Fans of high-definition, high-fidelity, and high-connectivity can be a finicky bunch. And that makes them very difficult to shop for during the holidays. But it isn’t entirely their fault. Part of the problem is that technology is an ever-evolving nebula that’s as challenging to understand as it is to navigate. But that fact can also make things easier, if you realize that it frequently opens the door to new equipment options. Even for the most up-to-date media junkie.
A turntable, monitor, or portable media player that was top-of-the-line last year might be old news today. And while that might be annoying to the user, it bodes well for you, the gift-giver. To make your quest even easier, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up this list of the 20 most worthwhile media-based gifts on the market this holiday season. Pick up something from the following collection and you’ll be their hero, for sure.
Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection
Stanley Kubrick is one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. From his striking visuals to his mastery of storytelling, he will forever be recognized as a genius in the world of media. This 8-film set includes his most classic films, including The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, A Clockwork Orange, and more. And it’s a must have for any movie buff.
Skullcandy Barricade Mini Portable Speaker
We all have that friend that can’t go anywhere without music. Give them this miniature portable speaker from Skullcandy and you can give them much more freedom without them going into anti-social headphone mode. It’s also impact and water resistant, so it’s perfect for outdoor adventures.
Lumina Ultra Compact Portable Charger
Nothing kills the happiness of a media junkie like the batteries dying in their favorite device. With this portable charger, they can keep their gear juiced up no matter where they are. It even has an indicator LED, so you can be exactly sure how much juice is in it. And it features compatibility with most smartphones.
Transcend StoreJet M3 External Hard Drive
Whether your gift recipient is hopping on a plane, going on a WiFi-free vacation, or just needs a way to transfer files from A to B, this external hard drive is an excellent gift option. With an absurd amount of space (one or two terabytes), this military-grade can take a beating while still keeping its contents safe and intact.
Google Chromecast Ultra
The time has come to accept that cable television is on its last leg. And with it on the out, streaming devices have hit their stride. And who better to trust than internet giant Google? Their Chromecast is an easy and low-cost way to ensure that your favorite mediaphile will never have to go without their favorite shows, news, or whatever else.
Samsung Gear VR Headset
Virtual Reality isn’t just for gamers. It can also be used to immerse oneself in any number of movies, shows, or specialized virtual worlds. It’s especially handy if you want to tune out of the world around you for a while. This one from Samsung is compatible with a number of the brand’s smartphones and is completely portable and wireless.
Being a media junkie does not strictly mean being a consumer. It can also mean being a producer, like with music. These intuitive devices are an easy-to-use way to create digital music with a manageable learning curve. And they can be used both in-studio and live, with the appropriate attachments.
Roku Premiere+ Streaming Device
One of the best devices for streaming media available, the Roku Premiere+ is fitted with a super-quick quad-core processor – capable of playing 4k video at up to 60 frames per second. That’s the kind of clarity of picture that might make you forget that what you’re seeing are just images on a screen. It also includes a handy “point anywhere” remote for easy control.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Camera
Though it looks like a retro camera, this little point-and-shoot’s functionality is anything but. It features a full range of shooting modes, can auto-detect brightness and adjust shutter and flash to optimal settings automatically, and it features an optional double-exposure mode for a very cool photo effect. It even has a macro mode for shooting at distances of just 30-60 centimeters.
Bragi Wireless Headphones
While to some companies “wireless” doesn’t actually mean without wires, the same is not true for Bragi. These tiny Bluetooth-enabled earbuds are fully independent. They’re also water resistant, have a playtime of up to 6 hours per charge, and can pair with your smartphone for hands-free communication.
Shinola Power Supply
The thing about total-access to media at all moments is that you need, first and foremost, access to power. And while you could trust a cheap surge protector from your local superstore, it just doesn’t compare to this offering from Shinola. Not only is it well designed, but it will stay kink- and bend-free, features dual-USB ports, and features a 45 degree wall plug, so as to keep it as flush as possible.
Yamaha YAS-106 Soundbar
Soundbars have become the new standard in home television audio. They’re much less obtrusive than your average speaker set and, thanks to constant improvements in technology, they sound just as good. But this one from Yamaha has some even bigger benefits. Namely it is fitted with dual subwoofers, so you can get all the bass you want without any added equipment. It’s also Bluetooth-enabled and is slim enough to mount on the wall beneath your TV.
David Bowie: Who Can I Be Now? Vinyl Box Set
Losing the visionary David Bowie this year was a huge blow to the Rock & Roll world. Thankfully, his music will live on forever. Share some of it with your favorite media junkie via this box set of the brilliant artist’s best work. Across nine records, this collection samples Bowie’s work from 1974-1976. And it’s a must have for any classic rock fan.
Marshall Mid Bluetooth Headphones
You know you can trust one of the biggest names in Rock amplification with creating quality headphones. These ones from amp giant Marshall are more than just music players, though. They feature Bluetooth connectivity and an onboard mic, so you can take calls without having to take them off. They can also play for more than 30 hours on one charge and have a 30 foot wireless range.
Myo Gesture Control Armband
This neat wearable device, which allows you to control your technology kind of like a Jedi warrior, reads the electrical signals that travel through the muscles in your arm and translates them into commands. It’s also functional with Mac, Windows, and Android devices – so there are hundreds of potential applications. It can even be used to fly drones.
U-Turn Audio Turntable
With the rejuvenation of the popularity of vinyl, so too has there been a resurgence in the production of quality turntables. This high-performance one from U-Turn Audio is one of our favorites. It’s uncomplicated and features a clean pared-down design, but the tech inside offer some of the best high-fidelity playback available today.
LG UltraWide Gaming Monitor
This massive 34″ LED gaming monitor offers one of the best high-definition displays available today. And its immersive and incredibly high contrast color isn’t limited strictly to a dead-center view, either. It can be gawked at, in all its 21:9 ratio glory, from nearly any angle.
HP Pavilion Wave PC
Most PC towers are eyesores. But not this one, as it was designed in conjunction with Bang & Olufsen. Which also means you can count on it’s integrated speakers to offer some incredibly good sound. And it’s inner workings have had their sound reduced by 85% compared to competitors. But it doesn’t stop there, as it’s also a fully functional high quality computing machine in its own right.
Apple MacBook Pro
For a balanced combination of style, power, and reliability, you just can’t do better than a MacBook Pro. And that’s doubly true with their newest release that features the Touch Bar and Touch ID. And with options of either 13 or 15 inches and storage of 128 to 512 gigs, there are a very limited few that couldn’t get by on this amazing machines.
Sony NW-WM1Z Premium Walkman
Yes, we know it seems odd to top off our list with a Walkman, but this is no ordinary MP3 player. It is, hands-down, the best MP3 player ever made (and is probably the best that ever will be made). The chassis is made from gold-plated oxygen-free copper, it’s advanced braided cables are handcrafted, and – as far as portable audio is concerned – there’s literally nothing on the market that even compares to this one.