Zeko enjoys writing about gift ideas and creative ways to celebrate holidays and special occasions.
If you have ever tried to buy a gift for a teen who is a music geek, you know that they tend to have highly specific tastes about how speakers should sound and what the best brands are. You can’t just go to Best Buy and get them any pair of expensive headphones and expect them to like them just because they cost as much as a monthly mortgage payment. It is important to find out what their brand loyalties are.
Buying CDs, DVDs, books, and gifts related to their favorite artist or band can also be tricky. Chances are that they already own all of these things or other people have already bought them for them.
Gift Something Out of the Ordinary
For this reason, the best thing to do is to get something they wouldn’t think of or something that would let them listen to their favorite songs in a new way. While audiophile gear can be quite expensive, it doesn’t mean that every gift needs to break the bank. There are plenty of reasonably-priced gadgets and accessories that would make terrific gifts for music-loving teens. So, if you are looking for inspiration, check out these suggestions.
What Should I Get a Teen Who Likes Music?
- Jumbl, a wireless, Bluetooth adapter
- A high-quality headphone stand
- A guitar-pick maker
- An affordable, at-home, portable karaoke system
- A beanie with speakers in it
- An adapter for their car stereo system
- A tuner
- Replacement headphone earpads
Jumbl Turns Regular Headphones Into Bluetooth Headsets
Teens who are true music nuts are always glued to their tunes. They always have their headphones on or earbuds in, no matter where they are and what they're doing —in the shower, walking on the street, hiking in the outdoors, or just getting some chores done around the house.
Music is fun and enjoyable to listen to, so it is not surprising that they do this. But pesky cables from wired headphones always get tangled in, catch on things, and can limit mobility, which can be pretty annoying. That is one of the reasons why people invented Bluetooth wireless headphones. However, as it was mentioned before, buying headphones as a gift for an audiophile can be tricky because, for them, this is an incredibly personal decision. Thankfully, there are other gadgets that can set them free of long cables. One of them is Jumbl.
Jumbl is a little Bluetooth receiver that can turn any pair of headphones or earbuds (and pretty much anything that has a 3.5 mm headphone jack) into a Bluetooth device. You simply pair it with your phone, TV, or computer, plug your headphones into it, and you can listen to music without the hassle of long cables.
The gadget is perfect for sets with detachable cables because they can be replaced with shorter, 3-inch aux cables, and then you pretty much have a wireless set of headphones. Those who have sets with non-removable cables can wrap them around the headband. And if you use the gadget with earbuds, just clip Jumbl to your sleeve or the neck of your t-shirt and tuck the cable in it.
The receiver can also be used to stream music from a phone to a home or car stereo system, or from a non-Bluetooth player to Bluetooth speakers. You can even make and receive calls with it. Its range is between 25 and 30 feet.
Cool Headphone Stand
For teens (and people in general) who love music, it is not uncommon to spend a fortune on headphones. Some even own several expensive pairs because different brands and models are better at different things depending on what type of sound you are aiming for. Also, audio geeks love showing off their headphones as much as they love listening to them. This means that some kind of cool accessory would make an awesome gift for them.
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The simplest accessory you can get is a sleek-looking headphone stand, especially one that's head-shaped. This is a practical gift that will not only keep their precious headsets tidy and reduce wear on the headband and ear pads, but it will also look nice on their desk or on a shelf in their room.
Kit for Making Personalized Guitar Picks
Many people are passionate about guitar playing, especially teenagers. Some of them want to learn guitar because they want to become rock stars, and others want to learn it just for the sake of it. If you need a practical gift for someone like that, but you don’t have the possibility to get them expensive private lessons, get them a DIY guitar pick kit such as the Pick-a-Palooza.
This is a great gift option because people who play guitar are usually constantly running out of or losing guitar picks. And if there is more than one guitar player in a home, finding a pick can really become an issue!
The Pick-a-Palooza kit comes with a sturdy punch for making picks, 15 plastic strips, a guitar-shaped file for filing down rough edges (if needed), and a guitar-pick holder that can be attached to key chain—basically everything a guitar player needs for making and storing his or her picks. When the 15 plastic strips are gone, teens can make more unique and personalized picks using old membership cards, old credit cards, or any random piece of plastic they find around the house. For example, if they use an old membership card and punch it at the place where their name or photo is, they can create a truly personalized pick.
Another gift option is collectable guitar picks. These usually come in nicely printed tins, featuring high-quality images of a certain band or artist. You can find collectable picks from manufacturers of musical and electronic accessories like those at Planet Waves.
Home Karaoke System Packed Into a Mic Stand
For those teens who like to sing in the shower or hum along to the car radio, a home karaoke machine would be a fantastic gift. Machines like the Memorex’s Sing Stand comes with everything they need to start belting out tunes for their friends and family.
- It's Portable: Unlike regular karaoke machines, which are normally large boxes with a screen and speakers, this one is portable and packs the entire karaoke system into a microphone stand (including a pair of five-watt speakers built into the base).
