What would Christmas be without a bit of a sing-song? Actually, don't answer that.
From technohead nerds to leather-loving rock gods, bedroom DJs to Beach Boys tribute acts, we've got a Christmas gift idea here for every musical gadget lover.
Teenage Engineering PO-20 Arcade (S$85)
Teenage Engineering’s calculator-like mini-synths charmed the undercrackers off us last year, and now there are three more models to choose from.
The Arcade pumps lo-fi ’80s gaming sounds through its titchy built-in speaker, while also new for 2016 are the Robot and Office models. Splatch, chirrup, squawk.
Mogees Play (S$88)
If everyone’s a musician nowadays, it’s probably just as well that every inanimate object is a musical instrument… potentially.
The Mogees Play is an app-connected sensor that can be stuck to pretty much anything – toasters, floors, the foreheads of people who don’t mind being lightly clonked in the name of art – and will turn them all into rhythmic music-makers. We can’t vouch for its claimed educational value, but it does look great on a watermelon.
Soul Electronics Flex (S$79)
Committed jogger in the family? The good news is you don’t have to spend much to buy them some proper, rather great sports earphones.
This pair has hooks to keep the buds securely in their lugholes - rather than dangling near their chest - and controls for volume and skipping tracks. They can even answer calls while sweating on a treadmill. Best of all, they sound ace - and there’s nothing like sweet-sounding tunes to to provide last-mile motivation.
The ‘Jam’ Jar (S$45)
The problem with jam is that, while it tastes great on toast, it’s a hopeless medium for soldering. So the makers of The ‘Jam’ Jar had the revolutionary idea of removing all the jam from the jar before converting it into a miniature guitar amp.
The two-inch speaker built into the lid sounds pretty brutal, but plug this thing into a full-size cabinet and you’ll be amazed by its smooth and powerful overdriven sound. You can even clean it up (just about) by backing off on your guitar’s volume control.
We’d take one of these over the old Smokey ciggie-packet amp any day. Partly because it’s louder, but also because you don’t have to worry about what the makers did with the original contents. Bit of toast never harmed anyone, did it?
TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini (S$119)
Plank-strummers can be a conservative bunch, but the idea of polyphonic tuning has spread through the guitar world like an immortality virus.
This is partly because the idea of being able to check all six strings at once is pigging fantastic, and partly because the tuners themselves work every bit as well as you might hope – including this one, which takes first prize for dinkiness.