Google Smart Home
Google Smart Home ($79) is the brand’s answer to the Amazon Echo. Backed by its #1 search engine and compatible with Chromecast, the Echo comes with a number of great features. Get answers to your most pressing questions, play songs, tackle your day, enjoy your entertainment and control your smart home with just your voice. Google Home works with Chromecast, so you can stream shows, movies, and music on your TV or speakers.
Apple TV 4K
Apple TV 4K ($179( makes your favorite TV shows and movies even more amazing. Videos play in stunning detail with picture quality that’s more true to life. Enjoy content from iTunes and apps like Netflix, Hulu, and ESPN — or use the Siri Remote to find just what you want. Apple TV 4K features faster performance than ever with the A10X Fusion chip for all your games and apps.
Amazon’s Alexa driven smart home speakers have set the initial standards in the field. Their all-new Amazon Echo ($80) (2nd Gen) has a new speaker, new design, and is available in a range of styles including fabrics and wood veneers. Echo connects to Alexa to play music, make calls, set alarms and timers, ask questions, control smart home devices, and more—instantly.
Nintendo Switch ($299) is the video video game all the kids are clamering for. My kids have one and it has surpassed their Xbox as their favorite. In addition to providing single and multiplayer thrills at home, the Nintendo Switch system can be taken on the go so you can enjoy a full home console experience anytime, anywhere. The mobility of a handheld is now added to the power of a home gaming system, with unprecedented new play styles brought to life by the two new Joy-Con controllers.
Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone who appreciates great sounding speakers, the Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers ($199) are a great start. Just not for computers they have versatile connections, including USB digital audio and subwoofer output. An integrated USB DAC delivers Hi-Fi sound while hand-finished wood cabinets look great in any room.
All Audioengine powered speakers feature classic A/B analog amplifiers that are incredibly warm sounding and the type of amplifier preferred by audiophiles. Most consumer speakers use cheaper digital amps but Audioengine uses the best components possible to create the award-winning “Audioengine signature sound”. Both amps are built into the left speaker, while the right speaker is passive and all cables are included. No software, apps, or plug-ins to install so the A2+ takes minutes to set up. With a built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC), the Audioengine 2+ allows you to send high-quality digital audio direct from your computer’s USB port or you can use the RCA or mini-jack analog inputs to connect to other components such as a turntable. For more low end, the variable RCA output connects to any subwoofer, like the Audioengine S8.
Grovemade Charger Pad
The Grovemade Charger Pad ($80) is the perfect men’s gift for the coming season. Grovemade focused on the details to bring the charging pad to life, making an elegant complement to your device. Soft natural cork provides an ideal top, while the ¼” stainless steel base gives the pad heft and stability to keep it in place. The bright red cord winds cleanly into the base when you don’t need to use the full length. It’s compatible with iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus, and all Qi-enabled devices.
Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader
If you have someone who loves to read on your holiday gift list, then the Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader ($90) is a no-brainer. It has one of the highest resolution e-reader displays available with twice as many pixels as the previous generation. Kindle Paperwhite has an improved high-resolution 300 PPI display for crisp, laser-quality text. Unlike reflective tablet and smartphone screens, Kindle Paperwhite reads like paper in the sun. It’s also lighter than a paperback, comfortably hold Kindle Paperwhite in one hand for those times when you can’t put the book down. And the other good news is the battery. The Kindle Paperwhite won’t leave you tethered to an outlet. A single charge can last up to six weeks.
Sonos One Smart Speaker
Sonos makes some of the best multi-room speakers around. Their latest offering the Sonos One Smart Speaker ($174) lets you start and control your music with your voice because Amazon Alexa is built right in. Play songs, check news and traffic, control your smart home and enjoy all those other helpful Amazon Alexa skills using a single Sonos speaker. Ask Alexa to play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and SiriusXM. Listen to hundreds of other streaming services with the Sonos app. Connect wirelessly to other Sonos Home Sound System speakers to play music in any or every room. Enjoy surprisingly rich, room-filling sound from a smart speaker. Pair two Sonos Ones together in the same room for instant stereo sound. Cannot be stereo paired with other Sonos speakers
Philips Hue Bulbs Starter Kit
If you know some home automation rookies, and want to give them a headstart, The Philips Hue Bulbs Starter Kit ($140) would make a great gift. The starter kit comes with one Philips Hue Bridge with power adapter and ethernet cable, four Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Energy Star Certified Standard light bulbs, manual, and two-year warranty.
They just install the LED lights as you would install ordinary bulbs and pair them with the Hue Bridge, which allows them to control smart-bulb-equipped lamps and overhead lights via the Philips Hue App. Control lights with their voice using Alexa, Apple HomeKit, or Google Assistant. They can also pair it with home automation like an existing Nest or Samsung SmartThings system.
Once they realize they can control their lighting experience from home or away they’ll never go back to regular lights.
You’ll need to grab these bad boys before they run out. The Apple Airpods ($170) might be one of the most popular audio gifts this season. The Airpods automatically play audio as soon as you put them in your ears and pauses when you take them out. To adjust the volume, Change the song, make a call, or even get directions, just double-tap to activate Siri. Because the ultralow-power W1 chip manages battery life so well, Airpods deliver an industry-leading 5 hours of listening time on One charge. They’re made to keep up with you, thanks to a charging case that holds multiple additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time. Need a quick charge? just 15 minutes in the case gives you 3 hours of listening time.