Ask any serious music fan, and they’ll probably tell you that the holiday gifts they remember best were audio products. The Sears 8-track player I got for Christmas 1975 gave me my first listens to George Benson’s Breezin’ and Jeff Beck’s Blow by Blow. Later, the Panasonic cassette boombox I got for Christmas 1979 let me dig into the catalogs of Miles and Trane. And that was just the ’70s!
If you want to help a loved one get deeper into the music they love—or help a loved one help you get deeper into the music you love—we’ve compiled a list of great audio gifts for jazz fans, from cheap little stocking stuffers to serious gear that just might change someone’s life the way my Sears 8-track player did mine.
JBL T210 earphones
Everyone needs an “emergency” set of cheap earphones to keep in their car or laptop bag for times when they forget (or break) their headphones. The T210s are so good, though, that they might become your main listening partners. With an even balance of bass to mids to highs, they won’t let kick drums or cymbals drown out vocals and saxophones. I also find them unusually comfortable for cheap earphones.