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Our Employees Recall Their
Favorite Holiday Gifts


Crutchfield Tech Support Specialist

For the love of music

On Christmas Day 1984, I awoke to the shiniest, most awe-inspiring set of black Ludwig drums. The peace and quiet of my neighborhood would never be the same again. Those drums helped me expel my youthful energy and hone my music tastes. Later in life, I played in a marching band and in a few very bad, angst-ridden rock bands. I developed my love of music because of those drums, and that love has carried me through my entire life.

Better sound is worth the installation effort

My job as a tech advisor at Crutchfield is so fulfilling because I get to help people who love their audio as much as I do. One of the best ways to get better sound is by installing new speakers. It's a great project — you learn so much, and there's such a great feeling of satisfaction once it's finished and everything is sounding great! And if you run into trouble, techs like me are just a call away.

Meet Charles >


Crutchfield Advisor

Wired headphones are SOOOOO 1985

My love affair with music started early. My father bought me a "Peanuts" themed turntable when I was eight. A few years later I graduated to my very first Sony Walkman®! It was silver and hooked to my belt loop, and it went everywhere with me. Whether it was Madonna's Borderline album, Tears for Fears, or Laura Branigan, I took that Walkman everywhere — even roller skating in the driveway!

A far cry from those old Walkman "foamies"

I still use headphones all the time, and I've upgraded from the ones with the foam earpads that came with my first Walkman. Now, I use JBL headphones plugged into my smartphone. But for many people, wired headphones are starting to seem as old-school as cassettes. If you're ready to go wireless, check out some of our best-selling Bluetooth headphones. Don't forget your skates!

Meet Dolly >


Crutchfield Advisor

Crazy about cars from an early age

My favorite present was a Hot Wheels Sizzler Speed Brake and Esses pak, Christmas 1971. It consisted of an oval track, a zig zag "S" turn, two banked corners, and an air-actuated brake. Sizzlers had electric motors that had to be charged. You turned them on, placed them on the track, and attempted to slow them just enough with the brake to stay on the track through the turns. I went through every "D" battery in the house that day. It was a blast!

ANYONE can upgrade their car audio system

Eventually, I turned my attention from toy cars to real ones. I love messing with them — I do all my own mechanical work on my cars. I also have done all my own audio upgrades, including the JBL Club component speakers in my 2013 Xterra. I tell all my customers not to be afraid to do their own installs, especially components. The better sound is worth the extra effort!

Meet Barry >


Crutchfield UX Designer

The freedom to play whatever, whenever

I remember my 10th Christmas in 1989. I was so excited because I got a Sony Walkman and the Aerosmith Pump cassette. It made me smile thinking about being a little kid and having the ability to play my favorite songs whenever I wanted. What independence we kids of the '80s had!

"Alexa, play Captain Underpants!!"

I started to feel sad my kids had no physical media to express themselves independently like that. Then I remembered how often they ask Alexa to play the soundtrack from Captain Underpants and Parry Gripp's "Cat Flushing a Toilet," and I'm smiling all over again. Mildly annoyed, but smiling.

Meet Rachel >


Crutchfield Advisor

On the road with all my music

One of the best Christmas presents I ever received, no kidding, was a cassette-to-miniplug adapter. With one simple device, I was able to take the music from my iPod classic® and play it through the car speakers. I was no longer handcuffed by local radio or my CD collection. That adapter provided hours of curated playlists, one blown speaker, and a few speeding tickets — how can you drive slowly when "Crazy Train" comes on?

Phone integration is the coolest thing

Now with Apple CarPlay,™ not only can I play all my music, I can access my contacts and podcasts, and even use Apple Maps and Siri® controls. Once I'm con­nected, I control everything through the radio screen, so I'm not fumbling with the phone to change the song. Apple CarPlay has revolu­tionized the way I consume my content in the car. Check out stereos with CarPlay and Android Auto capability for easy smartphone integration in your car.

Meet Cosmo >


Crutchfield Advisor

Ready for A/V nirvana?

In 1989, all I wanted was a CD player. My mother must have found a deal, because there it was on Christmas morning. I was so happy...until I realized I couldn't listen to it! I had no receiver or speakers. Later, my father came over with a bunch of CDs, which only made me feel worse. Then he said, "I have something from your cousin that she didn't want anymore." It was her old receiver and speakers! I almost went through the roof with joy.

All the connections you need

That first system wasn't great, but it served me well until I started upgrading my equipment. Most of those upgrades were bought from Crutchfield. I was a loyal customer long before I started working here. Now I'm helping customers start their own systems. Most of the time, I recommend they start with a home theater receiver. They have all the connections and features you need for music and movies. They'll even work with those old CD players, too.