If, like us, you haven’t quite finished your Christmas shopping yet, and are still searching for the perfect gift for the music or movie lover in your life, look no further.
Starting with one of the best new products from 2022, the System One™ is a one-box vinyl HiFi system from British HiFi legend Rega, that includes their latest speakers, the Rega Kytes, plus a Rega Planar 1 turntable, Rega io amplifier, and all the cables you need to get playing. The only thing missing is some vinyl!
This really is a fantastic entry level vinyl system that takes away all the hassle of trying to work out which components work well together, and is perfect for someone looking to start their vinyl journey. Check out our full review.
Having spent a career working with home cinema systems and TVs, we can assure you that the sound coming from your TV’s speakers is borderline unacceptable. Thankfully, there is an easy solution to the dull, disinterested bass, mids that are harder to pick out than Where’s Wally, and headache-inducing highs. Enter the soundbar! Or, more specifically, the Harman Kardon Citation MB1100, that currently includes a free Citation Sub S with each unit purchased! (This offer is only available until 16th December 2022 as part of Harman Kardon's FIFA World Cup promotion)
Not only will this vastly improve your TV and movie night experience, but with Harman Kardon's MultiBeam™ technology and 11 drivers including 2 upfiring height channels for Dolby Atmos®, the Citation MB1100 can also be used as an AirPlay, Alexa, or Chromecast wireless speaker for enjoying your favourite tunes.
We think this is the obvious choice for someone looking to get more from their TV experience without committing to a full blown home cinema system, especially with the current package deal including the Sub S.
If you’re an avid headphone user, I’m afraid I also have to break the news to you that the DAC, or digital-to-analogue converter in your laptop, iPad, or smartphone is simply not cut out for reproducing the best sound. Luckily, renowned British HiFi manufacturer Chord Electronics decided to fix this issue in the form of the Mojo 2 - a portable, battery powered DAC that vastly outperforms its minute stature, and even won What HiFi’s product of the year 2022 award!
This tiny device can be simple to use for those who want an easy listening experience, but has enough features and customisation to satisfy even the most picky audiophile. There are multiple inputs to connect to digital devices, including smartphones, tablets and laptops, plus two 3.5 mm headphone outputs, if you feel like sharing your music with someone else! It is so good, in fact, that you can even use it as the DAC in a full HiFi system!
To learn more, check out our unboxing video and review.
No vinyl system is complete without a way to keep those previous records clean; given that the sound is produced entirely by a diamond reacting to minute humps and bumps in the record, it is obvious that the cleaner the grooves are, the more detail the stylus will be able to extract. Read this blog post to find out more about how records work!
Some manufactures produce manual cleaning devices which work to some degree, however it is very easy to damage the record, and in our experience they rarely do a good job. This is where the Okki Nokki One record cleaning machine comes in. In simplified terms this is a very specialised vacuum cleaner, that brushes and sucks microscopic debris from the grooves of the record, leaving them as crystal clear as the day they left the factory.
We’ve had fantastic results with Okki Nokki's machine, and it’s been a best seller of ours for a couple of years, with customers saying that they were hearing elements of favourite tracks that they simply hadn’t been able to hear before!
For younger HiFi enthusiasts or for taking your music on adventures with you, we couldn’t recommend the Dali Katch G2 Bluetooth speaker more. With a classy Scandinavian exterior, Dali’s famously high quality componentry inside, and a 30hr battery life, the Katch G2 is the perfect choice for a teen’s bedroom, for taking on camping trips, or for parties where a good sound system is essential!
It also includes some handy features such as a USB socket for keeping your phone charged, Bluetooth 5.0, support for apt-X, apt-X HD, and AAC, and the ability to connect two G2s together for a true stereo sound, making it one of the best all-round wireless speakers on the market today.
High quality mains cables
For the more discerning HiFi enthusiast, with a good system already in place, you may be looking for ways to squeeze an extra ounce of performance from your kit. An easy, and in our opinion, essential, upgrade is to switch out your standard kettle lead power cables (literally… the same cables that kettles are sold with…) for specially engineered, isolated mains cables.
While at first glance you may wonder how on earth a mains cable could improve the overall sound of your system, it is actually startlingly obvious, and you will never think about cables the same way again. The sound coming out of your speakers is electricity. The sound moving through your amplifier is electricity. The sound coming from your turntable is electricity generated by a tiny electromagnet in the cartridge. Essentially, your entire HiFi system is built around electricity, the frequency and wavelength of which is easily interrupted by the plethora of radio waves bouncing around your house from phones, wifi routers, wireless doorbells etc. So the best way to ensure a pure sound exits your speakers is to ensure a pure supply of electricity to the other components in your system, by way of RF shielded and high quality cables. For a more in-depth explanation, check out our blog explaining the importance of high quality mains cables.
Either way, we know you’ll thank us later!
In modern life, sometimes a full 7.1 surround sound home cinema system simply isn’t practical, whether that’s because of the tiny, greasy, fingers of a toddler with suspiciously expensive tastes, or because you just don’t have that kind of living room real estate. If this resonates with you, don’t worry! We know just what you need.
The JVC Exofield XP-EXT1 Immersive Wireless headphones have been carefully engineered by home cinema legends JVC to produce a full 7.1.4 surround sound experience from a single pair of headphones. Using decades of experience, and some degree of wizardry, JVC have built possibly the only viable alternative to a full speaker based setup that is able to decode Dolby Atmos and DTS:X bitstreams, and even upscale stereo or multichannel movie and music content, to a 3D soundfield through their proprietary EXOFIELD technology. They have been a best seller at Expressive Audio since we first opened our shop in Lincolnshire, and you only have to listen to them once to understand why.
We’ve listened to these and can confirm they are the only choice when you are limited by space/volume constraints but don’t want to sacrifice that unbeatable home-cinema experience. We even reviewed them here!
For more gift ideas, check out our 2022 Christmas Gift collection.