Help someone enjoy their time at home with the gift of entertainment. This gift guide includes everything from big screen TVs to an affordable streaming stick, speakers, amps, and more to liven up the living room.
Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
A perfect gift for extending the streaming experience to a room of the home where you might have an old non-smart TV, or want to enjoy a better experience with a more intuitive interface, the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max is the top-line model to consider. It offers boosted performance, support for Wi-Fi 6e, and the addition of the Fire TV Ambient Experience that transforms the TV into an always-smart display. Tap the Alexa button or ask Alexa to activate the Ambient Experience from the Shortcuts menu to replace a blank TV screen with helpful information and beautiful artwork. You can also see information like calendars and reminders; leave Sticky Notes for family members; control smart devices like a thermostat or Ring doorbell; play audio from services like Amazon Music, Spotify, and others; and more. The Ambient Experience can also turn your TV into an in-home art gallery, with no monthly subscription required. With an upgraded 2.0 GHz quad-core processor, it’s Amazon’s smartest and most powerful streaming stick to date. Available for $80, there’s support for Dolby Vision, HDR, HDR10+, and immersive Dolby Atmos audio, and it features 16GB of storage.
Sonos Move 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Move 2 is Sonos’ latest portable speaker to offer both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and runs on a rechargeable battery so you can use it both indoors and out. It offers wider, more spacious stereo sound as well as double the battery life of the original Move at up to 24 hours per charge. In addition to connecting source devices wirelessly, you can also use the auxiliary and line-in to connect devices like a turntable or computer as well as AirPlay with compatible Apple devices. Because of its tough and durable IP56 rated shell, you can safely use the Sonos Move 2 outdoors and it can withstand bumps, falls, moisture, dust, UV rays, and even extreme temperatures. You’ll also love the new slider button at the top for swiping to adjust volume. Learn more about the Sonos Move 2 in my detailed review, and pick one up for $559.
Rotel RMB-1587MK11 Home Theatre Multi-Channel Amplifier
Perfect for adding to the home theatre or family entertainment room, the Rotel RMB-1587MK11 home theatre multi-channel amplifier ($4,999) delivers five channels of Class AB amplification. The amplifier delivers 210 Watts per channel into 8 ohms and 340 Watts per channel at 4 ohms, with all channels driven. When driving two channels, the amplifier excels even further, reaching 440 Watts per channel, ensuring optimal power distribution even under extreme loading conditions. Using dual in-house manufactured oversized toroidal transformers and 8 high-efficiency bulk storage capacitors totaling 120,000uF, it produces controlled, deep bass while maintaining detail in the midrange and high frequencies. This amplifier features a rear panel switch that allows the amplifier to be configured as a 3-Channel amplifier supporting Bi-Amp mode of Channels 1+2 and 4+5. It offers support for XLR Balanced and RCA inputs, with auto-switching to the connected inputs. It also includes a 12V trigger input and output for simplified power control. Equipped with four ultra-low noise, variable speed cooling fans that are CPU thermostat-controlled, this amplifier ensures optimal cooling performance. It comes with optional rack ears and finished in black or silver.
JBL Authentics Series Speakers
Set the family up with the stylish JBL Authentics series speakers, which pay homage to JBL’s history, combining 1970s design with today’s technology. The centerpiece of this range, the JBL Authentics 500, is an all-in-one home audio system offering both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to deliver a Dolby Atmos experience. The series is rounded out with the smaller JBL Authentics 200 and the portable JBL Authentics 300. All speakers are crafted with a premium aluminum frame, a custom synthetic leather-wrapped enclosure, and a reimagined Quadrex grille. The JBL Authentics 500 features three 1” tweeters and three 2.75” midrange woofers with a 6.5” down-firing subwoofer to provide 270 Watts of 3.1 channel sound and Dolby Atmos technology. The JBL Authentics 200 features a pair of 1” tweeters, a full-range 5” woofer, and a down-firing 6” passive radiator. For those seeking a portable option, the JBL Authentics 300 comes equipped with an 8-hour built-in battery. You can use both Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands and the JBL One app to do things like play music, control smart home devices, set timers, and access customizable EQ settings. The Authentics 500 is $1,000, Authentics 300 is $650, and the Authentics 200 is $500.
Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini
Did they max out their budget for a fancy new TV and haven’t yet picked up speakers to go with it? While today’s TVs have better built-in speakers, it’s still never good enough. Start them off with a soundbar to enhance audio, like the Sennheiser Ambeo Soundbar Mini. Offering 7.1.4 virtualization, it’s perfect for smaller living rooms, bedroom, or even gaming rooms. It measures 70 x 10 x 6.5 cm in size yet offers 250 Watts of class D amplification to power its four high-end full-range drivers and dual four-inch subwoofers. Enjoy content-specific presets, including a voice enhancement option and night mode. It comes with an HDMI input for accommodating a range of eARC-enabled TVs or monitors. Download the Sennheiser Smart Control app to manage features and updates from your smartphone. There are four integrated microphones that serve a dual purpose: they function as the central component of the Ambeo room calibration and facilitate voice commands through built-in Alexa. You can also use a Google Assistant or Siri-enabled device to cast audio to the Mini through Chromecast Built-In and AirPlay 5, respectively.
