If you’re like us, you want to know what’s “hot”, but you may care more about what really works. We always pick out the best electronics gifts for Father’s Day based on value, performance, and the “cool-factor”. There are tons of choices, and wading through all of the headphones, Bluetooth speakers, and other AV electronics takes time. We also include a selection of nice higher-end products as well. Below, we present our list of the 2018 best electronics gifts and A/V products we think would make great presents for Dad. We’ve broken down the list by price so no one is left out!
Best Electronics Gifts Under $100
Check out these gifts if your budget is limited or you just want to pick up a quick gadget for extended family or the guy at the office who always gets your coffee.
Otterbox Elevation 10 Compact Tumbler
Why We Like It: The OtterBox 10-ounce Elevation Tumbler is the perfect size for morning trips or an afternoon thirst-quencher. Otterbox even suggests you might use it for a “nightcap”. Perhaps…In either case, the stainless steel tumbler includes a closed lid and also works with a collection of Otterbox lids that can adapt to almost any application or activity.
Belkin MIXIT DuraTek USB-C to USB-A Cable
Why We Like It: Every dad has at least some electronics. Getting him a durable cable that won’t break apart at the first sign of stress will leave him worry-free on trips or at home. An abrasion-resistant nylon exterior includes Kevlar fibers that reinforce the inner wiring. The MIXIT Duratek line of charging and data cables from Belkin are among the best we’ve seen in terms of build quality.
Solo Everyday Max Backpack
Why We Like It: There are a lot of reasons to like the Solo Everyday Max backpack. For starters, it really is made to cater to those with an on-the-go lifestyle. The bag incorporates handy details and that will help Dad whether he’s working or playing. The bag is fully-padded and can accommodate a17.3″ laptop. In addition to this, it has a separate internal iPad or tablet pocket, a separate shoe compartment, and a padded carry handle. They even threw in back and backpack straps for some more comfort. Finally, like a cherry on top, Solo adds their 5-year guarantee. All this for less than $50.
More info here.
Belkin Pocket Power 15K
Why We Like It: Dad can keep his phone charged on the go with the Belkin Pocket Power 15K. As the name indicates, he’ll get a full 15,000 mAh to charge your smartphone or tablet. Even with all that juice, the 15K still fits neatly into a pocket or bag. With 15,000 mAh you can recharge a typical smartphone as much as 4-5 times. The device includes two universal USB-A that output up to 3.4A of total power. This lets Dad quickly and safely charge devices like smartwatches, fitness bands, headphones, speakers and more. A 5V 2.0A input allows the power bank to recharge quickly between uses, so you can keep moving.
More info: http://www.belkin.com/us/p/P-F7U021/
Optoma NuForce BE6i earphones
Why We Like It: As you’d expect, the Optoma NuForce BE6i earphones feature Bluetooth. However, included are AAC and aptX compatibility for iPhone and Android phones. You get exceptional battery life that lasts up to 8 hours, and the earphones are water resistant and IPX5.
More info: https://www.optoma.com/us/product/be6i/
Tapplock Smart Fingerprint Padlock
Why We Like It: Billed as the “world’s first smart fingerprint padlock”, the Tapplock is actually an ingenious product. It’s also classic novelty—which makes it a great gift. The fingerprint reader on my iPhone 77S is fairly reliable—as is the one on the MacBook Pro on which I’m typing this review. If the capacitive fingerprint sensor of the Tapplock is similar, then this should work well for most indoor applications at least. The Tapplock also stores up to 500 fingerprints for multiple users—so if you’re planning a rave, and, presumably, you pre-register everyone’s fingerprints, you’re all set.
More info: https://tapplock.com
Best Electronics Gifts $100-$199
OK, now it’s getting serious. These are gifts for those who take Father’s Day seriously and aren’t afraid to either pay a little more—or team up with a sibling or Mom.
