It's that time of year again and we've come up with some ideas for lovers of audio to put on the list for Father Christmas!
It can be tricky to buy presents for people who like their audio, there's so much choice! To try and help out a bit this Christmas we at the Cardiff store have put our heads together and come up with some ideas for gifts for your loved ones this Christmas (or indeed if you just fancy treating yourself!)
Vinyl has come back in a big way recently and the Rega RP1 is a fantastic place to start, whether you are breaking out the old collection after twenty years or starting out afresh. Its simple yet elegant 'plug in and play' design means that it delivers outstanding performance straight from the box and punches far above its weight in terms of price.
A fantastic additional product to go along with the turntable is the Rega Fono mini A2D. This tiny box is the perfect partner for the RP1 meaning you can plug straight into to any system without needing your amp to have a built in phono stage, the sound quality...simply superb. Finally to make sure that they have everything they need to start playing vinyl the Chord C-line interconnect cable will ensure that a sensationally clear detailed sound will make its way from the Fono Mini to your amp and speakers. You can make great savings by buying all three of these products as a Christmas bundle!
Rega RP1 Turntable - £230
Rega Fono Mini A2D - £89
Chord C-line (1m) - £45
Christmas Bundle Price - £299!
There's not much more that can be said about the Chord Electronics Mojo, it is simply one of (if not the) best new audio products to come out this year! You can find plenty of reviews on it, including on our own website, but this little headphone DAC sounds incredible and would be the perfect gift for anyone who listens to music on a portable device such as an android phone, Iphone or tablet. It will transform an otherwise average sounding headphone output into crystal clear Hi-Fi esque quality!
The pictured Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones make for a stunning combination with the Mojo. These extremely comfortable closed-back headphones provide an immersive and detailed listening experience. The P7's redesigned drivers sound less like those of traditional headphones and more like a Hi-Fi loudspeaker. While the combination of these two items means you have hi-fi quality sound on the move they are of course just as good at home and the Hi-Fi Racks Headphone Holder will let you store your headphones in style, available in a variety of luxury wood finishes.
Chord Electronics Mojo - £399
Bowers & Wilkins P7 - £329.95 (sale price £296.96)
HI-Fi Racks Headphone Holder - £35 (£49 for finishes other than natural oak)
Next up we have some great gift ideas for those who listen to music through their computer or laptop*. Firstly the Audio Technica ATH-ES88 headphones feature powerful 40mm drivers which deliver outstanding reproduction of sound. They are also closed back so won't disturb anyone else in the house!
The perfect companion to the ATH-ES88s or in fact any headphones is the Audioquest Dragonfly. This digital to analogue converter is the size of a usb stick and once plugged into a USB slot drastically improves the sound through your headphones compared to the regular headphone output. Bypassing your computers sound card for the dragonfly provides stunning clarity and expression through your headphones.
Another Audioquest product available is the Jitterbug, this tiny device at only £39 is a USB data and power noise filter, plug it into your USB slot and inherent noise and parasitic resonances generated via usb connections simply disappear allowing for a much cleaner, distortion free audio experience.
Audio Technica ATH-ES88 headphones - £229 (sale price £199.00)
Audioquest Dragonfly - £129 (sale price £112.88)
Audioquest Jitterbug - £39
The final items in our blog today make up a budget Hi-Fi system with plenty of options! Starting with the brilliant Marantz M-CR611 micro system. This system allows you to play your music in several ways it has a CD player, DAB radio, FM radio, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity and direct USB connectivity! The unit supports Spotify connect and apples airplay as well as many other streaming and networking services all controllable via the Marantz app. Of course the most important feature is the sound quality and the Marantz excels here,providing detailed hi-fi sound from all of it's sources, this is a very versatile piece of equipment.
The micro system does need to be paired with some loudspeakers and it combines fantastically with the Monitor Audio Bronze 1's. These compact speakers sound much better than their modest price tag suggests, featuring a 5.5" bass driver which out performs larger drivers resulting in a strong dynamic sound. These speakers perform just as well on a stand or on a shelf and shine even in rooms where space is at a premium!
Marantz M-CR611 - £449
Monitor Audio Bronze 1 (pair) - £230 (Sale price £199.00)
All the items we've written about are available on demonstration in the store so feel free to come and have a listen!
*Laptop not included and is for illustration purposes only.
From all the team at the Cardiff store we wish you all very merry Christmas!