It's the week leading up to Christmas, and surely you're already in the festive spirit and are smashing through your chocolate advent calendar, aren't you? But what about those pesky presents? If, like many of us, you still have plenty of gifts left to buy for family and friends, don't worry – we're here to help.
If you're buying for someone who loves their music, movies, games and tech, we've put together a curated list of the best gift ideas chosen by the What Hi-Fi? editorial team – these are items that we'd all genuinely want to see under our tree.
There are Award-winning headphones, musical card games, a turntable, a LEGO set, the latest 4K Blu-rays, some creative novelty items and even a five-star TV in the suggestions below (some gift ideas are for yourself, if not for another...). While we've kept the majority of these presents under £200, there are also some big-ticket items to splash out on, if you're able to.
We hope you find inspiration from the gift guide below and, if you're really stuck, there's always the ultimate life-savers when it comes to last-minute Christmas gift-giving: gift cards.
Enjoy shopping, and have a very Merry Christmas!
Gift ideas under £50
Looking for nifty little stocking fillers? These tidbits are all under £50, but you would never know it. From five-star earbuds and a handy smart speaker to a terrific magazine (ahem), here are some great gifts your loved one will be very happy to find under the tree (or in their stocking).
Sony WF-C500 true wireless earbuds
The ultimate stocking filler? These Award-winning Sony C500 buds have a ten-hour battery life, a compact design, and an enjoyable, well-balanced sound – ideal for anyone looking for a budget but brilliant pair of wireless earbuds. Available in minty green and pastel orange alongside the usual black and white finishes.
Amazon Echo Dot 5th Gen smart speaker
There can’t be a better value smart speaker than Amazon’s dinky Echo Dot (5th Gen). It may be small but boy is it smart with Alexa skills, and the sound? Really impressive considering how small the Dot is, and it's currently available for half-price at Amazon UK, too.
The Art of the Box
Before Minecraft, before Farmville, even before GTA, Ocean Software, Konami and Capcom ruled the video game waves. With limited marketing reach and the most basic of graphics, it fell to the box art to capture gamers’ imaginations. This book brings together biographies and interviews with the artists behind such classic looks as Shadow Warriors, After Burner and Bad Dudes.
Loop Experience earplugs
If you love live music, you’ll want to protect your hearing at all costs. These Loop Experience earplugs slot seamlessly into your ear to ensure that you’re protected at raves and in the zone at your desk. Available in various colours.
The Cure Tour Trading cards
These are the official trading cards from The Cure’s Shows Of A Lost World Tour 2023. Each features the poster artwork and setlist from each show, and come in sleeves and toploaders, sealed with an official holographic sticker.
A subscription to What Hi-Fi? magazine
This one goes without saying. If you only give or receive one gift this year, make sure it’s a subscription to the most esteemed hi-fi and home entertainment magazine in the business, which brings you the most trusted tech reviews on the planet.
In an overt act of shameless self-promotion, we can’t help but suggest our own physical form as a present. Our annual subscription gets you 13 issues (one per month, plus our special Awards issue) featuring reviews, buying guides (and some darn good features, if we say so ourselves) for less than £3.50 a copy.
Gift ideas under £100
You really need to like someone to spend close to £100 on them. It's a lot of money, and even the finest box of chocolates or the finest bottles of wine don't quite cut it. This is an amount right in the sweet spot for a "proper" Christmas present where you'll be gifting someone something they'll enjoy for days and months to come – especially if they love their music, movies and games.
Roberts Revival Petite radio
There cannot be a snazzier radio than Roberts’ adorable, tiny, and very dapper Revival Petite DAB model, available in various shades. It’s cute, it’s stylish, and it sounds truly superb for the size.
AudioQuest DragonFly Black USB DAC
Want to easily boost your audio for a titchy price? The five-star DragonFly Black is a compact, inexpensive and seriously powerful USB DAC that will instantly make your laptop-based tunes sound better.
