Marshall Emberton II Review 4

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If you have someone in your life that loves music and/or technology, then an audio gift is always a good choice.

With this being a Christmas gift guide, I have tried not to get too carried away with my fondness for expensive gear and recommended some affordable options moving into the mid-range.

Earphones / Headphones

Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+

I reviewed the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1+ a little over a year ago when they were priced at around £100, and I thought they were excellent. You can now buy them for as little as £40 if you go for the white pay or £50 for the black model. That’s astonishingly good value for money.

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro

Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro 5

I also reviewed the Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro about a year ago. Thinking over all the TWS earbud reviews I have done in the past year, I would say these are up there with my favourite.

I reviewed them at £140, but you can now pick them up for as low as £90, and I would buy these any day over the Nothing Ear (1) (though they are not a bad buy at £86, currently)

Jabra Elite 5

I have not personally used the Jabra Elite 5, but I do love the Elite 85t and the 75t. The newer Elite 5 has been universally well-reviewed and is an easy recommendation for anyone looking for something a little more premium  

Sony WF-1000XM4 ANC Earbuds

If you want noise-cancelling earbuds, the Sony WF-1000XM4 is the gold standard, and they currently have a big discount on Amazon, bringing them down to a relatively affordable £160.

Speakers

Sonos

Sonos One

You can’t really go wrong with Sonos, and I don’t think anyone would be upset if you bought them a Sonos speaker. The Sonos One is an obvious choice, providing a good balance of affordability and performance.

Sonos Roam

I prefer a bit more oomph from my speakers, but the Roam has a lot of appeal being both portable and affordable. I’d prefer a Move myself, but I don’t think anyone loves me enough to spend £400 on me.

Audio Pro

Audio Pro C5 MkII or Audio Pro C10 MkII

I recently reviewed the Audio Pro C5 MKII but I’d be inclined to recommend the C10 MkII as you get more bang for your buck.

Buy the C5 MKII from Audio Pro

I was impressed with this speaker, the overall feature set can compete with Sonos and Audio Pro and have an extensive range of speakers, so this could be extended into a whole home solution.

Audio Pro is a better option than Sonos for anyone that values aesthetics as much as they do sound quality.

Marshal

Marshall Emberton II & others

Marshall Emberton II Review 1

Marshall is another brand that’s easy to recommend if you want to buy someone a good-looking speaker. I recently reviewed the diminutive Marshall Emberton II. It’s a beautiful speaker in a tiny package with a surprisingly punchy sound.

Marshall has lots of other attractive options too. If you want to stick to portable speakers, the Kilburn II Portable Speaker is a step up from the Emberton, or the Marshall Stanmore II is a beautiful Bluetooth speaker (that needs plugging in).

Edifier

Edifier MP230 Retro Bluetooth Portable Speaker

This is the speaker I’d recommend if the Marshall Emberton II is above your budget. It is a beautiful speaker, and it sounds good, considering its size and price. It is not waterproof, though, unlike the Marshall.

Edifier MS50A Smart Speaker

Edifier MS50A Smart Speaker Review 4

If you want an affordable WiFi speaker that works with Spotify and Alexa but without the intrusive nature of a microphone-equipped Alexa speaker, then the Edifier MS50A is a solid choice. It sounds good, and it provides a good bang for your buck at around £130.

Edifier R2000DB Active Bookshelf Speaker

I used to use the Edifier R2000DB as my personal office speaker before I ditched them for the bigger and more expensive Edifier S3000 Pro. The S3000 Pro are perhaps too big and expensive to be casually recommended for a Christmas gift, but the R2000DB is a solid choice. I loved them, and they are universally well-reviewed by others.

A lot of my other recommendations will likely work for anyone, whereas I think active bookshelf speakers are a gift that someone needs to specifically want.

Last update on 2024-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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