S'Mores Roaster family

WiFi HiFi Holiday Gift Guide 2023: Gifts for Parents

If you’re looking for a cool gift for parents (yours or someone else’s!), there are many tech items that parents of all ages will enjoy. Whether they use them together or for solo time, each of the gifts on this list will please any mom, dad, or parental figures in your life.

Totem Acoustic KIN Play Sound Bar

Totem Acoustic Kin Play soundbar

Help parents elevate the sound in the living room, whether they’re watching sports or binging a TV show once the kids are in bed or listening to tunes with the family during a Sunday chore day. The Totem Acoustic KIN Play Sound Bar has various equalization settings to adapt to different applications. Totem’s customized KIN Natural Hybrid woofers and metal alloy tweeters are driven by the bespoke 75-watt stereo dynamic digital amplifier; while bass is provided by the KIN Sub 10 or Tribe Solution subwoofer, to which it can connect wirelessly using the integrated transmitter. It fits beautifully right under a TV that’s 55 inches or larger for a nice, clean set-up, and comes with a wall mounting system and sound isolation feet. Get it in black or white satin with matching magnetic grills.

Terraflame by Solo Stove S’mores Roaster

Terraflame S'mores roaster

Who doesn’t love S’mores? Kids and adults love them equally. It’s not uncommon to find a Canadian family in their backyard during the summer, huddled around a fire pit and making S’mores. Going on a camping trip? Chances are the cooler is filled with marshmallows, graham crackers, and Jersey Milk chocolate bars as well. Solo Stove is known for its smokeless fire pits, and now the company has developed a super-cool S’mores Roaster that can actually be used indoors as well as out. Yes, that’s right: S’mores for a sleepover or dessert after family dinner, even in the winter. It uses clean-burning gel fuel that is non-toxic, smoke-free, and food-safe. The flame flickers and crackles like a real fire so you can turn the lights out, spread the sleeping bag, and pretend you’re in the backyard even when it’s really filled with a white layer of fresh snow. At US$70, it’s affordable, too! Come summer, bring it outside for a quick and easy DIY dessert at gatherings. Parents will love using it for their own date nights, too!

JBL BAR 1000 Soundbar

JBL BAR 1000 soundbar

Envelope yourselves in great sound while binge-watching a favourite show or cheering for your team once the kids are in bed. The JBL Bar 1000 soundbar ($1,200) offers 880W total system power and comes bundled with a 10-inch wireless sub to provide plenty of bass-pumping action whether you’re watching the latest action movie or listening to a party music playlist. PureVoice Dialogue Enhancement technology optimizes dialogue so you don’t have to crank up the volume and wake up the little ones just to hear what people are saying beneath the audio soundtrack. With 4K Dolby Vision passthrough, you can enjoy both audio and video in the best quality possible with a compatible TV. There are even customization options through the JBL One app as well as access to integrated music services. Connect it to a compatible smart speaker then control playback by voice using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri commands.

Cyrus Audio TTP Turntable

Cyrus turntable

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Cyrus Audio has introduced its first-ever turntable in the TTP turntable, which is precision machined from solid aluminium blocks, with a stable plinth and platter. The lightweight tonearm provides an excellent mounting point for your choice of cartridge. The DC synchronous motor has a custom-designed digital control circuit, ensuring very low wow and flutter with exceptional speed stability. It doesn’t come cheap, retailing in Canada for $8,000. But for parents who are serious audiophiles, it might be worth pooling your money and getting them this as a massive treat for re-living their glory vinyl days.

Nextbase IQ Smart Connected Dash Cam

Nextbase iQ

Parents of all kinds, including those who share a vehicle, will appreciate the Nextbase IQ smart dash cam. It leverages both AI technology and 4G IoT connectivity for real-time access through the iQ app. Designed for use in any vehicle, the idea is to help car owners anticipate, prevent, and defend against incidents both on the road and while parked. Available exclusively through Best Buy in Canada starting at $700, it offers up to 4K resolution and a built-in interior cabin camera with infrared. Add the optional third rear window mounted POV camera (the iQ Rear Camera, $250) to enjoy complete vehicle coverage. Safety features include Smart Sense Parking, dual-technology powered by Nextbase’s proximity sensing Spatial Awareness and G-Force Sensors that scans the area surrounding your vehicle and warns of any dangers via real-time notifications to your smartphone with imagery and video. Witness Mode is voice-activated and instantly saves a 30-minute block of video to the cloud then pushes a notification to an emergency contact in real-time. This ensures that you never face a stressful situation alone or without evidence. Emergency SOS automatic alerts contact emergency services with location and other potentially life-saving details following a serious accident. With Live View via the iQ app, you can see what’s going on in or around your vehicle at any time. The app also allows you to live stream, trigger an audible alarm, two-way talk (with future iQ firmware update), view video history, share, and more. Perfect for when the car is parked, you also get real-time event notifications sent to your phone wherever you are in the world. This might include a bump in the parking lot or an intruder attempting to enter your vehicle. iQ can detect the status of the vehicle and switch between driving mode and parking mode, in which it scans for threats, while avoiding car battery drainage. There’s also voice activation to enable privacy features such as mute, turn off cabin cam, activating Witness Mode, and more. Expect new features via firmware releases as well, so the device is a gift that keeps on giving.

