Home Theater Gift Guide The Audiophile

The Audiophile


Logitech Squeezebox Duet ($400)
Both a media player and multiroom controller, the Duet streams music directly from the Internet or a computer. Listen to your personal library, broaden your international music knowledge with hundreds of Internet radio stations, and connect to online music services like Pandora and Rhapsody. Additional Squeezebox players allow playback of different songs in each room, or hear the same music everywhere.—KW


Cambridge Audio NP30 Music Server ($649)
Cambridge Audio is getting into the music server game with the NP30, a networked (wired or wireless) device that will play back all the music hidden on your computer’s hard drives (or NAS), as well as dish out all the prequalified Internet radio you can handle via coax, optical, or analog outputs.—FM


StereoStone Stump Sub ($399)
To add some bottom-end thump to you outdoor music listening, how about a subwoofer that cleverly disguises itself as the remains of a tree? StereoStone’s appropriately named Stump Sub weighs in at a hefty 25 pounds and houses an 8-inch woofer powered by 250 watts.—CCC


Olive O3HD Music Server ($999)
I like to organize, and keeping all of my music in one place makes me happy. The Olive O3HD (available in Silver and Black) does that and more. Its 500-gigabyte hard drive allows for storage of up to 1,500 CDs and supports 24-bit playback. Access with a touchscreen is easy (no computer required), and the etching on the case is beautiful.—JH
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Pure Music High-Resolution Music Server Software for MacIntosh Computers ($129)
Bypasses Apple’s mediocre-sounding playback chain and uses iTunes only as a database/playlist organizer. Sup- ports high-reolution formats up to 24 bit/192 kHz and includes optional 64-bit upsampling that makes MP3s almost listenable. Whether you’re setting up a music server or just listening casually, you’ll hear the difference.—MFr

Atacama Speaker Stands ($575/pair)
Bookshelf speakers do not work best on a bookshelf. They’ll sound better in free space, sit- ting on sturdy stands. Atacama Audio in the U.K. makes some of the best stands around, but they aren’t cheap. The premier HMS 2 shown here will run you $575 per pair. For a bit less, you can get the SL 600 at $349 per pair. Both are about 24 inches high to get the tweeter at ear level. Available in North America through May Audio Marketing.—TJN


Blu-ray Heavy Metal Starter Kit: Iron Maiden Flight 666 The Film; Dio: Holy Diver Live; Tenacious D: The Complete Master Works 2 ($70)
Most audiophiles I know need to put down those 50-year-old jazz reissues they’ve already bought ten times and start banging their heads. This set of three BDs streets for less than the MSRP quoted above. This might be the holy trinity of live metal on Blu-ray Disc. You can’t kill the metal.—SCB


Acoustic Panels ($25 and up)
You can buy the most expensive speakers on the planet driven by the costliest amp, but if your room isn’t treated properly, you’ve thrown your money down the drain. Acoustic panels can transform a room, flattening the frequency response, resulting in improved imaging, tighter bass, and fuller midrange.—DV


Dynamat Xtreme Architectural Utility Pak ($60)
The Dynamat self-adhesive peel-and-stick vibrational damping material in this kit can be used to quiet dishwashers, air conditioners, duct work, and other household items made with sheet metal. Dynamat converts vibrational energy (otherwise known as irritating noise) into low-grade thermal energy (otherwise known as peace and quiet).—DW


The Beatles Mono Box Set ($299)
When the Fab Four emerged in the early 1960s, stereo had not yet swept through popular music, so the boys lavished attention on their mono mixes. Some argue that this is the ideal way to hear the Beatles as they intended them- selves to be heard, from their debut album through The Beatles.—MF