It’s unfortunately too common for men getting married to give their groomsmen impersonal gifts. Faced with the daunting task of pleasing a group of disparate guys, a lot of grooms go for the tried-and-true (and kinda cliche) options. You’ve got your cufflinks, your flasks, your weird beer koozies that just end up in a junk drawer.
We recommend you personalize your groomsmen gifts, both in the monogrammed sense, and also by catering to your friends’ specific interests. Chances are, your friends are at least somewhat into music. They might simply have a Spotify playlist that they use at the gym, but even if that’s the case, you can splurge on a pair of new headphones.
However, if your friends are musicians or podcasters themselves, then you’ve got a wide avenue of possible groomsmen gifts just waiting. Make the bolder choice and get your best friends something unexpected. This way, they’ll remember your wedding forever—and not just because they’re about to get sloshed and do the Electric Slide with your Aunt Carol.
Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968
One of the best and most acclaimed rock music pageturners from the past few years. Not only a story about the making of one of the most visionary albums of the late 1960s—Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks—but a rich musical and sociopolitical exploration of the time period.
Blue Yeti USB Microphone
All-purpose 360-degree mic that is good for home recording (or podcasting), and doesn’t require an additional recording interface. A good choice for your friend (or maybe your best man, given the price tag) who likes to mess around with songs and play guitar but has never gotten serious about finishing anything or recording—a great way to start noodling around with recording on the computer and making something that is easy to listen to.
Vinyl Styl Record Cleaning Kit
It doesn’t take much money to improve your vinyl listening experience. Accumulate less dust on the records with this cork turntable mat, and clean dirty records quickly and thoroughly with this classic, cost-effective brush and fluid set.
Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way"
This is possibly a better introduction to jazz than Miles’ own Kind of Blue, and beloved by any serious and progressive fan of jazz music. Also overlaps with funk, rock, and even modern dance music. A hard record to not love. Pro tip: if you’re buying any of the vinyl on our list, consider throwing in a record frame. Maybe it’s corny, but any bro music nerd probably has a cover or two they want to mount in their study or basement man cave.
Heaven's Door Whiskey
If someone in your group of friends is a Dylan nerd and likes good spirits, here’s just the gag gift for you: Dylan’s very own whiskey. (Also, it’s probably pretty good)
Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones
These are modestly priced but reliable noise-cancelling headphones, perfect for frequent flyers and commuters in the big city. These are good for better quality listening at healthier volumes.
Fosi Headphone Amplifier
This converts signals from streaming services, MP3s, or whatever digital audio signals you might send into it into a warmer, louder, and higher quality analog signal. Plus, it allows you to customize your bass, mids, and treble. For dudes with good stereos who want their streaming playlists to sound better/as good as possible. This is not the highest end DAC, but it is in a good price range.
Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest
A poetic and richly multifaceted appreciation of the music of A Tribe Called Quest, one of the most important and irresistable hip-hop groups, by an acclaimed and accessible essayist and critic. Perfect for your friend the hip-hop head, or an extremely-online fans of cultural criticism.
Personalized Sound Wave Wall Art
This is the most sentimental item on the list, but if you and your friend have a favorite song, and if he’s looking for something to hang in his study, you’ll know if this level of emotion feels organic to you both. Commission a different song for each groomsman!
Vinyl Me, Please Membership
A subscription service is the gift that keeps on giving, and depending on which track you choose for each of your groomsman, they’ll receive one “essentials,” “classic,” or “rap & hip-hop” record in the mail every month. The best part? They’ll remember you every time they get a new shipment.
AKG K92 Closed-back Monitor Headphones
For your amateur musician friend looking to do some home recording, this solid pair of studio headphones is perfect. They also work as regular listening headphones complete with a pleasantly vintage look and comfortable padding.
A classic hip-hop album that is actually mastered to sound great on LP. Don’t spend your money on overpriced reissues of classic ‘90s rap albums with repurposed CD-quality audio—vinyl is the way this alt-hip-hop landmark was meant to be heard.