Music gadgets for gift ideas

We’ve talked about gadget gifts and stocking stuffers, and here we have two items that are great for the tech-savvy people on your list who like to create music.

GuitarConnect Pro

This cool device from Griffin Technology (pictured above) is designed to work with any instrument that has a ¼ inch jack (including guitars, bass guitars, electric violins, keyboards, etc.), GuitarConnect Pro was created to turn iPad or iPhone into a compact performance or practice rig. A built-in gain control wheel allows the user to adjust the strength of the instrument’s input signal. Users gain a high-quality, all-digital connection from guitars and other instruments directly into GarageBand and other audio apps. It’s a simple yet very powerful device and music lovers will really appreciate it. And, it fits nicely into a holiday stocking!

Korg nanoKEY2

Here we switch to keyboards, which is a very popular way to create music. The nanoKEY2 is built with 25 keys and allows full control of pitch. It’s one of the devices in the NanoSERIES2 which are all compatible with GarageBand. Imagine how much fun music-lovers can have playing around with this device.

Even if someone hasn’t tried to create their own music in the past, devices like these two above offer an easy way to get started. They spur the creative process, and for that reason alone they make great gifts.

  

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New Denon Headphones

With the holidays behind us, many of you are enjoying the new gadget gifts you received, including iPods and iPads. One way to maximize these and other music players involves upgrading the headphones, and Denon sent us several samples to try out, including the AH-D510R Over-Ear Headphone pictured above and the AH-C560R In-Ear Headphone pictured below. Both sets are part of Denon’s exclusive Mobile Elite series.

I was impressed with both units. Naturally, the expectations on sound quality were higher for the over-ear headphones and the AH-D510R delivered excellent sound quality, particularly when you consider the $99.99 retail price. The AH-D510R features Denon’s Acoustic Optimizer system, which provides equal ambient air pressure on both sides of the diaphragm for naturally balanced sound. In addition, the earpieces feature Denon’s exclusive Hybrid Metal Housing technology, which combines machined aluminum alloy with resonance-free resin. It matched up well with a much higher-priced set of headphones I use regularly. The headphones are large as you might expect and they don’t come with a travel case, so using them for travel might be a little difficult.

The AH-C560R In-Ear Headphone was also impressive, though I’m partial to the better sound quality from over-ear headphones. I’ll take better sound over convenience any day. That said, everyone needs in-ear headphones in our portable world and this Denon set offers a solid option. For the $99.99 retail price retail price you also get a handy, compact carrying case along with a number of alternate foam tips that make it easier to find a good fit for your ears.

Both sets feature an inline three button remote on the cord that can control select iPod and iPhone models, and includes a microphone that lets you record voice memos with select iPod models and answer calls with select iPhone models. With the inline remote, you can control volume level as well as play, pause, forward and back functions. This handy feature adds nice value, particularly if you own Apple products.

You can’t go wrong with the Denon headphones, and if you really want to enjoy your new music gadgets, check out our Bullz-Eye music reviews as well for some great new music suggestions.

  

Robb Report presents Holiday Host Guide for iPad

Gearing up for the holiday party season can be trying. Hosting guests, especially in numbers, takes a lot of time and planning. Lucky for you, Robb Report, your global luxury resouce, has teamed up with William Grant & Sons to bring you the Holiday Host Guide app for the iPad. The app is designed to give you the tools you need to create a dazzling event for your guests.

Features of the Holiday Host Guide (iTunes link) include a virtual wine cellar containing more than 100 new releases handpicked for the holidays; dozens of creative and classic cocktails recipes complete with video demonstrations from expert William Grant & Sons mixologists and ambassadors. The app also offers fresh insights on hospitality and etiquette, tips on organizing a menu, and an array of unique party gifts. The “Chef as Host” function offers party insight and recipes from some of America’s finest chefs. The easy-to-manage party-planning function generates a complete shopping list based on the items you select and enables you to purchase all of the necessary products and ingredients right through the app! Planning your holiday event has never been easier!

The Holiday Host Guide iPad application can be purchased for the introductory price of $2.99. Following the holiday season, this multipurpose and multidimensional application will be continually updated, making it ideal for party hosts throughout the year.

  

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