Everyone uses their phone for tunes these days, and everyone loves having top quality music accessories. Get in your loved one's good books by buying ‘em one of these headphones or speaker setups.
Bose are known for two things - making products that cost the earth, and making them so good they'll rock your world. These cans might well set you back a bank-busting £300, but there are few people who wouldn't kiss your face off if you bought them these, as the sounds they emit are richer than most Texan oil barons. The noise cancelling technology blocks out external noise, so traffic and gangs of football fans singing their team's chants won't interfere with your soothing Massive Attack sessions.
>> £299.99>> bose.co.uk
Bose has also made these superb in-ear ‘phones for those who like working out to tunes from an iPhone or iPod. As you'd expect from Bose, the trademark sound quality is present and correct with crystal clarity and oceanic depth, and they have an inline remote so you can change tracks and volume with the greatest of ease. They also look very smart indeed.
If you want a pair of earphones that are strong and resistant to horrible sweat, then Plantronics' BackBeat 903+ are built from a material that will suit you just right. They'll go down a storm with people who work out with their mobile, and they're intelligent for a pair of headphones, keeping you informed on things like battery level and Bluetooth connection status. Plus, there's a seamless transition from listening to your music to answering a call, and the dual-mic AudioIQ tech creates sound quality that can only be called ‘superb'.
>> £69.99>> plantronics.com/uk
A cheaper Plantronics option than the 903+, but ones that still offer noise-isolation and considerable quality for the price. The BackBeat 216 in-ear buds will be right up your street if you want enhanced base levels while keeping a perfect balance in both high and mid-range. The inline mic not only lets you talk while on a call, but also lets you control your audio so you don't have to mess around taking the phone out your pocket, a function available on more expensive headsets but rare on a model in this price range.
The masters of dance music have now got over two decade's worth of experience in making cans, and it shows in this affordable yet high-quality set. Aluminium housing, a dual-foam band design and a rubber, coiled space-saving cord make for a nice physical form, and the 50mm drivers take care of delivering top audio. Definitely a worthy choice for techno heads - and they look damn cool.
These in-ear headphones are great for keeping both the sound inside your head (less chance of annoying others) and for blocking out external noises. Made from aluminium and sporting a soft-touch finish for added comfort, they also have a rubberised cable that's anti-tangle. And they come with three different sets of ear buds for different sized ears, which is great if you have especially big or small lugs.
>> £29.99>> hmv.com
As the name suggests, these Bluetooth headphones have been designed with a sporty person in mind. The rubber over-the-ear clip means they won't fall off if you start doing star jumps, and they have a microphone that's wind-shielded plus some audio magic that creates a virtual surround sound effect. And if that wasn't enough, there's also a built in FM Radio to boot. Expensive, but you get what you pay for.
A wonderfully quirky piece of apparatus that's almost worth the money just for how ridiculous it looks. The horn amplifies your music (or film audio) all the way up to 15dB - and without the need for batteries or any extra power, making it eco-friendly as well as funky. And it doubles as a stand so you can keep the screen up in both portrait and landscape modes. Cool looks, easy on the wallet and good for beefing up your noise - a steal for its meagre asking price.
This high-fidelity compact sound system that uses Bluetooth is a docking station for your iPhone/Pad/Pod, but it'll also connect to your Android smartphone or tablet. It has a built-in rechargeable battery so you can take it on the move, while its sound specs includes a 2.1 configuration with sub-woofer, tuned acoustic chambers and UQ3 spatial enhancement processor. It's also a sexy-looking piece of hardware that will bring nothing but cool to your home.
It doesn't matter if you're a rock and roll star or a social club crooner, the ability to attach your iPad to a microphone stand can bring enormous advantages (especially if you've got a rubbish memory and keep forgetting the lyrics). It's made from a sturdy, durable thermoplastic, attaches to pretty much any stand and is completely adjustable for both horizontal and vertical orientation.
A superb little unit that offers a multitude of handy features, the first being as a small speaker set. But it's best as a bedside unit as it'll keep your phone charged up overnight, and it's an alarm clock that can access your music library so you can wake up to whatever suits you best in the morning, be that Iron Maiden or Beethoven. And as the name suggests, it's a radio as well. All that for less than £50 - a bargain.
A one-box unit holding three speakers, the Play 3 can be set up in minutes to wirelessly stream music from your Apple or Android device. It's small - so suitable for those who live in more cramped abodes - but pumps out strong meaty audio and is more than capable of filling a small- to medium-sized room. You can store playlists on it and even bridge several of them together if you want to dot them around a larger room.
Eponymously shaped, the Zeppelin Air is a beefed up version of the original Zeppelin with a much punchier output coming from its 2.1 speakers. Its design alone would add a touch of class to any home, but it's also one of the best iPhone/iPod docks money can buy.
Nullify that noisy commute with these sound-cancelling cans from audio specialist Wolfson MicroElectronics. The stereo in-ear buds work with the myZone active Ambient Noise Cancellation to deliver crisp audio and crystal clear calls. How's it work? Well, active ANC beats passive because it produces soundwaves that are the exact opposite of outside noise, preventing any reverberation of audio caused by physical blockage of sound. An in-line receiver and mic let you switch between tunes and talking - and we love that an LED indicator informs you when the noise canceller bit needs recharging.
These are a novel set of cans - not only do they function as a pair of over-ear headphones, but they're also a set of speakers so they can blast out as well as in. Which in the wrong hands could cause untold chaos on the bus or tube, but in the right ones mean you can get the party started with the greatest of ease. As headphones they obviously don't require juice, but when the speakers are ramped up the rechargeable battery will give you about four hours of boom time. Excellent!
We'll be posting more awesome gift ideas over the next few days, so if you've come this far without purchasing a single Christmas present, worry not - just keep reading.