20 Great Tech Gifts For Audiophiles | ccklpl.com

20 Great Tech Gifts For Audiophiles

Music provides us with everyday magic. It may sound corny, but it’s true. There aren’t many other free ways to change your mood, encourage reflection, boost productivity or simply let loose than playing your favorite song. Music provides a needed respite from everyday life. Whether you’re listening to Spotify on your drive to work, putting on a comfy set of headphones as you slog through spreadsheets mid-day or even flipping on a record when you’ve returned home, those few minutes of music can help reset your life. 

Thanks to technology, we can access an ever-growing library of music anytime, but there always seems to be more to sift through. The same goes for audio tech. There are dozens of brands selling headphones, record players, speakers and receivers. But, if you’re considering buying a pair of Beats headphones or a Crosley record player for your niece, nephew or teenager, please stop, breathe and read closely. Audio quality is important. The best pairs of headphones, speakers and record players blend innovative design and simplicity while delivering quality, comfortable listening experiences. To make things easier this holiday season, Paste Tech has assembled this gift guide for the discerning audiophile in your life, from young listeners to seasoned music fans.

U-Turn Audio

I’ve been using technology from the 1970s and 80s to play records for most of my life, so it’s never been a big deal wrangling cords, rigging extensions and chaining speaker wires and receivers together. But using the Orbit turntable and the accompanying Ethos-powered speakers was so easy that I’ll likely never go back to my vintage equipment. 

The entry-level Orbit turntable is just $250, making it one of the best options for your dollar. These turntables look sleek, sound incredible and are made in Massachusetts. The base models come with an Audio-Technica AT91B cartridge but that can be upgraded to options including the Ortofon OM5E, Grado Green3 or Ortofon 2M, depending on how much you want to spend. 


I love a good set of headphones, so much so that I’ve burned through dozens of pairs. While the old style AirPods remain a reliable favorite, I’ve recently jumped back into the pillow-soft embrace of traditional headset earphones. There are a few pairs that stand out, including the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7, which I mostly use for gaming. Since they pair with my phone, I can pipe in the soothing sounds of Brian Eno while losing in NBA2K23 or Fortnite. These SteelSeries headphones also come with several color change booster packs so I can coordinate with my mood.

Recently, I’ve also been testing out the open back Drop + Sennheiser HD 58X Jubilee Headphones, which are steeped in history and engineered for exceptional sound quality and comfort. Wired, so they’re more traditional, they feel incredible and sound amazing when I’m glued to my desk. Equally as nice, albeit a bit more expensive, the TMA-2 Move Wireless headphones are heavy-duty, noise canceling, leather cushions for your ears on par with the famous Bose 700s. One of my nerdiest friends recommended them, so you know they’re great. 

DIY RadioGlobe

RadioGlobe was created a few years back by an innovative hacker named Hey Jude. It combines the low tech of an ordinary globe with a satellite radio from around the world. The best part is that the project is entirely free and open source. On his Instructables page, Jude wrote, “The GitHub repository is open to anyone who would like to evolve the code to make the RadioGlobe even better.” For more on the project, you can check out the vlog he made for the project with DesignSpark, which commissioned the project.

Everything, All At Once

Soundbars are great, but what if you want to wire your entire house up to one system? The WiiM Amp can be used to create an all-encompassing audio system integrating both your digital and physical library at home.

An offshoot of Linkplay Technology, WiiM created the WiiM Amp, a high-powered receiver that can be used to upgrade existing vintage gear and create a multi-room system at home. It easily hooks up to your phone via an app while supporting services like Chromecast Audio, AirPlay 2, Alexa Casting, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, Qobuz, Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and more. This small machine produces 60 Watts per channel at 8 ohms, and 120 Watts per channel at 4 ohms, while supporting up to 24-bit/192 kHz audio output, bit-perfect sound and gapless playback. It also costs less than $300. 

All Access

Now that I’m older, I still love the idea of going to concerts but when it comes to buying a ticket, arranging transportation and food logistics, not to mention the overwhelming dread of standing for several hours, it’s tough to make it happen. Enter Veeps, and more specifically, the live streaming service’s latest offering, All Access, which offers unlimited access to an extensive library of premium-quality concerts. The new service promises live entertainment, original content and documentaries from a slate of popular artists for $12 per month (or $120 annually). Veeps’ On Demand concerts currently include recent shows from Hans Zimmer, The Cure, The Killers and Slipknot, all shot and recorded in high definition. 


While there are high-end options, streambars and soundbars can provide a cost-effective path to integrating the digital library on your phone with a system at home. More powerful than your usual Bluetooth-enabled speaker, streambars from SonosJBLBoseSony and the like can easily fill your room with music, and, depending on what bells and whistles you want to include, can be controlled via app, feature 3D surround sound and connect with other speakers via Wi-Fi. Last year, we ditched our old Amazon Fire Stick and upgraded to a Roku Streambar to kill two birds with one stone. Resuscitating our exceedingly old TV, the streambar has allowed us to quickly cue up playlists, videos and photos from our phones while providing better sound quality overall. 

