77 Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers: A 2022 Gift-Giving Guide

gifts for classical music lovers

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Are you looking for the perfect gift for a Classical music lover?

Between silly  t-shirts and dead serious books, literally tens of thousands of recordings, countless pieces of audio gear that sound variously fantastic or atrocious with Classical music, and so much more, the task can seem not just intimidating but out-and-out impossible.

But don’t worry! I’ve put together a very selective list of the best gifts imaginable for any Classical music fan, to make your shopping – whether it be for Christmas, a birthday, a wedding present or anything else – as easy and fun as possible.

If you want even easier, and as quick and to the point as possible, here are a few of my favorite gift ideas for Classical music buffs:

What Is the Best Present for a Classical Music Lover?

Well, there are so many great answers! I mean, you can obviously get the Classical music lover in your life Classical music, but you can also get them some audio equipment – cheap or premium – that will make Classical music sound fantastic. You can get them a funny or clever t-shirt, or a book that gives a fun and informative look into the fascinating centuries-old history of Classical music. 

Or you can buy them a piano – that would amaze and delight them, wouldn’t it? Can you imagine?

Here at Speakergy we are definitely into our audio gear, and so this buyer’s guide is heavy on speakers, headphones, turntables and the like, but I myself am a huge Classical music fan, so I’ve also included a wide range of books and recordings I know and love, and which would make great choices as Classical music gifts. I’ll also include a good selection of t-shirts, which in the Classical music realm are just as silly as any others but sometimes a bit more clever – not always, but sometimes.

And, since I just can’t resist, I am going to also throw in a couple of pianos – one which just may be much, much less expensive than you can imagine.

So we end up with the following categories:

So let’s dive right in, shall we, with this 2022 Speakergy guide to the best gifts for Classical music lovers!

Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers – T-Shirts

You may think that the humble t-shirt is not appropriate for the serious world of Classical music, but I’ve been amazed at how even the crustiest and dustiest of Classical aficionados are just delighted by a corny or clever T.

This might help explain why there are like a gazillion Classical themed t-shirts available. To make the picking a little more manageable, I’m including ten I particularly like – including two of my all time favorites: Beethoven’s 5th Symphony and the Musical Dandelion.

Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers – Audio Equipment

If you know somebody who loves Classical music, but whose stereo equipment is not really up to par, a good set of speakers or headphones a turntable or a CD player can really bring things to a whole new level – sound quality, of course, and therefore the power and beauty of the works and the performances, but also understanding and appreciation of the music itself.

A CD player or, especially, a turntable has the added advantage of opening up a new world of resources – used record and CD shops, thrift stores, yard sales and flea markets, and even online shops. There is so much Classical music out there that is usually dirt-cheap and often not available at all in other forms like digital downloads or streaming.

Our natural conception of stereo equipment is that it’s expensive – too expensive, in fact, to make a practical gift – but in fact, while some of these recommendations are a bit pricey, some of my favorite gear is amazingly inexpensive.

Best Speakers for Classical Music

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Classical Lovers

Bluesound Pulse 2i Wireless Multi-Room Smart Speaker 

Bluesound Pulse 2i Wireless Multi-Room Smart Speaker with Bluetooth - White - Compatible with Alexa...
  • Blue sound's flagship all-in-one, multi-room speaker.
  • Top-performing drivers deliver a powerful listening experience greater than other all-in-one speakers
  • Blue sound's innovative direct digital amp technology ensures flawless music playback without any distortion
  • Leading-class dual band Wi-Fi ensures zero dropouts or delays
  • Stream directly from Apple devices with Airplay or ask Siri to play songs & playlists from Apple Music

I don’t normally like portable Bluetooth speakers for Classical music. Don’t get me wrong – I think JBL, Bose, Ultimate Ears, Sonos and others make fantastic sounding, fun and high quality systems, but they don’t necessarily have the finesse, the sonic accuracy, dynamic power and expressivity, the soundstage and imaging or the open and effortless quality the best Classical recordings demand.

The Bluesound Pulse 2i is different, though, with an astonishingly low distortion, open and easy sound that reminds me of true audiophile sound systems. A wide, deep and detailed soundstage is filled with incredibly accurate and dynamic details which just sound right, and both large and small ensembles are handled with equal aplomb.

There are admittedly some fantastic high end Bluetooth smart speakers out there – some Bang and Olufsens are significantly more expensive than this flagship Bluesound Pulse 2i, and some of the higher level Sonos speakers are pretty amazing, but none of them come together in such a complete way as the Pulse 2i does.

And not just sound quality, but the very best technology and smart connectivity, superior material quality and craftsmanship – I’ve spent quite a bit of time with the Bluesound Pulse 2i, and it is not just the best portable Bluetooth wireless speaker system for Classical music, but my top choice overall on this list of best presents for Classical music lovers.

At around 800 dollars, the Pulse 2i may be more than you want to spend, and if you like the idea of an advanced smart portable Bluetooth wireless speaker system I can also strongly recommend the two less expensive Bluesound speakers – not perhaps quite as open or authoritative as their top of the line, but still worlds better with Classical music than pretty much any other company’s systems, and absolutely superb products on all levels.

Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i

Bluesound Pulse Mini 2i Compact Wireless Multi-Room Smart Speaker with Bluetooth - Black -...
  • communicates with other Bluesound players via your home network (wired or wireless)
  • plays a wide range of digital music formats, including high-resolution music files
  • high-fidelity aptX HD Bluetooth streaming for greater sonic detail with compatible devices

Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i 

Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i Portable Wireless Multi-Room Smart Speaker with Bluetooth - White -...
  • Ultra-compact speaker that delivers crystal-clear size-defying sound
  • Direct digital amplifier and custom-tuned drivers energize your music with Deep detailed bass and no distortion
  • Plug it in and connect it to your Wi-Fi for control from anywhere in your home
  • Place one in any or every corner of your home and watch it disappear into your home décor
  • Stream directly from Apple devices with Airplay or ask Siri to play songs & playlists from Apple Music

Best Budget Speakers for Classical Lovers

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers

Polk Audio TSi100 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Black)
  • Recommended amplification: 20 100 (watts/ch)
  • Equipped with one 5.25 inch dynamic balance bilaminate composite woofer
  • Equipped with one 1 inch silk/polymer composite dynamic balance dome tweeters
  • Pair of high performance bookshelf speakers
  • Frequency response: 53Hz 25kHz
  • Passive – connects with speaker wires to a stereo system or amp

Remarkably accurate and honest for the money, the Polk TSi100 are amazing for their ability to project a full symphonic sound stage, as well as conveying the intimacy of a small ensemble or solo instrument, and have nice, deep bass, extended highs and a sweet, musical sound overall.


Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Edifier R1280T Powered Bookshelf Speakers - 2.0 Stereo Active Near Field Monitors - Studio Monitor...
  • 2 x AUX INPUT - Convenient connection to any device that has a 3.5mm headphone output or dual RCA output. Connect to two devices via AUX at...
  • STUDIO SOUND QUALITY - Natural sound reproduction from 13mm silk dome tweeter and 4 inch full range unit
  • REMOTE CONTROL - Adjust volume at your figure tips. Bass and treble control located on the side of main speaker.
  • CLASSIC WOOD FINISH - High quality MDF wood build finished with wood effect vinyl serves as a great compliment to any home decor.
  • 2 YEAR WARRANTY - Guaranteed high quality and reliability with hassle-free parts and labor warranty for two years in USA and Canada.
  • Active – includes amp, and can be connected with wires or through Bluetooth wireless to any device

A dynamic and exciting speaker system, which might be more easily associated with pop, rock, hip hop and electronica, the Edifier R1280 has a tonal accuracy and honesty that make it perfect for all kinds of Classical music as well, and probably the best imaging I’ve ever heard at this price.


Best Affordable Speakers for Classical Lovers

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers

ELAC Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers, Black (Pair)
  • New tweeter with Wide-dispersion waveguide
  • New Woven Aramid-Fiber woofer. Sensitivity: 87db at 2.83v/1m
  • New cabinets for easier placement.Crossover Frequency: 2200Hz
  • Frequency Response: 44Hz – 35000Hz
  • Nominal Impedance- 6 Ohms. Max Power Input- 120 Watts
  • Passive – connects with speaker wires to a stereo system or amp

Incredibly accurate, clear and detailed, the Elac Debut are known for superior stereo imaging, dynamic power and the ability to resolve the most complex of music with amazing detail and accuracy, and the simplest music with disarming expressivity.


Fluance Ai41 Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Fluance Ai41 Powered 2-Way 2.0 Stereo Bookshelf Speakers with Speaker Stands 5" Drivers 90W...
  • UNPARALLELED PERFORMANCE - With an integrated 90W amplifier and speaker stands, these active speakers deliver a balanced sound with refined...
  • PREMIUM NEODYMIUM TWEETERS - High-performance tweeters produce an immersive stereo soundstage while providing spacious off axis dispersion...
  • RICH AND NATURAL MIDRANGE - Light and rigid 5-inch woven glass fiber drivers produce detailed midrange frequencies and clean undistorted...
  • PRECISION-CRAFTED WOOD CABINETS - Enjoy warm sound from the internally braced MDF wood cabinets, meticulously engineered to remove unwanted...
  • VERSATILE MUSIC CONNECTIVITY - Easily connect to your audio source through RCA and Optical inputs or Bluetooth 5.0 for wireless streaming...
  • Active – includes amp, and can be connected with wires or through Bluetooth wireless to any device

Brilliantly open and accurate, with the frequency response, dynamics, imaging and low distortion Classical music aficionados love, and yet equally talented in reproducing all other genres of music – electronica, hip-hop, rock, jazz, C&W and more.


Best Premium Speakers for Classical Lovers

KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers

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KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speakers (Pair, Black)
  • The KEF Q350 Bookshelf Speaker is the newest iteration of KEF award-winning Q Series. The Q350 features a new cabinet, sleek new finishes,...
  • The Q350 contains an enhanced Uni-Q driver Array designed to smooth out treble frequencies, and reimagined crossovers to provide cleaner and...
  • The front port has been moved to the back of the Q350 and internal architecture has been redesigned to reduce internal resonances to improve...
  • The Q350 is available in sleek matte Black and White vinyl finishes.
  • Passive – connects with speaker wires to a stereo system or amp

The best bookshelf speakers for under a thousand dollars, the KEF Q350 sound far better than most speakers that are much larger and/or much more expensive, and reproduce the power, complexity and spatial reality of large symphonic music as beautifully as they convey the intimacy of a single instrument. A similarly superb, significantly less expensive option is the KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers.


