The U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable manages to keep costs low while streamlining the set-up and offering shoppers a lot of options to customize the color and build. (Sarah Tew/CNET/TNS)

Best audio gifts for young graduates

It’s a challenge picking out the right audio gift for your recent grad, so we’ve put together a list of some of the best choices for your recently matriculated audiophile.

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Chromecast Audio

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/chromecast-audio/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 (Outstanding)

The good: Google’s budget audio dongle pipes music to any stereo from the most popular streaming apps on your phone. It’s simple and works well, with direct compatibility for most major music services, and even more are supported via the Chrome browser plug-in and on the Android app. And did we mention it only costs $35? It’s the easiest way to enable multiroom music in your house. The ability to feed 24-bit/96kHz music to an external digital analog converter will please audiophiles.

The bad: Some notable music services, including iTunes, Apple Music and Amazon Music, are not supported on iPhone and iPad. In analog sound quality it’s beaten by the Fon Gramofon (which costs twice as much). You can’t use Google Cast devices as part of a multiroom environment.

The cost: $35

The bottom line: The ultra-affordable Google Chromecast Audio is one of the best music-streaming devices you can buy — especially if you’re an Android user.

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Polk Signa S1

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/polk-signa-s1/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Signa S1 offers excellent music replay for the money and decent intelligibility in movies. The provision of a separate subwoofer means it can go lower than some competitors that lack subs.

The bad: Less clarity and dynamic punch with action-packed movies compared to some rivals. No HDMI.

The cost: $149.95

The bottom line: For a budget-priced sound bar system, the Polk Signa S1 sounds a lot bigger than it really is.

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U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/u-turn-orbit-basic-turntable/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The precalibrated cartridge cuts the initial setup time down to under five minutes, the web store has plenty of custom options for colors and upgraded parts, and the turntable has a smooth, clear sound that spans all genres.

The bad: The manual speed adjustment could get tedious If you often switch between 33 and 45 RPM records.

The cost: $309

The bottom line: The U-Turn Orbit Basic turntable manages to keep costs low while streamlining the set-up and offering shoppers a lot of options to customize the color and build. It’s currently our favorite sub-$300 turntable and deserves the attention of audiophiles and casual listeners alike.

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Klipsch R-15PM

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/klipsch-reference-premiere-r-15pm/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Klipsch R-15PM is a breeze to set up, and its abundant feature set is buoyed by feisty, solid performance. The phono input will be of interest to fans of vinyl new and old. The speakers are solidly built and attractive.

The bad: The Klipsch R-15PM’s sound veers toward the bright side of neutral. If you’re using stands it will take a little more effort to hide cabling. For best results, a subwoofer will help.

The cost: $499 to $499.99

The bottom line: The Klipsch R-15PM is a likeable powered speaker offering convenience, lively sound and an abundance of features.

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