Sony WF-C700N wireless earbuds
Our wireless headphones Product of the Year Sony WF-C700N are surely the best value buds we tested this year. A step up from the C500 buds above, this adds on ANC and plenty of features, alongside stellar sound quality that still feels unbelievable at this wallet-friendly price.
Nanoleaf 4D Screen Mirror + Lightstrip Kit
If you know someone looking to give their home cinema or gaming den a bit of je ne sais quoi, this might be just the thing. The Nanoleaf 4D essentially mimics the colours on your TV screen onto the LED light strip mounted behind it, creating an immersive experience which enhances the action on-screen. Works with TVs/monitors up to 65-inches.
Marshall Willen Bluetooth speaker
Nobody does classic retro-rock style like Marshall. The legendary amp manufacturer’s smallest portable, waterproof, Bluetooth speaker is small enough to place anywhere (even the bath and kitchen), the battery life runs for over 15 hours, and it's a delight for any wannabee rockers out there.
Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 on PS5
Alongside Baldur’s Gate 3 and The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 was one of the year’s biggest gaming hits. If you know a PS5 owner, it’s the ideal web-slinging choice.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III on PS5 / Xbox / PC
Another year, another Call of Duty, and this year Activision has brought back tons of classic maps and game modes from one of the best games in the series. While the gameplay remains the same as its predecessors (run around and shoot people), this year's game runs at a silky smooth 120Hz and features some particularly excellent sound design.
Gift ideas under £200
Maybe you've saved up all year for something really special. Maybe your loved one has been after that one big gift that they really really want, and they've already RSVP'd to the Nice list. If your funds allow you to, here are some excellent gift ideas in the £100-£200 ballpark that will ensure you win at Christmas gift-giving.
We can already imagine the tears of joy and astonishment when the recipient rips open the wrapping paper and finds one of these amazing big-ticket gifts unveiled...
LEGO Fender Stratocaster
We like LEGO. We like electric guitars. Put them together and you’ve got this LEGO Fender Stratocaster, a buildable model of the iconic 70’s axe complete with Fender 65 Princeton Reverb amplifier. It’s packed with details, like a posable whammy bar, pickup switch and tuning pegs, six strings, Fender logo stickers, and a textile strap.
Korg Volca Modular
If you’re stuck on a train journey to see relatives this Christmas, don’t spend the time scrolling through your socials – indulge your inner West Coast producer instead, with this portable synth. It’s modular, so you can change how it sounds, and you can listen back to your creations using headphones or the built-in speaker. Whether your relatives will appreciate them or not is a topic for the Christmas dinner table.
JBL Charge 5
Our favourite portable Bluetooth speaker really is outstanding value: beefy 20-hour battery life, durable and rugged build that you won't mind getting dirty or splashed in the rain, and it sounds fantastic. It's wonderfully balanced, is clearer and more detailed than before, and is rhythmically capable and a whole lotta fun.
wearerewind retro Bluetooth cassette player
How cool are these? A modern twist on Sony’s iconic first Walkman from 1979, this Bluetooth-equipped cassette player is ideal for the trendy music lover. Available in three retro colours.
FiiO KB3 'hi-fi keyboard'
Is it a compact gaming keyboard or a hi-fi DAC for your headphones? It's both! The FiiO KB3 has already made it to our TV/AV editor's wishlist – it has customisable RGB lighting under the transparent mechanical keys and a built-in DAC that can handle hi-res 32-bit files when connected to your computer via USB, and you can plug your headphones into either the 3.5mm or 4.4mm inputs.
Who says your laptop-based system has to be boring (or low-res?)
Apple TV 4K (2022)
Apple's premium streaming box is the ideal gift for someone who wants to take their Netflix bingeing to new heights. The metal remote feels much more luxurious than other streamers on the market, while the super slick operating system, expansive selection of apps and games, and excellent picture and sound performance all combine for a truly premium streaming experience.
Gift ideas for music fans
Love music? Our round-up of the best music gifts is perfect for those who want to show off their deep love of music, and want to hear every morsel of detail and emotion from their collection. Gift ideas range from crowd-pleasing speakers to fancy over-ear wireless headphones to an ultra-nerdy music card game.
