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Tech Guide’s 2019 12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas – Day 4: Headphones/Speakers

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One of the most popular gifts this year will be headphones and we’re taking a look at the best products today in Tech Guide’s 12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas so you can nail the perfect present.

There are numerous choices in headphones and earphones as well as varying price points as well.

For those wondering why we haven’t includes Google Home and Echo smart speakers – these will be part of the Day 8 guide on Dec 12 which looks are smart home devices.

Today we’ll present all the best options that will suit all budgets.

Here are Tech Guide’s 12 Days of Christmas Gift Ideas:

Day 1: Cameras (Dec 3)

Day 2: Smartphones (Dec 4)

Day 3: Wearables/smartwatches (Dec 5)

Day 4: Headphones/speakers/audio (Dec 6)

DAY 5: Gaming (Dec 9)

DAY 6: Tablets/e-readers (Dec 10)

DAY 7: Drones/Gadgets (Dec 11)

DAY 8: Smart/IoT devices (Dec 12)

DAY 9: In-car gadgets (Dec 13)

DAY 10: TVs/Blu-Ray/4K (Dec 16)

DAY 11: Appliances (Dec 17)

DAY 12: Computers (Dec 18)

DAY 4: HEADPHONES/SPEAKERS/AUDIO

BLUEANT BURLEIGH BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS – $249

Australian tech company BlueAnt has launched its flagship portable Bluetooth speaker – the Burleigh – to become your boombox this summer and provide the soundtrack for your next barbecue or trip to the beach.

It has been developed using Grammy award-winning DSP (digital signal processing) software and intelligent volume stabilisers to ensure smooth output.

Also onboard is Stereo Spatial enhancement to provide excellent audio whether you’re inside or out.

It includes the company’s patented “psycho-bass” which takes bass output to the next level.

Users can choose from three different Equalizer modes and enjoy the quality at all output levels.

READ TECH GUIDE’S REPORT ON THE BLUEANT BURLEIGH

BELKIN ROCKSTAR EARPHONES –

If you’re happy connecting your earphones with a cable to your iPhone then you can get great value and enjoy great quality with the Belkin Rockstar earphones.

Designed for iPhone, the Belkin Rockstar earphones have a Lightning connector and are available in black or white.

A USB-C version for Android users will be released in the coming weeks.

Priced at just $69.95, the Rockstar earphones punch well above their weight and offer impressive audio quality.

READ TECH GUIDE’S REPORT ON THE BELKIN ROCKSTAR EARPHONES

BEATS SOLO PRO – $429.95

Beats by Dr Dre has just released the Solo Pro – the company’s first on-ear noise cancelling headphones – which now includes a number of new features for an enhanced experience.

The Solo Pro inherits the Solo3 sound profile with an improved acoustic platform for even better audio performance.

The driver has been refined with an improved diaphragm which provides exceptional frequency response and lower total harmonic distortion.

There are also two beamforming microphones and an improved speech detecting accelerometer that also offers excellent audio quality for voice and video calls as well.

READ TECH GUIDE’S REPORT ON THE BEATS SOLO PRO

APPLE AIRPODS PRO – $399

Apple’s new AirPods Pro now include Active Noise Cancellation, improved immersive sound quality and an all-new design.

AirPods Pro take their place alongside the existing AirPods range and will be available to buy from October 30.

Apple’s AirPods Pro have a new design with a slightly larger bud complete with three different sizes of silicon tip to find the perfect fit as well as a shorter stem which accurately picks up your voice for calls or interacting with Siri.

A special algorithm can measure the sound level in each ear to tell the user whether the ear tip is the right size and the right fit.

To achieve Active Noise Cancellation, the AirPods Pro uses two microphones and advanced software to detect and reject ambient environmental sound.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE APPLE AIRPODS PRO

SONY WALKMAN 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION – $599

With the Sony 40th anniversary edition of the Walkman customers can take a trip down memory lane with an incredible copy of the iconic device.

The Sony NW-A100TPS Walkman has the same retro style as the original Walkman released 40 years ago.
it comes with a specially designed soft case and package that’s a throwback to Sony’s very first portable cassette player which launched on July 1, 1979.

The device, which is running Android, as 1/40 anniversary logo printed on the rear panel.

The soft case has a small window on the front that makes it look like a smaller version of the original.

Through the window users can see a cassette playing –  in fact it’s an image on the device’s  3.6-inch high definition screen.

READ TECH GUIDE’S FULL REPORT OF THE SONY WALKMAN 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

BOSE NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES 700 – $599.95

The Bose Noise Cancelling 700 headphones have had a complete overhaul in terms of look and feel, design, audio quality and noise cancellation.

And there is an all-new voice isolating technology so you can be clearly heard on your calls even in the noisiest environments.

Bose has led the way over the years with its QC (Quiet Comfort) noise cancelling headphones and earphones and really set the benchmark when it comes to combining ambient noise reduction with high quality audio.

With the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, Bose has now taken that all to the next level.

One thing that is clear about Bose, every new product and version is the result of a technology innovation and not just for the sake of adding another number to the name of the device.

