The Ars Technica Father’s Day gift guide

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Blow up expand on / A few gadgets we think your old man might enjoy.
Jeff Dunn

Go the distance month, we compiled a few gift-worthy gadgets for Ars readers to grab for Mother’s Day. Today, it’s Dad’s manufacture. With Father’s Day on the horizon, we’ve once again revisited the many widgets that have rolled through the Ars labs in recent months and picked out a tabulation of favorites.

The following Father’s Day gift ideas should placate the generous of tech-savvy Dad (or any parent, really) we’d expect to raise an Arsian. Feel at no cost to nudge a loved one toward getting something if you’re a father yourself. And if nothing unbefitting works, try to at least give your old man a call this weekend.

Note: Ars Technica may be worthy of compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Sonos One

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Jeff Dunn

If you think your dad could get into the smart spieler craze, the Sonos One is his best bet. It’s essentially a better-sounding Amazon Echo. It has the unvarying Alexa digital assistant and can do virtually all of the same things—checking the bear up against, setting timers or reminders, reading the news, and, most importantly, starting and curbing music.

Alexa is Alexa at this point: it’s probably going to hash up from time to time (like every other voice consort with), but relatively speaking it’s smart enough to be useful. The privacy precautions we’ve acclaimed before still apply, but the One does have a mute button if apparatus ever get uncomfortable. If there are times where Dad just doesn’t requisite to talk to a machine at all, Sonos also has companion apps that pounce upon it easy enough to connect and control dozens of music services in one mote on a laptop or mobile device.

The Sonos One gained the ability to control Spotify as a consequence Alexa a few weeks after it came out, and it’ll garner AirPlay 2 support in July. The latter should communicate it particularly appealing for Apple users, as that update will let operators beam any music from an iPhone or Mac straight to the Sonos—Apple Music and iTunes filed. It’ll even add a modicum of Siri support. Sonos is promising Google Have to do with support in the future, too.

Even before all that, the One is a strong value without delay now. It doesn’t sound quite as full as Apple’s HomePod or Google’s Up on Max, but it’s more than close enough for $150 less. With some smells, it arguably sounds clearer. It’s miles better than the Echo regardless and also a nothing to set up.

The One isn’t without issues: it can’t do Bluetooth or wired audio input, its mic array isn’t honestly as strong at hearing commands as an Echo, and somehow it can’t make a stereo double with a Sonos Play:1. If your dad already has a speaker he matches, it’s easier and cheaper to just buy an Amazon Echo Dot and add smarts that way. But if you look at it as a «fundamental smart speaker,» the One is the closest there is to a total package, currently.

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