The holidays are just around the corner and with it comes a plethora of gadgets, gizmos, and devices that can leave even the savviest of shoppers overwhelmed. But when it comes to music-related gadgets, have no fear - Yahoo! Music has got you covered!
Check out our quick guide to some of the latest tech goodies sure to please any music geek on your list, all of which can be purchased online. Whether you're looking for something small or large, fun or practical, we've put together a cheat-sheet on the latest and greatest!
1.) Headphones for Rocking Out in Style!
For looking chic and tuning in on-the-go, Urbanears offers a large variety of quality, stylish headphones at a reasonable price point (most are under $30). Clocking in at under ten bucks is another model, the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120-D. A pair of these makes a great stocking stuffer and delivers a fantastic audio punch for the small price.
2.) Listening on the Go: Portable Speakers for Everyone
The iHome iHM61 is an amazing little speaker that adds some vibrant color to your listening experience. The speaker connects to your computer - or other USB power source - and lights up the room with a cool color changing LED light. The vacuum design provides good audio quality for this ultra-portable speaker.
If your gift recipient is a diehard Apple fangirl or fanboy, the JBL Soundfly is sure to impress. It's a smart little speaker you can take anywhere - perfect for the student or frequent traveler in your life. This innovative little gadget hangs from an electrical outlet and streams audio from an iOS device via a WiFi connection. No wires required!
The Belkin Bluetooth music receiver is also a nifty little device that allows you to play music from your mobile device through your home stereo. You'll get stereo sound and the ability to control your playlist directly from your device from anywhere in the house. The wireless receiver simply connects to your stereo and pairs wirelessly to your iPod or iPhone, allowing you to use it as a virtual remote. Great for parties!
3.) Tune in to the next Generation of Smart Radio.
Let's face it, radios have come a long way since the good old days of the analog dial. The Logitech Smart Radio connects to Pandora, Slacker, Spotify and more, providing the user with limitless options for broadcasting personalized radio at home. Just turn it on, connect to your home internet, and instantly access thousands of free internet stations from around the world. You can access most popular music apps and even stream music stored locally on your computer.
4. Tablet Roundup: The iPad Mini vs. the Microsoft Surface vs. the Google Nexus 7
The jury's still out as to which tablet will win as best all-around music device. Outside of playing games, reading, and managing day-to-day tasks like e-mail, a tablet, while not exactly cheap,* makes an excellent investment for the casual or die-hard music fan. You can easily watch all your favorite music videos and documentaries (even record your own with a built-in camera), catch up on music blogs and magazines, stream music, and host your own digital music library.
While the iPad mini serves as a fantastic digital jukebox - just download the free Pandora or Spotify app and press play - it also offers a vast amount of powerful apps like GarageBand and djay for music-makers on the go.
The brand-new Microsoft Surface offers Microsoft Surface Music, a music-listening application for building a personalized digital music library. Not unlike iTunes, a user can create and organize their music collection by creating playlists and listening to them via an elegant cover-flow design.
The Nexus 7 tablet was created by the folks at Google and was originally designed to compete with the Kindle Fire HD from Amazon. With many features including a volume rocker, headphone jack, and multimedia capabilities, you can easily port over your music, watch videos, and catch up on the latest digital music publications.
*iPad mini starts at $329, Microsoft Surface $499, Google Nexus 7 $199.
5.) An Easy-to-use Microphone for the Aspiring Star
For the aspiring musician, singer, or podcaster in your life, the Spark Digital mic from Blue Microphones is the perfect tool to get your loved one started on the road to fame! The Spark Digital offers many options for recording via USB (just plug it into your computer). This is the latest model in their lineup of portable, compact, and stylish microphones. Check it out!