Optoma BE Free8 Earphones
Why We Like It: Incredibly, you can get up to 16-hours of battery life on the Optoma BE Free8 earphones when using the case to recharge them. The patented SpinFit ear tips go in easily, feel comfortable, and do a great job of staying put. In terms of sound quality, the drivers are well-made, and aptX compatibility means you’re not limited to streaming plain ole’ Bluetooth. A built-in mic lets you take calls or activate Siri or Google Assistant, and the earphones are IPX5 water- and weather-resistant.
Vizio 36″ 2.1 Sound bar w/Built-in Dual Subwoofers
Why We Like It: TV audio is the worst. Flatter panels have made sure of that. The Vizio 36″ sound bar aims to improve that with two built-in subwoofers that actually reach down to 50Hz. That’s pretty much unseen territory for most soundbars (and your TV has only dreamed of reaching down below 90 Hz.) Vizio claims it’s “bass you can feel”. Other features that impress are DTS Virtual:X for simulated overhead sound and the fact that Vizio includes the optical cable so you can get set up in just minutes. The price also can’t be beat.
X3 Hurricane Canless Air System
Why We Like It: While incredibly overpriced, the X3 “Hurricane” Canless Air System is perfect for that IT dad who buys lots of canned air for cleaning keyboards and other equipment. It puts out a stream of air at over 260 MPH and can run for more than 15 minutes straight. The high price is likely due to the fact that nothing else like it exists on the market. It also replaces over 5,000 cans of traditional compressed air. They also claim a lifetime warranty.
Douchebag Hugger 30L Backpack
Why We Like It: First off—Yes, that’s the real company name. We’ve used these bags, and they are by far the best system we’ve experienced for traveling with laptops and gear. I can pack for a three-day event, include my 15″ MacBook Pro, Kindle, chargers, and plenty of dongles (because, you know, Apple hates us). There are interior zippered areas, but the main central section of the bag is wide open for your clothing—that’s what sets this apart. It’s the perfect intersection between durable boot bag, handy duffle, and smart backpack. It’s also an IATA approved carry-on.
More info: https://douchebags.com/hugger-30l
Douchebag Hacker Laptop Case 15″
Why We Like It: PU leather outside and nice mesh zippered pockets inside, the Douchebag Hacker Laptop Case perfectly fits my 15″ MacBook Pro as well as the charger and my 60 random dongles…OK, not 60. This case is perfect for local or long-distance travel. It frees up my other luggage for carrying clothes and other items. The Hacker 15” laptop case comes with the small Essentials Case which is strapped right on the front—we never take it off.
More info: https://douchebags.com/the-hacker-15inch
Fluance Fi50 Two-way Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Why We Like It: All I want in a Bluetooth speaker is clean, undistorted bass, a clear midrange, and transparent natural highs at any volume level. The Fluance Fi50 claims it can deliver. You can wirelessly stream music from your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth audio devices, and AptX enhanced audio technology means you get CD quality sound or better. Inside you get dual 5″ woven woofers and a pair of tweeters driven by a 40-watt amplifier. To top it off, the cabinet—typically plastic on these products—is actually MDF. This would go great in Dad’s office or workshop.
Best Electronics Gifts Over $200
You love your Dad. You’ve got the money. Enough said.
udoq 550 Docking Station
Price: $139 (base)
Price: $228.50 (w/charging system and cables)
Why We Like It: If your Dad is like mine, he’s got tons of electronics that need charging. The udoq 550 Docking Station is a universal aluminum docking station for both Apple and Android mobile devices. It also works for Kindle or anything that takes either a lightning, USB-micro, or USB-C connection. They even support the aged 30-pin Apple connector. Ours handles an iPad and four phones—everything in one handy “family-charging” location.
More info: https://udoq.com/product/udoq550/
Why We Like It: The Yamaha RX-V381 home theater receiver supports Bluetooth for wireless music playback and 4K Ultra HD video with HDCP 2.2 compatibility. It has a discrete 5.1-channel amplifier with 100 Watts per channel. You also get HDR Video including Dolby Vision, and YPAO sound optimization tuning to customize the sound for your room.