Edifier S3000Pro Audiophile Active Speakers

Edifier S3000Pro Audiophile Active Speakers - Truly Wireless, Bluetooth 5.0 aptX Wireless, USB...
  • WIRELESS LEFT/RIGHT SPEAKER SETUP - EdifierÕs first plug-in speaker system that offers wireless left and right speakers -- creating new...
  • KLEERNET WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY - For vastly improved efficiency and quality over traditional Bluetooth speakers. Near lossless audio quality...
  • HIGH QUALITY STREAMING AND EASY CONNECTIVITY - Certified Hi-Res audio and Bluetooth 5.0 support with aptX HD Decoding. Together, they...
  • CLEAR MORE NATURAL SOUNDING HIGHS - Edifier's signature planar diaphragm tweeter provide clearer, better highs than the competition....
  • POWERFUL ROOM-SHAKING BASS - Courtesy of a 6.5" aluminium alloy diaphragm bass unit. Get the strong distortion-less bass you need for...
  • Active – includes amp, and can be connected with wires or through Bluetooth wireless to any device

Very few wireless active speakers at this price level are good enough to be easily recommendable, but the Edifier S3000Pro are absolutely superb, with the definition, dynamics and stereo imaging Classical music needs, and with an honesty and musicality that works with all kinds of music.


Best Headphones for Classical Music

Best Budget Headphones for Classical Music Lovers

AKG K240 Open Back Studio Headphones

AKG Pro Audio K240 STUDIO Over-Ear, Semi-Open, Professional Studio Headphones
  • Professional studio headphones
  • Semi-open
  • 3 m replaceable cable
  • Audio Interface type: Stereo plug – 3.5mm (1/8-inch) with 6.3 mm (1/4”) screw-on adapter
  • Wired Over-Ear Design

With their open-backed design, the award winning AKG K240 reproduce space beautifully, and have an effortless, exceptionally low distortion sound that suits Classical music perfectly – amazing for the price, and one of the best affordable Classical music gifts I know.


Edifier W830BT Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

  • Wireless Over-Ear Design

With the best and most advanced technology imaginable, and incredibly long battery life, the Edifier W830BT are maybe the best wireless headphones overall at this price, but their refinement of sound and rare expressivity make them especially apt for Classical music.


Best Mid-Priced Headphones for Classical Music Lovers

Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-Ear Audiophile Headphones

Sale
Sennheiser HD 560 S Over-The-Ear Audiophile Headphones - Neutral Frequency Response, E.A.R....
  • Natural and accurate reference sound that reveals the truth in your music
  • Lifelike depth and realism from open-back earcups that allow sound waves to expand naturally
  • Wide soundstage from ergonomic acoustic refinement (e.a.r.) that tilts the drivers to the natural angle of your ears
  • Extended low-end reach with gratifying presence for clear bass performance
  • Connectivity technology: Wired
  • Wired Over-Ear Design

At nearly 200 dollars, the Sennheiser HD560 may be creeping up to premium level, but their stunningly open, accurate and detailed sound, their unrivaled expressivity and musical energy and their ravishingly beautiful sound make them among the best values in audio today.


Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sale
Soundcore by Anker Life Q35 Multi Mode Active Noise Cancelling Headphones, Bluetooth Headphones with...
  • Gold Standard of Sound: Custom silk-diaphragm drivers accurately reproduce music across a wider frequency range and cut out distortion to...
  • LDAC Technology: 3 times more data is transmitted to Life Q35 active noise cancelling headphones than via standard Bluetooth codecs. This...
  • Multi-Mode Noise Cancelling: 2 microphones on each earcup detect and filter out distracting noises in your vicinity. Switch between...
  • Comfortable and Convenient: Life Q35 active noise cancelling headphones can be worn all day thanks to their lightweight build and memory...
  • AI-Enhanced Calls: The beamforming microphones on Life Q35 active noise cancelling headphones pick up your voice with incredible accuracy by...
  • Wireless Over-Ear Design

In a world of Beats, JBL and Skullcandy – nice headphones, but terrible choices for Classical – the Soundcore Q35 are so refreshing, with an easy, open and effortless sound that lets the music speak for itself – perfect for our purposes here. Throw in the best tech and superior material and build quality and these are an easy  choice and a great gift for any Classical lover.


Best Premium Headphones for Classical Music Lovers

Hifiman Sundara Over-Ear Planar Magnetic Wired Headphones

HIFIMAN SUNDARA Over-Ear Full-Size Planar Magnetic HiFi Stereo Wired Headphones for...
  • Featuring Newly Developed Diaphragm that is 80% Thinner than the HE400 Series Resulting in a Wider Frequency Response, Faster and More...
  • With the weight spreading strap for outstanding comfort but with a more fashion conscious look with its sleek and sumptuous matte black...
  • With its all metal headband the SUNDARA is built to take the rigours of urban street life. The SUNDARA is as tough as it is beautiful.
  • New 3.5mm Headphone connector for enhanced durability
  • The slimline SuperMini is the perfect on the partner for the SUNDARA. The SuperMini with its abundance of audio power output and the...
  • Wired Over-Ear Design

I could have gone right back to Sennheiser for my premium choice, and their superb HD 650 are among the finest headphones at any price, and my personal favorite for Classical or any other music. That said, there is something so magical about these Hifiman Sundara, which are a bit less expensive and, at their price level, absolutely untouchable – tonaly beauty and accuracy, huge and holographic soundstage, dynamic power and subtle expressivity, all the components necessary for Classical music listening at the highest level. Well, at least without spending several thousands of dollars, at which point the best available are still Hifiman – the stunning, and stunningly expensive Susvara, which are quite possibly the best headphones made today.


