2016 InnerFidelity Holiday Gift Guide Page 3

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Recommendations from ljokerl

The Stocking Stuffer—Popclik String ($8) 161128_HolidayGiftGuide_Photo_Popclik

At $8 on Amazon.com—seemingly closeout pricing for this little-known Florida-based brand—the String makes the perfect stocking stuffer. Its bass-heavy, v-shaped sound signature is popular among entry-level IEMs and tuned quite well in this particular instance. It’s also lightweight and very comfortable, boasts a built-in mic/remote, and comes in a very nice hard-shell box. It may seem ridiculous, but with the hefty gift box these really don’t come across as sub-$20 earphones. A great bargain, however long it lasts.

Popclik String product page

For those without access to Amazon.com’s pricing, the Philips SHE3590 is a great alternative in a similar price range.

The Crowd Pleaser—1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphones ($80—$100)
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The flagship Triple-Driver in-ear headphones from 1MORE have been making waves across the web, and with good reason—they’re an excellent all around design and a fantastic value, starting with a hybrid triple-driver setup that’s virtually unheard of in this price range. The punchy, mildly “v-shaped” sound signature is a compromise between “audiophile” and “consumer”, with performance that would still be more than acceptable at two or three times the price. In addition, the inline remote is universally compatible with both Android and iOS devices, making for a more versatile gift, and 1MORE’s signature packaging is sure to make unboxing the earphones a memorable occasion for anyone on your list.

1More Triple Driver product page

The Musician's Monitor—Audio-Technica ATH-IM02 ($170—$200)
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The IM02 is an aggressively priced dual-armature earphone from Audio-Technica’s stage monitor line. For musicians, the IM02 is a no-brainer, it is priced closer to the single-driver offerings from Shure and Westone but offers a dual-driver setup with sound quality to match. It includes all the usual trappings of a well-designed musician’s monitor—secure fit; good noise isolation; and great overall build quality with detachable cables. Compared to the more “v-shaped” and consumer-friendly sound of the 1MORE unit, the IM02 is a more balanced, high-fidelity option that’s better appreciated by audiophiles, musicians, and other critical listeners.

Audio Technica ATH-IM02 product page
Innerfidelity ATH-IM02 Review

The Technological Marvel—Samsung Gear IconX ($200)
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Samsung’s Gear IconX packs enough high-tech features to make all of my other headphones look and feel outdated, but still manages to sound good, with a warm and punchy tuning reminiscent of Sony in-ears. Like other "true wireless" sets, range and battery life aren't up to par with previous-gen wireless headphones and the earpieces are a bit bulky, but the sound quality and overall user experience of the IconX are a cut above the Bragi Dash, making them the closest I’ve come to the wearable, wireless future we were promised.

The more advanced features of the IconX are Android-only for now, but iOS users have the upcoming Apple AirPods to look forward to.

Samsung Gear IconX product page

ARTICLE CONTENTS

COMMENTS
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.
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