NOVO Magazine: 2019 Holiday Gift Guide. From Audio Gifts to Tech Gifts!

2020-01-06T10:03:19+00:00December 9th, 2019|Home|94 Comments

Top Gifts For Music Lovers

Holiday gift giving can be difficult if you don’t quite know what to get for your loved ones. This is especially true for those unfamiliar with the latest technology gadgets. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the techie, nerd, or music lover in your life, we’ve got you covered with our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide! Trust us, any one of these picks is guaranteed to make a stellar impression.

We’ve separated this guide into two sections: one for technology and one for audio. Our Audio Gift Guide is below, while the Technology Gift Guide is linked HERE.

Happy Holidays!

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 ($199.99 CAD)

Portable speakers are the easiest go-to gift for music lovers, and it’s even easier for us to recommend the BOOM 3 from Ultimate Ears. Despite their kitschy aesthetic and neon-party vibes, Ultimate Ears make some seriously impressive portable Bluetooth speakers. The UE BOOM 3 is our personal favorite, due to its outstanding waterproof and dustproof rating (IP67), and decent sound quality. The UE BOOM 3 is also well-known for being the best portable Bluetooth speaker because of its lightweight build and fool-proof control design. With the use of Ultimate Ears’ capable app, the UE BOOM 3 is the friendliest Bluetooth speaker we’ve tested, and one we’d recommend for music lovers of all ages. This speaker features a 15 hour battery life and can be paired with up to eight source devices at a time, making it the perfect pool party companion.

Best Smart Speaker: Sonos One (Gen 2) ($249.00 CAD)

Sonos are well-known for their brilliant wireless technology and smooth-sounding speakers, so it comes as no surprise that we’d recommend their Sonos One (Gen 2) smart speaker over all others. The Sonos One smart speaker features the musical talent of the beloved Play:1 wireless speaker, combined with capable smart assistants, Google and Alexa. The best part about the Sonos One is that, despite locking you into a closed ecosystem, this speaker works well with both Apple and Android products through their handy Sonos app. This speaker will also pair well with other Sonos devices, such as the Sonos Beam or other Sonos wireless speakers. We recommend this smart speaker as the perfect gift for someone looking to add a little more functionality to their home.

Best Wireless Speakers (High-End): Totem Acoustic KIN Play Mini ($850.00 CAD)

Stepping into the upper-echelon of wireless audio, we’d like to introduce you to the KIN Play Mini powered Bluetooth speaker from Totem Acoustic. This stereo pair absolutely blows away the competition, combining classic design with cutting-edge technology. The KIN Play Mini is the perfect desktop companion, from dorms to DJs, and will transform any workspace into a personal studio experience. Streaming music has never been so easy. The KIN Play Mini features Bluetooth with Qualcomm aptX HD, so you can enjoy your music wirelessly or plugged-in. For the more refined music lovers, the KIN Play Mini has a built-in phono input to connect a turntable directly. There’s nothing the KIN Play Mini can’t do; this speaker even pairs well with modern gaming consoles. The KIN Play Mini is designed to musically energize any setup, making it the choice gift for music lovers of all types.

Best Over-Ear Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 II ($449.99 CAD)

Despite their age, the Bose QuietComfort 31 II are some of the best noise cancelling headphones ever made. In terms of user-friendliness and overall quality, these headphones have become our personal favorites. We often find ourselves reaching for our Bose QuietComfort 35 II for daily listening, commuting, or even during meditation practices. Their noise cancelling abilities allow you to disconnect from the world and simply relax. We recommend these headphones as the perfect gift for university students or anyone who needs to find a little peace in their workplace. Along with great noise cancellation, the Bose QuietComfort 35 II have decent sound and are very comfortable. This year, Bose even released a limited Rose Gold Edition! 