The Mini supports popular Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, MPEG-H codecs, and 360 Reality Audio formats and experiences for enjoying native spatial audio content; and connects to source devices over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth: it’s a Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, and AirPlay 2 device as well. $1,100.
Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series S3 Speakers
Another option for setting up the living room for great sound is the Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series S3 speakers, including the floorstanding 603 S3, the 606 S3 standmount, the 607 S3 bookshelf speaker, and the HTM6 S3 dedicated centre channel for home theatre. Each model is available in Oak, White or Black with a fourth Cherry finish available in APAC markets only. A new FS-600 floor stand is available in silver or black to complete the range. All the new models have been designed to work optimally together in various combinations as part of a 600 Series S3 home theatre system, integrating with the dedicated HTM6 S3 centre channel and one of the existing ASW608 or ASW610 active subwoofers. Many of the new components are derived from the 700 Series S3 and are fitted into a redesigned and improved cabinet construction. The B&W 603 S3 floorstanding speakers are US$2,500/pr., 606 S3 standmount or bookshelf speaker for US$1,100/pr., 607 S3 compact standmount or bookshelf speaker for US$900/pr., HTM6 S3 centre channel for US$900/pr., FS-600 S3 floorstand for US$300/pr., ASW608 and ASW610 active subwoofers for US$599 and US$899, respectively, and the full 600 Series S3 5.1 theatre are US$5,199.
LG OLED evo G3 Gallery Edition Series TV
If you’re looking for a new living room TV, LG TVs offer stunning picture quality and a fabulously intuitive user interface through webOS. The new OLED evo G3 Gallery Edition series TV offers premium self-lit picture quality, powerful image processing technologies, and an upgraded webOS platform with more smart features and access to a larger library of services. Brightness Booster Max technology incorporates new light control architecture and light-boosting algorithms to increase brightness by up to 70 per cent. Super Anti Reflective technology, meanwhile, reduces visual distractions like light glares and reflections. The One Wall Design leaves virtually no visible gap when wall mounted to allow for a stylish set-up in the room. As part of the redesigned webOS, you’ll be able to enjoy Quick Cards, grouped into convenient categories like Home Office, Gaming, Music, and Sports for a fast, simple way to access content and services you use the most. AI Concierge provides every member of the family with their own curated list of content choices based on past usage and search inquiries. It also suggests useful settings, options, and modes (including the Family care setting, Eye Comfort mode, Multi-View mode, clock setting, Bluetooth speaker connection, and mute sound) for customizing the viewing and user experience. It is also compatible with Matter so you can control and monitor a wide range of smart home devices from a growing list of global manufacturers using only the TV.
Focal Theva Loudspeaker Line
The Focal Theva loudspeaker line includes a compact bookshelf, four loudspeakers, a centre speaker, and a surround. Available in black, dark wood, and light finishes for the side panels, the enclosures have been revamped to be more compact, with additional front panels. Metallic, screen-printed rings, meanwhile, frame the speaker drivers. The vent has been positioned to the rear as to not interfere with the front panels. The line begins with the Theva N°1 compact bookshelf loudspeaker. The first floorstanding model is the Theva N°2, a three-way floorstanding loudspeaker with an ultra-slim profile and 5-inch speaker drivers, which is a first for Focal’s home floorstanding loudspeakers. The Theva N°3 is next, another three-way floorstanding loudspeaker, and the Theva N°3-D, a loudspeaker that incorporates a speaker driver to facilitate Dolby Atmos sound. Capping off the line is the 2-way Theva Center centre speaker for clear film dialogue, and the Theva Surround for spatialized audio. Made in France in Focal’s workshops, the speaker drivers incorporate Slatefiber technology, an exclusive cone known for reproducing a dynamic, rich and balanced sound, says the company. Also made by Focal, the TNF tweeter delivers a “mellow, clear treble frequency.” The loudspeakers feature tilted stands for optimum time alignment, creating a soundstage focused purely on the listener. The Focal Theva N°1 is $649 ea., the Theva N°2 $1,169 ea., Theva N°3 $1,559 ea., Theva N°3-D $1,949 ea., Theva Center $849 ea., and the Theva Surround $849 ea. Matching stands are also available for $349/pr. and $199 for the centre stand.
