Who wouldn’t like a rejigged version of the classic, pop-culture changing Minimoog? The legendary synthesiser will set you back a few thousand pounds, so we’ve split our synth wish-list into three categories: budget, luxury and outrageous.
We’ve got everything from pocket-synthesisers, and phone-linked music creators, tuners and — this being 2017 — wireless speakers and headphones. Overall, gadgets are getting more compact and easier to use, without necessarily shooting up in price. That’s great for those who are new to music, and experienced musicians too — particularly those on the go.
For the music lover, these are the best gadgets of 2017…
Teenage Engineering’s ‘Pocket Operator’ series of synthesisers do exactly what you’d expect: they’re small enough to fit in your pocket and still capable of creating incredible sounds. This, the PO-14, made in conjunction with clothes brand Cheap Monday, can create seriously funky basslines. It’s clearly aimed at teens but is fun for anyone with a love of music making.
Pocket Operator PO-14, £55
Polyphonic tuning, who’d have believed it! This little thing, first met by snorts and raised eyebrows, has been accepted as a bit of a game-changer. Allowing guitarists to check all six strings at once, this — the new mini version — makes life so much easier.
TC Electronic PolyTune 2 Mini, £63
AKG has a reputation for making good quality, affordable headphones and these, over-ear Bluetooth versions are no different. With great sound and sleek design, they’re the perfect gift for an increasingly wireless world.
AKG Y50BT, £109
In short? A surprisingly affordable, tangible way to make music. The Roli Block’s pressure-responsive surface allows you to shape music using simple gestures. Who wouldn’t want to be able to make music by touch? The company promises a digitisation (and democratisation) of music-making, but it’s also perfect for experienced musicians.
Roli Lightpad Block, £150
The Bowers and Wilkins T7 may well be the most elegant Bluetooth speaker we’ve ever seen. The simple, clean design is the first wireless type in the company’s portfolio — long overdue you’ll agree. As you might expect, it looks and sounds incredible.
The Bowers and Wilkins T7 Bluetooth, £299.99
Who doesn’t want a Theremin? The instrument was patented by the Russian inventor of the same name in 1928 but still feels futuristic. This miniaturised take by Moog keeps the same eerie psychedelic keeps the same sci-fi sounds in a smaller portable package. What’s even better – it’s on the affordable end of the scale compared to the classic models.
The BeoSound 1 is a portable wireless speaker that projects immersive, layered sound 360-degrees around the room. It has 16 hours of battery life, so is perfect for even the most raucous and long-lasting of parties. What’s more, its solid aluminium shell gives it the futuristic look of a Dalek (sort of)!
£995, Bang & Olufsen
Will it ever be beaten? Released in 1971, the Minimoog revolutionised music. It was a delicate, light, easy-to-use alternative to cumbersome synths of the time, and featured on records by everyone from Kraftwerk to Whitney Houston. Times have changed, but the update version feels just a special. In a retro-loving society, it’s likely to be a huge hit.