Best Gaming Headset: HyperX Cloud MIX ($249.99 CAD)

HyperX are a fan favorite in the gaming community, and it’s no surprise that they’re our most recommended brand for quality gaming headsets. The HyperX Cloud MIX are, hands down, our personal choice for gaming – we couldn’t imagine using anything else! The HyperX Cloud MIX were released earlier this year as a Best Buy Exclusive, but are now also available on Amazon. This headset features surround sound, a removable microphone, and some of the most comfortable ear cups we’ve ever worn. We highly recommend gifting a pair of HyperX Cloud MIX headphones to the gamer in your life. And, as a celebration for the HyperX Cloud MIX’s incredible success this year, HyperX recently released a Rose Gold Edition as well! This seems to be a common trend in technology over the past few years, but we’re not complaining. They look stunning!

Best In-Ear Headphones: Sony WF-1000XM3 ($299.99 CAD)

Finding a way to incorporate noise cancelling technology into true wireless earbuds is next to impossible, with many manufacturers falling short of the finish line. Fortunately, Sony was able to break through whatever issues have held others back, and managed to create a pair of true wireless earbuds with stellar noise cancellation – the Sony WF-1000XM3. These in-ear headphones offer better performance than most other true wireless earbuds, and sport a classy design that blows other models out of the water. After listening to the Sony WF-1000XM3, we strongly recommend them to anyone looking for a versatile, capable, and impressive pair of wireless earbuds. These would make a great gift for anyone who takes phone calls on the go or simply enjoys listening to music on their daily commute.

Best Modern Turntable: Denon DP-450USB ($799.00 CAD)

With the recent boom of vinyl lovers and reborn record players, Denon has maintained a name for themselves as a reliable household brand. Their last turntable release, the Denon DP-450USB, is a classy record player with some pretty advanced features. Unlike other turntables, the Denon DP-450USB features a built-in USB port that allows you to digitize your favorite records. All you have to do is plug a compatible flash drive into the USB port, play your record, and you’ll have converted music in mere minutes. Regardless of the great sound quality and built-in phono preamp, the USB connectivity is the main reason we recommend this as a gift for any music lover. Whether they be older listeners looking to preserve their collection, or young enthusiasts interested in digitizing classics, the Denon DP-450USB turntable makes a fantastic gift.

Best Soundbar: Sonos Beam ($499.00 CAD)

The holiday season is famous for mind-blowing TV sales, but quality sound is often forgotten in the excitement. That’s why we recommend gifting the Sonos Beam smart soundbar this holiday season. The Sonos Beam soundbar is fully equipped with voice-assistant functionality, using both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and also offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity. Like other Sonos products, the Sonos Beam offers great sound quality, and is an easy all-in-one solution to boosting your TV sound. You can even add additional Sonos speakers or subwoofers to create a full home theater system! The Sonos Beam is our favorite soundbar, and one we’d recommend for any movie lover.

Best USB Microphone: Blue Yeti Pro ($329.99 CAD)

Blue has become a household name with their line of USB microphones, the most popular being the Blue Yeti. Recently, Blue released a version of the Yeti that includes both USB and XLR connectivity for use with mixers and interfaces, called the Blue Yeti Pro. The Blue Yeti Pro offers four different polar patterns and a high sensitivity that’s perfect for picking up the whole room. While this may not be the most directional or isolated microphone, it is a fan-favorite for streamers, podcasters, and jam session recordings. The Blue Yeti Pro is the perfect gift for any musician, content creator, or gamer. If you’re interested in gifting the USB-only version, that can be bought for less than half the price, at $150.

Best USB Interface/Mixer: TC Helicon GO XLR ($566.99 CAD)

The GO XLR from TC Helicon is the absolute greatest gift for content creators this year! We cannot stress enough how highly-demanded this product is by streamers, podcasters, and YouTubers alike. The TC Helicon GO XLR has become the go-to audio interface for content creators, allowing them to adjust levels, use sound effects, and manage their recording with the press of a button. Featuring multiple connectivity options and a user-friendly interface, the TC Helicon GO XLR is perfect for creators of all skill levels. While this might seem like a pricier gift, the TC Helicon GO XLR easily earns back its cost in no time. If you’re looking to impress a content creator in your life, this is the gift to buy! There is also a smaller version, called the TC Helicon GO XLR Mini, available for $324.99.

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