Bose 700 Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Wireless Headphones

Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700,Bluetooth, Over-Ear Wireless with Built-In Microphone for Clear...
  • Powerful noise cancelling headphones: 11 levels of active noise cancelling let you enjoy music, podcasts, videos & calls without...
  • Astonishing sound: Crisp, clear details. Deep, full bass. These wireless headphones produce exciting, lifelike sound that’s full and...
  • Unrivaled voice pickup: A revolutionary microphone system adapts to noisy and windy environments so your voice always sounds crystal clear...
  • Keep your head up and hands free: With easy access to voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for music, navigation, weather, and...
  • Premium design and comfort: With a lightweight stainless steel headband and earcups tilted for the perfect fit, you can comfortably wear...
  • Wireless Over-Ear Design

I’m surprising even myself with this choice – I mean, there are a couple of other choices in this price range which seem more obvious – the wonderful brand new Sennheiser Momentum 4 or the slightly less brand new but equally wonderful Edifier Stax Spirit S3, either of which is probably a better sounding headphone than the Bose. But the Bose 700 have that kind of beautifully musical, detailed and expressively dynamic sound that makes Classical sound best, and have a hugely important advantage – the best active noise cancelling currently available, which can make the softest pianissimos of Classical music more clearly audible and the whole listening experience more enjoyable.


Best CD Players for Classical Music

Cambridge Audio AXC35 Single-Disc CD Player with High Performance Wolfson DAC and Remote Control

Cambridge Audio AXC35 Single-Disc CD Player with High Performance Wolfson DAC and Remote Control
  • ✓ DESIGNED FOR CDs – Most manufacturers focus on adding functions unrelated to audio performance, instead of focusing on quality. The...
  • ✓ NO CORNERS CUT – The AXC35 uses the Wolfson WM8524 DAC to ensure superb sound quality from standard CDs and various media files. Pair...
  • ✓ PLAYS MP3 & WMA - The AXC35 will play MP3 and WMA files from CD-R, CD-RW and CD-ROM discs. There’s also a dedicated digital output to...
  • ✓ ALL METAL CHASSIS – Cambridge built the AXC35 with an all metal chassis that is built to last, and it provides consistent performance...
  • ✓ TECH SPECS - THD @ 1KHZ -10DBFS <0.01%, DAC WM8524, GAPLESS PLAYBACK, FILTER 2-pole Butterworth, FREQUENCY RESPONSE (+/-0.4DB) 20Hz -...

My first CD player, not that many years ago, was an at least adequate budget Sony that cost around 100 dollars – but those days are apparently all gone, as CD players have gone from being ubiquitous, often dirt cheap mainstream audio products to a real niche market. At this point the least expensive player I could recommend is the Onkyo C-7030, which is also “at least adequate,” and actually quite nice sounding.

But the Cambridge Audio AXC35 player is so much more accurate, detailed and sweetly musical, and so much better for Classical music (and everything else) that the Onkyo seems a comparatively silly idea. A truly audiophile level product, the Cambridge can reproduce the power and beauty of even the best Classical recordings with ease, and is a beautifully built and well designed product to boot.


NAD C568 Audiophile Reference Single Disc CD player

And as these things go, you have to more than double the price of the Cambridge AXC35 – which, to be fair, is an amazing value – to get significantly better sound. And the NAD C568 does indeed have glorious sound quality, with superior resolution of the inner detail and subtle inflections that make Classical music so special. True dynamic power, effortless bass and shimmering, sweetly liquid high frequencies put this wonderful player at nearly the top level of sound quality, and indeed even something like the substantially more expensive Rega Saturn – one of the best CD players in the world – is in many ways only subtly better.


Best Turntables for Classical Music

One wonderful thing about having a turntable – whether a super-cheap record player or a fine audiophile deck – is the amazing Classical music records you can find for dirt cheap – really, really cheap – at thrift stores, yard sales, flea markets and used record stores.

Not only that, but so many of the incredible original analog stereo recordings of the 60s and 70s are being remastered and repressed on glorious audiophile vinyl – as expensive as the used records are cheap, but with a presence and rich musicality not even the best hi-res digital files can match.

But yeah, first the Classical music lover on your list is going to need a turntable, and so I’m going to list out four beautiful choices, from super-cheap to affordable premium, any one of which would be a truly fantastic choice for Classical music or anything else.

Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player

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Victrola Vintage 3-Speed Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player with Built-in Speakers | Upgraded...
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE - This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) suitcase record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY and...
  • TAKE YOUR TUNES ANYWHERE - Housed in a vintage suitcase with an easy carry handle, Victrola's blend of retro and contemporary design give...
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS - Stream smartphone audio through the turntable’s built-in Bluetooth speakers. Easily connect external...
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern...
  • ALL THE CONTROLS YOU NEED - Features an Input select knob, Power/Volume Knob and an Auto stop switch that stops spinning records once the...

I’m a huge fan of the super-affordable record players Victrola offers, and I think that this Vintage suitcase player, despite its size and price, is a great choice – in fact, it is almost certainly the least expensive record player that will do full justice to Classical music.


Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center

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Victrola Nostalgic 6-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center with Built-in Speakers -...
  • 6-in-1 ENTERTAINMENT CENTER – With vintage looks on the outside & modern features inside, listen your way; vinyl records, CDs, cassettes,...
  • NO STEREO SYSTEM OR EXTRA EQUIPMENT REQUIRED. Get it up and running in minutes. Retro looks combined with the convenience of modern...
  • THREE SPEED BELT-DRIVEN TURNTABLE – This 3-speed (33 1/3, 45, 78 rpm) record player features UPGRADED PREMIUM SOUND QUALITY with minimum...
  • EXPANDED CONNECTION OPTIONS – Extend the sound by connecting external speakers or an amplifier via the RCA Line outputs (cable included)....
  • Compatible devices: Bluetooth enabled Devices

A wonderfully retro all in one cabinet stereo system with a surprisingly nice turntable, the Victrola Nostalgic has a warm, full and clear sound that is perfect for even larger orchestral music, and will also play CDs and cassettes, FM radio and digital files.


