You really need to like someone to spend between £50 and £100 on them. No cop-out easy option box of chocs or bottle of booze here – this is an amount right in the sweet spot for 'proper' Christmas presents.
But, of course, if you're investing proper money in your loved ones, you want it to go as far as it can. Rest assured that these top value-for-money ideas will delight and entertain in equal measure.
From headphones to wireless speakers, via DACs and subscription services, there's something here to thrill any music and movie lover in your life.
Klipsch T5M Wired
If you know someone who has kept the headphones that came bundled with their new smartphone, the gift of these £70 Klipsch in-ear headphones will be an absolute revelation to them. These What Hi-Fi? Award winners will stun them with the overall improvement they will hear in their on-the-move music.
If, on the other hand, a headphone upgrade is no longer necessary, you should seriously consider getting the music-lover in your life a portable DAC, as the next step towards mobile music magic. This little £79 dongle from Cyrus sits between your mobile device and your headphones – and it's there to improve the sound coming from your source. Which it does with seemingly nonchalant ease, opening recordings up and giving space for details to reveal themselves. And it's especially effective with hi-res recordings (up to 24-bit/96kHz).
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
If it's more music to share you're interested in, you won't go far wrong with this neat little Award winner. This £90 Bluetooth speaker is fun, portable and compact – and it's waterproof and it floats, as well as being sand and dust-proof. Most importantly, though, it sounds remarkably composed for its size and cost.
Amazon Echo Show 5
Where much of the Alexa-enabled smart kit out there is audio based, the £80 Echo Show 5 embraces both sound and video in its abilities to communicate. So as well as playing music or reading out information to you, it will allow you to access video content on its 5.5in LCD screen. So that means recipes, news bulletins and video calls to granny are now all up for grabs – for less than £100.
AudioQuest Rocket 11
Now, we're aware that, for some people, a run of £12.50/metre speaker cable may seem a slightly odd gift. But choose your target wisely and this Award-winner could just be the present that the happy recipient will be most grateful for this Yuletide - and the thing they will still be using the most in years to come.
If they're still using the cable that came with their system, we can pretty much guarantee that a couple of three- or four-metre runs of the AudioQuest Rocket 11 will be an ear-opener for all concerned.
Our streaming service of the year is a great gift for a true music aficionado. At £20 per month, Tidal's HiFi (CD-quality) package will give them streams at a far higher quality than those available from the likes of Spotify. Admittedly, you're looking at just four or five months for your £100 – but we're pretty confident that, once they've enjoyed the higher-quality streaming, the music lover in your life will want to continue to subscribe.
Pure Evoke H2
Pure has been pretty much a shoo-in as far as winning our Award for Best radio under £100 for the past few years. And, sure enough, this year's winner is the Evoke H2.
It has improved bass over its (also Award-winning) predecessor, and a wonderful clear midrange – so vital for a radio, of course, with the human voice occupying those middle registers.
That ought, really, to be all you need to know about the £70 cans – but seeing as you're here, we'll just mention the outstanding build quality, the superb timing and the expressive nature. Oh, and that we haven't heard better at this price.