Dads of all ages love tech. Instead of a new tie, cigar-of-the-month, socks, or yet another “world’s greatest dad” mug, why not surprise dad with a cool tech gift this holiday season? We have some ideas to get you started.
Harman Kardon Soundsticks 4
This Bluetooth speaker system will be perfect in dad’s “man cave,” home office, or dedicated listening room. Selling for $420, it boasts a stunning, contemporary design that makes it a statement piece as much as it is a device to listen to high-res tunes. With a dome style and silhouette, it consists of two satellite speakers and a subwoofer, all of which are transparent to show the inner rippled surface. It’s not just about the look, though. Dad will enjoy rich bass and room-filling sound from the four drivers and dome subwoofer. Check out our in-depth review.
Urbanista Los Angeles Self-Charging Headphones
Self-charging headphones? Yep, it’s true, and dad will get a kick out of this pair, which we reviewed earlier in the year. Selling for a reasonable price of $280, these headphones charge via the light so they can effectively last for as long as you need them to. There’s also USB-C charging if you need them in a pinch and have been stuck inside on a series of dreary days, though there is also an 80-hour battery reserve. They include hybrid active noise cancelling, ambient sound mode, and Siri and Google Assistant compatibility. Dad will love a pair, even if he uses them as his secondary on-the-go headphones for travel and commuting.
CLCKR MagSafe Stand & Grip
Dad might already have a phone case but if he has the iPhone 12 or up, this is the accessory to get for it. It functions as both a stand for watching videos, conducting video calls, and more, all hands-free. It can also be used as a grip for securing to his hand while he multitasks, walks, or gets the urge to snap a selfie. With a strong 3,500G magnet, this piece isn’t going anywhere until you need to slide it out of the way to recharge the phone. It attaches to the phone directly or it can attach to MagSafe compatible phone cases as well. Oh yah, and it offers antimicrobial protection, too. Grab one for $40.
If dad is the type to jot down notes while he reads things, or maybe he’s the creative type who is working on a novel, article, business proposal, or poetry, the Kindle Scribe is a great e-reader to consider. It offers a reading and writing experiences that feels like real paper on its 10.2-inch 300 ppi display with an adjustable front light. He can jot down sticky notes to pages. It comes in Tungsten and 16, 32, or 64GB storage capacities. Starting at $429, it ships with a battery-free Basic Pen or upgrade him to the Premium Pen with eraser and customizable shortcut buttons.
Sonos Sub Mini Wireless Subwoofer
If dad already has a Sonos Beam, Ray, One, or One SL, up the audio ante for him with the Sonos Sub Mini added to the equation. The wireless sub pairs beautifully with any of these speakers, adding depth via full-toned low frequencies provided through advanced signal processing that maximizes bass response. Boasting a compact, cylindrical form factor, it won’t take up much room either. And the matte black or white finish will perfectly complement the rest of the set-up. Once he has it, all dad needs to do is tap a few options in the Sonos app to sync it with the rest of the system. He can then finetune the sound using Trueplay technology. $549
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Go big or go home, as they say. For dad who has been sporting his old iPhone X for years, treat him to a world of new possibilities with the latest iPhone 14 Pro Max, the highest end option in the line-up. Powered by the A16 Bionic chip, it comes with a massive 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR screen with ProMotion and offers twice the brightness of the iPhone 13, which will be a massive jump from his old iPhone X. He’ll get to play around with features like live widgets and the new Dynamic Island with ongoing background activities. He’ll be playing around with his fancy new toy for hours. Grab it for $1,549 outright or pay $64.54/mo. for 24 months. If you can sneak dad’s phone out of his jacket pocket for the day (and have his passcode), trade it in to save some money. Make sure to have all his data transferred over, and hand him the new device before he even notices the old one is gone.
OnePlus Nord Wired Buds
Ever gotten onto a plane only to realize you forget your headphones at home and your true wireless ones are dead? Or maybe you forgot the necessary adapter to connect them to the seatback entertainment system or your mobile device. It has happened to me before, and no one wants to use the cheap airline earbuds that’ll set you back an overpriced fee of $10. The OnePlus Nord Wired Buds are the perfect pair to keep in your backpack or suitcase, hidden away in a pocket to save the day when you need to. They’re just $20 and feature 9.2mm dynamic drivers and a 0.42cc sound cavity along with a water- and sweat-resistant design. There’s an inline mic for making phone calls or summoning a voice assistant. You can also press, double press, triple press, and press and hold to activate different functions. They connect via 3.5mm so you will need an adapter if you have a device that doesn’t come with one. Magnets on each earphone secure them together around your neck, and the braided cable is durable for on-the-go listening. As a tip: buy an adapter, keep it connected to these, and you’ll never be without on-the-go sound again.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Not everyone is in the Apple camp. If dad is a die-hard Android supporter, he’ll flip (pun intended) for the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 smartphone. Ideal for multitasking papas, the fourth-generation of the flippable phone offers a better camera, larger battery, and more customization options. The clamshell design is a massive upgrade from the clamshell dad might have had back in the early 2000s. Partially fold it to perform a number of actions while it sits upright, take selfies right from the cover screen (like those dad and daughter moments), and quickly start a video without missing a beat, perfect if dad loves to create online content. Powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 mobile processor, the battery includes a super-fast charge option that will get it back to full in a half an hour. Slim, glossy, and water resistant, dad will be boasting about his shiny gift to all his co-workers once he’s back at the office. Go for graphite or a less flashy colour like blue, with pricing starting at $1,260 for the 128GB model. If you’re in the “go big” mood, custom create one for dad via the Bespoke website, which includes glass colours and multiple frame options with more than 75 colour combinations from which to choose.
