We have already listed our favourite Christmas gift ideas under £50, but if you are prepared to spend a little more, you’ll find an even greater choice of quality AV kit to gift to your friends and family this year.
Our latest guide includes an awesome pair of budget standmount speakers, a brilliant portable music player, a terrific tablet, a 4K TV streaming soundbar, Award-winning wireless earbuds… and a partridge in a pear tree (possibly).
It would be rude not to kick this list off with one of the best-value pairs of earbuds on the market right now. These Sony Award-winners set the benchmark for wireless buds at this price. Timing is top-notch and the WF-1000XM3‘s wonderful sense of rhythm keeps you entertained track after track. Add a snug fit and excellent ease of use to the equation and you’ve got an unbeatable Christmas gift.
Dali Spektor 2
If someone you know could do with a top-class pair of budget standmounters to bring them some Christmas cheer, these Dali Spektor 2s could be just the thing.
There’s a pleasing level of detail and a great sense of organisation. The Dali Spektor 2s deliver music with considerable finesse, precision and energy, which means they’re guaranteed to get the Christmas party started.
The AKG Y400 represent a top budget buy. The wireless headphones are extremely comfortable, portable and build quality is robust. And, their energetic, expansive sound makes them a delight to listen to. One of the best Christmas bargains we’ve seen.
Roberts Stream 94i
With its appealing retro design and a feature set that includes DAB, FM, internet radio and Bluetooth, the Roberts Stream 94i radio is the perfect all-round package. And, with Spotify Connect built-in, the Stream 94i allows you to stream your own tunes over a network.
Know a relative whose music system needs bringing into the 21st Century? This modern twist on the classic radio could be the perfect Christmas gift.
The Sony PS-LX310BT is an excellent ‘my first turntable’ option, but it’s much more than that. This fully automatic deck is one of the best around at this price.
Other players might offer a superior sound, but this Sony makes up for it with a built-in phono stage and Bluetooth. It’s also ridiculously user-friendly, resoundingly listenable and fun – which counts for a lot at Christmas, right?
Roku’s 4K streamer-cum-soundbar is a versatile piece of kit. It’s a fine way of turning a TV smart thanks to its broad range of apps, which includes Now TV, Apple TV, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and Spotify. And it will give your TV’s weedy speakers a bit of a sonic boost. There’s also HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity for connecting to external devices. Those looking for a do-it-all solution shouldn’t be disappointed by the Roku Streambar.
Audiolab M-DAC nano
Sure, your present won’t stand out in the pile under the tree, but it’s not all about the size of the package, as the Audiolab M-DAC nano proves.
If someone you know wants to improve their sound on the move, then you won’t find a similarly priced DAC alternative that is so convenient, yet so capable.
Apple TV 4K
Know someone who’s recently bought a 4K TV? Well, this Christmas could be the time to give them some 4K content to play on it. The Apple TV 4K streamer boasts impressive picture and sound quality and has an attractive user interface.
But the main attraction of Apple’s box of streaming tricks is its huge library of movies – many of which are available in 4K HDR, and some of which are Christmas classics.
Apple iPod Touch (2019)
There are plenty of great portable music players around, but the latest Apple iPod Touch (2019) is still the one you’d want to find in your Christmas stocking this year.
The Touch does much more than just play music and, at this price, it’s a bargain. This is the seventh generation of this modern classic, showing that, even in an era of smartphone streaming and premium hi-res PMPs, there is still a place for the iPod.
Not an Apple fan? This Sony Walkman is a fantastic portable alternative, and a 2020 What Hi-Fi? Award-winner. It boasts aptX HD Bluetooth, an easy to navigate touchscreen and 16GB of onboard storage, which can be boosted by microSD card. The NW-A55L can even double as a standalone USB DAC. The fact it sounds superb os just the icing on top of this excellent Christmas gift.
Amazon Fire HD 10 (2019) tablet
If you want a tablet, but an Apple iPad is out of reach, then the latest Amazon Fire HD 10 is a fine affordable alternative.
It is weighted towards Amazon and its content – you won’t find google or YouTube apps here – but if you can work around that, the 1920 x 1200 screen delivers a great picture, and the tablet also serves up a good sound too. A brilliant Christmas buy.