1 BY ONE Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth Connectivity

Sale
1 BY ONE Belt Drive Turntable with Bluetooth Connectivity, Built-in Phono Pre-amp, USB Digital...
  • Bluetooth Connectivity: Pair with Bluetooth speakers or headphones for an amazing, wire-free experience; Even better, no receiver needed
  • Magnetic Cartridge Stylus: The diamond-tipped stylus cartridge is designed to produce rich sound and outstanding clarity, tracking your...
  • Adjustable Counterweight Force: Get perfect playback every time using the tonearm counterweight and advanced anti-skating system; These...
  • Great Connectivity Options: Enjoy vinyl playback with any amplifier using the built-in Magnetic type Preamp; This turntable includes both...
  • Vinyl Recording via PC: Connect this turntable to your computer via USB and encode vinyl audio into MP3s for digitalized storage and...

While the Victrolas above have built in speakers, with the 1 by One turntable we’re moving into that higher quality realm where the ‘table needs to be connected to a stereo – luckily, this turntable makes it very easy, with wireless streaming that will work with any Bluetooth speaker, as well as digital and analog outputs for use with virtually any other audio equipment. It comes with an excellent cartridge/stylus, and is the best sounding turntable I’ve heard at this low price.


Fluance RT82 Reference Turntable with Ortofon OM10 Cartridge

Fluance RT82 Reference High Fidelity Vinyl Turntable Record Player with Ortofon OM10 Cartridge,...
  • PURE ANALOG PERFORMANCE - The definitive vinyl record listening experience for beautifully warm and natural music, transporting you into the...
  • EXCEPTIONAL MUSICAL ACCURACY - Immerse yourself in dynamic music reproduction with the Ortofon OM10 elliptical cartridge delivering improved...
  • SPEED CONTROL FOR PRECISION PLAYBACK - The isolated motor prevents unwanted vibrations and noise while the speed control mechanism ensures...
  • High Mass MDF Wood Plinth - Revel in the gorgeously crafted cabinet with real wood finish and a highly precise metal platter with adjustable...
  • SPECTACULAR SIGNAL CLARITY - Caress your records with the balanced S-shaped tonearm for accurate tracking of the record groove and no...

Any of the several affordable Fluance turntables would be a great choice, and we here at Speakergy have recommended them all at one point or another, but the RT82 Reference, which is one of their least expensive models, is in my opinion their best value, and with the incredibly sweet sounding Ortofon OM10 cartridge the perfect mid-priced turntable for Classical music.


Rega Planar 1 Turntable with Carbon Cartridge

Rega - Planar 1 (Black)
  • The Rega Planar 1 turntable features a brand new RB110 tonearm built with the new Rega designed, bespoke, zero play bearings with ultra-low...
  • Every single aspect of the Planar 1 has been meticulously designed to improve performance. For the first time the Planar 1 is now running a...
  • Re-designed brass main bearing, offering improved fit and removing stress on the bearing itself whilst minimising the transfer of potential...
  • Brand new, 23mm, higher mass, phenolic platter with improved flywheel effect for improved speed stability.
  • Thermoset, gloss laminated plinth with vastly improved appearance and new ergonomically positioned on/off switch located on the underside....

At just under 600 dollars, this least expensive of all Rega turntables is widely considered one of the very best values in the audiophile world, and while still not exorbitantly expensive, it is a far better sounding turntable than even the excellent Fluance just above, with imaging, resolution, low noise and wide dynamic range – as well as an amazingly open, sweet and musical sound overall – that brings Classical music – or any music – to a whole new level.


Big Fudge Professional Series Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit

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Big Fudge Professional Series Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit - 5-in-1- Includes Velvet Vinyl Cleaner...
  • WHY BIG FUDGE? There are numerous products for record collectors on the market today, yet Big Fudge stands out. Recognized globally by new...
  • ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION: Clean dust, dirt and fingerprints using the anti static velvet brush in combination with the cleaning spray. The...
  • XTRA LARGE CLEANING FLUID - The included 50ml bottle should last you quite a while. If, after years of use, you find yourself running out,...
  • STYLUS CLEANER: Cleaning the stylus needle has never been so easy! Try out our stylus gel or stylus brush that will lift the dust off the...
  • AT HOME OR ON THE GO: Keep your record cleaning essentials in a safe and dust-free space. Whether you're jamming out on your home setup or...

Vinyl Doctor Vacuum Record Cleaning Machine

Record Doctor – High Performance Vacuum Cleaning Vinyl Record Washer and LP Record Cleaning...
  • With just a few turns of the wrist this vacuum-powered machines safely removes dust, dirt, grease, grime and other unmentionables from vinyl...
  • A clean LPs let’s you enjoy crystal clear music without the annoying pops, clicks and noise of a dirty record. It makes sense that a clean...
  • Record Doctor features the same powerful high-performance vacuum motor as more expensive cleaning machines but doesn’t have the expensive...
  • New edition Record Doctor V includes an improved record platter so your LPs come out cleaner than ever.
  • Over 10,000 sold. Kit includes record turner, fluid applicator brush, 4 oz cleaning fluid and illustrated cleaning instructions. Full...

Before we move on let me mention another fantastic gift idea for Classical fans – a decent record cleaner. Really, I can tell you from personal experience that every used record you ever buy will be dirty, and sound pretty bad, but with a good cleaning almost every single one will totally transform and end up sounding just amazing – often as good as new!.

Further, a good record cleaner is pretty essential for keeping records sounding great and making them last as long as possible, and they can even improve the sound of a brand new record!

So I’ll recommend my two favorite record cleaners here, one very cheap and amazingly effective – the hyper-popular Big Fudge – and one fairly pricey but an incredibly deep and effective cleaner and a must have for any audiophile or serious record collector – the wonderful Vinyl Doctor.


Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers – Pianos

The piano is perhaps the instrument most associated with Classical music, especially in the beautiful compositions of musicians like Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart and Little Richard. Well, at least the first three…

Sure, there are also violins, trumpets, flutes, harps and big kettle drums, but to me a piano makes an absolutely perfect present for Classical music lovers because anybody can play them. I mean you may not sound like Little Richard, or even Chopin, but you can plink out a few notes and have a grand time – try that with a violin and you are more likely to sound like a dying cat – if you can make any sound at all.

And if the Classical music lover in your life has even a touch of training they can explore the classics on a whole different level, with an appreciation and personal connection not always possible when just listening.

Expensive? Well, yes, but I’m going to offer two choices here – one an overwhelmingly powerful and extravagant gift and one of the finest digital pianos on the market today, and the second a similarly superb instrument, with a full sized piano keyboard and weighted keys and beautiful sound, but much, much less expensive.

But either way, these are mightily impressive gifts that are sure to bowl over any Classical music aficionado.

Alesis Recital Pro 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Weighted Keys

Alesis Recital Pro - 88 Key Digital Piano Keyboard with Hammer Action Weighted Keys, 2x20W Speakers,...
  • Start playing professional keys today - the ultimate beginners digital piano loaded with 12 expertly crafted voices and powerful educational...
  • Universal responsive feel - 88 premium full-sized hammer action keys with adjustable touch response to suit your preferred playing style
  • Connectivity covered - built-in 20W speakers, ¼” Sustain pedal input (pedal not included), ¼” stereo headphone output for private...
  • Powerful educational features - standard, split, layer, record and Lesson modes with 128-note max polyphony and built in FX: chorus, reverb,...
  • Learn piano today - Includes skoove 3 month premium subscription for expert interactive online piano lessons

A wonderful, affordable digital piano that feels and sounds like the real thing, and a gift that’s sure to offer years of entertainment and joy.

Roland F-140R Compact 88 Console Digital Piano

Roland F-140R Compact 88 Console Digital Piano with Bluetooth MIDI/USB and Weighted Hammer-Action...
  • Roland’s industry-leading piano technologies in a stylish, affordable instrument for smaller living spaces
  • SuperNATURAL Piano delivers the rich, authentic tone of a real acoustic grand
  • Connect your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth technology for wireless remote control, learning games, and digital sheet music with...
  • PHA-4 Standard Keyboard features high-resolution sensing that maximizes the vast tonal potential of the Supernatural Piano sound engine
  • Explore a world of instruments beyond the acoustic piano with 305 additional tones that include electric pianos, strings, organs, guitars,...

The finest digital piano under two thousand dollars, that both sounds and feels like a concert grand (but takes up way less room), and quite possibly the most incredible, impactful gift you could give.


Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers – Classical Music Recordings

Be warned! This is also a long and exhaustive/exhausting list of gift ideas – 20 different CD box sets, from cheap to a wee bit pricey. If you really want to get just the right one, please read on – I’ve tried to keep the individual descriptions ultra-short, and I think they’ll help you to find a perfect present.

But if you really just want to get to it, I can’t recommend the Naxos sets strongly enough. They’re cheap, brilliantly performed and beautifully recorded, and they represent some of the most lovely and important Classical music there is.

Whether you choose Naxos or some of the bigger and more expensive sets below, these are not just some of my own personal favorites, but superb and significant recordings which do justice to some of the most important, interesting and beautiful music ever written, and which are widely hailed as among the best of the best.

I focus particularly on box sets, which make especially great and impressive gifts, and which – if you get the right ones, at least – can offer a perfect overview of a particular composer, period or type of Classical music. And again I start with 8 wonderful and almost absurdly inexpensive Naxos box sets and then we move on to more expensive sets, but ones which still offer incredible value for their money.

Naxos Classical Music Boxed Sets

Other Classical Music Boxed Sets

Chopin Complete Edition on DG Various Artists

Sale
Chopin Complete Edition [17 CD Box Set]
  • VARIOS INTERPRETES
  • MUSICA CLASICA
  • INTERNATIONAL
  • MUSIC
  • Audio CD – Audiobook

A surprisingly inexpensive complete edition of some of the most lyrically beautiful music ever written, in superlative performances and recordings.


Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen Solti with Commentary

Sale
Wagner: Der Ring Des Nibelungen [16 CD/CD-ROMCombo]
  • Shrink-wrapped
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/07/2022 (Publication Date) - Decca (Publisher)

A fascinating and invaluable edition, containing Solti’s best-ever recording of perhaps the greatest opera cycle ever written, as well as a detailed audio analysis.  


Classical Masterpieces of the Millennium 20 CD Set

Sale
Classical Masterpieces of the Millennium [20 CD Set]
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Delta (Publisher)

I wouldn’t normally recommend sets with fragments of larger works, but this one has such a great selection of works from all eras, and is the perfect companion for exploration – a great choice for a Classical music newbie!


Tchaikovsky: The Complete Symphonies London SO

Tchaikovsky: The Complete Symphonies
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Lpo (Publisher)

Beautiful and powerful symphonies from the Russian master, in superlative new performances and stunning reference-level sound quality.


Stravinsky Complete Edition on DG Various Artists

Igor Stravinsky Complete Works [30 CD Boxset]
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Deutsche Grammophon (Publisher)

All of the works of the great early twentieth century neo-classicist in performances widely considered to be both authoritative and supremely musical.


Beethoven Complete Edition Brilliant Classics Boxed Set

Beethoven Complete Edition
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/07/2022 (Publication Date) - Brilliant Classics (Publisher)

Exceptionally consistent excellence in a complete edition of perhaps the most important composer of them all – and an incredible value.


Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Complete DG Recordings 55 CDs

The Complete Recordings On Deutsche Grammophon [55 CD Box Set]
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • 08/20/2021 (Publication Date) - Decca (Publisher)

My favorite set and my highest recommendation, the OCO edition includes absolutely superb, musical and wonderfully idiomatic performances of masterpieces from many different composers and eras.


Messiaen Complete Edition 32 CD Set Various Artists

Oliver Messiaen Complete Edition [32 CD Limited Edition]
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • Deutsche Grammophon (Publisher)

Arguably the most important composer of the 20th century gets a stunningly well performed and recorded complete edition – superb in every way, if at times a bit challenging.


New York Philharmonic Anniversary Edition 65CD Box Set

New York Philharmonic - 175th Anniversary Edition
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/07/2022 (Publication Date) - Sony Classical (Publisher)

One of the two or three most important orchestras in the world, the NYP is perfectly represented in this extraordinary box set, which also proves to be an amazing overview of orchestral music from many composers and periods.


Complete Bach Edition Hanssler Classic 172 CD Box Set

Complete Works of J.S. Bach
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • German (Publication Language)
  • 12/07/2022 (Publication Date) - Haenssler Classics (Publisher)

Of the several complete Bach editions, this Hanssler set is IMO the very best, and without a doubt the best value – a real insider’s tip!


Living Stereo 60 CD Set Various Composers & Artists

Living Stereo 60 CD Collection
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 04/15/2014 (Publication Date) - Sony Classical (Publisher)

Not just one of the best overviews of all types of Classical music, but a loving and beautiful tribute to some of the best sounding and best performed recordings of the golden age of Classical recording. This set can’t help but deepen anybody’s understanding and appreciation of Classical music.


Mozart Complete Edition Brilliant Classics 170 CD Box Set

Sale
Complete Edition
  • Audio CD – Audiobook
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 12/07/2022 (Publication Date) - Brilliant Classics (Publisher)

An expensive set, this huge Brilliant complete Mozart is actually an amazing value, with consistently excellent performances of every work of perhaps the best known and best loved of all composers, and superb sound throughout.

Best Gifts for Classical Music Lovers – Books

I love the idea of giving books to Classical music fans, or to people who are just starting to be interested in and explore this most rich and rewarding genre. The right book will help people understand and better appreciate what they are hearing, put it into all kinds of contexts, and share so  many really compelling, funny, touching and inspiring stories of the composers and musicians and their fascinating lives and times.

I’ll start out with a few brilliant DK books – probably the very best for newbies and younger listeners, and easy, accessible and fun reads for absolutely anybody. Then I will list a half dozen of the best and most recommendable general Classical music books I know, all of which would make superb gifts. Finally I’ll list specialized books which cover – in a simple and accessible way – the four most important eras of Classical music and the four most important forms of Classical music.

This is a list of over 20 books, all of which I think are fantastic and all of which would make great gifts – but if you’re already a little overwhelmed, I can’t recommend the DK books – immediately below – highly enough. Any one of them would be a cherished gift for any Classical music lover, and they are all fascinating, informative, beautifully illustrated and a lot of fun.

DK Publishing – Great Classical Music Books for Kids (of all ages…)

DK Publishing offers a wonderful series of books that are easy to read, lavishly and helpfully illustrated, and offer amazingly complete and insightful overviews of the world of Classical music.

These books are all fun, engaging, highly informative and beautifully made, and their simple and accessible writing and layout make them suitable for even younger kids, while still offering rich reward and value to adults, and enough detail and inside information to engage and captivate even the most experienced listener.

The Classical Music Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained 

Sale
The Classical Music Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained
  • Hardcover Book
  • DK (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 08/28/2018 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)

by DK Publishing

An easy and highly accessible, yet surprisingly advanced, book on all eras, all major composers and an apt selection of masterpieces – with surprisingly complete and interesting coverage of modern and contemporary Classical as well. Great for teens and adults.


The Complete Classical Music Guide

The Complete Classical Music Guide
  • Hardcover Book
  • DK (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 08/11/2020 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)

by DK Publishing

A wonderful beginner’s guide to every aspect of Classical music – theory, instrumentation, history, composers and musicians and a lot more. Beautifully illustrated and quite detailed, this easy to read book is great for beginners and for more experienced listeners alike.


Music: The Definitive Visual History (Dk Smithsonian)

Music: The Definitive Visual History (Dk Smithsonian)
  • DK (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 10/06/2015 (Publication Date) - DK (Publisher)

by DK Publishing

A beautiful gift, both fun and educational, this big and richly illustrated volume may focus mostly on Classical music, but also covers popular music, jazz and all other genres, and so offers a brilliant larger perspective as well as a deeper appreciation and understanding of all types of music.


General Classical Music Books

Essential Dictionary of Music: The Most Practical and Useful Music Dictionary for Students and Professionals

Essential Dictionary of Music: The Most Practical and Useful Music Dictionary for Students and...
  • The Essential Dictionary of Music is an easy-to-use collection of definitions, composers, and theory covering every major aspect of music
  • Over 330 pages
  • A useful collection of definitions, composers, and theory
  • This pocket-sized reference book includes a broad range of important information, from basic principles of theory and concise biographies of...
  • The Essential Dictionary of Music is an easy-to-use reference covering every major aspect of music

by L. C. Harnsberger

The “Essential Dictionary” series has yielded some surprisingly thorough, apt, accurate and useful reference volumes, and their music dictionary is one of the best – not just Classical, of course, but even just that genre alone is covered with remarkable completeness and care.


