Marantz Model 40n Amplifier, £2,200
The amplifier is the heart of any sound system, the core to which everything else can be added, be that a retro record player for a hipster vinyl listening session, or a Tidal-linked cross-home streaming system. Marantz’s recently redesigned 40n sets a new standard from the New York-based audio specialists, offering both superb craftsmanship and wireless connectivity with built-in streaming. It still keeps that lovely analogue sound across media – and still has a phono EQ for analogue sources – but with the ease of use of a digital system. In short, all you need to do is add speakers.
Available at Marantz.
GoPro Hero11 Black Creator Edition, £579.98
Forget recording video in your cramped home office; the latest edition of GoPro’s night indestructible camera lets you stream from the top of a mountain (signal pending, of course). This all-in-one on-the-move streaming system comes complete with a tripod-come-handgrip, a lighting module, and four hours of 4K recording in a single charge. Complete with GoPro’s legendary image stabilisation, that’s enough to vlog an entire morning of black runs in gorgeous, lifelike colour, and incredible wide shots. Or you could just use it as a space saver in your aforementioned home office. If you insist.
Available at GoPro.
Meze Audio X iFi Audiophile Starter Kit, €499 (approx. £435)
The 99 Classics is arguably the model that put Meze Audio’s near-perfect audiophile headphones on the map, so how can they be made better? By adding in iFi’s incredible ZEN CAN Signature MZ99 headphone amplifier. Pairing the superlative listening experience of the headphones with the additional audio excellence that the specifically-tuned MZ99 brings to proceedings – think more vivacious treble and enhanced mid-low bass – for the kind of on-the-go listening you usually don’t get outside a well-equipped listening room. The fact that the pair look amazing is just the pin-drop-clear cherry on top.
Available at Meze Audio.
Ray-Ban Stories Wayfarer, £299
If you think this particular christmas gift suggestion’s in the wrong section, look a little closer. While Google Glass was a goof, it hasn’t stopped connectivity working its way into every type of accessory, including the venerable Wayfarer sunglasses from Ray-Ban. This timelessly stylish pair of sunnies includes dual 5mp cameras for extreme first-person video, speakers for calls and audio, and touch controls to make it all work without having to open your phone. It’s the most futuristic these decidedly retro frames have ever been. And yes, it comes with proper, prescription lenses.
Available at Ray Ban.
Oura Ring Gen3, from £299
If you’re wracked with indecision over whether to track your health via a wearable gadget watch, or style it out with an actual mechanical timepiece, this may be just the ticket. A simple, discrete finger ring, the Oura Gen3 nonetheless monitors your sleep, activity, recovery, heart rate, temperature, and plenty more with research-grade accuracy. It’s more accurate than many a fitness watch, has seven days of battery life (though it can take as little as 20 minutes to charge) and looks good whether you get a plain silver version, something a little rockier in black (like here), or go for the full jewellery look in gold.
Available at Oura Ring.
Trova Go Biometric Smart Safe, £173
Now, there are many reasons you might want a small, subtle, protective case that only you can open. There might even be some completely above-board reasons. We’re not about to pry into what you might need it for (and neither will anyone else), but you can rest assured that whatever it is this smart, biometrically locked travel case will keep it safe and sound. With seamless phone connectivity, you can even track the Trova GO’s status and last known location. You know, just in case whatever you have stashed in there is making you a little bit paranoid.
Available at Trova.