9 gift ideas for music lovers

You might be hunting for the perfect gift to give to an impressionable sibling who knows their Stereophonics from their Stereo MCs, or perhaps after that perfect system upgrade for a relative whose hi-fi system seems to have everything. For these reasons and more, this is the music lovers' Christmas Gift Guide you need.

We've decided to be free and easy, not setting a budget for these suggestions. But we have picked out some of the best kit around - from headphones to speakers, amps and more - to make sure there's something to inspire everyone.

See all our gift ideas: Christmas Gift Guide 2014



Five Stars

Tested at £80 - Compare latest prices

You could be forgiven for thinking that these rather striking cans were following Beats' style-over-substance example, but we can assure you - that's not the case here. You'll find very little amiss with this pair of portable cans, and all at a relatively modest price.

See the full AKG Y50 review

CD player

Cyrus CD i

Five Stars

Tested at £975 - Compare latest prices

It might be a tad on the expensive side, but Cyrus has long been producing CD players that just don't seem to put a foot wrong. And what we have with the CD i is a product that may just be redefining the standards that its rivals should be striving towards. It'll bring the best out of your CD collection, for sure.

See the full Cyrus CD i review


Pro-ject Essential II

Five Stars

Tested at £200 - Compare latest prices

The humble vinyl record is not so much experiencing a revival as having a full-blown renaissance, and that means there'll be a few lists sent off to Father Christmas this year with a turntable leading the way. With the Essential II, you get a frill-free entry-level spinner that makes listening to records fun. We'll let you worry about who's choosing the tunes.

See the full Pro-ject Essential II review

Hi-fi amplifier

Marantz PM6005

Five Stars

Tested at £300 - Compare latest prices

In hi-fi terms, this Marantz amp is an absolute steal at £300 and should be the first port of call for anyone on the lookout for a first hi-fi stereo amplifier or an update to their budget system.

See the full Marantz PM6005 review

Stereo speaker

B&W 685 S2

Five Stars

Tested at £500 - Compare latest prices

To be honest, there's no shortage of top quality stereo speakers that will be gracing this year's Christmas Lists. But not all of them are as thrilling as the latest generation of B&W's 685 stand-mounters. We're not saying you'll be the talk of the hi-fi town if you had these in your set-up, but you won't be far off.

See the full B&W 685 S2 review

Multi-room system

Sonos Play:1

Five Stars

Tested at £170 - Compare latest prices

Multi-room music hit the mainstream in 2014 and plenty of manufacturers are now looking to get a slice of the pie. But, before them all, came Sonos - and the US company is keeping pace with its new rivals. After removing the need for a wired connection to your home router, Sonos has gone fully wireless and that means this entry-level speaker is the perfect gateway to a simple, yet highly effective multi-room set-up.

See the full Sonos Play:1 review

Wireless speaker

Cambridge Audio Go

Five Stars

Tested at £120

"Nothing at this price" - that's what we've put down in the 'Against' column for the Cambridge Audio Go, which shows just how highly we think of this portable Bluetooth speaker. If there's a wireless speaker on your shopping list this Christmas, the Cambridge Audio Go ought to be the one, and underlined. Twice.

See the full Cambridge Audio Go review


Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2

Five Stars

Tested at £130 - Compare latest prices

After the first Dragonfly created a huge stir in 2012, the latest version of this talented DAC has done it all over again. No product of its kind can produce such outrageously good sound quality for such a tempting price. A great way to upgrade the music from your computer.

See the full Audioquest Dragonfly v1.2 review

Music streaming



It can often be a difficult choice when it comes to picking a music streaming service, but there are - naturally - a couple of frontrunners that are hard to ignore. But the recent addition to the UK market could well shake things up, with the promise of CD-quality streaming and more. For the music fan who likes to stream, but doesn't want to compromise on sound quality, TIDAL is shaping up to be an irresistible proposition.

Hands-on Tidal music review

From gift ideas under £50, to presents for sports fans, it's all in our Christmas Gift Guide

Max is a staff writer for What Hi-Fi?'s sister site, TechRadar, in Australia. But being the wonderful English guy he is, he helps out with content across a number of Future sites, including What Hi-Fi?. It wouldn't be his first exposure to the world of all things hi-fi and home cinema, as his first role in technology journalism was with What Hi-Fi? in the UK. Clearly he pined to return after making the move to Australia and the team have welcomed him back with arms wide open.