Simply Radio

If you’re not all that handy and still want to enjoy the benefits of worldwide radio, the Roberts Stream 94L is the latest iteration of the critically acclaimed smart radio. With a faster processor, and built-in Amazon Music and Deezer support, much of the design remains the same: extensive radio and streaming features, ease of use and enjoyable sound quality. This little wonder is fitted with Bluetooth, Spotify, Amazon Music, Deezer and more, so you can listen to your favorite music immediately. Easily connect it to your Wi-Fi and enjoy FM and DAB+, too.

Vinyl Countdown

Vinyl is more popular than it has been in decades. In the first half of 2023, sales jumped 23% year over year thanks to old favorites like the Beatles and Michael Jackson, as well as the biggest album of the year, Taylor Swift’s Midnights. While curating a music library is an exceedingly personal thing, there’s nothing better than being pleasantly surprised with music you never thought to consider.

Founded a decade ago, Vinyl Me, Please has perfected the art of reissuing classic albums on colorful vinyl. In that time, they’ve built up a huge backlog of records and continue to release new and old ones each month. VMP offers several subscription options as well as exclusive pressings, like TransfigurationWhen the Pawn…, or “Kendom Edition” of the Barbie soundtrack, as a la carte items.

If you’re looking for something slightly more curated, may we suggest soulman and DJ extraordinaire Mayer Hawthorn’s new wine and vinyl subscription service modeled after his successful YouTube series Wine & Vinyl Hour. Each quarter beginning in January of 2024, customers will receive a box containing three bottles of wine and one vinyl record curated by Mayer Hawthorne, with a future box featuring his newest release For All Time

Innovative Design

Storing your records is a never-ending problem. Aside from organizational issues (Do you sort by year? Alphabetically? Autobiographically?), there’s the push/pull of actually playing and displaying your collection. The Toneoptic rpm, created by Fabian Geyrhalter, was created out of the record enthusiast’s need to sift through his records with ease. The rpm allows you to appreciate the wonderful cover art while easily selecting the next record to play.

If you’re looking for something a bit flashier, Petru has designed the Smart Now Playing Vinyl Record Stand. The item looks like a futuristic equalizer and reacts to audio in real-time while neatly displaying your vinyl. A few other forward-thinking record holders that caught my eye have been this metal design by Bent, the Upton LP stand, and the Flipbin.

Vinyl On The Go

The Audio-Technica Sound Burger was unveiled in 1983, making it one of the first portable vinyl players on the market. Some forty years later, the company has updated it with Bluetooth capabilities and new hardware. The limited-edition AT-SB2022 portable turntable comes with a USB-C charging cable and features a lightweight design making it perfect for parties, picnics or compact living spaces.

If you’re more of a DJ than a casual listener, Numark makes one of the better sounding portable record players. The PT01 Scratch model comes with built-in controllers and can connect to your phone to source music if you don’t want to haul the record crate along. Plug it in or let it run on batteries, this turntable can even record vinyl to your computer via USB.

Keeping Up The Collection

Okki Nokki machines are made in the Netherlands and remain one of the best ways to easily clean your record collection. If you’ve got a collection of more than a few hundred records, it could take several hours a week to just dust off record smudges and lint. So, investing in these machines is very niche. On the high end of things, you have the Degritter MKII, which looks somewhat like a toaster but will get those vinyls sparkling in no time. That said, Okki Nokki machines usually run around $600, while new Degritter machines currently cost over $3,000. There are a few other cheaper options on the market including this Vevor ultrasonic cleaning machineDecibel Audio’s Record Doctor and the HumminGuru all-in-one.

But what if your records have been warped due to bad storage, heat or kids? Fear not! The Vinyl Flat Record Flattener can save your disc. The Vinyl Flat site is also chock full of resources to walk you through the process of saving your collection. 


I’ve written about the Yoto audio player previously, but it’s good enough to mention again. It’s one of the few go-to electronic gadgets we allow the kids to use freely. The all-in-one player is Bluetooth-enabled and works with an app or sturdy cards you can use interchangeably. Some of the best-selling programs on the device are stories like Dragons Love TacosThe Bad Seed and Make Way for Ducklings, but it also features a music series and licensed IP from Disney and Penguin Random House. Most importantly, the device uses a simplified button scheme and minimalist screen, so kids can’t get caught scrolling. The Yoto comes in a mini version as well and connects to headphones, making it perfect for road trips. 

Bonus Tracks

Mu-so Qb – Incredible Bluetooth-enabled sound in a futuristic looking cube! What’s not to love? The 2nd generation Qb looks super cool and is immensely powerful if you’re looking for an all-in-one.

Levitating Turntable – The Mag-Lev is billed as the world’s first levitating turntable and I have to agree. If you’re friends with a celebrity or rock star (this thing costs $5,000) who happens to love spinning vinyl, this may be the perfect gift idea. 

Grateful Dead Wireless Speaker – McIntosh Labs remains one of the greatest hi-fi audio companies to ever exist. The American-made brand got its start in 1949 and recently released a limited edition RS150 with Grateful Dead artwork on top of its iconic design to commemorate Dead & Company’s The Final Tour in 2023.

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