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Christmas Gift Guide 2014

This is the first time I have created a Christmas Gift Guide for my blog readers, because in recent months I have reviewed a handful of really excellent products that don’t break the bank, that are affordable as gifts this holiday season. In case you feel extravagant, I have also included my recommendations for pricier items.

All these products are personally reviewed over the past months. Prices indicated are recommended retail price, so the street price could be lower. For each product, there is a link to the actual review article, so do read on for a more detailed coverage on why I like the products.

Below S$100

TOP PICK! Logitech K480 Multi-Device Wireless Keyboard (S$59)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/10/logitech-bluetooth-multi-device-keyboard-k480/

This is the best gift that you can ever give to someone who owns more than 1 device, which is practically everyone. Just this one keyboard is all he/she needs to use with many devices. And even ladies love this! Go read my review to be convinced!

Logitech X300 Mobile Wireless Stereo Speaker (S$99)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/12/logitech-x300-wireless-stereo-speaker-review/

I apologise for keep recommending Logitech products, but the truth is that their products are reliable, practical and affordable. In addition, I have personally reviewed them and therefore they make it to this list. The X300 has a practical design of angled speakers and a pleasant audio quality that easily fills the living room with music. Another of my favourites for gifting. In fact, I actually did buy this for gifting!

Logitech M235 Wireless Mouse (S$29)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/04/logitech-2014-colour-collection-m235-wireless-mouse/

After using this for more than 6 months, I have to say that the wireless response is as good as wired. The colours are attractive, I’m sure you can find one that fits your recipient. The size is small for ladies hands, but if you prefer a larger size, there are other Logitech mice models to choose from.

Mi In-Ear Headphones (S$20)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/06/mi-headphones-best-overall-value-earphones-ever/

As my review turns out, this is the best value earphones ever. Give this to anyone who loves music, provided you manage to buy one through the website. So good, I bought one for keeps.

Mi Power Bank (S$14)
http://www.mi.com/sg/mipowerbank10400/

I did not write a review for this product, but I bought one myself and it is a premium-designed power bank made of aluminium casing, at 10400mAh for just S$14. Again, good luck in getting one from Mi website.

Piano Spa 7 (S$19)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/12/piano-spa-7-new-album-by-chester-tan-and-bevlyn-khoo/

This is my latest piano instrumental CD album. I produced this 30-track album, now in its seventh series. This album features local singer-songwriter Bevlyn Khoo’s original piano compositions, her first time writing this genre. Available in CD at Popular, HMV, That CD Shop, or downloads via iTunes.

 

$100-300

Jabra ROX Wireless (S$168)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/05/jabra-rox-wireless-review-great-for-music-and-sports/

This is one of the best sounding wireless in-ear headphones I have tried. So good that I bought over the review unit. That is, until I tried the next Jabra earphones, which is…

Jabra Sport PULSE (S$298)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/10/jabra-sport-pulse-wireless-earbuds-review/

If the recipient is a fitness enthusiast, then this is the best gift for him/her. Solid sound quality, built-in real-time heart rate monitor, weather-proof. I too bought this review unit over.

Sony SBH80 (S$158)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/07/review-sony-sbh80-wireless-stereo-bluetooth-headset/

This earphones audio quality is not as boomsy as the Jabra ROX, but this scores high points from me for its comfort. The earbuds weigh next to nothing, and the neck band does not move around at all. It also has buttons on each side of the cable for dedicated controls.

Soundblaster ROAR SR20 (S$199)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/05/sound-blaster-roar-sr20-wireless-speaker-review/

This is the best value wireless speaker for 2014. If you want a great quality speakers for less than S$200, this is the one to get. But if you have a budget of S$300, then I will recommend…

Bose SoundLink Mini (S$299)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/01/bose-soundlink-mini-bluetooth-speaker-review-produces-impossible-sound-quality/

Whenever I publish a speaker review, someone would ask me, “How does xxx compare to SoundLink Mini?” My answer would always be: cannot compare. The kind of subwoofer bass it delivers is beyond physics. If you needed a portable speaker with the kind of Hi-Fi subwoofer feel, this will satisfy you.

ASUS Zenfone 5 (from S$199)
http://store.asus.com/sg/category/B3178

I did not review the Zenfone 5 variant, but after experiencing the Zenfone 6, I have the same conclusion. It has excellent build quality and reliable UI performance. I already recommended to a handful of my peers and they have bought this instead of Xiaomi Redmi, which may be cheaper but does not work as reliably.

$300-600

ASUS Zenfone 6 (S$329)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/07/asus-zenfone-6-quality-value-large-screen-smartphone/

This is a 6-inch beauty, one of the best-built value-for-money 6-inch smartphone.

Bose QC20 Noise-Cancelling Earphones (S$499)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/02/bose-qc20-noise-cancelling-earphones-review/

I was never a fan of Bose, until I reviewed some of their latest audio products this year. The QC20 has such amazing noise-cancelling features that I have never experienced before. It sounded exactly like a sound-proof room. It is expensive, but it is worth it. Get this for your globe-trotting friends who needed a sound-isolating earphones to save their sanity on the plane.

ASUS Padfone S (Phone S$449, Tablet Dock S$199)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/10/asus-padfone-s-lte-review-great-value/

I have reviewed the Padfone series devices since its first version. With the latest Padfone S, you can finally own this amazing innovation at a lower price. This the gadget to get for your friends who need to work on both a phone and a tablet.

$600 and beyond

OK, if you have a budget for more than $600, you probably won’t need a guide because the sky’s the limit. But there is this one product that I must mention, that I personally really like.

B&O Beoplay H6 (S$648)
http://musicphotolife.com/2014/05/beoplay-h6-headphones-review/

If there was an audio product which I could indulge in without regard on the price or rationality, this would be it. With spectacular treble delivery, these cans are for instrumentals, vocals, orchestral, elevating your listening enjoyment. This is class.

 

Happy Shopping!

I hope you find this guide useful for your shopping. If I were to receive any of these items for my Christmas, I would be elated. Similarly, these are the items I would buy for gifts, especially the below-$100 items.

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Christmas Gift Guide 2014
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I hope you find this guide useful for your shopping. If I were to receive any of these items for my Christmas, I would be elated. Similarly, these are the items I would buy for gifts, especially the below-$100 items.
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