Fathers Day Electronics Gift Guide 2012
Dad doesn't need more gadgets this Father's Day, but you know he wants them. Here is our annual gift guide where we go beyond home theater to bring you the latest and greatest gadgety gizmos gifts and great products that your Dad will be sure to love... or at least like better than a tie.Interspersed you'll find some more traditional home theater recommendations as well. This year one of my friends' wives bought him a flat panel TV. Now THAT is a Father's Day gift! What are you planning to do? Look at the list below and let us know if any of it appeals to you - and tell us what you ended up buying for Dad this year.
Denon 2012 AV Receivers
Price: $188 - $1199 | Buy it now
Denon just released its new line of 2012 AV receivers. Among the new features are, in higher models, discrete HDMI Zone 2 outputs. So the AVR-3312CI, for example, has three HDMI outputs - one parallel, and a third discrete tha can send another source to a different zone. That's powerful. All the new receivers priced at or above $249 also now include Apple's AirPlay feature for wireless streaming audio. Get one of these and your Dad will FLIP.
Jaybird Secure Fit Freedom & Sportsband Bluetooth Headphones
Price: $99 | Buy it now
This is a sleek headphone that's different from anything we've yet seen. If your Dad likes form as well as function, you should check these out! Jaybird is a solid company and we love checking out each new year's product releases.
MonoPrice Surge Protector w/USB, SAM-250TS Monitor Stand
MonoPrice has a ton of Father's Day products, from mounts and stands to everything you need to wire up and connect a home theater system. This year we recommended some "clean-up" items. A surge protector with USB is just plain handy, and the desk mount (#5560) dual monitor stand will revolutionize Dad's desk.
Desk Pets: TankBot
Price: Around $49 | Buy it now
These USB-rechargeable attack "pets" will make anyone happy... give em to your dad, but be sure to get one for yourself as well... so you can make war! Best yet, you can control the TankBot with your iPhone or Android device.
Griffin: HELO TC Assault
Price: $59.99 | Buy it now
If you thought controlling a toy tank with your iPhone was cool, check out the new Griffin TC Assault helicopter. Control and attack using your iPhone, iPad or Android device!
Scosche Charge & Sync Cable for Mini & Micro USB Devices
Price Around $17.99 each | Buy it now
We've used a variety of dongles and cables for our iPhones and USB devices, but Scosche's solutions are among the most ergonomic and practical. I now hang a couple of these in my suitcase for when I travel, but they could just as easily go on the desk or by your nightstand. Excellent charging cable products.
Sewell Direct - InjectIR and Silverback Banana Plugs
Sewell Direct surprised us with a couple of really handy products - both of which we've now used extensively. If you are dealing with an IR issue - perhaps your gear is in a closet - the new InjectIR piggy-backs on your HDMI cable to give you a solution for sending IR to the opposite end. It's nothing short of genius. As for the Silverback Banana plugs - they are among the easiest plugs to attack to bare speaker wire and they are inexpensive to boot. We now use them for nearly all of our video product testing.
Verbatim USB3.0/FireWire 800 Store 'n' Go Drive
Price: $134.99 | Buy it now
This new drive from Verbatim supports two of the latest formats - all in one. Firewire 800 and USB 3.0. Given that, it's a drive that's going to last you a good long time - at least in terms of compatibility.
SonoMax eers PCS-150/250 Custom Molded Earphones with SonoFit
Price: $199.99 and $299.99 respectively | Buy online
We recently reviewed the Sculpted eers PCS-250 custom molded earphones and they are incredible. Bass is phenomenal as is imaging and midrange clarity. These are nearly unbeatable at their price point and an unheard of solution that doesn't require several trips to the ENT for fitting.
Archos 70b Internet Tablet
Price: $199.99 | Buy it now
Android 3.2, a 7" screen, Wi-fi, WSVGA screen and 1.2GHz CPU... What's there not to like about this slim, portable computer/tablet that is sure to change the way you consumer media while you're out and about.
Warpia ConnectHD & StreamEZ
Price: $199.99 and $219.99 | Buy it now
Warpia has been on the cutting edge of PC-to-TV connectivity for some time. Now, they have two solutions that came to market this year which are very impressive - at least to us. For your Dad it means that he can, with the ConnectHD, do video conferencing with any PC laptop and a TV. The StreamEZ, on the other hand is Warpia's first Mac-friendly (PC as well) solution for connecting a computer to a TV via wireless HDMI transmission.
