Five Great Tech Gifts for Dad

No matter how your dad feels about getting older, you can make him feel special with a Fathers Day present. So what makes the best gifts for dad? Given that youve probably already stocked his shelves with books, and his wardrobe is likely overflowing with shirts and ties, what are your options? This year perhaps … Continue reading “Five Great Tech Gifts for Dad”

No matter how your dad feels about getting older, you can make him feel special with a Fathers Day present. So what makes the best gifts for dad? Given that youve probably already stocked his shelves with books, and his wardrobe is likely overflowing with shirts and ties, what are your options? This year perhaps its time to think outside the gift boxand to surprise your father with something youthfully high-tech. Here are five ideas for technology gifts that dad will not only appreciate, but also enjoy.

Thats rightdad needs a bike. Or maybe he doesntneeda bike, but whos to say he wouldnt mind having one to get healthy and have fun.? In fact, the biking rate among older adults issoaringaccording to one bike-advocacy organization, with seniors ages 60-79 leading the way. Many seniors choose so-called lifestyle bikes for their comfortable, upright riding position and wide-based tires designed for all kinds of roads. A cool option may be anE-bike: a two- or three-wheeled electric-assist bicycle that can be ridden in an upright (like normal) or recumbent position.

Virtual reality is finally a reality, and there are options for dad that wont break the bank. Sure, you could get him the state-of-the-art Oculus Rift, but you could also opt for something much less expensive, like a HooToo VR headset or aGoogle Cardboardviewer. These latter two products work with a smartphone: Just download a special VR app and then look through the device (with phone attached) like youre wearing a mask. Give one to dad and hell be able to travel wherever he wantswithout even leaving his living room.

Speaking of living rooms, if dads space could use a little cleaning, he may enjoy having a robot around to help him. One best seller is theiRobot Roomba, a disc-shaped device that (unlike the characters inhabitingThe Jetsons) sits quietly in the corner until you press a button. And then? With barely a whir the vacuum bot leaves its spot to rove the floors in search of dirt and dust. If dad hates the thought of pushing a vacuum himself, this may be his ticket to Sundays on the couch.

GreatCallsLively Wearablewatch is a fitness tracker and urgent response device in one, that works with Dads Android smartphone. Once Dad straps it to his wrist, he can track his daily step count, access health-focused activity challenges through the Android app, andif he needs itget medical support from a 5Star Urgent Response agent. Even better, through a dedicated link to your personal Android smartphone, the device allows you to track dad as well, so youll know right away if hes ever in trouble.

Last but not least on the list of great tech gifts is theJitterbug Smart, also from GreatCall. A fully functional smartphone with an oversized screen, a simple menu, big icons, and easy-to-read text, the Jitterbug Smart was designed from the start with aging dads (and moms) in mind. But the biggest draw of this senior-friendly smartphone? The freedom it affords at an affordable price. Users, for example, can write an email or text just by speaking into the phone, and can access the Internet from anywhere in the U.S. And yet they only have to pay for the plan that meets their needs and there are no annual contracts or cancellation fees. For your Fathers Day wow factor, thats bang for the buck.

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Fathers Day 2017 10 High-Tech Gifts Dad Will Love

Fathers Day 2017: 10 High-Tech Gifts Dad Will Love

Heres a list of gifts for every dad, from the music-lover to the guy who hates mowing the lawn

Brad Moon, InvestorPlace Contributor

Mark June 18 on your calendar, if its not already circled. Thats Fathers Day 2017, the day when we celebrate dads and everything they do.

Picking the perfect Fathers Day gifts can be a little tougher than it sounds. Ties are the old standby, but they dont go over quite as well as they did in the 1950s. Todays dads are often into technology especially where tech intersects with other interests like enjoying music, watching a big game orplayinga big game.

To help you out, we have some suggestions, vetted by a tech-loving dad. Our 2017 Fathers Day gift guide has 10 high-tech gifts, one of which is sure to make any dads day.

Lets start this list of high-tech gifts off with one that assumes you have a sizeable budget. Maybe dad has been extra special this year.

LG Display Co Ltd. (ADR)(NYSE:LPL) is known for making some of the best big screen TVs out there, and the company is an industry leader with OLED technology. The $1,999B6 OLED 4K HDR Smart TVis the most affordable in LGs current lineup, but this 55-inch TV ticks off a lot of boxes.

It has an eye-popping OLED display panel, 4K resolution and supports HDR for incredible contrast. This TV will make watching the big game with dad something to look forward to even more, while that display will make nature documentaries come to life.

It also has smart technology, including LGs webOS 3.0 so dad can mess around with apps to do cool things like watchAlphabet Incs(NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG) YouTube or stream from hisNetflix, Inc.(NASDAQ:NFLX) account.