From affordable to just under £500, even the budding audiophile in your life will be happy with any of these treats under the Christmas tree.
Revo SuperConnect Stereo music system
The Revo SuperConnect Stereo is one of the finest smart radios we tested this year, with bonus extensive streaming features. If you’re able to spend big money on a gift for someone special, you can’t go wrong with this gorgeous, retro-modern all-in-one music system.
Bowers & Wilkins Px7 S2e wireless headphones
Style and sonic substance make these premium wireless headphones from B&W one of the best models we’ve tested this year. The five-star Px7 S2e are cans that anyone would be lucky to receive this Christmas.
Sonos Era 100 wireless speaker
If you’re willing to spend a bit more on somebody special, the awesome, five-star Era 100 wireless speaker is an ideal gift. Smart, super-sounding and with plenty of streaming features, it’s one of Sonos’s very best.
Alternative Love Blueprint poster
Chart the course of alternative music’s rise and spread with this incredible transistor radio circuit board-inspired poster, featuring over 300 musicians, artists and producers who have been integral to the evolution of the alt scene.
Good Pop, Bad Pop by Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis Cocker’s “loft story” sees the Pulp legend scouring his attic as he charts the course of his life, covering everything from 20th-century pop culture to the joys and frustrations of being a rock icon.
Da Capo: The Music Theory Card Game
Designed for proper music geeks, this delightfully nerdy card game blends musical theory with strategic thinking. Ideal for your next get-together with your muso mates.
Wayward by Vashti Bunyan
Bunyan’s debut album Just Another Diamond Day didn’t have much of an impact upon release in 1970, and Bunyan turned her back on the music world. But by the year 2000 it had gained a cult following, and much like Rodriguez, Bunyan returned to recording. This book tells her story, from laying down a single written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to her years in the musical wilderness and triumphant return.
Nirvana 60 x 90cm Framed Poster
Know an angsty, grunge-obsessed teenager who won't leave his/her bedroom? You might as well liven it up with the iconic Smiley logo of one of Seattle's finest-ever exports (after Soundgarden, of course).
Gift ideas for vinyl lovers
It's a good time to be a vinyl fan. Whether your loved one is a vinyl newbie or has waxed lyrical for decades about the joys of vinyl records and physical media, these gifts will delight anyone who loves the sight, sound and feel of a record player needle on a vinyl LP.
Our gift suggestions include a terrific record player, turntable-themed novelty items, a brilliant book about turntable design history, and personalised storage boxes that will proudly show one's love of vinyl – these should make the giftee feel very, very special.
Revolution: The History of Turntable Design
Vinyl might be ‘back’, but of course it never really went away. This book explores the cultural and design impact of the humble record player by showcasing models from the 1950s right up to the present day. A must for deck heads everywhere.
...And You Don't Stop - A Celebration of 50 Years of Hip Hop on vinyl
Celebrate 50 whole years of one of music’s most popular and important genres with this superb six-vinyl box set, featuring the likes of Coolio, Digital Underground and What Hi-Fi? favourites De la Soul.
Lover by Taylor Swift on vinyl
Culturally, 2023 was a year defined by one woman. Taylor Swift’s appeal seems to be almost universal, so you’re on safe ground gifting a special vinyl edition of her acclaimed seventh album.
Wax & Stamp vinyl subscription
If you know someone looking to get into vinyl but without much of an idea as to where to start, this monthly vinyl subscription (£33 per month or £95 for three months) is the perfect choice. They’ll get two brand new records every month, including one album and one single or EP, from the service’s curated selection.
Personalised vinyl records storage box
Dedicated record collectors need a place to store their vinyl, and they need the world to know exactly to whom it belongs. This trendy, vintage-style and personalised storage box is just the ticket.
Rega Planar 1 Plus turntable
This fantastic Planar 1 Plus turntable remains a What Hi-Fi? favourite thanks to its sleek purist design and hugely enjoyable sound. And it has a phono stage built-in, so it’s easy to plug directly into your hi-fi system on Christmas day and start playing records.
