a range of performance depending on what budget you have to work with. We have reviewed the Red, Blue, and Bronze, and all of them are great. The Bronze has been our favorite so far but at a price of $440 if maybe a bit much for some. One thing to note with all cartridges is they may not be compatible with all turntables. Many entry-level tables do not have interchangeable carts. Though the 2M line up should work with nearly all mid to higher range tables. If you are not sure if the 2M would be a good option feel free to contact us or a local dealer for more information on compatibility.
VPI Cliffwood : $1000
If you have quite a good budget to work with, the VPI Cliffwood is an excellent turn-key turntable. All you have to do to set it up is put the belt on, plug it in, and away you go. If you know a record lover that wants to upgrade from an older or entry-level table this could make for a great option. Just make sure they have an integrated amp or preamp that has a phono input. If they have that, they are ready to go. The Cliffwood offers great sound, elegant looks, and simple operation.