Samsung S95 OLED 4K TV
Consider a TV from Samsung, like the S95C OLED 4K TV, which features Samsung’s Neural Quantum processor that provides a 30% increase in brightness, adds bolder visuals, and expands on high contrast ratio for enhanced detail. As a flagship in the line, it comes in 77-, 65-, and 55-inch sizes, each of which features an anti-reflective coating. Enjoy Quantum HDR OLED+ technology that delivers bright whites and pure blacks and enhanced Dolby Atmos built-in with Object Tracking Sound+ that uses AI to track the on-screen action and follow screen movement with pinpoint accuracy. The slender “Infinity One Design” has modern lines at just 4mm meaning the panel is virtually bezel-free. It also offers a near flush-fit wall mount or can be housed with the streamlined blade stand. The attachable “Slim One Connect” solution n tucks away cords and cables for an enhanced clean look. The largest 77-inch size model is $5,999.
LG Xboom XL7 Party Speaker
If the family always tends to bring out that tiny little portable Bluetooth speaker for outdoor parties, help them create more booming sound that will get the neighbours popping by (in a good way!) with a speaker like the LG Xboom XL7. This party speaker can not only fill a room or backyard, it also has mood-enhancing lighting effects. With a 250W output, it leverages an 8-inch Giant Woofer for more powerful bass with deeper, bolder sounds. Ideal for use both indoors and out, it features Dynamic Bass Optimizer and well-balanced audio performance without bass distortion. This, says LG, is essential for playing content at low volume as it automatically increases the bass levels. It comes equipped with two 2.5-inch dome tweeters. The unique lighting effects involve Pixel LED lighting with Animation mode that expresses colourful patterns, a Visual EQ effect, characters, or customized text on the speaker’s LED panel. Multi Color Ring Lighting produces lightshows with various rotating, flashing effects that sync to the music. With the Customizable Lighting feature, meanwhile, you can choose your own colours, patterns, animations, and personalized messages using the companion app to create custom lighting effects that match your mood or playlist. The XL7 has a telescopic handle and wheels that make it simple to move from place to place. The battery lasts more than 20 hours. Oh yah, and there’s a mic and guitar input with echo control and Karaoke Star for when the party really gets started.
Sportsnet on Prime Video
The family might have several streaming service subscriptions, but there’s always room for more. If they already have Amazon Prime, consider getting them the Sportsnet add-on channel so they can watch live NHL hockey and all Sportsnet’s linear programming on Sportsnet national (Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360) and regional (Sportsnet Pacific, West, East, Ontario) channels. Prime members can add the Sportsnet Prime Video Channel for $20/mo., so you can prepay for the year for them for $240. It includes Sportsnet (East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, and Sportsnet 360 linear channels, bringing live games from the NHL, MLB, NBA, and more. Sportsnet is the official Canadian NHL rights holder, and is the regional broadcaster for the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Sportsnet also has extensive coverage of the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Raptors, as well as NBA, MLB, Grand Slam of Curling, National Bank Open presented by Rogers, FIBA, WWE, Super League rugby, Premiership Rugby, FA Women’s Super League, and FA Cup. Out-of-market NHL games are not available via the Sportsnet Amazon Prime Video Channel.
Harman Kardon Luna Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Perfect for using all over the house, from the kitchen to the kids’ bedroom to even the backyard, the Harmon Kardon Luna portable Bluetooth speaker employs a unique and attractive design with soft-touch fabric complemented by an anodized aluminum top panel. The two-way speaker system offers up to 12 hours of built-in battery life and is IP67 dust- and waterproof rated so it can not only withstand rain but even a dip in the pool. Available in grey or black, grab two so the family can share or use them as a stereo pair.
Arcade1Up 32-inch Infinity Game Table
Replace the boring coffee table in the middle of the room with the Arcade1Up 32-inch Infinity Game Table, which has an HD touchscreen on the surface and comes loaded with tons of classic games. Sit around the table, boot it up, and download games from the online store to play. It comes with a selection of Classic Hasbro Games, including Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, Battleship, Chutes and Ladders, Connect 4, Operation, Trouble, Sorry, Scrabble, and more. Social Play+ allows you to connect up to six online players. Need to take a break for dinner or to continue the game in the morning? You can save it and go back later. The table does need to plug into AC power, so you’ll have to run a cable under the carpet or around the baseboards. You can also detach the legs to move the game board screen and place it atop another flat surface, like the kitchen table or basement floor. Get it for about $1,000.
Apple TV+ Subscription
Sure, the family might already have Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and other streaming services. But Apple TV+ is totally worth the price of entry. At $8.99/mo., you get access to the full library of streaming content. Over the last couple of years, I’d confidently say that a huge percentage of the best shows I have seen of late have been Apple TV+ originals. A few of my personal favourites include Severance, Shrinking, The Morning Show, Silo, Ted Lasso, Black Bird, Hijack – the list goes on. Bottom line: you’ll find more shows you love on Apple TV+ then ones you don’t. The selection is limited compared to other streaming services but the quality of content more than makes up for it. For families with kids, Apple TV+ has tons of content for all ages as well, including shows like Dickinson that teens will love, shows like Doug Unplugged and Hello, Jack: The Kindness Show for kids, and movies like Spirited for the whole family. In addition to buying a subscription on its own, you can also include Apple TV+ in an Apple One subscription with other Apple services.