Tech Gifts for Valentine’s Day

By Tracey Dowdy

Valentine’s Day is equal parts the sweetest and most overrated holiday of the year – possibly only New Year’s Eve can top its ability to fall short of expectations.

It may seem tasteless to say what gift you’d like, but dropping some heavy hints is never a bad idea. Instead of flowers and chocolate, maybe your idea of the perfect gift is an hour or two of peace and quiet, or perhaps having your partner vacuum or fold that heap of laundry at the foot of the bed is everything you’re dreaming of.

These gifts offer all of that – well, maybe not folding the laundry – but they will make your Valentine’s Day a little sweeter and your life a little easier…the perfect gift is out there.

Nothing signals “Mom needs a timeout,” better than slipping on some headphones. There are roughly eleventy-two jillion options out there from high-end options like Bose QuietComfort 35 Noise Cancelling Wireless Headphones ($349.00), to less expensive but still good quality sets like Skullcandy Jib Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Earbuds ($34.99). Consider what you’ll be using them for – exercising, noise canceling for focus, working in the yard or around the house – and use a handy guide like this one to narrow down the best match for your needs.

Whether or not you’ve ever cared to keep up with a Kardashian, queen-of-selfies Kim swears by her LuMee phone case. Compatible with Android and Apple devices, the case casts a warm, natural glow, so your photos are Instagram worthy even before you apply a filter.

The Amazon Echo Dot and Google Home Mini are the closest most of us will ever get to having our own personal assistant. Both are voice controlled and activated, enabling you to ask it to play music, get weather and news updates, set timers, and control other smart-home devices. The biggest difference between the two is the platforms they run on – the Echo Dot runs on Amazon’s Alexa platform, and the Home Mini runs on Google Assistant. You can compare the two here.

If jewelry is your thing, have I got a smartwatch for you. Skagen’s Mini Hald or Signatur T-Bar are beautiful, sleek, and smart. Once paired with your Android or Apple device, the watch will send you smartphone notifications anytime you receive a text, email, or call. You can filter which notifications you want to receive, but because the watch features a traditional face, it’s discreet.

If you’re really stuck and not sure which direction to go, TekCrate offers a monthly subscription service that wants to “maximize the technology you use in your daily life” by helping you keep up with trends in the tech industry. When you sign up, you choose the category you’re most interested in: original, geek, PC or gift, and they’ll ship you a box with three to five items. The Original contains practical items like charging adapters for your car, a ring-stand for your phone case or screen cleaning wipes. Geek is best suited for those into comics, gaming, and movies; PC for computers, gaming, and modding; and the Gift option is a non-subscription/one-time purchase filled with fun items from each of the subscription boxes.

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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