Best Father’s Day Tech for Under $50

By Tracey Dowdy

Ah, dear old dad. What to get the man who has everything and wants nothing? Or, the man who has little and wants less. Mother’s Day gifts seem easier than Father’s Day. Flowers, candy, or a homemade card and a macaroni necklace – boom, you’re still the favorite. But Dad? That’s a whole different story. This year, instead of another tie, try one of these ideas that work for techie and not-so-techie dads alike.

Custom Cases – Not only does Skinit collaborate with Marvel, DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Hello Kitty, the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and MLS, you can upload custom artwork or use your own photos and designs to create a one-of-a-kind case or skin for dad’s iPhone, Galaxy, MacBook, iPad, Xbox One, or PS4. You can even create custom skins for medical devices like Cochlear, Sophono, and MED-EL.

Streaming Stick – Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, and Chromecast dongles keep getting better and better. Plug them in to your TV’s HDMI port, connect to your home network and voila! Access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling, YouTube and a host of other channels. Plus, dad can use his smartphone, tablet, or PC as a remote. Check out CNET’s reviews to see which device best matches your needs and interests.

Cast music with Google Chromecast Audio, ($35), a small plastic puck that turns turn your speakers wireless for music streaming via a via a 3.5mm audio jack. If you have more than one Chromecast Audio device, you can name them individually and stream music to multiple speakers at once, or group speakers together and play music on several speakers in the same room, or even cast simultaneously to all connected speaker in the house.

If dad’s car is as classic as he is, the Cassette Adapter Bluetooth ($29.99) from ION Sound Experiences is perfect, as it instantly turns the car’s cassette player into a wireless Bluetooth receiver. Stream music, listen podcasts, or make phone calls hands-free, and without a headset.

The Arccos Driver Tracking System ($49) is like having a golf pro coaching every swing. It analyzes every drive dad hits then provides statistics and feedback explaining which areas can be improved. The device provides exact distances in real time, measures both distance and accuracy to determine improvement over time, plus it allows users to compete with friends and other Arccos users in virtual driving games.

There are many options for wireless headphones out there, but Tesson Wireless V4.1 Magnetic Bluetooth Headphones consistently rank at the top of “best of” lists. Design wise, they’re small enough to fit comfortably in your ear but large enough to keep from falling out during exercise, plus, they’re magnetic and “click” together so they’re easy to store. Sound quality is above average and they promise five hours of battery life with continuous use or 200 on stand-by.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

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