'Tis the season and—love it or hate it—that time of year distinguished by the celebratory buying and exchanging of gifts is closing in fast. For many, shopping for a gift is relatively straightforward. But for others, it never gets easier.
Take the DJ of the family, for instance. Most of us don’t have Santa’s eerily on-target ESP so what’s a loved one to get them? Apart from a deep dive into the weird world that makes them the wonderful person they are, it can be almost impossible.
Fortunately, EDM.com has your back.
Over the course of the last month, we spent more than 40 hours turning knobs and pushing buttons on all the best gadgets we could get our hands on. We went to stores, factories and corporate offices hundreds of miles apart to test out the newest headphones, speakers and a number of other highly useful devices. Suffice it to say, our ears are tired.
Some of our favorites were at the cusp of the cutting-edge. Others simply took the electronic music listening experience to the next level. Want to splurge on a gift for yourself? Trying to figure out what to get the DJ of the house? Read on to discover some of the hottest gifts you can buy this holiday season.
A Top-Shelf Set of Headphones
Our Pick: AKG K371 Lifestyle Headphones
For the touring artist, audiophile on the road or someone who finds themselves in need of a personal listening device, a lot of fierce set of headphones can be a game-changer. After checking out many of the crispiest headphones the market has to offer we arrived at the AKG K371 Lifestyle Headphones and found their closed-back, oval-oval-shaped design has an edge when it comes to both quality and comfort.
Cost-wise, they also turned out to be one of the most accessible options available today. If you’re wondering why the DJ in the family needs these and not some other random set of headphones, the K371s are built for dissecting songs, recording or all those little moments in between gigs. Like, when it’s time to watch movies on the plane. Their versatility is a bonus and at $103.50 the k371s are about as high grade as you can get without breaking the bank.
Disclaimer: A few of these selections require healthy budgets and none of them are cheap. In other words, value was certainly a factor but items were selected on our preferences and not by how much they cost.
The Vinyl Record Player with a Modern Spin
Our Pick: Victrola Stream Carbon Works with Sonos Turntable
When a producer or DJ collects vinyl records, it’s not just for show. Most take their collecting and their collections seriously, and that means having a serious vinyl record player. For pros like those, turn to the ultra sleek Victrola Stream Carbon Turntable with Sonos.
From those included in this article, this item is probably the toughest to get because they’re so frequently out of stock. In addition to being both controlled by a mobile app and compatible with your Sonos setup (as the name implies), the Victrola Stream Carbon Works Turntable effectively marries that classic warm fuzzy feeling that everyone loves about vinyl records with some of the most modern technology on-hand today.
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One High-Grade, Studio-Quality USB Mic
Our Pick: AKG Lyra Ultra-HD Multimode USB Microphone
Few gadgets can open up the world of potential for dance music DJ like a solid USB mic. Podcasts, instrumentals, vocals and so much more are all suddenly within reach. After testing a dozen of the top plug-and-play microphones available today, we landed on the AKG Lyra both for its $99 price-tag and its multi-pattern coverage, which activates condensers that listen in different directions.
Whether it’s used for a home studio recording or in a hotel room on the road, the Lyra wins out as a big impact upgrade. The best part? It won’t blow the holiday budget. For simpler vocal configurations, gaming, or podcasts the AKG Ara also caught our eye as an even more affordable alternative, coming in at only $69.
This Highly Portable PA
Our Pick: JBL Eon One Compact Portable PA
Busking DJs, a backyard barbecuers and anyone who likes to party on the go will agree, having your own portable PA is a game-changer and the EON One Compact from JBL is the best all-in-one option on the market. At $599, it’s a bit of a splurge, but the punch packed in this little bluetooth/app controlled, battery-operated powerhouse does way too much, albeit in the best possible ways.
Sound from it is rich, mean and about as crazy as it is genius. Basically, it’s the speaker version of Elon Musk if he could fight. With four separate channels, you can do everything from put on a pop-up desert rave or jam with a few friends on a corner downtown.
Adjustable Ear Protection
Our Pick: Minuendo Adjustable Ear Plugs
Everyone talks about ear protection and staving off the onset of tinnitus, but not many people really bite the bullet and buy something to do something about it. That’s where Minuendo comes in.
With their 7- to 25-decibel shifting, adjustable ear plugs at a modest $159 price tag, they’re more economical than those molded plugs that get the lion’s share of the hype in the music industry. Plus, they come with a variety of rubber molded ear fittings. In addition to just being a more sensible product than those high dollar ear molds (because if you lose one you’re not out the cost of a used car), Minuendo’s Adjustable Ear Plugs offer more bang for the buck while staying at a small price to pay for those who like to turn it up—and keep it that way.