Need to buy something for the classical music lover in your life? Here are some tech suggestions from our audio expert Chris Haslam
Best audio equipment Christmas gift ideas
iFi GO blu
A gift for the travelling audiophile in your life, this matchbox-sized 26g portable (ten hour battery life) DAC/headphone amp will significantly upgrade the sound from his or her smartphone. Plug in a favourite pair of headphones (3.5 and 4.4mm jacks) and connect to a smartphone via the latest hi-res capable Bluetooth 5.1 connection – or plug in for hi-res streaming up to 24-bit/96kHz if using a portable music player – and enjoy greater expression, detail and depth wherever you are.
Harman Kardon Citation Oasis DAB
Easily the most feature-packed bedside alarm clock radio I’ve come across, with stylish but understated design, this offers built-in Bluetooth, AirPlay and Google Chromecast, can connect over Wi-Fi for higher quality music streaming, and boasts DAB and internet radio. With all the usual alarm clock features, it has voice control and a large wireless charging pad on the top to boost any Qi-compatible smartphone battery, plus a USB socket for charging other devices as you snooze.
Pro-ject Juke Box S2
Based around the award-winning Pro-Ject Primary E turntable, the recently updated Juke Box S2 crams in a built-in phono stage, Bluetooth receiver, pre-amp and 50W-per-channel power amplifier, meaning you only need to add speakers and you’ve got yourself a complete hi-fi, centered, as all good systems should be, around playing vinyl. But fear not, this isn’t a jack of all trades, master of none type of set-up, thanks in no small part to the new Pick-IT 25A cartridge, quality tone arm and new Acryl-IT E platter.
Nothing Ear (1)
Here’s a fresh, new and enjoyably different looking pair of true wireless earbuds from a company backed by Tony Fadell, inventor of the iPod. For those who can’t afford Apple’s AirPods Pro, the Nothing Ear (1)s tick almost all the same boxes for a fraction of the cost, most notably Active Noise Cancellation, five hours of continuous listening (34 hours in total with the battery case), superb fit, reliable connectivity and an impressive, enjoyable performance.
Bang & Olufsen Emerge
I’d be ecstatic to find anything from Bang & Olufsen under the tree this year, but I’ve developed a soft spot for this stylish fabric-clad anodised aluminium Wi-Fi-streaming speaker in gold or black that sits on a shelf just like a hardback book. Audio streaming comes via the B&O app or Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Google Assistant, while …….