The Vintage Guide to Classical Music: An Indispensable Guide for Understanding and Enjoying Classical Music

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The Vintage Guide to Classical Music: An Indispensable Guide for Understanding and Enjoying...
  • Swafford, Jan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 624 Pages - 12/15/1992 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

by Jan Swafford

This classic work offers maybe the most beautifully written, complete and interesting overview of Classical music from ancient times to the twentieth century – no real coverage of newer composers, but a definitive look at everybody else.


The NPR Listener’s Encyclopedia of Classical Music

The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia of Classical Music
  • Libbey, Ted (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 928 Pages - 04/11/2006 (Publication Date) - Workman Publishing Company (Publisher)

by Ted Libbey

A comprehensive listener’s companion, this authoritative and well written volume is presented in encyclopedia form – not a straight-through read, but a fascinating drop-in reference for endless hours of pleasurable perusal.


Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works

Classical Music: The 50 Greatest Composers and Their 1,000 Greatest Works
  • Goulding, Phil G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 656 Pages - 10/17/1995 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

by Phil G. Goulding

For such a scholarly and in-depth look at master composers and their masterworks, as well as all aspects of Classical music, this is a surprisingly humorous and good natured work – wonderful to read, deeply informative and highly communicative.


The Classical Music Lover’s Companion to Orchestral Music

The Classical Music Lover's Companion to Orchestral Music
  • Philip, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 968 Pages - 10/13/2020 (Publication Date) - Yale University Press (Publisher)

by Robert Philip

Focusing specifically on orchestral music, this acclaimed book gives fresh and deep insight into works we may or may not already know, as well as brilliantly apt suggestions for exploration and discovery. Intelligent and highly interesting, Philip’s book is also quite nicely written and very accessible, 


The Lives and Times of the Great Composers

The Lives and Times of the Great Composers
  • Steen, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 968 Pages - 03/04/2010 (Publication Date) - Icon Books Ltd (Publisher)

by Michael Steen 

An intimate look at some of the most significant masters of the major eras, this is a very entertaining book which offers a different view of the normally pretty stuffy world of Classical music.


Specific Classical Music Books – Different Eras

Early Music

Wonderful portraits of two of the most important composers in history, as well as fascinating looks into life and society in early Europe.

Vision: The Life and Music of Hildegard von Bingen

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Vision: The Life and Music of Hildegard von Bingen
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hildegard Of Bingen (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 110 Pages - 11/01/1995 (Publication Date) - Avery (Publisher)

by Hildegard Of Bingen, Barbara Newman, et al.


Monteverdi

Sale
Monteverdi (Master Musicians Series)
  • Denis Arnold (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 264 Pages - 11/01/2001 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)

by Paolo Fabbri and Tim Carter 


Baroque Era Music

An extraordinary biography of perhaps the greatest composer in history, written by arguably his greatest musical interpreter, and a fascinating, fun and comprehensive look at all kinds of music in the Baroque era of Bach and his contemporaries.

Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven

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Bach: Music in the Castle of Heaven
  • Gardiner, John Eliot (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 672 Pages - 03/03/2015 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

by John Eliot Gardiner


Beyond Bach: Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century

Beyond Bach: Music and Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century
  • Talle, Andrew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 376 Pages - 07/09/2018 (Publication Date) - University of Illinois Press (Publisher)

by Andrew Talle


Romantic Era Music

Intimate portraits of two very different 19th century artists – one the archetypal Romantic and one the most important musician of his, or any, era. The best books I know on these superlative composers.

Chopin, the Reluctant Romantic

by Jeremy Siepmann


Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph

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Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph
  • Hardcover Book
  • Swafford, Jan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1104 Pages - 08/05/2014 (Publication Date) - Mariner Books (Publisher)

by Jan Swafford


Modern Era Music

Penetrating and highly entertaining looks at the often highly challenging music of the last hundred years, making this mysterious and perplexing stuff understandable, accessible and even enjoyable.

Sound Within Sound: Radical Composers of the Twentieth Century

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Sound Within Sound: Radical Composers of the Twentieth Century
  • Hardcover Book
  • Molleson, Kate (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 11/15/2022 (Publication Date) - Harry N. Abrams (Publisher)

by Kate Molleson


The Companion to Twentieth-Century Music

Sale
Companion to Twentieth-Century Music
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Lebrecht, Norman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 07/06/1993 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

by Norman LeBrecht


Specific Classical Music Books – Different Forms

Finally I’ll recommend a few really special books that concentrate on the most important genres in Classical music – Orchestral, Chamber Music, Piano Music, Choral, and Opera.

The Classical Music Lover’s Companion to Orchestral Music

The Classical Music Lover's Companion to Orchestral Music
  • Philip, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 968 Pages - 10/13/2020 (Publication Date) - Yale University Press (Publisher)

by Robert Philip


A critically acclaimed and award winning guide to finding, listening to and appreciating symphonic music, as deep and fascinating as it is fun and accessible.

Chamber Music: A Listener’s Guide

Chamber Music: A Listener's Guide
  • Keller, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 11/01/2014 (Publication Date) - Oxford University Press (Publisher)

by James Keller

An easy to read, compelling and very helpful guide to the small ensemble music that so many Classical lovers find a bit difficult to grasp and truly enjoy.


The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music

Sale
The Cambridge Companion to Choral Music (Cambridge Companions to Music)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 358 Pages - 10/08/2012 (Publication Date) - Cambridge University Press (Publisher)

by André de Quadros

The most complete, scholarly and inclusive look at choral music worldwide, de Quadros’ book is amazingly easy to read and understand, and provides as much entertainment as it does insight.


The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Opera

The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Opera
  • Berger, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 02/05/2002 (Publication Date) - Perigee Trade (Publisher)

by William Berger

A fun and light read and an easy way to get into the most heavy and intimidating of all music – grand opera, this NPR guide makes a great present for even the most experienced Classical music lover.


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