It happens every year, doesn't it? You get asked what you want for the holidays and your mind goes blank. Deer-in-headlights looks ensue, followed by a sheepish shrug, and then . . . the unmistakable disappointment of yet another tool or tie waiting for you . . .
Don't worry - we've got you covered! Just print out this handy 5.1 Audiophile and Movie Buff Gift Guide, circle the one you really want, and leave it out conspicuously! You're sure to get something you love this year.
1. The Beatles In Stereo Vinyl Box
Oh yes, you can have 14 albums in unscratched glory, just like when you first brought them home! This collection includes a 252 page hardcover book to pour over while you're listening to the Abbey Road Remastered editions of The White Album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band and more! If someone special on your list has recently rediscovered the pleasures of long listening sessions in stereo glory, this set might be the perfect gift. Price from www.TheBeatles.com - $450.
2. Samsung UN65F9000 Television
If you've been waiting for an Ultra HD 4K television set so you can brag that you have 4 times the quality of 1080p HD, then this might just be the set for you. An internet-connected, pop-up camera-enabled, gesture-controlled marvel that comes complete with voice recognition software and a quad-core processor, you'll be sure to have plenty to do after the turkey wears off just trying to figure out all the new features. Street price - $5,000.
3. Xbox One
Why would an audiophile need another gaming console? Well, if you still have a first-generation console in your system, you'll be thrilled with all the changes available from the latest boxes. The big question on most people's minds this season is whether to upgrade to the Xbox One or Playstation 4, and the answer for home theater and music lovers is clear: PS4 only allows integration with its clunky, proprietary Music Unlimited System. Xbox One, on the other hand, has MP3 support, DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance®) streaming, audio CDs, and a clear desire to become your family's media hub. Price at launch: $499.
4. Logitech Harmony Smart Control
Let's face it - your smart phone is probably always by your side these days. Why sacrifice valuable coffee table space for yet another remote control when you can download this easy-to-use app for your iPhone or Android device? The Harmony Hub receives wi-fi signals from your phone and converts them to IR and Bluetooth signals that will power your home theater system. Launch your media center, watch the latest flick in HD from your Netflix account, control the volume - all from your phone. Price from Logitech: $129.99
5. Omnidirectional Speakers
We know, we know, we're biased - but if the reactions of any of the numerous guests we've had through our World Headquarters in Dwight are any indication, we're not the only ones who have become completely seduced by the 3-D soundstage produced by these front-and-rear-driver'd speakers. If you've made the move to 3-D TV, or if you're rediscovering the pleasures of an afternoon of listening to all your favourite music, then hearing it on these speakers will transform your listening experience the way your very first album did: expect to feel wonder, awe, and a sense of coolness that belies description. Available in the 11-driver LFR1100 configuration, 10-driver LFR880 or the six-driver LFR660 configuration, this award-winning speaker had Digital Trends enthusing:
"the LFR-1100s' massive soundstage and vibrant power also make them the perfect system for large gatherings of folks who actually care about the sound - no more fighting over that sweet spot. (Audiophile party anyone?) If you're looking to step into a real home hi-fi system, we think purchasing the Axiom LFR-1100 and ADA-1500-4 is an investment you will never regret." --Ryan Waniata , Digital Trends
.1 Han Solo Fridge
It wouldn't be an Axiom List without a .1, so for the whimsical Star Wars fan in your life, why not pick up the Hans Solo fridge? First spotted online in the very amusing BT3A refrigerator challenge, this so-far-just-a-dream fridge of Han Solo frozen in carbonite is a way cooler addition to your home theater's snack bar than a Skyways Airmail Catalog popcorn machine!
There you have it: the top 5.1 gifts for the home theater lover on your list!
Did we miss any must-haves? Anything hot on your list? Weigh in in the comments below!