We know that it’s hard to shop for dad, but that doesn’t mean you need succumb to the temptation of a multipack of socks and undies, or a necktie he's probably never going to wear. There’s a different tack you can take – and it doesn’t involve his favourite aftershave, the best outdoor barbie or the most convenient gift card you can find.
Everyone loves laying their hands on the latest tech, so we recommend you find a cool new gadget to gift dad this Father's day so you can help transform how he spends his free time or gets his work done.
And while it's easy to suggest a range of power banks and storage devices, we're trying something different and have put together a list of 15 gizmos we know any father would love. Our recommendations are across a range of price points, so there'll be something suitable for every budget and whatever you decide to get him, it's sure to make him feel like the superdad he is.
In fact, you might even find a little something for yourself in our list – after all, there's no rule that says you can't treat yourself to something special on Father's Day.
- If there's nothing on our list that tickles your fancy, our colleagues at Australian T3 magazine have put together a free digital gift guide that you can download as an ebook.
They may look like any old retro-style sunglasses, but there's more to the Bose Frames than meets the eye. There's tiny speakers hidden in the arms of the glasses that will serenade dad with his favourite tunes and people around him will barely even realise! There's also audio augmented reality features on-board, with apps available that make excellent use of the tech on the Frames – there are apps for the golfer or a tourist looking for information on a city's major landmarks. Dad can even get on stage with Elvis if he's a fan. There's three hours of battery life, after which, sadly, the Bose Frames go back to being regular sunglasses. Authorised prescription lenses are currently not available, but Bose is in talks with third parties to make the appeal of the Frames more mainstream.
Read more: Bose Frames review
Smart lights aren't new any more, but then there's really nothing quite like the Nanoleaf Canvas on the market. These light panels are are touch- and voice-sensitive, and come with Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri support. Once up set up in dad's (or your) chosen design, they convert any boring wall into an interactive canvas of fun, colour and life. The Canvas has a rhythm module built in, so the lights will 'dance' to the music playing or, to spice things up, the family can play games on it together. If there's smart lights already set up, and they work with HomeKit, then each Canvas panel can be used a control button for different lighting scenes.
Read more: Nanoleaf Canvas review
Amazon Kindle ereaders
If your dad is an avid reader, give him the convenience of carrying his entire library around with him. The latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite is the best yet. With Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity globally, downloading books anywhere is a breeze. The screen light is easily adjusted to suit the reading environment and the battery generally lasts a couple of weeks between charges, even with the light on. And it’s the most cost-effective Kindle, too.
To truly pamper your book-loving dad, however, you might want to step up to the latest edition of the Kindle Oasis. It offers the best e-reading experience money can buy, and features a very easy-to-use navigation system in a beautifully designed device that now comes with adjustable hues for the reading light to make night-time reading a more pleasant experience.
Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Earbuds
If dad likes to shut the world out when he listens to his favourite music, podcasts or audiobooks, he doesn’t need to wear a massive set of cans on his head. If he doesn’t like the feel of over- or on-ear headphones, but still would like the best noise-cancelling headphones money can buy, then look no further than the brand-new Sony WF-1000XM3. These true wireless ‘buds boast a great design, have very good battery life and best-in-class noise cancellation to boot.
Read more: Sony WF-1000XM3 review
Bose QC 35 II
Does dad feel insecure wearing true wireless ‘buds? If he thinks they’ll fall out any moment, then perhaps you’ll want to get him one of the best and the most popular noise-cancelling over-ear headphones money can buy. And for that, you’ll be looking for the Bose QuietComfort 35 II. The ability to call on a voice assistant is on-board, as is Bose’s new audio AR tech, which allows users to access the same apps they would on the Bose Frames mentioned above. It makes the Bose QC35 IIs a lot more feature packed than its competition, and a lot more fun to use.
Read more: Bose QuietComfort 35 II review
Smart speakers are flooding the market, but there is none better than the Sonos One. Where this speaker stands out is in its excellent sound quality and the ability to call on not just one but two voice assistants. Sonos has now added both Alexa and Google Assistant support to the Sonos One and, if dad already has an existing Sonos speaker in the house somewhere, he can very easily have a multi-room setup with the two. With voice assistants on board, it’s of course easy to control all smart home devices while having his Spotify playlists crooning as well.
Read more: Sonos One review
Lenovo Smart Clock
If you think smart speakers are so, well, last year, then perhaps you’d like to get dad a smart display instead. However, they can be rather large if space is an issue. So how about an unassuming smart clock instead? The Lenovo Smart Clock is an affordable device that will not just wake dad up every morning but will handle voice commands for connected gadgets as well. And it will work as a bedside speaker too! Dad can also charge his phone, thanks to the USB charging port on the clock. And he won’t need to worry about privacy in the bedroom as there’s no built-in camera on the display.
