October 28, 2021

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The 2020 AllMusic Gift Guide: Gadgets


After last week’s guide to shopping for music books, we’re moving on to ideas for audio and music-related technology. Whether you lost your Airpods down a storm drain, need to boost the sound of your TV, or are sick of dealing with guitar cables, we’ve selected a number of items to meet the needs of the aurally-inclined. Next week we’ll explore the wonderful world of box sets, so be sure to come back for that.


Apple Airpods Pro

If the current Apple Airpods don’t live up to your standards when it comes to sound quality, but you love their ease of use (or if you just lost your old ones), Apple upped the game with the Airpods Pro. The latest model improves upon the original by providing active noise cancellation, better battery life, and wireless charging. ($199)



Getaria 2.4GHZ Wireless Guitar System

If you want to pretend that your living room/garage/basement is an arena stage, take a tip from the pros and go wireless with this simple, two-piece setup from Getaria. Just plug the wireless transmitter and receiver into your amp and guitar or bass and you can wander to the kitchen for a Tab while still playing “Unchained” at full power. The 2.4 GHZ version is their base model, with additional channels and power available as high as you may wish to go. It’s also rechargeable, so you can save the batteries for your pedals. ($31.99)



Bluesound Node 2i Wireless Multi-Room Hi-Res Music Streaming Player

The Bluesound Node 2i is one of the easiest ways for the discerning audiophile to stream music directly to their existing hi-fi setup. The device features more than enough analog and digital input/output options to connect to the component of your choice, along with a handy app and voice assistant integration that allows you to broadcast not only your own digital music library, but also Spotify, Airplay and more. ($549)



Ableton Multitrack Recording Software

If you are looking to get into the world of multi-track recording or electronic DJing, Ableton’s software is a great place to start for newbies and advanced users alike. Live provides the ability to record and layer a plethora of virtual instruments, drum machines, guitars or real world audio with intuitive control and precision. ($99)



Sennheiser Momentum 3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Is your head too big for earbuds? Do you prefer big chunky headphones that cover your entire ear but also look and sound great while doing it? Want the ability to listen wirelessly but still have a wired option? Sennheiser gives you what you are looking for, giving you active noise cancellation as well as the perfect frequency balance that allows you to truly hear your music the way it was meant to be hard. ($399.95)



JLab Sport Earbuds

We have other headphones on the list, but if you’re a runner, a gym rat, or just fed up with wires and don’t want your audio equipment to slide out of your ears, these JLab Audio sport earbuds definitely get the job done. The audio quality is better than the bargain brands, the design allows them to stay put without pinching or aggravating your ears, and the touch sensors allow for a significant level of user control without having to look at your device. ($69)



Sony Dolby Atmos Soundbar and Subwoofer With Bluetooth

For all the benefits flat-screen technology has brought us, better on-board television sound isn’t necessarily one of them. This soundbar from Sony takes care of that issue, and while it’s a little pricier than some models, it also comes with a subwoofer and delivers 400 watts of output, which should nicely fill any room. And as long as you’re going to be cozy at home for at least several more months, you may as well do it with excellent sound. The Bluetooth capability spares you from adding more wires to your entertainment setup, and it’s also currently $100 off. ($498)



Google Nest Audio Smart Speaker

If you are in the Google Assistant ecosystem and are looking to not break the bank when it comes to sound quality and design, the new Nest Audio checks all the boxes. Just shout, “Hey Google, play Christmas music,” and impress your friends and family with the magic of music this holiday season. ($99.99)



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