Turntable Cheese Board
Nothing screams middle class like taking a turntable and making it into a server for your finest selection of brie or camembert. No dinner party is complete without one.
Hackney Diamonds Fuschia Vinyl Collection
Even after all these years, the Stones are still putting out belters. 2023's Hackney Diamonds has been hugely well-received by critics and punters alike and marks the band's first proper studio album of original works since 2005's A Bigger Bang. Enjoy it it in all of its lovely vinyl glory thanks to HMV.
Upcycled Record Coasters
Coasters no longer have to be boring. Made from reclaimed records, these musical mats will add a bit of music-inspired flair to anyone’s coffee table or kitchen countertop.
Gift ideas for film fans
If your family member or friend into spectacular blockbusters or indie films, or a horror fanatic? No matter what the genre, the movie buff in your life will no double be grateful for these thoughtful cinema-related gifts, which include family games (yes, we've included TV shows here too), summer's Barbenheimer double bill in glorious 4K, and subscriptions to more niche, curated streaming services.
Oppenheimer 4K Blu-ray
One of 2023’s biggest hits has to be seen to be believed, and we can’t think of a movie that deserves 4K Blu-ray more than Christopher Nolan’s engrossing nuclear blockbuster. Just don’t have nightmares…
Barbie 4K Blu-ray
If you want an antidote to the existential dread brought about by Nolan’s nuclear nightmare, switch gears with Greta Gerwig’s shiny, stylish and satirical epic – it’s pink but it packs a punch.
Tired of your friends complaining they’ve run out of things to watch? Then you may want to consider gifting them access to a specialist service like Shudder. The platform focuses on the horror genre specifically and has a library of classic films you won’t find on Amazon, Disney or Netflix, that will delight any fan of the genre.
Wes Anderson: The Iconic Filmmaker and His Work
There cannot be a director alive with a style better suited to a dedicated visual compendium of his works than Wes Anderson. A visual treat, and absolutely essential for fans of the American auteur.
The Art and Soul of Dune
We happen to thoroughly enjoy the 2021 adaptation of Frank Herbert's epic space opera Dune and can't wait for the release of part two next year. But that doesn't come out until March 2024, so we'd recommend killing the time by flipping through the pages of this gorgeous "making-of" hardcover book that delves into the creative process of how part one of the film was made.
Charades? Again? Come on grandad, get with the program. Clipology combines a traditional board game with viewable clips of thousands of movies and TV shows, helping to put the trivia questions into context. You can play on your TV, tablet or phone. Prepare for family feuds, 21st century-style.
MUBI film subscription
It might be more traditional to get the cinephile in your life a cinema voucher or a gift card to spend on Blu-rays, but how about a pressie that offers both at-home and theatrical film experiences? You can gift 3 or 12 months of the MUBI streaming service for £40 or £100 respectively – and that includes a free cinema ticket every week too.
Chromecast with Google TV 4K streamer
The Google Chromecast is a user-friendly, feature-packed media streamer with all the apps you already know and love for watching a whole host of films and TV shows. Plus, you'll get a great 4K HDR picture, along with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support.
Amazon Fire TV Omni QLED 50in
Amazon's Omni QLED is one of the best value-for-money TVs to arrive this year. We were particularly impressed with the 50-inch version (QL50F601), which scored five stars when we got it in for testing, with it delivering great app support and a balanced, clear picture. This makes it a perfect gift for anyone needing a TV upgrade this Christmas.
Gift cards for music, tech and film fans
While some may look down their nose at the humble gift card, there's actually
a lot to be said for them being the ideal Christmas gift, if the situation calls for it. In fact, there are so many instances in which gift cards can be absolute life savers.
Got an extended and/or growing family of relatives and satellite acquaintances about whom you know little? Gift card. Left it late and haven't the time even to think about what type of headphones your second cousin prefers? Gift card. Exhausted from shopping and just need something easy that isn't cold, thoughtless cash? You get the idea.
From Amazon to Spotify and Netflix to Nintendo, these are the best gift cards and subscriptions for music, tech and movie lovers everywhere.
