And there’s not a Christmas compilation CD in sight. Because if there's one thing we'd bet our roast goose on, it's that audiophiles are far more thankful for music-related gifts of goodwill than Christmas music itself. (They’d never admit to having already subjected their hi-fi system to, or demanded their smart speaker play, Wham!'s Last Christmas.)
Indeed, if music is the food of love, then forks at the ready - we’ve got a finger-licking festive feast for you.
Sennheiser Momentum HD1 edition Pink Floyd
Inspired by 1973's enduring classic Dark Side of the Moon and to celebrate Sennheiser’s involvement in Floyd’s London-based "Their Mortal Remains” summer exhibition, these special edition wireless, noise-cancelling cans feature rainbow-coloured stitching on the leather covering the headband, a 'prism' symbol on the earcups and a pearlescent rainbow finish which, while not quite able to shine Any Colour You Like, does give off a rather lovely purple and green gleam.
Fairly fond of a Floyd fan? Then “grab that cash with both hands and make a stash" to pay out for these headphones.
How about giving the gift of music itself? Half a year of it, in fact! For an upfront cost of just over £50, you can gift someone unlimited access to the 25million song catalogue of our favourite music streaming service.
Or if the gift receiver has been especially good this year, you could always treat them to 7 months access to the CD-quality lossless HiFi tier (usually £19.99/month) for £101.94 instead.
Tested at £330 / Best price £299 at Amazon
Not just a plonk ‘n’ play record spinner, this 2016-Award-winning Audio Technica has a built-in phono stage and USB output for hooking it up to a laptop or PC and digitising your record collection. That’s Boxing Day sorted, then.
There are few better ‘best of both worlds’ solutions that let you spin your new Christmas vinyl albums and rip them to your portable music player.
More after the break
Tested at £500 / Best price £380 at hifiheadphones.co.uk
Speaking of which…
Smartphone junkies who’re subject to typically poor sound quality, shoddy battery life and “storage is full” notifications will find portable music players their saviours. Here we have one that sounds great, can play hi-res music, store thousands of songs and also double up as a DAC.
This Award-winner from last year may have lost its crown in 2017 to the newer, slightly superior-sounding MKII version, but for £200 less it's a festive bargain.
The Beatles Sgt Pepper Teapot
PG Tips may not be the festive tipple of choice, but surely well within the bounds of Christmas spirit is filling a teapot with Baileys hot chocolate or microwaved eggnog instead.
Indeed, perusing Abbey Road’s well-stocked online gift shop usually ends up thoroughly smudging a laptop screen with pointy fingers. Your music fan more of a coffee drinker? Then how about a ‘100 years of British Music’ book (£30)? Or an Abbey Road guitar strap (£15)?
Personalised Favourite Song Lyric Soundwave Print
If a song has a special meaning for you, this is a great way to celebrate it. It's a bespoke service - tell them (‘Mika’) the name of the song, and they'll work the lyrics into the soundwave and print it in either gold, silver or copper foil onto any colour card you like. Underneath is artist, song and release year, and the whole thing is then presented in a white and oak frame.
DropMix Music Mixing game
It’s time to ditch the Cluedo set and embrace your inner DJ with this playing card game, made by Hasbro and music game masters Harmonix (the heroes behind Guitar Hero). As each colour card is a specific layer of a well-known song – a Sia song beat or a Bruno Mars vocal, say – the idea is that you can add different card combinations to the supplied speaker deck to drop beats and mix your own mashups.
Throw in a free app, competitive DJ-off games and card expansion packs, and you have a family fun-filled festive period ahead of you. Trust us, we’ve played.
R.E.M. Automatic For The People 25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Dolby Atmos)
To commemorate this album’s 25th anniversary, R.E.M. has released a remastered deluxe edition boxset, featuring three CDs, a 60-page book and a Blu-ray that contains the whole album mixed in Dolby Atmos (by the original ‘Automatic For The People’ producer (Scott Litt) and engineer (Clif Norrell). It’s the first album released in Dolby Atmos, and we agree with Michael Stipe himself that it sounds “breath-taking”.
Tested at £380 / Best price £350 at Argos
If someone's love for music is greater than the space in their living room, a micro-system could be just the ticket. Denon didn’t necessarily need to release a new micro-system – the multi-Award-winning D-M40DAB has hung around our most-read reviews list like an Adele record that simply refuses to drop out of the charts.
But the new D-M41DAB micro system (bundled with SC-M41 speakers at this price) brings Bluetooth and improved sound to the table, and who can argue with that?
Annual What Hi-Fi? subscription
And to think we almost forgot the best hi-fi magazine around – how Rudolph us!
Looking for the Ultimate year-round gift? In an overt act of shameless self-promotion, we can’t help but suggest our own physical form as a pressie for anyone who not only likes listening to music but also reading about the kit that's best to play it (and films) on.
Our annual subscription gets you 13 issues (one per month, plus our annual Awards issue) featuring the world’s most trusted tech reviews (and some darn good features, if we say so ourselves) for less than £3.50 a copy. It would also make a useful coaster for that teapot...