It’s one thing to be a musician or music lover. But if your best friend, significant other, spouse, or family member is one of these unique creatures that hate everything, it makes birthdays and Christmas kind of tricky.
People often say it’s the thought behind the gift that counts. But if the person receiving the gift doesn’t understand the value of what you’ve given them, or they don’t like it, they’ll just lump it in with their other useless trinkets.
The best way to give is still to give something that benefits the other person, not to buy them what you like. A gift card or an envelope full of money is going to go over better than a random knick-knack.
So, here are some gift ideas that are sure to make your musician or music lover friend happy.
1. AOMAIS Sport II Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
Here’s something you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg on (currently $49.99).
Music lovers love to listen to music. But they might end up going places they can’t listen to their favorite tunes without earbuds.
That’s where these wireless Bluetooth speakers come in. You can simply pair your smart device with the speakers and begin streaming your favorite playlist (assuming you have an internet connection).
But it doesn’t end there. These speakers:
- Are waterproof and durable.
- Include noise and wind reduction technology.
- Use a rechargeable battery.
There are better speakers on the market to be sure, but you don’t want to spend a fortune on portable speaker. These will keep your music enthusiast friend happy while at summer camp or on a trip to the lake.
2. Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB Direct-Drive Professional Turntable
No music lover will ever be able to live without a quality turntable. You can’t just listen to music on computer speakers and call yourself a true music fan.
The Audio-Technica AT-LP120-USB is among one of the best options for casual listening, and it even has a reasonable price tag at $249.
Connoisseurs or audiophiles may not be satisfied with a record player of this level, but that’s their four-figure problem. Let them worry about it.
So, why is the Audio-Technica a good buy? It sounds good without a ton of fiddling, it’s easy to set up, and it has a USB port for taking your records and turning them into digital files. So, it’s even great for your younger music friend that wants to enjoy the best of both worlds.
If your friend doesn’t have a record player yet, the AT-LP120-USB would be a nice way to surprise them.
3. Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardiod Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
What would a musician (or music lover) want to do with a $70 dynamic mic?
Well, the ATR2100 mic is the best bang for your buck in its category, period.
First, it’s flexible. Most mics can only be used with a XLR cable, but this one also works with a USB cable. So, it can be used at the studio, live, or even at home. If your musician friend has ever thought about getting into podcasting, it’s great for that too. Many podcasters start off with this mic.
Second, it’s a quality microphone. It’s perfect for use in noisy environments, because it’s a dynamic (as opposed to a condenser) microphone. You don’t need to know what that means – it just means it’s better for home studio use because it doesn’t pick up excess noise.
Third, it has a built-in headphone jack that makes it easy for you to monitor output. Oh, and did I mention you can get it for $70?
No, it will never replace high-quality Neumann microphones (don’t ask how much those cost). But for general use and speech, it’s exceptional value.
4. The Artiphon
The Artiphon is a cool piece of digital music gear for both beginner and accomplished musicians. It can be played like a guitar, slide guitar, violin, or even a keyboard. It even allows you to loop beats. It’s much more intuitive and easier to play than most standard instruments.
You can even play two notes on the same string at the same time – that isn’t something you can do with a standard acoustic (or even electric) stringed instrument. Just connect it to an iOS device or your computer and you’re good to go.
The cost isn’t half bad all things considered. You can get one for $399.
I can’t see why a musician wouldn’t love this gift. I would love to have one myself!
5. Williams Allegro 2 88-Key Hammer Action Digital Piano
A quality digital piano can easily end up running you four-figures.
But – prepare to be surprised – the Williams Allegro 2 is only $299.99.
Oh, but it must be low quality, right? Nope, it’s getting rave reviews on Amazon.
Now, the keys do use springs, so don’t let the “hammer action” tag confuse you. “Hammer action” sounds like a term used to describe unique and innovative technology, or actual weighted keys. But that isn’t the case.
This doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a nice feel to it – it just means it’s not going to feel like a grand piano. What do you expect for 300 bucks?
This is a solid digital piano for students, beginners, and hobbyists. If your musician friend is looking to learn keyboard/piano for the first time, this might be a good unit to get them.
6. AKG N60 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Music lovers deserve a set of quality headphones to listen to their music on.
It can be hard to know what to buy, but as far as noise cancelling headphones go, AKG N60 is a solid choice, and you can get them for $199.95.
AKG also makes headphones for studio use, so you can trust they know what they’re doing.
These are great headphones for travel as they don’t take up too much space, and they have up to 30 hours of battery life. You can charge them with a USB cable.
Now, no set of headphones is perfect for everyone, because comfort and fit also factor into the equation. You may want to do a little bit of looking around. But overall the N60 is a pretty good choice.
If you’d like to add a bonus, you could throw in a handmade headphone stand for fun.
