Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Tech, Gadgets for Music Fans, More - Rolling Stone
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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Latest Tech, Gadgets for Music Fans and More

Party on this holiday season with a mobile recording studio, a vertical record player and killer $30 headphones

Rolling Stone Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Music Tech Edition

Who’s on your giving list this year? Whether you’re looking to treat a die-hard audiophile, an aspiring (or established) musician, a streaming-TV addict, a gamer or all of the above, Rolling Stone has you covered for the 2017 holiday season – with expert selections at a variety of price points. Check out the below and start making that list.

Portable Beats

Artists from the Talking Heads to Kanye West
have based songs around the Roland TR-808 Drum Machine’s deep beats and robotic
claps. Those ungainly vintage machines can go for five grand, but now the 808’s
magic is available in the Roland TR-08 Rhythm Composer, which
maintains the signature sound with an affordable pricetag — and a much more
portable footprint. $349; 

The Retro Shooter

With the Polaroid OneStep 2 i-Type Camera, instant photography comes alive again. The fixed-focus point-and-shoot uses newly available i-Type film which, while pricey at $2/shot, finally has the timeless look (and format) of the classic stuff. The camera recharges via USB, and has controls for exposure and flash. $99;

The Mobile Recording Studio

Musical inspiration can strike anywhere. Now
there’s a better tool for being prepared: the Spire Studio. The
portable, rechargeable multi-track device records your demos to an iOS device
wirelessly via wifi. A built-in mic and two powered XLR-1/4″ combo jacks
capture voice and instruments, and a single button push adjusts levels
instantly. Never lose a tune to the ether again. $349;

Hi-Fi Headphones

This Beats by Dr. Dre and Third Man Records collaboration is what audiophile dreams are made of. These limited edition Beats Solos3 wireless headphones expertly fuse Jack White’s signature craftsmanship and Dre’s sleek style to create a pair you know you can trust. $329;

The Stand-Up Turntable

Though it seems like a gimmick, the vertically-oriented, freestanding Pro-Ject VT-E BT Turntable not only looks cool but gets great sound from your records — without stealing tons of space on your desk. A built-in phono amp and a Bluetooth transmitter can stream sound straight to a wireless speaker or headphones. Records stay upright via a screw-in clamp at the center label. $499;

Party in a Speaker

The JBL Pulse 3 is a portable bluetooth speaker that doubles as the perfect excuse to never go out again. Plus, it’s kind of like a modern day lava lamp, and who wouldn’t want that? $200; 

Theater-Quality Streamer

If you (or your giftee) has a 4K TV, chances are, you aren’t seeing much of that sweet, ultra-sharp content just yet. The Apple TV 4K serves as a launchpad for the stuff – a speedy processor, support for two high dynamic range standards, and Siri-enabled remote make it easy to find 4K movies and programming, and deliver on your TV’s promise. from $179; 

The Do-It-All Radio

Timeless teak woodgrain and aluminum knobs make
the Como Audio Amico one of the best looking portable speakers
around, while audio legend Tom DeVesto’s engineering ensures it’s among the
best sounding. The rechargeable unit boasts a suite of ways to listen, from FM
and internet radio tuners to Bluetooth streaming and Spotify Connect. $399; 

The Big, Affordable 4K TV

The 55″ TCL P-Series TV is full of highlights: an impressively brilliant 4K display (with nearly four times the pixels of a 1080p unit), HDR (high dynamic range) for more life-like contrast, and a Roku wifi interface that’s seamless, making it an ideal set for cord cutters. But the most impressive spec is its double-take worthy price. $650;

Powerhouse Sound

Devialet, the revolutionary French tech company, has released a more accessible product – the Phantom Elevate. Devialet has engineered Elevate to emit higher outputs, but is offering the speaker at their lowest price ever. Now the best sound in the world can be experienced by an even larger audience. $1690;

The Classic Starter Guitar

The Recording King Dirty ’30s RPS-09 Dreadnought mimics a dust-bowl-era acoustic guitar, but it’s built using modern techniques: the solid spruce top is laser-cut and cross-lap braced for better tone. If there’s a better sounding acoustic guitar for two benjamins, let us know — we haven’t heard one. $199;

Budget Headphones, Big Sound

Koss has a great rep among headphone geeks for killer low-cost headphones like their legendary Porta Pros, but not everyone goes for the straight-outta-1984 styling. The new Koss KPH30i carries much of the former’s wide soundstage — courtesy in part to their semi-open, on-ear design— but modernizes their look, and adds a microphone and remote to the cord. $30;

The Smarter Bluetooth Speaker

Need a party DJ? Talk to the Ultimate Ears BLAST Bluetooth speaker. It has Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant built in, and when connected to a wifi network, can call up songs on demand from Amazon’s Music Unlimited streaming service. During a break from dancing, you can use it to order pizza. $230;  

High-Performance Gaming

The Nintendo Switch is the
gaming giant’s return to form: a smash-hit console that’s incredibly fun to
play. Its innovation: the gaming system can be played both home and away. At
home, the unit sits in a dock and plays titles like Super Mario
on your TV; on the road, you use its LCD screen like a tablet. $300;

The Speaker System That Listens

Sonos’ smallest speakers have long been their most impressive sounding — with the Sonos One, the
smart speakers get even better, thanks to Alexa voice control. Ask her to play
a song, and in an instant your tune can be playing on your Sonos system all
throughout the house. $199; 

Live Music Lover Stocking Stuffer

Unlike traditional foam earplugs you pick up at the drug store that block and muffle sounds, Vibes are reusable earplugs designed for live music: They lower the volume of your environment to a safer and more comfortable level, while still allowing you to hear everything around you clearly. Plus, the clear design means you won’t have yellow foam sticking out of your head, so you can enjoy the tunes without looking like a goon. $23.99  

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