Enjoying personal music is one of the greatest joys technology has given us. Whether you’re relaxing in your free time, or sweating it out at the gym – having music in the background is one of the best ways to set the mood.

So, if you’re looking to upgrade your personal audio gear, we’ve put together a list of items you might just want to look at. These would be great for personal time, watching a movie alone, or enjoying music with friends and family. These items are also great if you’re looking to give gifts this holiday season. 

Audio-Technica ATH-SR5BT Headphones

The best way to enjoy music alone is to get good over-ear headphones. Over-ear modules are much more comfortable than in-ear models and give you great audio quality, so having a good pair should be high up on your list.

You can’t go wrong with Audio Technica’s ATH-SR5BT. The large 45mm drivers are capable of giving you Hi-Res sound – your FLAC audio collection wouldn’t go to waste.

This model is versatile – you can use it either wireless (Bluetooth), or wired. There’s a mic with the earphones, in case you want to make a quick call.

The ATH-SR5BT is comfortable to wear, due to the model’s inherent light weight. For long listening sessions, the earpads are made of soft memory foam and feel great. All in all, this is a great pair of over-ear headphones with so much value for money in terms of excellent sound at this price range.

JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth Speaker

A Bluetooth speaker is mainly for mobility and convenience, but sometimes we sacrifice sound quality in the process. JBL has made it so that this doesn’t have to happen.

The JBL Charge 4 gives out great sound – it can easily fill a large room with sound without breaking a sweat. For sure, the Charge 4 won’t leave you lacking for bass, a problem you normally have with other Bluetooth speakers.

The Charge 4 has a lot of practical features. You can bring the Charge 4 to the beach; this baby is waterproof. And if your phone suddenly runs low on juice, you can charge your phone from its generous 7500mAh battery.

1MORE Triple Driver In-Ear Headphone

We’d never heard of the brand 1MORE until all the tech review blogs started singing their triple driver earbuds’ praises, but this should definitely be on your list of in-ear headphones to consider.

At the lower end price range of in-ear headphones, there is a huge number of choices. We put the 1MORE Triple Driver earbuds at the top of the less-than-USD$100 list, because there’s definitely a lot of value here. The sound quality is topnotch, and the 6mm triple drivers deliver quality and brilliant sound.

You also get a three-button remote that controls playback and volume in Android and iOS devices. The design is subtle but build quality is excellent – this pair will last you a long while. The cable is not braided, but we expected that in this price range. 1MORE is a company funded by smartphone giant Xiaomi – which probably explains why there’s so much bang-for-your-buck with the 1MORE Triple Driver earbuds.

Sony NW-A45 Walkman Portable Media Player

In this smartphone and streaming age, MP3 players are not so popular. But for people who are not online all of the time, a portable media player is still essential. For this entry, we give you the Sony NW-A45 Walkman. Yes, it’s a Walkman. And yes, it’s all digital.

The NW-A45 Walkman is a great entry-level audio player in itself. Connect your 3.5mm wired earphones, or connect it to a Bluetooth speaker or wireless headphones – no problem.

It has 16GB of built-in storage – enough for your MP3 files. You can add storage using a microSD card (up to 512GB). It features a touchscreen so you can operate with ease. The NW-A45 even supports Hi-Res playback, so your FLAC files can have a go. The battery will give you over 25 hours of continuous play time.

If you don’t want to spend for an iPod Touch, then we’d ask you to consider this. It plays purely music, so you won’t have other features cluttering it up. But for the price, the NW-A45 will surely be a great addition to your gadgets.

JBL Reflect Flow Sports Wireless Earbuds

An active person would probably want (or need) some wireless earbuds as an audio option, so we offer for your consideration the JBL Reflect Flow.

JBL is a proven brand in terms of audio, but the Reflect Flow is versatile as well. If you do a lot of running or working out, you’d want your earbuds to stay in place. The Reflect Flow shuns the Apple aesthetic and actually goes for a more pragmatic design, one that makes sure they remain in place.

The sound quality is impeccable, but we also love the Ambient Aware mode that still lets you hear your surroundings, which could be useful. The Reflex Flow is waterproof, and while you can’t swim with them, this means that your earbuds can survive rain, or being accidentally submerged in less than 1 meter of water.

The batteries will last you around 7 to 8 hours, great for a pair of wireless earbuds. The case actually stores around 15 hours more of battery power and acts as a charging station for the Reflex Flow.

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John Holifena

John is a journalist by trade and training, but consumes huge quantities of all things gaming and technology. He was a PC gamer even before #PCMasterRace became a thing. He plays either the guitar or FIFA 19 (whichever) on his free time.