Read more: Lenovo Smart Clock review
UE Boom 3
For those who love to have their tunes blasting through the house to “boom! shake-shake-shake the room” – or just in the shower – one of the best portable Bluetooth speakers is the UE Boom 3. With an IP67 water- and dustproof design, powerful bass and a lightweight body for portability, it’s one of the best companions during life’s spills and thrills, be it at the beach or the pool. And if it takes a dunk in the water, it will float, so dad won’t have to take a deep dive to retrieve it. It has a wireless range of 15 feet and a battery life of 20 hours to keep the party rocking.
Read more: Ultimate Ears Boom 3 review
There’s no age restrictions when it comes to playing video games, they’re for everyone to enjoy. And if dad loves a spot of gaming, then Nintendo’s hybrid console – if he doesn’t already have it – makes for an excellent gift. It offers the best of both worlds – for both home use and for playing on the go. And with an ever-growing library of amazing titles to choose from, dad will never have a dull moment.
However, the new Nintendo Switch Lite is already up for pre-order, if you think dad would be willing to wait for a belated Father’s Day gift. It’s designed solely for handheld gaming, with no video output to TV.
Read more: Nintendo Switch review
Has dad ever tried flying a drone? If he’s found it intimidating in the past, introduce him to this pint-sized quadcopter from DJI. The Spark is small enough, and safe enough, to take off and land on the palm of your (or dad’s) hand, and can be controlled with gestures. Taking selfies, getting it to take off and land – it’s the closest thing there is to feel like a Jedi. There are plenty of modes on the app to explore the world from the air, making this perfect for beginners to get started with aerial photography. Being so small and light does have a drawback, though – just make sure dad isn’t flying this little fella around when it’s windy.
Read more: DJI Spark review
Canon EOS RP
Full-frame mirrorless cameras are all the rage these days, with manufacturers trying to outdo each other with their latest snappers. While most of them new cameras are expensive, Canon has one that’s under $2,000. So if dad is into photography, and you really would like to get him something special, the Canon EOS RP won’t disappoint. While it’s no secret that some people love it while others think Canon has made too many compromises, we really don’t have too many complaints with the camera. While you get what you pay for, the image quality is superb and Canon has never disappointed when it comes to colour reproduction. And with the R-mount lens adaptor also available, it’s possible to use the older EF lenses with the EOS RP.
Read more: Canon EOS RP review
Philips Hue lights
Smart things were designed to make our lives easier, and a smart lighting system does more. They add ambience, allowing you to change the hue and the colour of the light, provided you have a bulb that supports those features. More importantly, they actually save money in the long run, reducing energy consumption and thus the energy bill. And one of the best smart lighting systems money can buy is from Philips Hue. If dad hasn’t already begun to set up a smart light system, there are starter kits to choose from – one where the hue of the light can be changed between white and yellow, while another that adds coloured bulbs to the system. They all need the Hue Bridge to work, which is connected to the home’s modem, the setup is simple and quick and makes a world of difference to the home’s ambience.
Read more: Philips Hue review
Samsung Galaxy Watch
There are plenty of smartwatches to choose from these days, but the Samsung Galaxy Watch stands apart from the crowd by looking like a sophisticated, classic wristwatch. Its fitness tracking is one of its best features, and it’s got a rather decent four-day battery life. Its rotating bezel will take you on a tour of its user interface which, may we say, is one of the slickest operating systems we’ve seen. More importantly, it works with both Android and iOS phones, although it should be noted that iOS support is limited.
Read more: Samsung Galaxy Watch review
Tile Mate Bluetooth tracker
If dad is someone who constantly keeps misplacing his keys or wallet, you could make it easy for him to locate his belongings by gifting him a Bluetooth tracker. And the best ones are from Tile. The Tile Mate is the most affordable option and can locate any item that’s about 150 feet away from your dad’s phone. That battery lasts about 12 months and can easily be replaced. The Tile Mate now also comes with digital assistant support, so locating lost keys is as simple as asking, “Hey Google, ask Tile to find my keys” or “Alexa, ask Tile to find the remote”.
Audio-Technica AT-LP60 turntable
It’s time for dad to get those dusty vinyls he’s been hoarding in the garage or shed. If he loves his old records, get him an easy-to-use turntable that won’t burn a hole in your pocket. The AT-LP60 from Audio-Technica is completely automatic, so it will queue an LP and then return the arm to its resting position without dad needing to lift a finger. It has a built-in phono preamp and the needle can be replaced if it wears out. It’s by far the best turntable there is for beginners.