The 8 Best Gifts to Buy for Dad in 2017

Let your old man know how much you appreciate him with these presents

Luma Whole Home WiFi System
Courtesy of Amazon.

When we are little, we think our dads know everything. As we get older, we realize that maybe we were overestimating how much there really is to know. Still, they teach us things every day and so when the holidays come around, we love to thank them with a gift that will make their lives better. Whether it’s a wearable that improves their golf game or a turntable that takes them back to old times, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite gifts that will delight any dad.

It’s been awhile since Amazon updated its line of smart speakers, but with its recent refresh of the Echo Plus, it cements in place its reputation as a smart home powerhouse. While the external design hasn’t veered much from the previous Echo, the guts have been souped up.

Namely, we appreciate the inclusion of the ZigBee-friendly hub, common in other smart home devices by brands such as Philips, Honeywell and Ikea. It’s easy to connect your Echo Plus with the other devices; just say “Alexa, discover my devices,” and she will scour the house for other compatibles. Once connected, you can flip on the lights in the bedroom with a single command, or get the coffee brewing before you even reach the kitchen. You can also group commands, so that the doors will lock and the lights turn out at the same time. Among other things, you can ask Alexa to read you the weather or today’s news headlines, or order you an Uber or a pizza. With a little creativity, the possibilities are endless.

Perhaps your family is the more practical type when it comes to gift-giving. If that’s the case, there isn’t much out there more practical than a top-of-the-line car charger. And best yet, it won’t cost you much either.

Our favorite thing about the AUKEY CC-S1 car charger is that when plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter, it sits flush against the edge of the outlet, saving you space and giving off a sleeker design aesthetic. It can juice up to two devices at a time, but the CC-S1 one-ups other chargers by doing so at full speed with 5V 2.4A of dedicated adaptive power output per USB port. Smartly, it also has built-in safeguards to protect your devices from excessive current or overheating.

If your dad owns a recently released Samsung phone, elevate him to coolest-dad-on-the-block status by gifting him the Samsung Gear. (In fact, if he doesn’t own a Samsung, this VR set might just inspire him to convert!)

Next to other smartphone headsets, this device might feel clunky, but in this case, its size is also an advantage. Inside, its optics can be adjusted using the top-mounted dial, giving you a more comfortable picture and it’s pretty breathable considering you’re strapped in so tightly. This updated Gear comes with a motion controller, which is a small remote that pairs easily with your smartphone and adds new levels of interactivity. It has a circular touchpad on the front and a single trigger on the back. The headset also has a USB-C port on the bottom for charging purposes. Perhaps most important for any VR system is its content library, and the Samsung Gear has solid but growing shelves, so you’ll never get bored of diving into new realities.

You’d be awarded Child of the Year if you bought your dad an iPhone X this year, but assuming he beat you to it, we recommend getting him something to protect his valuable investment. From the well-respected OtterBox brand comes this new DEFENDER series case for the iPhone X. It has a multi-layer protective system consisting of a solid inner shell and soft outer cover, though it’s screenless to accommodate new technology. It also includes a belt-clip holster, which dads seem to just love, and conveniently doubles as a kickstand for hand-free media viewing.

Because it’s so new, there’s a lot to be learned about this case, but the OtterBox customer service team says that OtterBox cases have been compatible with Qi wireless charging in other devices, so it anticipates compatibility with the iPhone’s inductive charging and will confirm with testing once it has an iPhone X in-hand. OtterBox offers a lifetime warranty, so you can trust that your new iPhone is in safe hands.

If your dad spends more time on the green than he does at the office, he will certainly appreciate the Zepp Golf 2 3D Swing Analyzer. By wearing the sensor-enabled glove, Zepp will measure key aspects of your swing, including club speed, club plane, tempo, backswing length and more. The smart coach feature will then help you analyze where you can improve and help you adjust your training accordingly. You can record and replay your swing, viewable from any angle, and even compare your swing to the pros’. Compared to the previous model, the Zepp 2 is slightly smaller, has a longer battery life, recharges faster, has improved accuracy and uses Bluetooth LE to connect to your smartphone. Overall, it’s a whole-in-one gift for the golfer in your life.

Speedy and consistent Wi-Fi sounds like a godsend, but if you have a handful of kids at home, you know it can also be dangerous. Lucky for dads, the Luma comes equipped with top-notch parental controls, so they don’t have to lose sleep at night wondering what their kids are surfing. Via the handy mobile app, you can set a content filter policy using five rating levels: Unrestricted, R-rated, PG-13, PG and G, and then add users with specified access levels. Is it homework time? There’s also a Pause feature that lets you freeze Internet access across the whole network.

Parental controls aside, the Luma offers reliable performance, thanks to its three modules that each contain an 802.11ac router, a quad-core processor and two radio bands (2.4GHz and 5GHz). They are AC1200 routers with a max speed of 300Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 867Mbps on the 5GHz band. Overall, it’s an easy way to blanket your home with Wi-Fi and while still maintaining control over the kids.

If you want to spoil dad a bit this year, splurge on the Sonos PLAYBAR. With nine amplified drivers — six mid-woofers and three high range tweeters — it yields a big and consuming sound capable of replacing your TV’s existing sound system. Measuring 35.4 x 5.5 x 3.3 inches, it fits underneath your TV comfortably, not to mention stylishly, with its good-looking fabric and aluminum design. As if that’s not enough to love, Sonos also has a killer Android/iOS app that collects all of your favorite streaming services and can play music throughout your home. And if dad likes to turn on an action flick late at night, the rest of the family will appreciate the Night Mode, which enhances quiet sounds while diminishing the volume and impact of intense sounds. It’s on the pricey side for a soundbar, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find better sound.

Crafted together with German company ClearAudio, the Marantz TT-15S1 comes installed with a ClearAudio Virtuoso Wood Ebony moving-magnet (MM) cartridge, which has a 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response and a voltage output of 3.6 mV. Alone that’ll cost you $900, and when you factor in the anodized aluminum ClearAudio Satisfy tonearm which retails for $1,200, you’ll almost feel guilty buying 15S1 for $1,499.

The arm/cartridge resonant frequency of approximately 8Hz yields solid bass extension, but isn’t as firm as a damped tonearm gives. It features a silicon-belt drive design and operates at both 33 1/3 and 45 rpm. The flawless design takes cues from ClearAudio, with a free-standing motor built to reduce vibration. But design aside, the real reason you buy a turntable is for the unparalleled sound, and the 15S1 will exceed your expectations.

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