You probably know someone who isn't just into music – they're really into music. And if you're really into music, you surely should be all about making sure it sounds exactly as the artist intended.
If you're a regular reader of What Hi-Fi?, then this is definitely you, and for everyone else, it really should be you.
After all, if you enjoy music, surely you want to hear it at its very best? We think so. Here are our pick of the best audiophile gift ideas to inspire you this Christmas.
KEF LS50 Meta speakers
The KEF LS50 Meta are arguably the best pound-for-pound speakers we've heard in 2020, and a purchase that any discerning audiophile would be proud of. The smart, stylish design mixes with a wonderfully transparent, subtle, and precise delivery to produce class-leading sound quality some rivals can only dream of. Buy this Christmas gift with confidence.
No, it's not April Fools' Day, McIntosh really is selling a clock, complete with signature blue meters, for a cool $1800. The McIntosh MCLK12 uses those lovely old VU meters to measure hours and minutes and promises to be "the ultimate fun way to monitor the passing of time". Has the relentless passing of time ever sounded quite so sweet?
Chord Clearway Analogue RCA cable
Cables maketh the system, as the saying might have gone, so any music lover worth their salt knows they can't leave a weak link if they want the best sound quality. Splash out on this Chord Clearway RCA, our best analogue interconnect over £50 in this year's What Hi-Fi? Awards, and you'll be sure to hear your hi-fi at its very best.
If you or someone you love like to be a bit more overt about your love of music, then some would say vinyl is the way to go. While we won't get into the merits of whether vinyl sounds better than digital here, there's no denying there's something special about the act of playing records – and we're still fans of any physical media in this streaming age.
So how about a vinyl subscription? Flying Vinyl is one of the best services we've checked out and it offers a choice of 3-month, 6-month and 12-month subscription gifts, starting from £57. Your box promises the finest new indie, alternative and rock tracks, exclusively pressed with full A/B sides and custom-designed artwork. You also get an info booklet on the featured artists, plus the promise of occasional special gifts.
What Hi-Fi? magazine subscription
While we're on the subject of subscriptions, if someone really wants to know their onions, they of course need regular doses of the world's foremost hi-fi and home cinema magazine. We are, naturally, referring to What Hi-Fi?. We suggest 13 doses per year which is, handily, precisely what's on offer from our annual subscription (the Awards issue being the lucky 13th). It's available in print and digital form.
Grado SR325e headphones
If you're really taking sound (almost too) seriously, then you're quite happy sacrificing form and function. It's probably fair to say Grado headphones are a case in point. The style is divisive - although we think they look quite smart - and they don't do anything except play music; there's no wireless here. The Grado SR325e also leak sound something rotten, so they're a little anti-social. But if all you want is superb sound, there's simply nothing better, which is why they won the What Hi-Fi? Award for best home on-ear headphones £150 to £400.
SAMDI headphone stand
If you've got a flash pair of headphones (or two), then you need to not just look after them but of course also show them off. This natty wooden stand will help you do both. Made of walnut, it sits securely on your desk and affords you an easy storage option while also helping to avoid scratches or tangling cables.
Chord Mojo DAC
If you want to help someone take their listening to the next level, then a DAC is one way to go. Slip this Mojo in between your source and your speakers or headphones and you're sure to get an uplift in audio quality. The Chord Mojo was an Award-winner once again this year and delivers excellent audio quality, with the added bonus of plenty of connections.
Rega Planar 3 turntable
For the ultimate audiophile, the ultimate turntable? The Rega Planar 3 has dominated the turntable market for years thanks to various upgrades and improvements, and if you want a serious record player to do a vinyl collection justice, look no further. Well made and nicely finished, the deck delivers a detailed, dynamic sound.