What the Tech? Father's Day gift ideas
Americans are expected to spend $16 billion on Father’s Day gifts this year. While that’s still well below Mother’s Day, it’s still a record according to the National Retail Federation.
Within the $16 billion will be around $2 billion on electronics. It’s no secret nor stretch that most every dad loves tech gadgets and this year there are more to choose from than ever.
I’ve been reviewing dozens of possible dad day gadgets and are rounding up the best choices.
Sitting on a wallet for an entire day is uncomfortable and dad has to do it every single day. Some dads have switched to money-clips but for others, there are a few slim wallets on the market that will carry just about everything a dad could need.
The Ekster is one of those wallets with a tech-twist. It’s slimmer than the wallet dad has probably been carrying around the last 30 years but still holds 5 credit cards, a little cash, and a gadget that can make sure he never misplaces it.
The Ekster comes with a tracker from Chipolo. Similar to the popular Tile, the Chipolo uses Bluetooth connectivity to locate the device and put it on a map via GPS. The difference with the Chipolo is that it is powered by solar. A small solar screen provides all the power it needs to stay connected. The battery is a downside to the Tile. Once it dies it cannot be re-charged (although newer model Tiles do have replacement batteries available).
The Chipolo doesn’t need a battery so it’s very thin and fits in one of the pockets in the Ekster wallet.
The Ekster is also equipped with security and privacy technology that blocks the RFID waves that bad guys use to steal credit card numbers and information just by walking nearby with a device that can be purchased online.
The Ekster is made of high-quality leather and it smelled so nice straight out of the box. You won’t be able to hold everything that’s probably in the wallet you use now, but if you can cut down your necessities to a few credit cards, a driver’s license and a little cash, the Ekster is all he’ll need. And it’ll fit in your front or coat pocket.
Has anyone in your home ever asked “What did he say?” while watching a TV show or movie? It happens in my home all the time. I was looking for a speaker that has the ability to pull down the loud sound effects and music and raise the volume of the dialogue. I found one in the ZVOX.
The ZVOX is a soundbar that connects to a TV and somehow makes it easy to understand what’s being said by the actors or commentators. It comes with its own remote but I understand you can set it up to work with the satellite or cable remote you’re probably using now.
In normal mode, the ZVOX plays the program audio clearly and with more volume than you’ll get from the TV speaker. Today’s TVs are so thin, the speakers cannot be big enough to offer big volume. In surround-sound mode, the ZVOX wraps the sound around the room similar to what you’d get with other mid-level sound bars. I’m not going to say it’s as good as a Sonos or Bose or even a Sony, LG sound-bar, but it’s better than some of the mid-priced speaker bars.
Clicking the “accu-voice” button on the remote and the dialogue becomes clearer, there are several levels to choose from and each one raises the dialogue a bit more and pushes down the sound of explosions, crowd noise, and music. It’s quite impressive.
The last gadget at this time is the Soundcore Live NC headphones from Anker. It is wireless (sort of) in that it connects to a phone through Bluetooth. The earbuds are connected to a wrap-around-the-neck headset and when you want to listen to music or talk on the phone, you simply insert the earbuds into your ear and twist. I’ve found that twisting the earbud once you insert it is important to cancel out room or other noise. The NC stands for Noise Cancelling.
The Soundcore headphone has a Transparency mode which allows you to hear the music but still hear some of the sounds around you which makes the device good for biking or running. The “NC” or noise-canceling mode basically blocks out every sound except the music coming through the earbuds.
The sound quality of the music is very good. I will say in the few times I checked the quality of phone calls the speaker on the other side of the line sounded a little ‘tinny.’
The earbuds stayed in my ear even while I exercised and moved around a great deal.
I did receive these gadgets from the companies for review but that in no way influenced my review or what I think of these products.
These are three choices for dad. I’ll have more coming soon.