2017 Father’s Day Budget-Friendly Gift Guide

Father’s Day is coming up on June 18, and what dad wouldn’t love to get something audio or video related? Of course, most AV gear ain’t cheap, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are some recommendations for relatively affordable gifts that any dad would be thrilled to receive.


Headphones

1More Triple-Driver In-Ear ($99)

Sometimes dads need a way to rock out without disturbing anyone. For those moments, headphones are the answer. 1More’s triple-driver IEMs ($100) offer some of the best sound quality you can buy for the money. They are durable and offer a wide frequency response of 20Hz to 40kHz. Better yet, they ship with nine pairs of eartips, so dads can find the best fit. Check out the AVS Forum review of these awesome in-ears right here; this is the bang-for-buck champion when it comes to in-ear monitors.


Wireless Headphones

Sony MDR1000X ($399)

Sony MDR-1000X Bluetooth noise cancelling headphones

Is dad a commuter? Perhaps a frequent flier? Then he’ll surely love receiving a pair of state-of-the-art Sony MDR1000X noise cancelling headphones. While a bit pricey at $399 for a pair, these are Bose-beating over-ears that feature adaptive noise cancelling and Bluetooth connectivity. It offers enhanced wireless quality with support for LDAC and aptX technologies and the built-in battery offers 20 hours of play with noise cancellation turned on. Frequency response is listed at 20 Hz to 40 kHz.

 


Streamer/Server

Roku Ultra ($110)

Roku Ultra

Streaming is a vital source of AV entertainment and the Roku Ultra is the latest, greatest iteration of Roku’s line of popular streaming receivers. With it, you can get access to more content sources than just about any other streamer—5000+ channels with more than 400,000 movies and TV shows on tap. The Roku Ultra provides HDR 4K/UHD content from channels that offer it, voice search, a headphone output on the remote, games, a mobile app, and more—all for a mere $116. You gotta love it!


AV Receiver

Denon AVR-X1400H ($599)

Danon AVR-X1400H AV Receiver

If your dad has an AV receiver-based system that’s due for an upgrade, Denon’s AVR-X1300W is a great way to show him that you care. This model is brand-new, it was released just a few weeks ago. You get a full-featured AVR that supports all the latest hi-res audio as well as HDR 4K video formats. It’s a 7-channel model that has Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D immersive audio plus Audyssey room correction. The amps provide 80 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 12 watts into 6 ohms. Plus, this model comes with HEOS networked audio capabilities built-in.


Stereo Integrated Amplifier

ELAC Element Series EA101EQ-G ($699)


Aside from offering 100 watts per channel of clean class-D power, ELAC’s EA-101EQ-G Element Series integrated amp brings some serious DSP capabilities to the table. Why is this special? Glad you asked, because if you give this generous gift to your father, you are going to be the one explaining what it does. So here goes: “Typical room correction systems are not necessarily aware of the design limitations of connected subwoofer or speakers. The solution is to take a near field measurement of the sub and the speakers, followed by a far field measurement at the listening position. With this data, the EA-101EQ-G can calculate the optimal blending between speakers and sub, as well as the optimal EQ for the two.” In other words, this is the perfect gift for a music lover who wants a capable, easy to optimize stereo system.


Speakers

Emotiva Airmotiv B1 Bookshelf Speakers ($270/pair)

Emotiva Airmotiv B1 Bookshelf Speaker

Nothing says you care like the gift of audiophile-quality bookshelf speakers. Emotiva’s Airmotiv B1 is a perfect choice for dads who love music and home theater experiences. It pairs a folded-ribbon AMT (air-motion transfer) tweeter with a 5.25″ woven-fiber cone woofer to offer 48 Hz to 28 kHz response (+/-3 dB) and 70 watts of power handling. The B1s are equally at home playing music or movie sound, with crisp highs, clear midrange and good bass response (for a compact bookshelf).


Subwoofer

Emotiva BasX S10 ($299)

Emotiva BasX S10

Fathers who already own a stereo or surround sound system will surely appreciate the extra heft subwoofers add to the low end of the audio spectrum. Emotiva’s S10 is a ported sub that has a 200-watt amp with 27Hz to 150Hz (+/-3 dB) frequency response. If you feel like splurging a bit, the BasX S12 ($399) is larger and costs more, but plays louder and deeper. It has a 300 watt amplifier and a frequency response of 25Hz to 150Hz (+/-3 dB).


Soundbar

Samsung Sound+ HW-MS650 ($449)

Samsung Sound+ MS650 Soundbar

The HW-MS650 soundbar from Samsung is notable for its ability to create deep bass typically associated with systems that feature a separate subwoofer. This soundbar comes with a slim remote that incorporates discrete volume and bass controls, as well as buttons to change input, user settings, and surround mode. It can even control a connected, compatible Blu-ray player. There are nine drivers total, each with its own discrete 20-watt amp—combined system power is 180 watts RMS. Bass comes from an array of six mid-woofers that complement the three wideband tweeters, and frequency response is specified from 40 Hz to 20 kHz. This is a soundbar that’s sure to please.


TV

55″ TCL P-Series Roku TV 55P607 ($599)

TCL 55" P Series

Take one look at the TCL 55P607’s spec sheet and you’ll see why it’s the top choice for a TV to give your dad on Father’s Day. It supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 4K HDR with high color volume and has a 72-zone FALD backlight, all of which contribute to the excellent image quality it offers. Plus, this TV runs on the Roku OS, meaning you can control it with the Roku app or the included Roku remote control. Lucky fathers who receive this excellent flat panel—check out the “first look” review here—will get all the functionality that Roku offers. That’s 5000+ channels, voice search, and more built right into the TV. If your dad watches TV, this is a gift he will remember.


Ultra HD Blu-ray Player

Microsoft’s Xbox One S  ($239-$500)

Xbox One S

Not only is Microsoft’s Xbox One S one of the most affordable Ultra HD Blu-ray players on the market, it also happens to be a powerful gaming console! Reason enough to consider it for your dad, even if his last console was an Atari 2600. For as little as $239, how can you go wrong when the Xbox One S offers so many features in one device. If you want to make the gift extra special for a bit more money, get a console bundled with a game that matches dad’s personality.


Projector

BenQ HT3050 1080p DLP Projector ($999)

You qualify as a hero if you buy your dad a projector for Father’s Day; nothing brings the cinematic experience home like the big-screen view that front projection provides. BenQ’s HT3050 offers an affordable way to get picture perfect BT.709 1080p from Blu-ray and other quality HD video sources. It offers 2000-lumen output and 15,000:1 contrast for crisp visuals. An all-glass lens with zoom and shift help with installation, and quiet operation means dad will enjoy an immersive home theater experience with this affordable performer.


Cover image from bigstockphoto.com