What To Buy For the AV Enthusiast in Your Life? (not a buying guide)
I pity you. You have an AV enthusiast in your life and you are trying to buy them the perfect gift. You are up against a very hard wall with no doors and you don’t know what to do. One thing is for certain: anything you buy will be wrong.
You are correct.
Shopping for the audio enthusiast can seem to be an impossible task. You don’t understand half of what they go on about and wouldn’t know one brand from another. What to do? Fear not! We have the answer!
Step 1: Don’t Buy Anything
Whatever you do, don’t buy something with a brand name you recognize. In the same vein, stay away from anything recommended by employees of department stores. Not that they can’t be right, they just usually aren’t. Part of having an AV enthusiast in your life is knowing that you can’t just buy them anything. They are going to want something weird that you’ve never heard of.
Step 2: Do Some Sleuthing
Any AV enthusiast worth their salt will have some sort of spreadsheet or document with all the stuff they’d buy if they had the money. If they are smart, they’ll keep that right on the desktop near an icon they think you’ll click on often. It’ll be labeled something innocuous like “Stuff I want you to buy me,” or “Gift ideas,” or “If you love me you’ll open this.”
Don’t open it.
Step 3: Social Engineering
Before you open any document, right-click on it and see how recently it was updated. If it hasn’t been updated in the last week or two, it might be woefully out of date. Even if it has, it is time to play some mind games.
Casually (it really doesn’t have to be that casually) mention something about speakers or AV receivers or TVs (whatever your enthusiast might want you to buy them). Then leave the house for a bit. The next time you check that document, it will be up to date with all the stuff they want. Guaranteed!
Step 4: Buy Nothing
Never EVER buy your AV enthusiast anything. I know this seems counterintuitive, but it is the most important part of gift-giving. Much of the fun of getting a new piece of gear is the anticipation. Opening a present and finding a subwoofer is great. No one is going to complain about that. But it is so much better going to a store, finding the right subwoofer, picking it out, putting it in the cart, and taking it home. This is even better when there are salespeople to talk to and geek out with. Other customers to gawk as you push out the biggest subwoofer they have…it’s an experience. Believe us, they WANT that experience!
So…What Am I Buying My AV Enthusiast?
Technically…nothing. Not at first. If you really want your AV enthusiast to be happy, don’t buy them a thing. Instead, hand them a card that says, “I want to go X shopping with you.” Of course, instead of “X,” insert whatever AV gear you think they’d most want (and is in the budget). That’s why you did the sleuthing. That’s why you made sure their list was up to date. You are not only giving them the thing (whatever it is) but the experience.
The hard part? That will be looking interested as they talk about what they are buying and why. That is the REAL gift. And they will love you forever for it.