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A few of our favorite things… Our employees share what they love this holiday season

Jaden, Advisor

More about Jaden

  • Favorite holiday food: Mom's potato casserole.
  • Favorite holiday show as a kid: NBA basketball doubleheaders with Dad – every Christmas morning and afternoon.
  • Favorite gift you helped a customer choose: I helped a woman find a pair of really nice Morel speakers for her grandson's car.
See Jaden's full bio >

Learning to love vinyl

by Jaden, Crutchfield Advisor

Prior to working here, I didn't understand why people seemed obsessed with turntables. Personal experience changed my mind. I grew up listening to Hell Freezes Over by The Eagles on CD in my mom's car. A colleague played it for me on vinyl. I knew the entire album start to finish, but I suddenly noticed aspects of familiar songs I had never heard before.

After that, I was hooked. I researched different brands and models of turntables, and settled on a winner: the Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit SB. It's been a fixture in my living room since the day it arrived. I've even been able to introduce my 5-year-old daughter to vinyl. She'll ask me, usually right before her bedtime, “Can we listen to records, Daddy?” How am I supposed to say no to that?

Learning to love vinyl has been a rewarding journey for me and my family, but it's hardly the only way we enjoy music in our everyday life. I like having choices, and I want to be able to listen to music in every format. To that end, here's a hand-picked collection of analog and digital gear you can choose to build an excellent two-channel sound system for you and the other music lovers in your life.

Jaden's holiday picks

Amanda, Advisor

More about Amanda

  • My favorite holiday movie: A Christmas Story!
  • The coolest piece of gear I own: Klipsch R-28PF tower speakers
  • Album I loved as a kid: Ozzy Osbourne's Ozzmosis
  • Album I love now: Korn's The Nothing
  • Streaming service of choice: Netflix
See Amanda's full bio >

Sleigh rock

by Amanda, Crutchfield Advisor

My first life-changing music moment was Christmas '01. There was only one thing on my list: the new iPod. My friends had been telling me just how awesome it was to not have to carry around a portable CD player (and a book of CDs). I found out for myself when I opened my very last present that day. I can still feel the excitement!

That iPod helped make my car my absolute favorite place to listen to music. And finding great speakers made drive time even better. These days, with my powered sub handling the low bass while I rock out to Metallica, my speakers give me defined mid-tones and highs. All those dynamics working together transport me to the experience of seeing the band live.

New speakers make a huge difference no matter what you listen to. Even though I'm a head-banger at heart, I set my “play it loud” preferences aside to help customers find the right speakers for their listening habits and their rides.

Amanda's holiday picks

Kristine, Advisor

More about Kristine

  • Favorite holiday movie: It's a Wonderful Life
  • Favorite holiday food: Lechon — that's my Filipino background showing!
  • Favorite piece of gear I own:My Audioengine desktop speakers
  • Favorite gift I got as a kid:My brother and I were given a PlayStation® 2, which helped us sit in the same room for a few hours without fighting!
See Kristine's full bio >

Big sound for your TV

by Kristine, Crutchfield Advisor

When I was a kid, my dad had a really old stereo system. It had a 5-disc CD changer, a cassette player, and an AM/FM tuner all stacked up in a big glass case, plus two huge floor-standing speakers. I thought it was the sickest stereo system ever.

One of my favorite memories is how I'd listen to The Polar Express at Christmas time. My parents got me the book and cassette tape combo (remember those?), and it became a yearly tradition to play my tape on my dad's stereo system. You can imagine how thrilled I was to listen and read along each year! Flash-forward to last Christmas, when I streamed The Polar Express on my new home theater. It brought back so many memories (and sounded WAY better!).

These days, home theater doesn't have to mean a room full of speakers. A good sound bar is a huge upgrade from TV speakers. Here are a couple of smart choices for this holiday season.