Video games are some of the best gifts for dads, and if your father is still playing on a vintage Xbox 360, its time for an upgrade. ThePlayStation 4 ProfromSony Corp (ADR)(NYSE:SNE) is as good as it gets these days.

Sony is winning this generation of the console war, outselling the Xbox One by a two-to-one margin. That means more exclusive games for PlayStation owners.

The PS4 Pro ups the ante with native 4K support, HDR and the ability to play VR games with the optional Playstation VR headset.

We all know that dads like to putter around the house. Most have a never-ending series of home improvement projects on the go.

TheRevogi Smart Lightstripis an inexpensive gift that makes it easy to add LED lighting to any space. A 10-foot roll retails for under $50. Just cut off the length you need from the spool, stick it to the surface with the integrated adhesive tape, plug it in and connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone (iPhone or Android).

Without the need for hubs or wiring, dad gets smart LED lighting wherever he wants it. The Revogi Smart Lightstrip can change colors on demand and even pulse in time with music. It can be programmed on a schedule, flash for alerts and he can control it from anApple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Watch.

If your dad is still rocking a pair of wired headphones or worse, using the freebie buds that came in the box with his smartphone, Fathers Day 2017 is the perfect excuse to upgrade him to premium wireless headphones with the Libratone Q Adapt.

I reviewed a pair of these headphonesa few months ago, and theyre an easy recommendation. Theyre wireless (obviously), with premium audio, 20+ hour battery life, adjustable active noise cancellation, touch controls and minimalist design.

Hell think theyre great and you wont be embarrassed to see him wearing them in public.

At the time of publication,Libratone was offering a nice $50 price cutjust for Fathers Day (plus no sales tax and free shipping), so you can get dad a great gift and save some cash.

TheCork Speakeris one of those high-tech gifts that seems like a novelty, but soon proves to be deeper.

Its a tiny Bluetooth speaker integrated into a battery-powered device thats essentially a bottle stopper. The driver uses the bottle as a speaker chamber.

Every bottle you use the Cork Speaker with produces a different sound. Its far from audiophile territory, but its entertaining moving the Cork around to see whether Led Zeppelin sounds better playing through a wine bottle or a bottle of rum.

Parents, including many fathers, end up juggling their careers and family life. This can mean having to work from home on occasion which is better than having to stay late at the office, but still often means lugging around a laptop.

Many dads would appreciate an upgrade that does double duty and is a lot lighter to carry around.Microsoft Corporation(NASDAQ:MSFT)just released a new Surface Prothat would fit the bill nicely.

Its a tablet, so it can be used instead of an iPad for casual web surfing, streaming video and updating social media. But, its also a full-fledged Windows 10 PC, with the new 7th-generationIntel Corporation(NASDAQ:INTC) Core processors, so dad can run any Windows software he needs on it.

Microsoft also boosted the battery life to an impressive 13.5 hours. The new Surface Pro weighs just 1.69 pounds for easy carrying andstarts at $799, making it more affordable than many laptops.

Many dads have a hoard of records sitting in milk crates in the garage or basement. They gave up vinyl when music went digital, first with CDs and then streaming.

But, vinyl is now cool again. I had one of the first evaluation units of the new Crosley C20 turntable, and this is anoutstanding option for those looking to up their vinyl game. Dad will appreciate the high quality components, including an S-Shaped tone arm with Sapphire bearings from Pro-Ject, an acrylic platter and Ortofon OM10 cartridge. The craftsmanship is evident as soon as you see the genuine zebrano wood veneer.

ACrosley C20 turntablefor Fathers Day will let dad be on top of the latest trend, and his record collection will sound better than ever.

One of the best gifts you can give dad for Fathers Day 2017 is the gift of time with the Automower from SwedensHusqvarna (ADR)(OTCMKTS:HSQVY).

TheHusqvarna Automoweris a robotic lawnmower. It has app connectivity with GPS tracking, so it can be remotely stopped or started if needed, but once set loose on the yard it does its thing and cuts the grass perfectly, avoiding obstacles.

The Automower is battery-powered so theres no noise or emissions, it can handle steep slopes and its even equipped with an anti-theft system.

With the Husqvarna Automower cutting the grass for him, dad has some free time to play records, watch TV or find new places to install smart LED lighting strips.

If your dad is big on gadgets, hes going to love theGoal Zero Torch 250 flashlight.

This is a lot more than an everyday flashlight. It uses a series of LEDs for multiple operating modes, including the traditional flashlight, a floodlight and red flashing emergency light. Theres a built-in hook to hang it, and the body is angular so it can be propped securely in different positions.

The Torch 250s battery can be recharged using USB, integrated solar cells or by using the built-in hand generator.

