Music makes the people come together, as a wise philosopher once said. There are all kinds of music lovers out there, from the high-commitment stans who dedicate their social media lives to curating news about their faves, to the snooty audiophile who will only listen to the highest quality sound files, but what to buy them after you've already gotten their favorite band T-shirt and a Spotify subscription?
This holiday season, we're recommending all kinds of gifts ranging from unusual and eccentric to must-haves for anyone, for the sonically inclined. Be they in need of a new set of earbuds, in search of a great new music book, or looking for the perfect piece of wall art — we have all the music lovers on your shopping list covered.
Flip through for options from high to low in price, to please the bourgeoisie and the rebel, this holiday season.
Photo courtesy of Sonos.
Sonos One, $199, available from Sonos True music lovers care about audio quality, and Sonos is at the top of the heap when it comes to home speakers and speaker systems. The new Sonos One line just rolled out a voice-controlled, smart speaker with Amazon Alexa integration, with Google Home assistant to follow in 2018. That means your favorite music snob can simply ask their Sonos One to play Lorde (and even specify in which room, if they have a full Sonos home audio system) and hear the dulcet tones of their favorite artist. Sonos offers full voice support for Amazon Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, SiriusXM, and TuneIn at launch, with Spotify to follow soon.
Play 1 Speaker,
, Untypical Girls: Styles & Sounds Of The Transatlantic Indie Revolution $26.95 from Barnes & Noble A must-have photo book for daughters of the resistance who love Bratmobile, Kim Gordon, and Courtney Love.
Rihanna Broke Bitch Socks, $24 on Rihanna.com Leave it to Rihanna to put a pair of toe socks that say "broke bitch" in her online store. The phrase is from her song "Pose," but you know she won't hate it if you pop these on your toes.
Dawid Ryski Illustrated Gig Poster, various prices on the artist's website and on Esty Polish artist Dawid Ryski has created concert posters for many beloved acts: Arcade Fire, Sia, Janelle Monáe, Bruce Springsteen, and a host of others. They retail at around $30 to $50 each and will add character to whatever wall you have that needs covering.
Mixtape Card Game, $25, from Uncommon Goods An awesome gift for the person who keeps asking if they can just make you a playlist. Also for the person who already knows what songs they want to be played at their wedding. And for the person who loves playing Truth or Dare, but always picks truth.
Sia’s , Everyday Is Christmas $11.99, on Amazon Some artists sing Christmas songs. Sia wrote her own. Pop's most anonymous singer/songwriter/producer is dropping her first holiday album in 2017, with all original songs. So what will be the next big Christmas classic? Sia probably wrote it, so you'd better get someone this album and find out.
Crosley Spinerette Record Player, $149.95, from Crosley Get super retro with this portable record player. Drop three pieces of vinyl on it to load it up for hours of spinning fun. And it will play 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records, so the music lover in your life can get spins out of all their favorites. As a bonus, this machine also rips vinyl into digital files.
Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music, $21.59, available from Barnes & Noble NPR music critic (and O.G. female music writer) Ann Powers examines the history of sex and race in music — two difficult topics that are interwoven into music's history. Ladies who love music need to read Powers, who is one of the most prominent female voices in the field, and bone up on music history, from the jazz age to the present.
Photo: Frazer Harrison/WireImage.
Donation to MusiCares For the music lover who already has enough: make a donation in their name to MusiCares, the charity run by the Recording Academy (er, the Grammys). The fund covers a wide range of financial, medical, and personal emergencies for musicians as needed and runs public service campaigns to improve the health and welfare of the music community.
Radiohead , OK Computer OKNOTOK 1997 2017 Box Set $130, from Radiohead.com Your music-loving pal already has a copy of Radiohead's landmark 1997 album, OK Computer. They now need the box set reissue, which includes 180-gram black vinyl, a 40-page hardcover book, a 104-page notebook, a 40-page sketchbook, a 90 cassette mix tape compiled by the band, and high-quality sound files of the album. Truly, this is a completist and collectible item.
Haters Crewneck Sweatshirt, $60, from Beyonce.com All music lovers also adore Beyoncé, it's just a known fact. So get them a message for the haters from Queen Bey, emblazoned onto a comfy and cute sweatshirt. Twirl on.
, Devotion by Patti Smith $13.30, from Barnes & Noble Fans of music and words will be happy unwrapping the latest from punk poetess Patti Smith. Her first book won the National Book Award, and her music has been inspiring music lovers for generations. This time, Smith looks at the source of creative brilliance, examining her own inspiration and the obsessive nature of the artist.
Focal Listen Headphones, $249, from Crutchfield What good is music if you don't have great headphones to listen to it through? Focal, a French brand, are premier in the speaker world. Their chrome-plated earcups are gorgeous to look at, and the sound delivered is especially good for those who love that booming bass. They even come with in-line one-button remote and microphone for controlling music and phone calls on your smartphone — these puppies are Android and Apple compatible.