Beyerdynamic Free Byrds True Wireless Headphones
If dad is in need of a new pair of true wireless headphones, consider the Beyerdynamic Free Byrds, which I reviewed earlier this year. As the brand’s first true wireless pair, they offer beyerdynamic’s prowess in the audio field combined with active noise cancellation technology and compact design for on-the-go listening. With a design reminiscent of the classic guitar pick, the Free Byrd earbuds offer easy Bluetooth pairing, ANC, and up to 11 hours of battery life per charge. They come with a ton of silicone and memory foam eartips so he can find the perfect fit. They’re splash-resistant so he can wear them on his morning runs or while sweating it out at the gym. With four mics, they are great for calls and work with all the popular voice assistants. If dad is a gamer, he’ll appreciate the Low Latency Mode that ensures perfect synchronization between image and sound. The Light Guide System helps facilitate different user operations such as the Bluetooth pairing mode by using different colour LEDs. He’ll get a kick out of running a listening test in the app before getting started to ensure he gets the best sound possible for his ears. At US$249, I found them to be a solid option. Though they were a bit larger than I prefer, for a dad with bigger ears, they’ll be just the right fit.
Traeger Timberline XL Wood Pellet Grills
Any Canadian dad knows that there is no such thing as barbecue season in Canada: come sun, rain, sleet, and snow, barbecuing is any time the grill will fire up! This grill features a new SmartCombustion system that uses a series of smart sensors and cooking environment data to avoid flare-ups and provide a consistent cook for perfect results. Use the full colour touchscreen display to dial into your temperature and perform grill maintenance checks. Traeger’s patented DownDraft Exhaust envelopes food in the wood fire while an improved Super Smoke Mode delivers more smoky flavor when activated thanks to a new FreeFlow firepot that produces maximum smoke output. Full stainless-steel insulation delivers precision temperature regulation, no matter the weather. The new Timberline also features a redesigned heat delivery system thanks to radiant heat from full stainless-steel interior that results in hotter temperatures at the grates for perfect searing capabilities, says Traeger. A proprietary Traeger technology, the EZ-Clean Grease & Ash Keg system channels grease and excess ash into one convenient, accessible unit for easy disposal. The best part for Canadian winters: he can control the grill remotely using the Traeger app featuring WiFire technology. Plop some ribs on there, head inside in the heated house, and sit back and relax on the couch until they’re done or need saucing. As a plus, the grill comes with two Traeger x Meater wireless meat thermometers for precise monitoring of food temperature from anywhere using WiFire technology via the Traeger app. With a 1,320 square-foot cooking space, it’s $4,900 or opt for the smaller standard 865 square-foot model for $4,500.
Philips Shaver S9000
Help dad save money by buying fewer replaceable razor blades and opting for an electronic one instead. The Philips Shaver S9000 is actually pretty tech-savvy, too, powered by AI and featuring SkinIQ technology that can sense and adapt to his individual shaving needs to offer a personalized shave. The pressure guard sensor allows for a close shave while still protecting his skin. If he presses too hard or too lightly, a colour-coded light signal will indicate it so he can apply less or more pressure accordingly. With cutting action of 150,000 per minute and 72 sharpening blades, it has the specs dad will love. It’s a $280 shaver, but it’ll probably be the last one dad ever needs.
GravaStar Sirius P5 Open Ear Sci-Fi Inspired Bluetooth Earbuds
If dad is a sci-fi nerd, consider these super-cool hifi audio Sirius P5 earbuds that come with interchangeable cases with three sci-fi-inspired industrial designs: Defense Armor, Defense Mecha, and Defense Crystal. The open-ear ‘phones feature 12mm dynamic drivers and Qualcomm aptX while the cases are made from either zinc alloy or Lego-like material. Get him a pair with one case or buy all three so he can interchange them. Each charging case holds four extra charges while the buds themselves last for eight hours, for a total of 40. Equipped with a Qualcomm 3046 chip and Bluetooth 5.2, the earbuds have smart touch controls, environment noise cancelling, and even a dedicated gaming mode. They are also water-resistant. Get them with one case in black or white for US$80-US$100. The best part? New variations will be released quarterly, so you can get a new case for dad to add to the collection for the next occasion as well.
Arcade1Up NBA JAM: SHAQ Edition
Arcade1Up is one of the biggest names in retro arcade machines, and among the many the company offers is the NBA JAM: SHAQ Edition machine, which basketball fans will be jumping for joys when they unwrap. At $700, they can unleash their inner hoops skills, practice some 3-point shots, and battle against their buds in a series of epic matches over some beers.
The just released new iPad Pro is the perfect tool for a multitasking dad, who can use it for work, play, and everything in between. Whether he’s reading the news headlines or checking stock prices while having his morning coffee, watching videos or reading reports on the way to the office, or relaxing with a good movie on the plane, it’ll come in handy. He’ll appreciate the bigger screen compared to his phone and the more compact design versus his laptop. Using this will also conserve battery life on those other crucial devices. The new iPad comes with the M2 chip for blazing fast speeds and response time and supports the new hover experience with Apple Pencil. Equipped with iPadOS 16 and all the updates that come with it, this is a powerhouse of a tablet dad will keep with him all the time. It starts at $1,100 and comes in 11- and 12.9-inch screen sizes and silver or space grey. Storage capacity ranges from 128GB up to 2TB. Don’t forget to get him the Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) as well if you think he’ll use it, for $169.