Give the Gift of High-End Audio This Season
3 Great Gift Ideas for the Audiophile in Your Life
It’s that time of year again, and we agonize again over what to get for the important people in your life. Here in Nashville, we have many music lovers and creatives – it’s called Music City for a reason. Music studios, artists, songwriters call Nashville home, not to mention legions of music fans of all stripes.
The chances are, then, that you have a music lover in your life. And music lovers can be quite picky about how their music sounds, so, not just any equipment will do. Whether they are audiophiles or only enthusiasts, listen on headphones, wireless speakers, digital streaming, or vinyl, they care about the sound.
The good news is that we are in a bit of a golden age for audio equipment. Very high-quality equipment is available at a variety of prices and styles that can please audiophiles and music lovers without breaking the bank. So if you have a high-end audio enthusiast in Nashville that you’re struggling to find just the right gift for, read on for a little help.
SEE MORE: How Can You Enjoy Quality Music in Every Corner of Your Home?
Wireless Speaker Convenience
You might think that wireless speakers and audiophiles don’t mix, but they do. The reality is that even if an audiophile has a $100,000 hi-fi system in their listening room, they’re not going to always be in front of that system to listen to music.
When it comes to wireless speakers, two systems stand above the rest. Sonos is the pioneer in digital multiroom speaker systems. They make a full line of wireless speakers as well as components to link together traditional stereos into a multiroom system. Your audiophile would enjoy the convenience and excellent sound quality of the Sonos Play5 in a room like a kitchen or anywhere else where they would experience great sound without a full stereo setup. The Play5 has six drivers, with each one powered by its own digital amplifier to deliver deep bass and clear midrange and high notes. Two Play5 speakers can be linked together to form a stereo pair for better imaging, without the need for any wires – they just need to be plugged into a wall socket.
Sonos even has a unique feature called TruePlay, which tunes the speaker’s sound to the acoustics of the room. It functions similarly to the way home theater receivers measure sound pressure and acoustics in a room in a surround setup. The result is superb sound quality with a minimum of fuss.
Another excellent choice for wireless hi-fi sound is the Denon HEOS system. Like Sonos, it can be configured from one speaker to a whole-home solution. If your audiophile is into high-resolution digital music formats, HEOS is compatible with those and would make a great choice. The HEOS 7, the largest wireless speaker in the line, boasts 5 active drivers including a built-in subwoofer for excellent bass response. It is also compatible with both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, adding another layer of convenience for dialing up favorite digital music choices with just a voice command.
Perhaps you have an audiophile that values sound quality but is a little short on space. Fortunately, there are superb speakers that deliver big sound from small packages. One such solution comes from our speaker partner KEF. KEF is a British company long known for high-quality speakers, including the $30,000 revolutionary KEF Blade. That speaker has created technical innovations that have found their way into much more affordable hi-fi like KEF’s award-winning LS50 monitors.
The KEF LS50 is a speaker that creates a soundstage far larger than you could expect from speakers of that size. They come in two flavors; wired and wireless. The wireless version is like a mini self-contained hi-fi system. It has powerful onboard amplifiers providing a total of 230 watts to the drivers. They are fully connected with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optical, and analog inputs that support a wide variety of audio sources. The built-in DAC can handle high-resolution formats, and streaming is supported from Spotify and Tidal.
The wired LS50 is the same high-quality speaker sans the amplifier but can be mated to virtually any amplifier - which brings us to our next recommendation.
Integrated Amps and Digital Players
The integrated amp has long been a favorite of audiophiles that are short on space but want a straightforward solution built for sound quality. Marantz is a name that may be better known today for its superb home theater receivers, but the company continues to make audiophile components known for their highly musical qualities at a variety of price points.
An excellent match for speakers like KEF's LS50 would be the Marantz PM8006 integrated amplifier. The PM8006 is a classic integrated amp that is a pure analog component. It includes a high-quality phono preamp for a turntable and analog inputs for sources like a CD player or a digital audio player. To add all the digital music capabilities any audiophile would ever need, the Marantz ND8006 Network Audio Player completes the system. It can stream from sources like Spotify and Amazon Music, supports Apple's Airplay2, Bluetooth, high-resolution formats, and even includes a CD player.
For even more high-end audio gift ideas, call us at (256) 882-5081, contact us, or just click below to connect immediately to one of our audio experts. We look forward to helping you!