Great Audio Gift Ideas — Big Sound, Small Price Tags
(ARA) Its that time of year again. Time to go shopping for holiday gifts, and this year, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) expects an estimated 78-percent of Americans to purchase electronics.
Kate Connors, resident audio expert at Cambridge SoundWorks, believes audio products are going to be big this year. Prices are coming down and there are a lot of affordable gifts worth considering, says Connors. Among them, speakers that can transform the PC or MP3 player into a full blown music system, high performance table radios that perform like stereo systems, and outdoor speakers.
Why skimp out on good sound when youre at the PC or listening to a CD or MP3 player, says Connors. If you want better quality sound than a Boombox, but dont want to deal with running wires, so a multimedia speaker systems is the way to go. These speaker systems can be connected to anything with a headphone jack — like a portable CD player or MP3 player — and can run on a rechargeable 12-volt battery. The result is a portable, versatile high performance sound system that can be placed anywhere — and is small enough to take along on trips. Such systems now retail for under $100.
* Consider a high end table radio in place of a stereo system
Another popular gift idea this year: a high-end table radio, like the SoundWorks Radio CD. They allow you to put together a great sound system without breaking the bank, says Connors. Unlike other high-end table radios, this new radio is outfitted with three speakers, including a powered subwoofer. The result is a sound system that offers rich, natural, room-filling sound — a feature normally associated with larger stereo systems. They are great for adding music to the kitchen, living room or den. Think of the SoundWorks Radio CD as a full featured stereo system in the form of a small, stylish table radio, says Connors.
It features a front loading CD slot (based on the design of high-end car CD players), which plays standard CDs as well as MP3 files on CD-ROM. Radio Data Service (RDS) capability is also featured, so users can see the name of the station and even the current songs title and artist scrolling across the display. The SoundWorks Radio CD has a multi-language display, and an easy to use JOG button to change radio functions, as well as an FM stereo tuner that can store sixteen FM station presets, and an AM tuner with eight preset buttons. Front and rear auxiliary inputs for additional CD or MP3 players are provided, along with dual alarms that wake to tone or music, as well as an ultra-compact remote control.
* Outdoor Speakers are a Unique Audio Gift Alternative
If someone already has a decent stereo inside, why not purchase them a pair of outdoor speakers so they can have a great audio system outside, say Connors. Outdoor speakers are one of the most popular gift items for the holidays. The beauty of this type of speaker is that they can be tucked under the eaves and angled towards the deck or patio for natural, accurate, wide-range sound. And, since they are weather-resistant, they can be left out and wont be damaged by the elements. A good pair of outdoor speakers starts at $200.
For more information on great audio gift ideas, visit Cambridge SoundWorks at www.cambridgesoundworks.com or call (800) FOR-HIFI to speak with an audio expert.