That couldn’t be clearer than with the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 which has improved the experience across the board.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE BOSE NOISE CANCELLING 700 HEADPHONES

SONY WF-1000XM3 NOISE CANCELLING EARPHONES – $399.95

Sony’s new WF-1000XM3 noise cancelling earphones offer the same audio you’d expect from its big brother headphones but shoehorned into this tiny form factor.

When it comes to audio quality, Sony has a massive head start over numerous brands who weren’t even in the game when the Japanese company was selling Walkmans as fast as they could produce them.

Today Sony is held in the same reverence whenever they release new headphones and earphones.

In the case of the WF-1000XM3, Sony has produced probably its best earphones to date.

The noise cancelling earphones are relatively small especially when you consider what’s onboard including the drivers, the two microphones to detect ambient sound, the new QN1e noise cancelling processor and the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) to upscale the digital music to near Hi-Res audio quality.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE SONY WF-1000XM3 NOISE CANCELLING EARPHONES

BOWERS & WILKINS PX7 NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES – $599.95

The new Bowers & Wilkin PX7 noise cancelling wireless headphones offer a true luxury experience when it comes to audio quality, product design and overall comfort.

Think of the Bowers & Wilkins PX7 ($599.95) as the equivalent to a luxury car in the headphone space.

In fact, the inspiration behind the design was taken from a Formula One car right down to the woven carbon fibre composite arms which offer both strength and durability.

The luxury extends to the fabric covering on the headband and the ear cups and the engraved plates on either side.

Holding them in your hand you can easily see and feel the build quality.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE BOWERS & WILKINS PX7 NOISE CANCELLING EARPHONES

BACKBEAT FIT 3150 – $249

The BackBeat Fit 3150 earphones are virtually identical to the BackBeat Fit 3200 earphones but with a small difference.

These earphones have the Always Aware ear tips which are designed to let in ambient sound.

This means you can listen to your content in clear crisp sound and also be able to hear your surroundings for safer training while you’re out and about.

It’s also possible to customise My Tap through the BackBeat app to do things like set a timer, start a stopwatch would choose your favourite playlist directly from the earbuds.

POWERBEATS PRO EARPHONES – $349.95

Beats by Dr Dre has cut the cord with the new Powerbeats Pro and offer a wire-free way for users to enjoy their music and audio content in high quality anywhere.

The product brings together the strengths of Beats audio know-how and design as well as Apple engineering (Apple owns Beats remember?) and the result is an impressive pair of earphones that provide a comfortable and high-quality experience.

On the design side – the Powerbeats Pro have the traditional earhook that’s been redesigned and that’s also adjustable for a nice fit.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE POWERBEATS PRO EARPHONES

BOSE FRAMES – $299

The Bose Frames look like a typical pair of matte black sunglasses with tinted lenses that block up to 99 per cent of UVA/UVB rays.

But take a closer look and you’ll see the arms are slightly thicker on each side – this is where the wafer thin acoustic package has been located.

There are no earbuds or anything you need to place in your ears.

The audio is directed towards each ear through a tiny speaker located at the base of the arm that’s positioned right near your ears when you’re wearing the Bose Frames.

And the result is surprisingly high quality audio that’s being beamed directly into your ear.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE BOSE FRAMES

JABRA ELITE 85H – $499

In audio circles, Jabra is already a known and trusted brand on the strength of its earphones but now it is venturing into the noise-cancelling market with the Elite 85h active noise cancelling headphones.

Jabra has brought its audio expertise across to the popular noise-cancelling category that’s been dominated by Sony and Bose – and the good news is Jabra certainly hold its own with the Elite 85h.

The new Jabra headphones have plenty of features along with easy-to-manage controls that make listening to your music a pleasure.

On the design front, the Jabra Elite 85h headphones have a woven finish with the same material you’d find on a pair of speakers along with plastic accents on the outside of the earcups and arms.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE JABRA ELITE 85H

BACKBEAT PRO 5100 – $299

The tiny but mighty BackBeat Pro 5100 wire-free earphones are among the smallest earbuds of their kind.

There might be small but they do pack in powerful 5.8mm drivers for clear and solid sound.

They fit comfortably in your ear thanks to their small size and the grippy rubber material near the tip that makes them even more secure.
They also offer impressive call quality thanks to the forward noise cancelling mics and WindSmart that’s also on board.

The BackBeat Pro 5100 wire-free earphones will run for up to 6.5 hours on a single charge while the small pocketable charging case offers an extra 13 hours of charge.

JBL XTREME 2 – $349.95

The JBL Xtreme 2 lives up to its name in size and audio quality.

The waterproof speaker delivers impressive and immersive stereo sound through its four drivers and two JBL radiators.

Under the hood is a 10,000mAh lithium ion battery which can provide 15 hours of playback and also recharge your other mobile devices through its USB port.

Through the JBL Connect + app, the Xtreme 2 can link wirelessly to more than 100 JBL Connect+ enabled speakers.

SKULLCANDY INDY – $179.99

With headphone jacks disappearing from smartphones, customers are now looking for wireless options like the Skullcandy Indy earphones which offer impressive sound at affordable price.

We’ve all cut the cord when it comes to headphones and earphones to give us more freedom and less tangles when we are listening to our content on the go.

The Skullcandy Indy earphones wirelessly connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth and come in a handy charging case.

READ TECH GUIDE’S COMPLETE REVIEW OF THE SKULLCANDY INDY