Online: Spotify Gift Cards
Don't give the gift of an overpriced digital album from that fruit-based online store—think bigger. Instead stuff someone's stocking with the gift of on-demand, unlimited and mobile streaming of millions of albums. This year, everyone's favorite streaming service, Spotify, is offering gift cards so the music lovers in your life can indulge in a little commercial-free listening and take it with them wherever they go. $10/$30/$60 only at Target.
Home Audio: Samsung Vacuum Tube & Digital Amp Wireless System
It's clear that wireless listening is the way things are going. Whether it's Allshare, AirPlay, DLNA, Bluetooth, NFC—the options are becoming as endless as the devices offering the technology. One of the best is Samsung's vacuum tube and digital amp wireless system. Glowing vacuum tubes and a sleek wood finish make this one hot-looking unit. Add to that Bluetooth, USB and dual Apple/Android docking connectivity as well as 2.1 channel sound and you'll be someone's favorite gifter of the season. $569
Portable Audio: Jawbone Big Jambox
I reviewed this device earlier this year—my opinion hasn't changed. While there may be a couple of other options available at your local electronics retailer that sound just as good or maybe a little bit better, there are a ton that are worse. Also, the better-sounding devices don't typically offer the same portability or battery life. With the Big Jambox you'll get Bluetooth and audio jack connectivity as well as the ability to download apps to the "smart speaker." It packs a fantastic live audio mode and should get you about 15 hours of continuous streaming. Basically this is just one good-looking and great-sounding portable device. $299
Personal Audio: Marshall Major Headphones
While the discerning audiophile can find several amazing pairs of ear cans, they will definitely shell out a ton of money for them, sometimes upwards of $500. For those who want great-sounding music wherever they go for a price that doesn't break the bank and a look that doesn't make them look like teeny boppers, Marshall answers with its Major on-ear headphones. They feature elegant style reminiscent of the amps as well as admirable performance at both low and high ends of the audio spectrum. They also fold up into a tiny little ball for easy transport. $120
Future Tech: The Mojo Speaker
For the person who has everything, get the gift that doesn't even exist yet. The fellas over at upstart tech company CoverPlay are working on something that has the potential to be very cool indeed—The Mojo Speaker. Whereas most Bluetooth speakers tend to sacrifice sound quality for easy portability, The Mojo aims to solve that issue by putting an impressive speaker—that can push out around 90 decibels, into a 7mm thick and nearly flat housing. Funding for the project is underway at Kickstarter.com. The team is looking for $30,000 to put its fully functioning prototype into production. The video of it working is quite impressive. $90-$120.