The end of the year is almost upon us, and that means two things for music-lovers: a summer full of live gigs and festivals, and the chance to buy their fellow music tragics all sorts of handy gifts – or just treat themselves to that fancy piece of gear they’ve been eyeing off all year.
To help you find something you and your mates will love this year, we’ve picked out 10 things we’ve had our eyes on all year, from snazzy headphones and turntables, to budget-minded trinkets – happy shopping!
The ultimate wireless headphones
$629.95 RRP from Sennheiser
The market for wireless headphones is booming, as people look to rid themselves of unnecessary wires (and the need for a headphone jack adapter for their shiny new phones), and Sennheiser remain one of the best options on the market, with their latest set of top-of-the-line cans ticking all of the boxes for audiophiles.
Not only does the Sennheiser PXC 550 boast some seriously good adaptive noise cancellation and the top-notch sound quality you’d expect of the brand – up there with any wired set you could name – but the inbuilt array of microphones is just as good, allowing you to carry a crystal clear phone conversation no matter where you are, then jump straight back into your music.
Add in 30+ hours of battery life (and a built comfortable enough to actually wear for that long), a touch panel to control everything from volume to phone calls, and the ability to power on and off as you fold and unfold them, and you’re looking at an unbeatable set of headphones for pretty much any situation.
Vinyl record picture frames
$71.19 from Art Vinyl
Half the point of buying a vinyl record is to be able to drink in the beautiful full-size artwork that adorns the cover, but you don’t get a chance to do that if your entire collection is stacked on a shelf or dropped in a bin. So, why not give it pride of place instead?
Rather than just Blu-Tacking the sleeve to your wall, these record frames let you mount your favourite albums safely and securely, with UV-protected glass, and better yet you can flip them open in a second and, you know, actually play the records any time you like. Genius.
Hellions Opera Oblivia skatedeck
$79.95 from 24 Hundred
Part of the limited edition UNFD signature series, this is obviously the perfect gift for anyone who a) skates, and b) enjoys a bit of hardcore punk – there’s quite a bit of crossover there, we reckon.
Hellions third album was one of the best in the genre last year, and this artwork looks so crisp, you’ll want to hang it on your wall rather than scrape it off on a rail.
Stella Donnelly’s overalls
$135 from Hickey Hardware
If there are two things that have had a massive year, it’s overalls, and Stella Donnelly. The former have become the latest cosy but fashionable must-have for people of any gender, while the latter has become one of the most in-demand singer-songwriters in the country off the back of her debut album Thrush Metal.
So, what better way to be 100% on-trend than these beauties? There’s even a Nicholas Allbrook-endorsed version too, for anyone else who thought Pond’s The Weather was one of the most underrated local records of the year.
Taylor Swift’s snake ring
~$80 from Taylor Swift
Whether you love or hate Tay Tay and her (genius/incredibly self-indulgent/both) new video, you absolutely know a Swifty who would love this ring, an exact replica of the one she wore in ‘Look What You Made Me Do’.
And hey, maybe there’s just a snake in your life you’d like to send an extremely unsubtle passive-aggressive message to, and would like to do it via silver, 24k gold, and 300 zircon crystals.
A vertical turntable
$499 from Pro-Ject
We’ve always been a little bit suspicious of vertical turntables like this – “four legs good, two legs bad”, and all that. But we’re also pretty fond of Pro-Ject’s slick designs, and trust the tech they’ve put into this one to make sure your records stay safe and sounding their best.
Not only does it save shelf space by standing vertically, but it also allows you to keep it in all sorts of odd places (even mounted to a wall!) by allowing you to pair it with Bluetooth speakers or fancy headphones – a pretty weird mix of analogue and digital, when you think about it, but a welcome one.
The gift of hearing!
~$31 from Vibes
For the gig buddy in your life, there’s genuinely nothing more precious you could give them than protection for their ears, so that when you’re both retired and thinking back to those old shows, you can actually hold a conversation with each other.
These reusable headphones will trim 22 decibels off the sound at a gig, without impacting the sound quality, and come with different sizes to snugly fit any ear, plus a carry case so they don’t get lost. No more orange foam plugs – or worse, muffled hearing.
Mixtape coin purse
~$17.50 from Tatty Devine
This gift will be perfectly-timed, considering the fact that after Christmas all the money anyone will have left is a small handful of pocket change. But with something like this to put it in, who could be too upset?
Be warned though, it’s actually a little bit bigger than it looks, and if you fill it exclusively with change you may not be able to lift the thing.
A place for your concert tickets
$30 from Amazon
Gig tickets are quickly becoming a thing of the past, but anyone who’s amassed quite a collection of them over the years probably has a shoebox in their cupboard full of special memories begging to be on display.
This old-style ticket stub shadow box gives you a fun way to display all of those old gigs without having to meticulously place a bunch of mismatched bits of paper – just drop them in, see how it turns out, and shuffle them around again whenever you like.
Music genre mugs
$25.80 from Playtype
If you’re wanting to buy in bulk for some music-loving mates who happen to be into jazz or techno, these mugs are a pretty great option with a nice dash of minimalism.
Sure, these handle-less beauties may not cover specific genres like Melbourne Bounce (and if you have any mates who listen to that you’re probably giving them their holiday gifts in plastic baggies anyway), but there are currently five different options available.