Nyrius Aries Pro Wireless HD Video
Why We Like It: What if Dad could stream his laptop or other sources wirelessly to any screen he wanted? That’s what the Nyrius ARIES Pro Transmitter does. You can stream uncompressed 1080p (even 3D) video from any HDMI device to your TV or projector. It’s almost like having an invisible HDMI cable.
Aten Thunderbolt 3 Multiport Dock
Why We Like It: This is the PERFECT addition to anyone with a MacBook Pro or any other USB-C laptop. The Aten Thunderbolt 3 dock supports both Thunderbolt 3 (40Gbps) and USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps). You can connect up to 8 devices to a laptop via a single Thunderbolt 3 cable. You can also daisy-chain another 5 Thunderbolt devices. It also supplies 85W of power for charging a Thunderbolt 3 laptop or MacBook Pro. If you have a nice display, the system can handle up to 5K resolution on a single Thunderbolt 3 display or dual 4K monitors using both DisplayPort and USB-C.
ZVox Soundbase 670
Why We Like It: If you can’t entertain a full 5.1 system with surround speakers and a sub, then the ZVOX SoundBase 670 will allow you to produce rich, room-filling home theater sound in a highly reduced form factor. The Soundable 670 is just 3.5” high, but it contains five full range speakers (including three center speakers). When placed under your flat panel television, it virtually disappears. Connecting to the ZVox is simple, and you get both analogue and digital options for receiving Dolby Digital audio from your TV. The ZVOX PhaseCue virtual surround system even creates a DSP-based surround experience that you need to hear to appreciate. This model also includes Bluetooth with aptX, so you can stream audio from any smartphone or tablet wirelessly. For under $500 you get a lot of output that will even blow away most speakers we’ve heard.
Add the VGtx Wireless transmitter for $99
Why We Like It: The Soundcast VG5 speaker isn’t just a wireless Bluetooth speaker. It’s super-advanced technology combined with great sound. It uses a capacitive touch interface, includes a fuel-gauge LED array, and comes with a weather-resistant exterior. Powered by a long-throw, down-firing 6″ woofer and two 3″ primary drivers, the VG5 produces low-end booming sound to fill the expanses of any listening environment. Take it on a trip, or fill your office with full-range, rich sound.
More info: https://www.gosoundcast.com/vg5
Marantz NR1609 Surround Receiver
Why We Like It: The Marantz NR1609 surround receiver features an advanced video section that supports full rate (60 Hz) 4K Ultra and is fully compatible with the latest HDMI 2.2 specifications on all 8 HDMI inputs (1 on the front), allowing it to pass all the latest video formats to an Ultra HD TV or projector. You can also wirelessly stream your favorite music tracks via either the built-in Wi-Fi or built-in Bluetooth, so you can enjoy content on your smartphone or tablet, or even from Internet radio and subscription streaming services such as Pandora, SiriusXM, HEOS, and Spotify Connect. The advanced audio section includes a 7x50W power amp block with identical circuitry for all channels, to ensure consistently high-quality sound over the entire audio soundstage.
Klipsch KL-525-THX Speakers
Why We Like It: Not for the faint of wallet—this is one of the best. By using the same research and development used to create its professional cinema systems, Klipsch developed the KL-525-THX LCR loudspeaker to create real theater-style sound in the comforts of home. As part of the THX Ultra2 family, this LCR reproduces all the passion that the filmmakers originally intended. It does it with a sealed enclosure, top-of-the-line internal wiring, and dual 5.25-inch Cerametallic woofers. For the top end, you get a 1-inch titanium diaphragm compression driver coupled to a 6- by 10-inch Tractrix Horn. This system will give your Dad true theatrical sound in the home.