Dad can even plug in a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet to top up his battery. When it comes to flashlights, it doesnt get much more high-tech or useful than the Goal Zero Torch 250.

Libratone doesnt just make a good pair of wireless headphones, its my current favorite for premium, multi-room wireless audio as well,with its ZIPP speakers.

ZIPP offers premium audio (100 Watts with multiple drivers including a 4-inch woofer and 360-degree sound), removable CoolWeave fabric covers in a variety of colors, and support for multi-room audio up to 16 speakers on a network.

Unlike competitors like Sonos, the Libratone ZIPP supports Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi for streaming. And, with a built-in 10-hour battery, dad can pick a ZIPP up and take it into the garage or onto the deck for music wherever he wants it.

The latest addition to the ZIPP line-up is theZIPP Nordic Black, which should appeal to any dad. And, like the Q Adapt headphones, Libratone is offering a Fathers Day 2017 discount on the speakers.

As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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Fathers Day Tech Gifts Wireless Speakers and Headphones

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Fathers Day Tech Gifts: Wireless Speakers and Headphones

Give the gift of music with these memorable hits from CRs testing

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Whether its Fifth Harmony, the 5th Dimension, or Beethovens Fifth, all dads like to listen to music. And these days, you can find awireless speakeror pair ofheadphonesto suit almost any taste. So why not give your dad the gift of music this Fathers Day?

To help you narrow the choices, weve prepared a list of great audio gadgets at various prices. They all performed well in our test labs.

If youre feeling extra generous this year, consider throwing in a gift card to astreaming music service, too. You know, so dad has some fresh tunes to play on his new toy.

For a Sonos product, this stylish, solidly constructed $200 speaker delivers very good sound at a nice price. Pair it with a second Sonos Play:1 via WiFi and it gets even better. You can mix things up using the devices mobile app, playing soft jazz in the dining room and rock and roll in the den (as long as theres an outlet nearby). You can, of course, stream music and podcasts wirelessly from your computer, tablet, or smartphone, but the Play:1 also has direct access to music services such as Pandora and Spotify.

Dont let dad suffer with the cheapie earbuds that came with his phone. In addition to very good sound quality, this $23 pair from Panasonic offers an earplug-style design that muffles some external noise so that he can enjoy his favorite music with less distraction. (The design also limits the amount of sound that escapes, so you dont have to listen to doo-wop when hes sitting next to you!) It also features a built-in microphone and player function controls that let you lower the volume and field calls from certain smartphones and Apple products.

This $400 wireless speaker is a sturdy sidekick for fathers who love to take the party on the road. According to the manufacturer, its water-resistant, too, which means its not likely to let a little rain spoil the fun. Easy to use, with good sound quality, it comes with a built-in FM radio and analog audio input so that you can use it with non-Bluetooth devices.

These earbuds are for the father who enjoys listening to tunes while on the go but doesnt want any cords tripping him up. In other words, theyre truly wireless, which means no cords at allnot even between the two earpieces. At $250, the Jabra headphones are pricey, but they perform as promised (unlike other truly wireless models, which have had problems syncing properly). They also deliver very good sound quality. (By comparison,Apples AirPodsrate just good in our tests.) Another plus for fitness buffs? This model offers a built-in heart-rate monitor.

If your father is fond of laser light shows, this $200 Bluetooth speaker packs a pleasant surprise. At the press of a button, bright LED lights flash in multicolored patterns just beneath the devices grill. And, yes, you can choose from a menu of preset effects on the speakers mobile app. The Pulse 2 is not all show, though. The speaker delivers good sound quality, too.

These $300 headphones adda new twistto Boses pioneering noise-canceling technology, allowing your father to decide just how much sound gets to his ears from the outside world. If hes out jogging to Jimi Hendrix, he can dial the tech back, using a control on the cord or the Bose Connect smartphone app so that hes not completely cut off from thewooshingtires and blaring horns of the crosstown traffic. And if he stops to say hello to a neighbor, he can lower the effect even more to engage in conversation. According to our testers, the models noise-cancellation performance is excellent and so is its sound quality.

After admiring the woodgrain finish and the LED display on this $200 Bluetooth speaker, we sat back and enjoyed the very good sound. The Fi50 is easy to use and comes with analog audio inputs (for hooking up those old-school devices). One last thing worth noting: According to the manufacturer, the sound gets more rounded and pleasing after a 10-hour break-in period.

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Ive been writing about tech since the 1990s and joined Consumer Reports in 2007. I cover audio-related devices, like headphones, and digital-imaging products, like cameras and printers. When not making fine art with a camera or oil paint, I also jam with my band, The Not-For-Prophets. I live on Long Island with my wife and kids.

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