Kristine's holiday picks

Archer, Advisor

More about Archer

  • Favorite holiday movie: Home Alone or Christmas with the Kranks.
  • Best piece of gear you picked up in 2019: Without a doubt, the SVS Prime Wireless SoundBase multi-room amplifier.
  • Best show for a winter binge-watch: The Office
  • Your most anticipated album of 2020: I'm hoping Gojira puts out a new album next year. They've had some stuff in the works for a while.
See Archer's full bio >

Sound that travels well

by Archer, Crutchfield Advisor

My family knows I'm the “Crutchfield guy.” So that makes me inherently responsible for soothing any audio woes! For a long time, my fiancée's parents would both complain to me about their old, run-of-the-mill earbuds. The sound was so garbled that it made their music unlistenable.

So last Christmas, I sat down with my fiancée, and we picked out the best headphone for each of her parents. Her father is an old-school rock n' roll guy — I picked out a nice pair of noise-canceling headphones to block out distractions and help bring his music back to life. And her mother uses music to fuel her workouts, so we chose some durable sports earbuds with tight, punchy bass.

Spreading holiday joy always feels good. But believe me, turning muddy audio into pristine listening bliss makes it even better. And with the right gear, there's no need to sacrifice sound quality when you're out and about. (Just ask my future in-laws!)

Archer's holiday picks

Simon, Advisor

More about Simon

  • Best holiday food: Turkey, by far!
  • The greatest gift I got as a kid: Guitar Hero for PlayStation® 2
  • The holiday album I listen to the most: David Grisham's Acoustic Christmas
  • The coolest piece of gear I own: A Numark turntable
  • The best piece of musical gear I own: A D'Addario Micro Clip-On Tuner. It's perfect for when I'm getting ready to play my mandolin.
See Simon's full bio >

Dash right!

by Simon, Crutchfield Advisor

Back before I could even drive, my dad told me if I fixed the old 1993 Ford Explorer we had sitting in the driveway, I could have it. So I did! All it needed was a $35 sensor to get it running (which he probably already knew).

The next thing I wanted to do was change the stereo. I had been gifted a Sony Xplōd receiver, so I grabbed a butter knife and a roll of black tape, removed the factory radio, and taped up the wires. I secured the radio to the best of my ability, and stood in awe of my accomplishment.

On the day I finally got my license, I picked up a friend. I told him how I had changed the stereo out. About that same time, we started up a hill — and the radio came flying out of the dash!

I wish I'd known about Crutchfield MasterSheets then — they provide step-by-step instructions for removing a factory stereo and come free with most purchases. I'm glad to be working here now, helping customers choose the right stereos.

Simon's holiday picks

Nicole, Tech Support Specialist

More about Nicole

  • Favorite holiday movie: It's a Wonderful Life — the black-and-white version, of course!
  • Favorite holiday song: “Noel” by Lauren Daigle and Chris Tomlin
  • Best gift when I was a kid: Santa brought me a karaoke machine. I was over the moon and bought so many karaoke CDs. My friends and I would hook it up and sing for hours!
  • On my wish list: I currently don't have a sub in my car, so it wouldn't hurt my feelings a bit to get a JBL BassPro Hub as a gift. (Hint, hint.)

Taking care of bass-ness

by Nicole, Tech Support Specialist

I love being on the phone with customers when they get their subwoofers working for the first time. It's always a really great moment when they shout, “Ah, it works! I did it!” It's my favorite thing! That joy right there.

I usually try to encourage people when they get a little frustrated and they're like, “Ugh, I should just hire somebody for this.” My immediate reaction is, “When you get done and you hear that for the first time, the sense of accomplishment that you have will outweigh this frustration, I promise.”

Sure enough, when they finally get everything up and running and hear the bass the first time — that moment has never not been fantastic. And I'm a goob. I usually celebrate with them. I'm like, “WOOHOO!”

It's my experience that everyone likes to hear strong bass in their music. When you pick out the amp and sub you like, I guarantee that we'll get you happily thumping and bumping in almost no time at all.

Nicole's holiday picks