- You Can Plug Your Smartphone or Tablet Into It: Its biggest advantage is that you can connect it directly to a smartphone, MP3 player, computer, or tablet, which means you can easily access karaoke apps. These apps not only have massive song collections, but some of them can also record your performances and play them back, which is pretty neat.
- You Get to Use Your Music: With the Sing Stand, you can access your phone's iTunes library, which means that you don’t need to buy a bunch of karaoke music. When using the iTunes library, the karaoke machine will lower the song's original vocals, so people can hear themselves loud and clear. There is also a possibility to hook up additional microphones and sing along with friends.
- You Can Plug Your Instruments Into It: What makes this machine stand out from the others is the option to plug in your own musical instruments in it. For teens who like playing instruments, this can be a fun way to practice.
- You'll Need a Display: Keep in mind that the Sing Stand doesn’t have a screen where you can see the lyrics of the songs, so you have to display them on either a TV screen or on the screen of your mobile device.
When the weather gets cold, teens who don’t go anywhere without their over-the-ear headphones often have to choose between them and a warm hat. These two just seem to get in the way of each other. Many teens feel they will look stupid if they put the headphones under their hat. If they wear them with a hoodie, then people may mistake them as an alien with a giant head. There is also the option to put the headphones over the hat, but . . . well, that just doesn’t feel right.
Some teens use their full-size headphones as earmuffs, but when it is really cold, it is always a good idea to have your head covered up. So, for those who say that dropping the headphones is simply not an option, a bluetooth beanie would make the perfect gift.
The music beanie is essentially a beanie with a pair of small Bluetooth speakers tucked into its brim and positioned near each ear. The control electronics and the battery are combined in one of the speakers, which makes it protrude a little bit, but not in a horrible way. The other speaker is barely noticeable. The beanie can be paired with a smartphone, tablet or other music player to stream tracks and can also be used to answer phone calls.
If you flip it inside out, you will see two slits in the brim. They allow you to access the speakers and remove them when the hat needs a proper wash. The beanie comes in a variety of different knit patterns and colors, which is always a plus.
Soundwise, the quality is very good for such small speakers, but you can’t expect it to compete with that of high-end Bluetooth speakers. It is perfect for casual listening when you are out in the cold and you don’t want to use a regular headset.
Music Controller for Their Car
The next gift idea is for those music nuts who already have their own car. As we all know, in most cases, a teen’s first car is either an inexpensive older model or a newer, but basic model without many extras. Parents usually choose these types of cars because they know that most teen drivers do something bad to their cars in the first couple years. Plus, they also know that college bills are looming on the horizon.
The Satechi’s media button is a perfect for those who have cars without Bluetooth/smartphone integration. It is a small button that will allow them to remotely control the music that is playing through their phones because everybody knows that messing with a phone while driving is dangerous. They can play or pause music, increase or decrease the volume, or skip back or forward a song without taking their eyes off the road. It is basically a gift that adds to the car's overall safety.
The media button comes with a plastic mount that allows it to be clipped into the steering wheel, which is pretty handy. It also comes with double-sided tape, so it can be mounted on the dashboard too. This gadget can also be mounted on the handlebars of a bike or motorcycle.
The Satechi company also makes a button called “Home,” which allows you to access Siri, make a phone call, or send a text message using voice commands.
One Tuner for Many Different Instruments
If you are looking for a good but inexpensive gift for a teen who plays an instrument, consider getting them an instrument tuner. Every person who plays an instrument that usually needs tuning probably has their own, but it is always a good idea to have an extra one to keep with a different instrument or have just in case.
Snark's clip-on tuners are one of the most affordable and accurate ones on the market and are given high praise on a regular basis. There are several different models for tuning different instruments, but the best one to get as a gift is the SN-2 (the red one) because it works with all instruments—stringed, woodwind, and brass instruments.
With the SN-2, you can tune an instrument in two ways: using its vibration sensor or its built-in microphone. The high-sensitivity sensor measures the frequency in which the whole instrument vibrates when you play a note, and it is great for loud environments because it does not require complete silence. The built-in microphone can be used when you don’t want to clip the tuner to the instrument and prefer to put it on a music stand, for example.
The other nice thing about the Snark tuners is that they all have bright-lit LED displays, which are easy to see even in rooms with low light. Plus, the display rotates at 360 degrees and allows you to see it from any angle.
Inexpensive but Useful Stuff
- Replacement ear pads for headphones: Although a pair of headphones can last a decade, the ear pads will wear out faster. A new pair of ear pads in some fun color like bright yellow or red can really revitalize a long-forgotten headset.
- Hearing protection earplugs: Quality earplugs are something that teens who enjoy live music, clubbing, or play in a band would really appreciate. We are not talking about those pieces of bright yellow foam that you use on airplane trips. There are better ones (like Etymotic Research ER20 ETY) that will allow them to listen to unbearably loud music without any ear pain or hearing loss.