, A Brand New Me: Aretha Franklin With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra from $19.84, on Amazon Nothing says "Respect" like backing from a full, world-revered orchestra. In honor of her 50th anniversary with Atlantic Records, the label who released the majority of her hit songs, a collection of her work backed with new arrangements by the Royal Philharmonic has been released on vinyl, CD, and digital. The album was recorded at the legendary Abbey Road studio and re-imagines your favorites from the Queen of Soul.
Photo: Getty Images.
Limited Edition Music Photographs, various prices from the Rock Archive Own your very own glimpse into the history of music with a print (we suggest framed). All the prints are authentic, which means some can be pricey — but this site also kindly offers an under 250 pounds section that has great shots of Blondie, Bowie, Joni Mitchell, the White Stripes, Amy Winehouse, and more.
, Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives $20.34, from Barnes & Noble You don't have to love country music to love this anthology of writing on the women of country who inspired these essays (all written by women, including — disclaimer — the author of this piece). You just have to care about amplifying the female voice. From the beginnings of the genre to the present day, these tales of how the women of country music profoundly changed our lives will have you saying, "man, I feel like a woman."
1MORE Triple Driver Earbuds, $99.99, from 1MORE The value of good audio quality cannot be understated for a music lover, even when it comes to earbuds. You can do better than those things Apple includes with your purchase (or worse, the $5 buds from a corner drugstore). 1MORE's earbuds are noted by numerous tech sites as among the best in class and an excellent value to boot. Plus, they look so pretty with that rose gold plating. The best part is that these buds are ergonomically designed and come with six sets of tip sizes to fit every ear.
P!nk Tiger Head Keychain, $20, on Pink.com P!nk is one singer who tells it like it is. So why not get the music lover in your life who loves her a keychain of her head, inside a tiger's mouth. Rrrrrow!
Clear Cassette Player, $38, from Urban Outfitters First of all: yes, cassettes are back in vogue. Their audio quality was never very good, though, so don't splurge and make this a big money buy if you're getting one for your favorite music fan. This cute version of the old Walkman is a great handheld option, and it even includes an AM/FM radio, in case that comes back into vogue also.
DIY Synth Kit, $40, from Uncommon Goods Everyone knows synths should not be purchased, but built with your own two hands. For the music lover who enjoys a mental puzzle, get them this cute little set that will allow them to build three different synths. All they need to make them work are batteries and wi-fi. When they finish, they'll have serious DIY cred. And some new synths!
Taylor Swift Snake Pullover Hoodie, $75, on TaylorSwift.com Not everyone loves Taylor Swift, but everyone loves her embrace of the snake emoji following Kim Kardashian exposing her. There is no gift better for the music lover who is also a pop culture obsessive — and the girl who doesn't give a damn about her bad reputation.
, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane $17.38, from Barnes & Noble Guddi Mane is having a renaissance, and it includes finally writing his autobio. He started working on it while he was in a maximum-security federal prison, an experience which profoundly changed him. He tells the story of growing up in rural Alabama, heading to Atlanta to become a star, and mentoring the new generation of hip hop artists. Heads all need a copy, stat.
Jack Rabbit Headphone Splitter, $12, from Urban Outfitters The music lover who is in love needs this headphone splitter to better share their tunes with the object of their affection. Or just to prove to people they were right about the lyrics to "Bodack Yellow." Same diff.
St. Vincent Vinyl Bag, $40 on ILoveStVincent.com If you're gonna haul your stuff, it might as well be in a cool, see-through St. Vincent bag.
Music Notes Vinyl Decal For Laptop, $2.20 on Esty This is a great stocking stuffer because it's inexpensive and offers a chance to personalize an item everyone uses all the time: their laptop.
, Gone: A Girl, a Violin, a Life Unstrung by Min Kym $19.11 from Barnes & Noble This harrowing tale of a violin prodigy who loses her instrument will captivate the musically-inclined person on your shopping list. Getting through her depression was just the beginning for Kym.
Set of 10 Music-Themed Pinback Buttons, $6 on Esty These pins are great for a denim jacket, a canvas bag, or anything else your music lover wants to decorate and proclaim their love for all things musical.
Adele Pencil Set, $20 on Adele.com Sure, you could write with these. Or, you could sing "we could have had it alllllllllllll" into your Adele-emblazoned pencil. We'll take the latter.
, In Their Lives: Great Writers on Great Beatles Songs $18.40, from Barnes & Noble The Beatles are the alpha and omega, as far as inspiration, for so much of music history. True completists, who care about their music history, will want this book which features 29 excellent music writers on their favorite Beatles songs.
Without Music Life Would B Flat Mug, $12, on Esty For the music teacher or instrumentalist in your life, because they're the ones who will get and chortle at this music pun. Bonus: good for coffee lovers who also enjoy music!