If you were planning to buy your old man a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug for Father’s Day, stop right now. You can do much better than that, especially with a little help from MakeUseOf.
If your dad is into technology, there’s a whole world of potential gift ideas out there. And don’t worry, you can buy most of them without breaking the bank.
If you know you want to buy him something tech-based but you’re struggling for inspiration, relax. We’re here to help. Here are some gifts that are guaranteed to entertain your dad this Father’s Day.
1. Streaming Subscription
With the explosion of streaming services in the last few years, there’s now more choice than ever in this category. That’s great news; you’ll be able to sign your dad up for something that precisely matches his tastes.
You could give him a subscription to one of the “big players” like Spotify ($9.99 per month), Netflix ($9.99 per month), Hulu ($7.99 per month), or Google Play Music ($9.99 per month). Or you could get him something more personalized.
For example, there are lots of niche music streaming services that specialize in particular genres. Similarly, you can find video-on-demand services who cater to a specific type of content. Check out providers like Acorn TV, Concert Vault, and RUSC to get a taste of what’s out there.
2. Vinyl Turntable
Depending how old your dad is, it’s possible that he doesn’t appreciate the value in streaming services — he might enjoy a more old-school approach to music consumption. If he owns a vast vinyl collection and doesn’t want to listen to Justin Bieber and co, you may want to buy him a turntable instead.
But don’t be fooled. Turntable technology has progressed somewhat since the 1980s. These days, you can find turntables that can connect directly to your computer.
You will need to buy a USB turntable. It will let your dad import all his music to his preferred desktop music manager, and even use his computer speakers for the audio output.
3. Bluetooth Speaker
If your dad is a tech nerd and already has a subscription to Spotify or one of the other well-known music streaming services, perhaps you should consider buying him a Bluetooth speaker. It will let him easily listen to his music whether he’s pottering in his shed or putting up some shelves.
Again, there are lots of Bluetooth speakers to choose from. They vary drastically in quality and price. Much of your purchasing decision will come down to how much you’re willing to spend.
4. Quality Pair of Headphones
This is the last music-based idea on the list, but it’s also one of the best.
No audiophile father should be without a quality pair of headphones. The difference in sound quality between a cheap pair of in-ear buds and a top-end over-the-ear set is vast. (By the way, have you ever tried wearing a pair of over-ear headphones as earmuff replacements on a long-haul flight? If not, you can thank me later.)
5. Chromecast, Roku Box, or Kodi Box
Okay, let’s move on from music. What should you buy if your dad loves watching TV? Luckily, you have lots of options.
The first thing to consider is a set-top media box. Again, there are lots of choices. Some are better than others, but when buying as a gift, you should base your purchase decision on two things. First, how technologically gifted is you dad? And secondly, what operating systems and hardware does he use on a day-to-day basis?
For example, if he’s not very tech-savvy, give Kodi boxes a wide berth. They require a lot of setting up and can be complicated to manage. If he’s an Apple user, get him an Apple TV, which isn’t as feature-packed as its competitors but will integrate beautifully with an existing setup.
6. Plex Pass
If he’s already got a set-top box and possesses a vast collection of locally-saved content, you need to buy him a Plex Pass.
In case you’re not aware, Plex is a home theater app that can stream video, music, and photo files to any computer or device in your house. With a bit of legwork, you can even set it up so you can access your content remotely when you’re away from home. As of June 2017, the app also supports live television.
Plex Pass is the premium version of the app. It introduces a range of features beyond the free offering. They include the new Live TV feature, a DVR, mobile sync, cloud sync, parental controls, and a whole lot more.
A three-month subscription costs $14.99, a yearly subscription will set you back $39.99, and a lifetime subscription is a pricey $119.99.
7. Blu-Ray Box Sets
What do The IT Crowd, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Red Dwarf, and Mystery Science Theater 3000 all have in common? They’re all adored by geeks! They all also have multiple series, making them perfect box sets to buy for a geeky dad.
Contrary to popular belief, the DVD format is alive and well. Sure, sales might have declined in the last few years, but estimates suggest there are still more than 250 million discs sold annually in the U.S. alone.
If your dad is smart, he will be able to rip any physical media into his Plex server and then stream them around the house. So look forward to listening to the Star Trek theme tune from Father’s Day until Christmas!
8. Amazon Kindle
If your dad is more of a reader than a watcher or a listener, he needs an Amazon Kindle in his life.
Not only are the Amazon e-readers portable and easy to use, but they can save you dad a ton of money. The average cost of a current bestseller on Kindle is $7 while the average cost of a paper version of the same book is well over $20. For older titles, it’s not uncommon to find ebooks available for under a dollar.
Kindles are also incredibly convenient. Your dad can forget about trips to the bookstore or library — he can go from finding a book he likes to reading it in a matter of seconds.
Amazon offers a range of different Kindle devices, each with different features and specifications. The best-in-class Kindle Oasis will set you back almost $290, but you can find cheaper models for as little as $100.
9. Amazon Prime Subscription
What do you get for the dad who’s got everything? If your father is the type of person who’s constantly treating himself to little gifts throughout the year, it can be hard to stay on top of what he’s got, what he wants, and what he needs.
The solution? Buy him an Amazon Prime subscription. That way, he can just buy whatever he desires.
For $99 per year or $10.99 per month, he will get fast free shipping (as little as two hours on certain items) and early access to the Amazon Lightning deals. Not to mention he will get access to Amazon Prime Video, Prime Music, more than 1,000 ebooks and magazines, and original audio series on Audible.
Ok. There’s a lot of ideas listed above, so you should be able to find something your dad will like, right?
What do you mean you can’t. Well, I’m sorry, but if nothing we’ve suggested has inspired you, you’re beyond help. So perhaps you should get him that “World’s Greatest Dad” mug after all!
What Gift Will You Buy for Your Dad?
In this article, we’ve given you a varied list of gift ideas and suggestions. The market for tech-based entertainment products and services is so big that you should easily be able to find something your dad will enjoy.
Can you offer any other gift ideas? What will you be buying for your dad this Father’s Day? As always, you can leave all your ideas and suggestions in the comments below.
Image Credits: wavebreakmedia via Shutterstock