A subscription is necessary to take advantage of all the features, and there are three packages. The free Solo subscription provides access to voice control and real-time text notifications. The Protect subscription is $14/mo. or $135/yr. and adds live view (60 minutes), Smart Sense Parking, Witness mode, remote alarm, 30 days of cloud storage, and, coming soon, RoadWatch AI and Guardian Mode. For $28/mo. or $275/yr., the Protect Plus plan extends cloud storage to 180 days, emergency SOS, an extended warranty, and, coming soon, automated incident back-up and the ability to store multiple user accounts. Through December 31, 2023, customers in Canada and the U.S. can take advantage of a three-month trial subscription (either Protect or Protect Plus) free of charge. 

Apple MacBook Pro With M3 Chip

Apple MacBook Pro M3

I don’t know any Apple fan who wouldn’t welcome a new MacBook under the tree. Heck, even if they already upgraded, they can sell their relatively new one and enjoy the spoils of this one. If they’re still sporting a MacBook with an Intel chip, they’ll jump for joy at this new one. The M3 chips means it’s faster with better performance in everything from apps and games to regular, everyday tasks. Starting at $2,099, choose among the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3, 14- or 16-inch MacBook Pro with M3 Pro (greater performance and additional unified memory support for more demaning workflows), and the MacBook Pro with M3 Max for extreme workflows and multitasking (think 3D artists and video editors). Pick it up in the gorgeous new space black, a dark aluminum finish that’s new to the MacBook line.

Klipsch Music City Series Speakers

Klipsch Nashville
Cold fall or winter evening. People resting by the fire with blanket and tea. Closeup photo of feet in woolen socks. Cozy scene.

With names like Austin, Detroit, and Nashville, you can easily pick out who on your list would love this speaker series and which one to get. The new line-up is designed to celebrate the music and culture of each of these musical cities. The ultra-portable Klipsch Austin ($US$99) is inspired by the passion and artistry that makes its namesake the live music capital of the world and designed to take the concert anywhere you go. The Klipsch Nashville (US$149), pays homage to the soulful melodies and rich musical heritage of Music City USA thanks to the 360° sound experience created by the speaker’s dual opposing drivers. The Klipsch Detroit (US$299) is the largest of the three speakers and was inspired by the Motor City’s legacy of defiant rhythms and iconic beats. Each speaker delivers a premium sound experience that captures the essence of the music city it represents. Each features the Klipsch Broadcast Mode, which allows up to 10 speakers to be connected simultaneously for a fully immersive listening experience. The Austin can run for up to 12 hours of playtime per charge (24 hours for the Nashville and Detroit) and they are all IP67 rated. Customize the sound using the Klipsch Connect app and connect to a music source wirelessly via Bluetooth 5.3. They won’t arrive until the New Year but keep an eye on these for a late holiday gift for friends or family members you won’t get to see until you ring in 2024.

Rekkord Audio F100 Turntable

Rekkord F100 turntable

Selling for a respectable US$399, the Rekkord Audio F100 turntable was handmade in Europe and is designed for casual vinyl listeners. Ideal for use on a desktop or mantle connected to a pair of powered speakers, or in a rack with other audio gear, parents will fight over who gets to keep it in their home office. Featuring a black satin matte finish, the F100 is comprised of a heavy aluminum platter for enhanced stability through years of heavy use. A low-mass tonearm reduces vinyl wear to the bare minimum. Attached to the tonearm is a pre-mounted Audio Technica 3600L cartridge, typically associated with turntables at significantly higher price points. Rounding out the package are pre-adjusted tracking force and anti-skating settings to ensure accurate playback, and a chassis made of pressed wood that reduces resonance.

KitchenAid Go Cordless System Small Appliances

KitchenAid Go cordless rechargeable small appliances.

