Our tech expert’s three top picks for under the Christmas tree

A trio of great audio gadgets

The +Record Player standalone, £1,038; with stand £1,318
The +Record Player standalone, £1,038; with stand £1,318 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

As we approach the end of another techie year, which of the products from my 2019 columns would I be most delighted to find under the tree? Knowing my love for a bit of hifi, you won’t be surprised that I’ve plumped for a trio of audio gadgets.

Flares Pro2 HD, £399
Flares Pro2 HD, £399 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

1 First, The +Record Player from Italy, which is now available with a Milan-designed stand with space for 200 LPs. A one-box stereo record player is quite a rarity in the 21st century, and this one sounds great. If you bought it on my recommendation earlier this year, the stand can be bought for £336. From plusaudio.com.


2 Headphones come, headphones go, but the Pro2 HD earphones from Flare Audio, based in Lancing, West Sussex, are the best I’ve tried this year. They may look a bit homemade, but they sound simply outstanding: extraordinarily sharp and clear. When you first put them in your ears, you might think the sound is a bit light. But push them in deeper and you’ll soon be astonished. From flareaudio.com.

X-Mini Xoundbar, £31
X-Mini Xoundbar, £31 | Image: Hugh Threlfall

3 I bought the tiny X-Mini Xoundbar Bluetooth stereo speaker at Heathrow before a trip last winter and it’s been my constant travel companion ever since. It fills even a big American hotel room with as much decent sound as you could need – but is little enough to get lost in a small travel bag. From x-mini.com.



See also