Smart Strip Surge Protector
Price: $37.25 | Buy it now
Smart Strip... sounds like a librarian who... nevermind. It's new, it's green... er, actually it's sort of multi-colored. The Smart Strip allows you to use your computer as the "power hub" of your office, automatically shutting down the accessories and peripherals when the computer is off. It's a neat solution to power vampires that may be lurking in your office (monitors, speakers, etc). We like it because it does something no other device we've seen (at this price) does - and it does it simply.
Price: $49.99 | Buy it now
Everybody has a dock for the iPad and iPhone, but very few have engineered a product that is truly universal... until now. Divoom is offering this IFIT-2 that will house just about any tablet or smart phone by using a standard docking cable instead of integrating one that is specified for a particular device. In this way you can use this elegant metal dock for just about anything.
Marshall Headphones Minor
Price: $60 | Buy it now
Marshall is back this year with its Minor headphones. Last year the Major impressed us, but now this in-ear offering offers a similar sound, but with a much different footprint. Dad will love rocking out his music with a little piece of history tucked in his ear.
Musubo Retro & Sneaker Cases
Price: $29.95 | Buy it now
iPhone cases are just fun. This new one from Musubo resembles a sneaker and is available in a myriad of colors. We think your Dad will like it - we sure did... provided he never turns off his phone. One of the problems we found with it was that the 'sleep' button at the top right was rock hard and didn't do anything, no matter how hard we pressed it. So like we were saying, Musubo has other great cases as well - like their Retro case - which we loved. It looks like a vintage Shure 55 microphone.
iTwin Secure USB Sharing
Price: $100 | Buy it now
iTwin is a unique take on file synchronization that allows you to securely access your entire hard drive. It's as if you are carrying an access-key to all your files in a device that fits in the palm of your hand. And unlike portable storage, iTwin lets your data stay safely at home (or in the office). If your dad is constantly going between office and home office, then this might be a great solution to get him in sync.
Dust Off Ultimate Screen Care Kit
Price: $24.99 | Buy it now
Undoubtedly, your Dad already has several gadgets and screens in the home and office. But how do you get rid of the grease and smudges that often appear safely and without hurting the screen? Now Dad can clean all of his state-of-the-art investments with one kit.
Opena iPhone 4 Case (bottle opener)
Price: $39.95 | Buy it now
Let's just preface this post with the caveat that this case is a complete and utter rip-off... but it's also guaranteed to be the talk of the party, so your $40 is really just buying an "effect" more than a high-quality product. Marketed by hot chicks in skimpy shirts, the Opena is the world's first iPhone case with an integrated bottle opener. Why? Because you can, that's why. Just buy it.
Aperion Aeris Wireless Speaker
Price: $499 | Buy it now
This one is a pre-order, but it just might be worth it. Aperion Audio's ARIS Wireless Speaker gives you "Hi-Fi via Wi-Fi" for Windows, so you can enjoy your favorite tracks instantly. So what if your music library achieves its vastness through files scattered on every desktop, laptop, notebook, tablet and smartphone in your world? As long as the device connects to your network, you’re covered. Who says AirPlay is the only game in town?
Korg Duo Monotron Analogue Ribbon Synthesizer
Price: $49.99 | Buy it now
If you haven't made sounds with an analog synth before, the Korg monotron DUO analog synthesizer will get you hooked. Korg packed two oscillators and a true analog filter into the monotron DUO's compact case, giving you sweet analog synth sounds you can carry in your pocket. You play the monotron DUO with its ribbon controller, which can be set to major, minor, and chromatic scales for easy melody creation. And thanks to the X-MOD (cross modulation) knob, you can create everything from metallic bell-like tones to screeching metallic screams. Dad will love it. Mom will hate it.
id America Spark in-ear Headphones
Price: $59.95 | Buy it now
If your Dad is a car-guy, these Spark in-ear headphones might be the coolest thing. They are modeled after spark plugs and procide excellent sound quality for the price. They're also available ina myriad of colors - UNLIKE your traditional spark plug... but maybe that should change?
Wicked Audio The Airline Special
Price: $24.95 and up | Buy it now
Wicked Audio has more headphones than anyone we've seen... they're all the same, more or less, but they have a myriad of styles and colors that would make an interior decorator swoon. These latest, the Airline Special, is a series that features gold & black stylings reminiscent of an official airline pilot headphone... well, at least that's what I'm thinking.
All Dad's are different, and hopefully there are enough suggestions here for you to peruse and get your brain running over with ideas. This Father's day you can educate, entertain, or otherwise engage your Dad with some of the most fun gadgets and AV products we've seen all year.