2016 InnerFidelity Holiday Gift Guide Page 2


Recommendations from John Grandberg

RHA Audio T20 ($239)

The ever-improving RHA Audio has made this list several times in the past. This year's entry is the T20—an IEM which promises a flagship-level experience without the corresponding absurd price tag. The T20 has a stunning injection-molded stainless steel shell, a unique DualCoil dynamic driver, and swappable filters for customized tuning. The sound signature is clean, balanced, and very dynamic thanks to great low-end extension, while the filters tweak that sound in relatively subtle ways. With a presentation and bundled accessory package rivaling the best on the market, this is a gift any music lover would be happy to receive.

RHA T20 Product Page

Riva Turbo S Bluetooth Speaker ($249)

Riva's Turbo X is one of the few portable speakers on our Wall of Fame. The newer Turbo S is a more affordable take on that same theme, packing most of the same capabilities into an impossibly small enclosure. Audiophiles and casual users alike will get a ton of enjoyment out of this thing. Regular price is $249, which is in line with inferior sounding competition from the likes of Bose. But keep an eye out for discounts—as I write this, Riva has a sale going for $149 or two for $199, making this a prime candidate for gift giving.

Riva Turbo S Product Page

Arcam rHead ($599)

I reviewed Arcam's rHead not long ago and it really impressed me. It's a potent little device that can drive most anything you throw at it, while looking great in the process and not taking up too much space. It's not necessarily a budget amp but I think it's money well spent considering the end result. This would be a thoughtful gift for the person in your life who already has an established speaker-based setup but hasn't spent much time exploring headphones yet.

Arcam rHead Product Page

Pass Labs HPA-1 ($3500)

Take the above scenario and kick it up a few notches. This is for the well-to-do gift giver who wants to indulge that special someone with a reference level piece of audio equipment. The HPA-1 is quite possibly the best headphone amplifier I've ever heard, and the Pass Labs pedigree is undeniable—even for those who aren't well versed in the headphone market. If a gift of this magnitude seems unlikely coming from friends or family, you might consider gifting it to yourself.... you've earned it, right?

Pass HPA-1 Product Page

Roon ($120 per year)

This is the spot where I normally recommend some music—a boxed set on sale, or maybe a non-cheesy Christmas release. This time I switch it up and suggest the gift of Roon. Anyone who uses a computer as their primary source is fair game for this gift, which profoundly transforms the way we interact with our music. I resisted for a while but now feel regret for having done so—the hype is real! Try it for yourself if you aren't familiar, using their free 14-day trial, but be prepared to get hooked. I warned you. Note that the Gift option requires logging in to the site, and can be found in the "Account" section.

Roon Website


drm870's picture

Not sure I know anyone who would fully appreciate it, though, and I'd probably have to pass at getting it for myself that price. (I primarily listen with my smartphone in practice, anyway.) Still, bookmarking their website in my browser for sure!

John Grandberg's picture
I initially thought it was too expensive for what I told myself was just a fancy interface, nothing more.... but now that I've used it I can't go back. For example, my Aurender server has a really well done iPad app for controls. I used to love using it. Now, after spending time with Roon and another server, the Aurender app seems totally primitive and extremely limiting. Add in Tidal Lossless which integrates tightly with Roon, and you've got an unbeatable combination for about the cost of 2-3 new CD's per month.
tony's picture

I think I'll be giving subscriptions to Stereophile's Print version.

All of the "Gear" owning folks I know seem to already have closets filled with stuff the Grannies will be selling off on eBay when that last day has finally passed.

Gear Gifts, hrump, let em buy there on darn Focal stuff. Maybe a joker recommended $50 in ear monitor ( or Etys if they've been especially nice, none have ).

I'm say'n ( I think ) that JA has managed to build the finest group of folks I may have ever remembered, something special is happening at Stereophile.

Well done!

I'll gift literature

Tony in Michigan

Peragulator's picture

Spotify: $10.60 a month. Can't beat that. HiFiMan 400i's were $249.00 at the store.

ultrabike's picture
Indeed an awesome entry level can. Love mine.
gialamphat's picture

ma niken là một trong những công nghệ được đánh giá là rất hữu ích cho nghành công nghiệp hiện đại hiện nay.Lớp mạ niken được phủ bên ngoài kim loại giúp bảo vệ kim loại không bị gỉ sét bởi những môi trường a xít và môi trường khắc nghiệt.Ngoài ra lớp xi ma crom cung iúp cho sản phẩm có độ cứng cao và chịu được nhiệt độ trên 800 độ c.