While this might not be the ideal gift for Grandma Beryl, it's absolutely nailed on that your 14-year-old nephew will be thanking you all year if you're contributing to 2024's gaming fund.
The joystick-happy recipient can spend it in-store or online on any console, game or accessory, whether it be new or second-hand – a massive bonus considering how many AAA games now enjoy discounts after a few months or years of release.
Cards come in £5 to £50 amounts and can be purchased in-store or online.
What could be better than the gift of music itself? While Tidal remains our favourite music streaming service thanks to its CD-quality and hi-res Master tracks, it's far easier to gift someone unlimited music access on the most popular streaming service on the planet. After all, some people haven't even heard of Tidal, let alone the benefits of, say, a FLAC file up to 192kHz. Kids these days...
A Spotify Premium subscription costs around £11 a month, so it's not bank-breaking to gift a membership for roughly three months, six months or even a year if you're feeling generous.
We may still consider Disney+ to be the finest streaming service on the block at the moment, but Netflix remains a tried and tested crowd-pleaser and a smart choice for anyone looking for a versatile, one-size-fits-all platform with plenty of variety and effortless usability.
From The Crown and Wednesday to The Batman and Wonder Woman, the most popular video streaming service on the planet is packed with homegrown exclusives and sought-after content to keep even the fussiest viewers happy for months.
Amazon offers both physical and electronic Netflix gift cards in amounts from £25 to £200, which is only slightly ironic considering it's got a rival streaming service of its own in the shape of Amazon Prime Video. The gift cards can be used to cover monthly subscription fees and don't even expire, so there is no rush to use them straight away.
Sony PlayStation Store
If you know somebody who owns a PS4 or a PS5, a PlayStation Store gift card makes perfect sense. You can buy them from the likes of Amazon, Argos and Currys in amounts from £15 to £100, and the credit can be spent in the online PlayStation Store to contribute to the cost of a new game or else purchase a full title outright.
You can even spend the cards on PlayStation Plus subscriptions, which at the time of writing cost £7 for the Essential tier, £11 for the Extra tier or £13.49 for the Premium Tier.
Our favourite video streaming service for a couple of years running now, we'd still recommend Disney+ to anyone looking for a large catalogue of high-quality content that sports a lot of wheat without a lot of inconvenient chaff. Gift this card and the recipient will get a whole year of Disney+ for the price of just 10 months, making this subscription card deal a stellar option.
It's worth noting that this does come in the form of an email code and not a physical gift card, but you could always print the code out and make a DIY gift card if you're feeling creative.
While there's a heck of a lot of stuff you can buy at Amazon, John Lewis has always been known for its commitment to quality across its range of departments and wares.
The respected department store sells everything from award-winning OLED TVs to Egyptian cotton sheets and rather tasteful home furnishings, so the lucky recipient won't have any trouble finding something to take their fancy. You can buy John Lewis gift cards online or in-store, and as a nice bonus, they're valid at Waitrose, too.
Currys & PC World
Currys is a fantastic place to pick up tech of all shapes and sizes, whether it be a TV, a pair of smart speakers or even a next-gen games console, so a gift card will relieve you of the burden of choosing the perfect gift yourself.
Cards are available from £10 all the way up to £1000 (lucky them).
Don't ignore Nintendo. The Nintendo Switch is, by some estimates, the third highest-selling console of all time, meaning it's got a mighty fanbase of users out there just waiting for more money to spend on Mario Kart and Animal Crossing.
Nintendo cards can be used to purchase games and other content for the Switch, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles, and with £15 to £100 cards available, there is likely to be a card to suit your budget.
If you are truly stumped for ideas, it's pretty much impossible to go wrong with a gift card from the second-largest (after Walmart) retailer in the world. As you'll undoubtedly know, the online giant sells everything from tablets to Award-winning wireless earbuds at ever-competitive prices, with gift cards ranging from 10p (why?) to £1000.
What better gift than letting the recipient choose their own perfect present?
From all of us at What Hi-Fi?, Merry Christmas and a happy new year!