Your father has excellent musical taste — according to him, anyway. But even you have to admit his favorite bands have stood the test of time.
This Father’s Day, give dad the latest and greatest in music tech to help him enjoy his favorite tunes like never before. Bonding with him over these seven music-related gifts will not only give you an education in the classics (and classic rock), but will bring you and your father closer — at least until his favorite record needs to be flipped to the B side.
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SpeakOut Bluetooth Outlet Speaker ($50)
Bringing the old man into the new world of digital music doesn’t need to be an expensive endeavor. The SpeakOut Bluetooth Outlet Speaker is a smart way to infuse dad’s house with songs without costly hardware.
Plugging right into a wall outlet, the SpeakOut pairs with smartphones, tablets, and other computing devices to bring the room alive with the sound of music. While there are many other plug-in Bluetooth speakers on the market, the SpeakOut rocks because it also has an electrical outlet integrated into its form factor. And if you want stereo sound, just buy a pair of SpeakOuts and place them on opposite sides of the room.
Marshall Monitor Headphones ($90)
Dads who like to rock will see the familiar Marshall logo and grin. Featuring the classic textured black leather that gave rock its early cred, the Marshall Monitor Headphones are old school and new wave, all at once.
With more than 30 hours of battery life on a single charge, these Bluetooth over-ear headphones are designed to isolate the old man with his tunes — no feuding siblings, no howling dog, and no chatty commuters are going to ruin his favorite guitar riff. But they’re collapsible and portable, so they fit perfectly in a shoulder bag to make traveling more bearable.
Roadie Automatic Guitar Tuner ($100)
Dad can’t help if his singing is bad, but if his strumming is even worse, it’s time to seek outside help. This Bluetooth-connected guitar tuner pairs with dad’s smartphone to help get those E-B-G-D-A-E strings in order.
Able to tune both acoustics (via the phone’s microphone) or electrics (through a headphone jack dongle), the Roadie even works in noisy environments, in case pops is about to jam in a coffee house. It also goes beyond guitars, working with any instrument that uses standard guitar pegs. That’s great news for musicians, but not so good for people who don’t like banjos.
Griffin Twenty Digital Audio Amp ($130)
Dad’s not one to let things go to waste — especially when one of those things is his favorite sound system. Connecting smartphones and streaming services to old (but still great-sounding) speakers, the Griffin Twenty Digital Audio Amplifier could be the perfect present for the father who’s looking to bring his music into the modern age.
More than a Bluetooth bridge that links smartphones and tablets to bookshelf and other high-end speakers, the Twenty also outputs 20 watts per channel, so it’s got more oomph than your typical wireless setup. Supporting AptX and AAC codecs, the high-design amp has the potential for better fidelity than cheaper gear. And with a subwoofer output, even dad can be all about that bass.
ROLI Lightpad Block ($180)
Everyone’s always after the next new sound. If your house music expert, DJ Jazzy Dad, is into block-rocking beats, ROLI Blocks, an app-connected, touch-sensitive, modular music studio might be the instrument for him.
A small but powerful touch-sensitive playing surface, the iOS-compatible squares let would-be and professional DJs alike explore and experiment with a wide range of sound. The Blocks link with the Noise app, which packs more than 100 sounds and lets users record their own loops to sample in. Fully programmable and customizable, the little touchscreens snap together with magnetic connectors, but are small enough to fit into a pocket.
Buy now: ROLI Lightpad Block, $180, Amazon
Electrohome Classic Turntable Stereo System ($200)
In every extended family, there’s at least one dad who waxes poetic about the sweet sound of vinyl. Say what you will about that dad’s musical taste, his ear for sound is spot on, and consoles like the Electrohome Classic Turntable Stereo System will keep him spinning for the foreseeable future.
But the analog magic doesn’t stop there — with an honest-to-goodness AM/FM radio, complete with dial, this stereo is a throwback. There’s no cassette deck, alas, but the Electrohome will do you two better: First, a USB port lets collectors plug in a flash drive to rip tracks off their records, with no computers or software required. And finally, for those dads with one foot in the past and another in the future, the auxiliary input jack is a great place to plug in an Amazon Echo Dot.
Here One Smart Earbuds ($300)
A hearing aid would make a terrible Father’s Day gift, but the Here One Smart Eartbuds will blow him away like the Maxell guy.
These true wireless earbuds don’t just make it easy to sling songs from your smartphone to your eardrums. With an array of microphones, they can also be used to turn the volume down on the world around you. So, if dad doesn’t want to hear the baby crying in row 27, he can just fiddle with the Here app to squelch that sound. But they also work great at concerts, making it easy to enjoy the show without the ringing ears afterwards.