Because the run-up to Christmas is never kind to your bank balance, we've rounded up some of the best tech, music and film gifts available for under £50, including headphones, tablets, deluxe vinyl and even – wait for it – an Award-winning speaker cable! Can we get an "ooh wee"?
Pick up one or some of the below for a loved one and yule nail the art of gift-giving...
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K streamer
There are many reasons Amazon's latest video streamer would make a perfect pressie, but boil them down and two core points remain: it's simply the best video streamer after the £180 Apple TV, and a Black Friday deal means it's currently only £35 (down from £50).
This plug-in HDMI stick's support for 4K and multiple HDR formats (HDR10, HLG, HDR10+ and Dolby Vision) opens the floodgates to premium content from Netflix and Amazon, and brings you BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, 4OD and Demand 5, Spotify, Deezer and Tidal apps. A fiery option, indeed.
Beyerdynamic Byron buds
Claiming a 2017 and 2018 Best Buy Award for their benchmarking levels of insight at this price, these budget Beyerdynamic buds join lords and burgers in doing the Byron name proud. Offering an authoritative, revealing sound and comfortable, sturdy build, they’re the standard-setters under £50.
A perfect upgrade to those out-of-the-box buds for music players and those smartphones that still have a headphone jack!
Prince - Piano & A Microphone 1983: Deluxe Edition - Vinyl LP + CD
Last September, a very princely deluxe package of the 1983 Piano & A Microphone album was released by the Prince Estate and Warner Bros. Records on what would have been the late great’s 60th birthday.
Packaged in a hardback 12in gatefold book, it contains the CD and vinyl albums, a booklet featuring brand-new liner notes written by Prince’s then engineer Don Batts, never-before-seen photos, and – the indubitable highlight – a previously unreleased home studio cassette recording of Prince at his piano that year.
Amazon Fire 7 (2017) tablet
Another Black Friday bargain, this five-star "cheap and cheerful" (as we called it) tablet has been reduced from £50 to just £30 - less than a round at most London pubs.
So whether it's for a loved one to use for movie-watching, music-listening or as a smart-home controller, or simply to keep the kids at bay on Boxing Day, this basic Amazon tablet will light up the face of the receiver. Amazon Prime subscribers will also enjoy the Amazon-centric quirks.
Chord Company C-Screen speaker cable
Budget speaker cable: (hopefully) not the sexiest present you'll buy this year, but what's a hi-fi system without cables connecting it all together?
If you've gleefully shouted out "wireless" as the punchline, then congratulations, but jokes aside we can't stress the importance of good speaker cables for traditional stereo speakers. And if you or your loved one is limited in budget, this class-leading £5/metre Chord Company wire should not be overlooked.
The total price for a standard 3m/4m length (per speaker) comes to £30/£40 in total.
Dynasties 4K Blu-ray
We may only be mid-way through the BBC's latest Sir David Attenborough natural history series (and more importantly the latest 4K HDR iPlayer trial), but we already know we want it on Ultra HD 4K Blu-ray - even if right now we're not rushing to re-live chimp David's suffering or the baby-pinching penguin scene.
The on-demand 4K and HDR stream of the first episodes look truly fantastic, and the 4K disc promises yet another step up in visual delight. Got a 4K TV and 4K Blu-ray player? This disc – released on 3rd December – will no doubt be a Christmas crowd pleaser for the family over the holidays.
AKG K72 headphones
You certainly get the bulk for your British pound here. But the value of these AKGs goes beyond what can be initially perceived. For those looking for a great, affordable pair of home headphones – you'd have to be pretty brave to wear these on the bus – look no further.
They’re extremely comfortable, have wider and more detailed sound than comparable street pairs and use a longer, tougher cable too. Overall, they’re a great buy. Good luck stuffing them into a stocking, though!
It’s the device you didn’t know was needed between a computer and DAC! But any audiophile that has a PC/laptop and DAC set-up will be grateful for it - trust us.
Your answer to the inevitable "what is it?" on Christmas Day: "Think of it as a kind of USB port purifier, acting as a passive filter to dissipate noise and interference coursing through the circuitry of your computer or laptop before the music signal enters your DAC". If you can remember all that.
Audioquest’s USB-stick-sized device is a clever little critter indeed, and an effective one at that.
Annual What Hi-Fi? subscription
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 sub-£50 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 do say so ourselves) - all for just £47.49.