Imagine a single charging dock that can recharge all your small kitchen appliances, and then you can use them wirelessly. That’s precisely the set-up with the KitchenAid Go cordless system, which parents will absolutely love. There are six items from which to choose: a hand mixer, hand blender, food chopper, personal blender, coffee grinder, and kitchen vacuum. Buy one or two along with the dock and you can expand with new items (if they don’t buy them for themselves first!) for the next occasions until they have the complete set. Each item is charged by a removable and rechargeable battery that replenishes on a universal dock, which is sold separately. Each appliance is $150-$240 and the Go charging dock is $70. But the freedom to mix, blend, grind coffee beans, chop, and more from anywhere? Priceless.

iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ Robot Vacuum and Wet Mop

iRobot Roomba j9+

I’m a fan of iRobot Roomba robot vacuums as well as the Braava Jet robot mop line. So, one device that can do both dry vacuuming and wet mopping? That’s any busy parent’s dream. Selling for $1,800, the 2-in-1 cleaning robot comes with the self-emptying bin and vacuums like all the top-end smart models in the line. But it also adds SmartScrub to mop back and forth with consistent pressure and deep scrubbing to get rid of stubborn messes. You can store up to 60 days’ worth of debris in the CleanBase and refill liquids for up to 30 days so cleaning is virtually effortless. How do you do both at the same time? The auto-retract mopping system lifts itself when it senses dry carpeting then comes back down for wet mopping on floors. Plus, it intelligently navigates around obstacles, for stray cables to your kids’ socks and even pet poop.

Oral-B iO Toothbrush

Oral-B iO Series 10

Forget his and hers towels: how about his and hers matching electric toothbrushes? The Oral-B iO brushes were a top seller during Amazon Prime Day, says the company, and now, there’s the new Oral-B iO Series 10 advanced brush. With a round brush head that surrounds each tooth to reach deeper and remove more plaque, the piece de resistance is the inclusion of AI tracking technology along with a smart pressure sensor, micro-vibrating bristles, and multiple brushing modes from which to choose. It comes with the iO Sense smart charger, which offers live coaching directly from the charging base so you get the best clean, know when to brush, and even what spots you might have missed.

Onkyo TX-SR3100 5.1 Channel AV Receiver

Onkyo TX-SR3100 AV receiver

Perfect for the living room, the Onkyo TX-SR3100 5.2 channel AV receiver (US$399) features Dolby Atmos and DTS:X formats, HDMI 2.1a support, and support for a range of video resolutions and refresh rates including 8K60 and 4K120 along with support for Dynamic HDR formats, ALLM, VRR, QFT and SBTM (Source-Based Tone Mapping). To simplify the receiver and home theatre setup, AccuEQ Room Calibration is included, a feature normally reserved for higher priced AVRs. This technology aids in calibrating the receiver and speakers by compensating for differences in speaker size and distance, resulting in effortless audio playback. Vocal Enhancer technology emphasizes dialogue and vocals by adding the centre element to the front left and front right speakers. This feature ensures that every word is clear even during action-packed scenes with explosions or quiet moments in intense dramas, regardless of the volume setting. For audiophiles, the music optimizer DSP listening mode restores audio files to their original lossless quality, reconstructing data lost during compression. This feature is particularly valuable for formats such as WMA, AAC, and MP3, ensuring users experience the full depth and richness from a music collection. Dolby Atmos Height Virtualizer technology creates a virtual surround and height effect from traditional speaker layouts, eliminating the need for additional surround or height speakers, making it feel like sounds are coming from above and far off, just as they should.

Hisense 54-Bottle Wine Fridge

Hisense wine fridge

Help busy parents unwind after a long day of work and night managing the kids with a glass of red. This wine fridge also offers single zone cooling so they won’t be able to adjust the temperature for whites versus reds. But if they have a favourite type they drink all the time, it won’t matter. It can hold up to 54 bottles on the six smooth-glide shelves so it’s easy to find the right one to go with dinner or a Netflix binge session. It’s great for entertaining as well, so guests can have a look at the selection and pick what they want to try for the evening’s festivities. Humidity control ensures that corks won’t shrink and the wine won’t spoil. I use my wine fridge for bottles of Pellegrino as well, and sometimes for coolers in the summer. Get it for just under $800.

LG StanbyME Go Portable LED Screen

LG StanbyME Go
Now available in Canada, the LG StanbyME Go portable screen is an all-in-one entertainment solution that is housed in a convenient and durable suitcase with a built-in-battery and speakers. (CNW Group/LG Electronics Canada)

The LG StanbyME Go is a TV housed in a suitcase design with a built-in battery and speakers, making it ideal for travel and using around the house, to the cottage, in the backyard, and more. Let the kids watch a movie in their room without having to set up a permanent TV there, or bring it out to the back deck when you’re having Sunday brunch outside in the summer and want to catch the game. The LED touchscreen measures 27 inches and comes attached to a stand within a sleek case. It can be tilted, rotated, raised, and lowered while in landscape and portrait orientations and table mode. The built-in 20-watt speaker adapts to the screen’s orientation, providing optimal surround sound, and supports Dolby Vision video technology and Dolby Atmos stereo sound. The case has interior compartments to hold accessories and a built-in battery. With up to three hours of viewing time between charges, StanbyME Go can be easily carried using the built-in handle. Equipped with LG’s webOS software, the StanbyME Go supports AirPlay 3 and is screen mirroring compatible with iOS and Android devices. It also supports pairing via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Enjoy hands-free control with voice recognition functionality for easily changing channels and searching for content. $1,600