While music might be the closest thing human beings have to a universal language, there are those among us who appreciate it on a higher level, relishing its ability to do everything from alter our moods to make our bodies move. If you have a friend or relative or significant other who lives for the beat and refuses to leave the house without his or her daily playlist primed, that person is assuredly a music lover.
However, even those of us who aren’t clinical about music still love it in some capacity, which makes our 2016 Christmas Gift Guide for “The “Music Lover” all the more resourceful this holiday season. You do no wrong buying any of the products on our list for that special someone in your life. Trust us they will find use for it because music is a language everyone speaks.
UE Boom 2
The UE BOOM 2 from Ultimate Ears is the closest approximation to a wild-party-on-the-go that we’ve ever seen. This wireless, portable stereo system might be preciously compact in sight (as in the size of a water bottle), but in sound it’s an unparalleled behemoth that delivers up to 15 hours of 360-degree audio for up to 100 feet in any given direction no matter where you are. We kid you not–take this baby to the top of the nearest mountain and it will deliver the sonic goods just as well as it would at the bottom of the nearest valley. It’s also waterproof and shockproof, making it more resilient than an all night rager.
Rather than settle for supreme performance and top-shelf durability alone, the UE BOOM 2 tosses in a whole bunch of optimisation and convenience as well. To get those beats pumping or to skip songs you just tap the top of the speaker or use the UE BOOM 2 app on your smartphone. If only the loudest, most adrenaline inducing music will suffice you can sync the UE BOOM 2 with up to 50 (yes, 50) speakers at once using the PartyUp feature. Needless to say, if you know someone who loves music and loves to party, give them a gift that combines the two with spine-tingling power and a body that’s built to last.
iTunes Gift Cards
Given there are only about a trillion different songs and artists to listen to, there’s no harm in letting your friend or loved one search and choose on his or her own by getting him or her an iTunes Gift Card. Yes, after all these years iTunes is still an awesome hub for the latest in online music shopping. Furthermore, in spite of all those streaming enthusiasts there is definitely a certain charm in actually owning a personal catalogue. At the end of the day the iTunes gift card remains an easy way to please so buy one and be done with it.
Guitar Pop Chart
Some of us are content simply listening to the tunes, others go way deeper by immersing themselves in all things music. That means picking up an instrument and learning to play just as much as it means reading up on music history. If you know someone who takes their passion for music to that next level, consider buying him or her the Guitar Pop Chart, a superb book that highlights 64 iconic guitars by way of stunning illustrations and helpful information. The book is a treasure trove for those who like to go beyond the mere act of listening.
Pocket DJ Mixer
For those who don’t feel like mastering an instrument, fret not because there’s an entire industry that caters to lovers who’d rather tinker with buttons, dials and pre-recorded sounds. We’re speaking of course of the DJ industry, which entails its own distinct level of craftsmanship and instinct. If you know someone who’s endlessly making beats or toying with found sounds, grant them access to a new tier of mobility with the Pocket DJ Mixer, a portable tool that syncs with the nearest MP3 player or mobile device and allows the user to create a block rocking beat anywhere, anytime.
Master & Dynamic MH30 On Ear Headphone
It’s 2016 and headphones have transcended their function as music delivery mechanisms to represent a new tier of personal choice and style. Here to check off all the necessary marks in headphone performance and build are the MH30 On Ear Headphones from Master & Dynamic. These beauties bring the comfort and durability by way of premium materials like lambskin, stainless steel, forged aluminium and heavy grain leather, and then use custom Neodymium drivers to pump mind-melting fidelity directly into those eardrums.
Guitar Hero Live
Your friend might not play an instrument or moonlight as a DJ, but that still doesn’t mean he can’t party like a rock star. For those who want all the fun of a concert but none of those empty beer bottles being thrown at their heads, check out Guitar Hero Live for Xbox One. It puts your friend in a rock star’s shoes complete with an enraptured audience there to worship him if he succeeds and denigrate him if he fails. Welcome to stardom!
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are more than just a band–they’re essentially music royalty and will be for centuries to come. In fact the iconic group is so synonymous with rock and roll that their history is more or less the history of the genre itself. If you have a friend or loved one who appreciates music in all its glory he or she will undoubtedly enjoy this massive limited edition book jam-packed with stunning photography. It’s a perfect visual accompaniment for the next time he or she throws Sticky Fingers on the turntable to hear what people mean when they refer to albums as “all killer, no filler”.
The best of 20th and 21st century music is not just an aural journey but a visual one as well, and nothing aptly combines both elements more than an iconic album cover. A great cover is in fact so closely aligned with the album itself that a symbiotic relationship is formed between the two. It’s hard to hear Nirvana’s Nevermind and not psychologically conjure up of the watery blue vibe displayed on the cover and artwork just like it’s hard to throw on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon without visualising a spectrum of colour emerging from a cosmic expanse of black. Buy a gift that celebrates the album cover in all its glory with the hardcover book Rock Covers. The book is part historical relic, part art exhibit, and completely awesome.
The Rap Year Book
If rock is a celebration of mood, melody and visuals, rap is the ongoing testament to raw lyrics and instinctual talent (as well as mood, melody and visuals). Buy the hip-hop enthusiast in your life a book they’ll absolutely cherish with the universally acclaimed The Rap Year Book. It chronicles and deconstructs all the landmark rap songs from 1979 onward, which means a linguistic and culturally conscious foray into socio-economics and purebred hedonism and everything in between. Also included are stunning illustrations and hilarious footnotes. Revel in rap’s living history and buy this today.
Audio Technica AT-LP60 Turntable
In the age of almost too much convenience, building a vinyl record collection has evolved from pastime to rite of passage for any true modern music lover. It takes time, effort, commitment, and respect, and grants listeners an elevated sense of appreciation for everything from craft to artwork. When the option to just skip ahead is negated you find yourself actually paying attention and the result is a sense of reward that streaming will simply never provide. If your music-loving friend or relative doesn’t own a turntable, then buy him or her a trusty Audio Technica AT-LP60 this holiday season along with a record or two. Sure, you might regret the decision a year later when that same friend has turned into an elitist who only settles for first UK pressings or audiophile masterings, but on the hand the tangible cornerstones of music get to survive another year.
OMG Posters: A Decade of Rock Art
If the album cover is an attempt to visually encapsulate a distinct sonic palette, the rock poster is a chance for the illustrators or photographers to truly run free with their own creative whims. As such the last century has brought forth a slew of poster art that’s in and of itself is worthy of being put up in the nearest museum. OMG Posters: A Decade of Rock Art is a bounty of eye-catching pleasure overflowing with striking and often hallucinatory imagery. It’s the kind of book where you can find a new detail every time you pick it up. Buy it for a friend and then indulge together. After all, that’s what art is all about.