7. TC-Helicon VoiceLive Play Vocal Effects Processor
Singers – especially beginners – will enjoy fiddling with this TC-Helicon unit at $249.99.
The VoiceLive Play features 200 unique presets, gives you the ability to plug into your MP3 player, and even has a built-in harmonizer.
Is it the best TC-Helicon unit available? Certainly not. Is it the best vocal effects processor on the market? Nope, it isn’t that either. But it is a lot of fun to play with.
There’s no reason why you can’t check out other TC-Helicon pedals, especially if you think your musician friend is a little more serious about their craft. You will end up paying more for them, but they do have great effects units for vocalists, keyboardists, and guitarists alike. They also have great loopers, and what musician doesn’t like trying their hand at live looping?
8. Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone For iPhone And Smartphones
At $68.97, the smartLav+ is a great deal.
What would a musician or music lover have to do with it you ask?
Well, if they like to create video blogs with their phones, then there’s a good chance they’d love to be able to upgrade the quality of their sound without a lot of additional work.
And, a lavalier mic can make even an amateur look more like a professional video personality. Who doesn’t want more views on their YouTube videos?
The only catch? This microphone is mostly for smart devices only. If you’re looking for a mic to use with a DSLR, you might want to look elsewhere.
But you don’t need a DSLR to get great quality video anymore. Most newer smartphones can capture great quality video. A lav mic can help enhance the audio side of things.
You could pair this gift with a tripod stand (and smartphone holder) if your friend is looking to pursue video blogging seriously.
9. Wegen Guitar Picks
Again, this may not be a great gift for everyone, but it’s a good one for guitarists.
Wegen guitar picks are cool, and I use one myself (for acoustic guitar, not electric).
Now, when it comes to guitar picks, you don’t typically spend more than 25 cents to a dollar per unit. But trust me when I say you can spend astronomical figures on a single guitar pick (if it’s made of the right material).
At 15 to 20 times the average price of a pick ($15 to $20), you can buy a single Wegen guitar pick.
Why so much?
These picks are handmade. They are quite a bit thicker than standard picks, and the material tends to last longer than tortoise. There are also different models for different purposes (The Gypsyjazzpick, The Fatone, Bluegrass, etc.).
These picks might feel awkward to a guitarist at first. But once they get used to it, they’ll come to see what can be achieved with them. Your friend will love you for introducing them to these gems.
10. KLOS Travel Guitar
Okay, so this gift may not be for everyone. But what guitarist wouldn’t appreciate a great travel guitar (if they don’t already have one)?
The KLOS isn’t the cheapest option on the market (it costs $599), but it sounds great, and can easily fit into a backpack. It’s also a let less likely to break than alternatives since it isn’t made of wood – it’s made of carbon fiber.
This may very well be the Ferrari of travel guitars. But then again, you would end up sacrificing something (sound quality, durability, playability, etc.) if you got something else. So, here’s a gift that will be appreciated, used, and won’t just sit in a closet.
For those who just can’t go a day without picking up their guitar (know the type?), this will make for an excellent present.
Other Musician & Music Lover Gift Ideas
Here are a few other quick ideas your musician or music lover friend will appreciate:
- Subscription to a streaming service. Unless they already have a subscription, I can’t see why this wouldn’t go over well. It can’t hurt to find out what streaming service they like first, mind you.
- Subscription to a magazine. Like Guitar Player Magazine or Modern Drummer Magazine for your musician friend, so they can keep up with the latest techniques, technology, players, and gear.
- Online membership. It could be membership for an informational site that offers how-to guides (hint, hint), or any other that assists with learning an instrument or advancing one’s music career.
- Amazon Prime membership. With Prime membership, they can get great deals on products at Amazon, and get fast, low-cost or free shipping on most things they order. A great gift for people that do a lot of online shopping.
- Music industry conference ticket. For your musician friend. There are some good, low-cost options out there, like the DIY Musician Conference in Nashville. For musicians looking to learn more and grow their careers, this is an excellent gift.
- Concert ticket. For music lovers. Get them a concert ticket to their favorite band or artist and they will probably love you forever. If your local stadium or concert arena offers affordable season passes, that might be an option too.
I can’t speak for every musician or music lover on the planet, but personally I enjoy receiving practical gifts – things I can start using right away.
You could gift fancy guitar picks, amplifier-shaped speakers, thumb pianos, drum stick pens, chord chart posters, a bracelet that looks like a vinyl record, a trumpet tie, or whatever else. But I feel like this is the kind of stuff that ends up in boxes, speaking from personal experience.
So, it’s up to you, but I wouldn’t spend too much on knick-knacks. You could throw them in as add-ons, but that’s probably about it.
But hopefully your friend will appreciate whatever gift you give them, regardless of what it is.