father's day 2022

The Best Father’s Day Gifts for Techie Dads

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19, which means you still have time to find a thoughtful gift for Dad. Shopping for a tech-savvy dad can be tricky — especially if you don’t keep up with all the latest gadget and gizmo releases. To make your search easier this year, we’ve rounded up a variety of gifts for the tech-head in your life, including some of the best tech recommendations from our archives. The options cover dads who are into everything from home security systems to fitness tracking. Whether he’s interested in experimenting in the kitchen, snapping photos of the fam, or setting up a beautiful audio experience with wireless speakers or portable ones, you’re bound to find something here that he’ll love. (But we also have guides to gifts for new dads, golf dads, grilling-enthusiast dads, and, well, every other type of dad.) We checked this list for stock and shipping, and though most of these products will arrive on or before Sunday, some shipment times will depend on your location. (But these gifts are good enough that we don’t think he’ll mind if they’re late.)

For Internet of Things dads

Stephen Farrell, director of merchandising at Hammacher Schlemmer, likes Nest’s smart security camera, which sends alerts of suspicious activity directly to the app and includes speakers and a microphone. Farrell says it helps his family feel more secure.

Nest’s energy-saving smart thermostat is a favorite of Jeff Titterton’s, the marketing senior vice-president at Zendesk. He loves how the device makes it “easier to control everything throughout the house.”

This version of Google’s smart thermostat “makes suggestions on scheduling tweaks to help you save energy, while also tracking and alerting you to odd patterns in your heating and cooling usage,” says Strategist contributor Kyle Schurman. It’s a great gift for any father in the smart-thermostat market.

$20 for 2

These plugs let Dad make any device smart. He’ll be able to turn a regular old lamp on or off from his phone or set up a schedule. As Strategist contributor Kyle Schurman explains, “You can also have the Wyze turn on any time one of your other smart devices is activated. For example, if someone approaches your video doorbell, you could have a lamp in the window automatically turn on to make it look like someone is home.”

From $29 for 2

A favorite of Strategist contributor (and former tech columnist) David Pogue, this wireless charger will keep Dad’s phone from running out of juice. Instead of having to keep your phone flat on a charging pad, the stand makes it easy to see your screen while you’re charging.

If your father is always doing that thing where he pats his pockets in a panic, looking for his wallet or keys every time he’s leaving the house, get him a Tile Sticker. The simple Bluetooth tracker is about the size of a nickel and can stick to anything he’s worried he’ll forget. Instead of spending 15 minutes searching the couch the next time he can’t find his keys, he can just pull up the Tile app.

If your dad is obsessed with being energy efficient and always yells when the lights are left on in an empty room (is there any dad who hasn’t said this?), he will love these dimmable lightbulbs. He can also control the lights from his favorite chair using his voice via a smart home assistant like Google Assistant or Alexa.

The iRobot Roomba can be automatically set up via his phone, so any time he sees crumbs on the floor, he can call his robot vac to clean them up in seconds — without having to get up from his favorite chair.

For amateur-photographer dads

If your dad takes a lot of photos, he needs a way to show off his work. This digital frame lets him upload images straight from his phone. Reviewers mention that the app is intuitive to use. “It was simple to set up, and the app makes sending photos fast and easy,” says one customer. You can also connect your frame to Google Photos, Dropbox, Facebook, or Instagram.

If Dad’s been itching for a drone, the DJI Mini 2 has a powerful lens for capturing aerial photos and video in stabilized 4K— and it can be controlled by his phone. It’s a solid entry-level drone with more features than a “toy,” while still being relatively affordable.

$150

Polaroid was among the brands that were mentioned repeatedly by experts we spoke to for our story about instant cameras. This camera has numerous features like double exposure and manual mode that will allow your dad to tap into his more creative side. It can also be controlled using the Polaroid app.

For audiophile dads

For multiroom wireless speakers, no system works as seamlessly as Sonos. Multiple experts we spoke to praised its quality sound, tasteful aesthetic, and ability to quickly connect with other Sonos speakers. Jade Baker, partner and assistant buyer at John Lewis, says, “This is the classic starter speaker for your multiroom collection. With the ability to link up to all other Sonos speakers in the range, you can kit out your whole house with room-filling sound.”

$274

This Bluetooth speaker should appeal to any dad with an affinity for retro tech. It has volume, bass, and treble knobs for easy analog adjustments, or he can use the Marshall app to adjust the settings via his phone.

Photo: retailer

In my review of noise-canceling headphones, I highlighted the XM4’s three-hour battery life, comfortable ear cups, and engaging sound. And I really loved quick-attention mode, which engages when you place your hand over the right ear cup — the headphones instantly lower the volume a bit so you can more easily pick up on the sounds around you.

If your dad’s a marathoner or just a guy who runs a few miles on the weekend, he’ll appreciate a good set of earbuds. David Siik, a long-distance runner and the founder of the running class Precision Run by Equinoxtold us these waterproof ones are his favorite. “I’ve tried every single pair of headphones — and there are some good ones out there — but the Jaybird Vista headphones are the only ones that have literally never fallen out of my ears once, no matter how hard I run,” he says.

If he wants to bring his music with him to the garage or backyard, get your dad the UE Boom 3, a portable and durable Bluetooth speaker. According to our sister site the Verge, “Ultimate Ears’ Boom speakers are some of the best around, with their bright colors, waterproof exteriors, and water-bottle-sized design that makes it the perfect option for bringing to a picnic … or a park.”

For dads who want to keep the music going without the bulk of a big boom box, consider gifting the SoundLink Micro from Bose. (It’s also one of our favorite gifts for new dads.)

On its own, the JBL Charge 5 is a great speaker, with quality sound and water resistance. But if you really want to treat your dad this Father’s Day, get him two. That way, he can take advantage of JBL’s brilliant Party Mode, which syncs up to 100 compatible JBL speakers for simultaneous playback. When I tested the technology for the Strategist, I found that instead of the music deferring to one speaker or fighting between the two, it comes out perfectly tuned from both. Wherever I walked, the music surrounded me.

For gamer dads

The Nintendo Switch will tap into his nostalgia for games like Mario Kart or Zelda. Writer Joshua Rivera recommends the portable console for gamers of all ages, including beginners. Jamin Warren, founder of video game consulting firm Twofivesix, says, “Not only does it easily dock to your television, but there are also lots of great new games on it. For those who are looking for something really versatile and social, it’s a perfect device.”

When we interviewed gamers to find suitable alternatives to the frequently sold-out Switch, three of them recommended Apple Arcade. “I honestly find myself reaching more for my phone when it comes to playing games,” says Sophie Orchard, a gaming YouTuber. “Right now, there is a much larger variety of games for mobile.” Andrew Webster, games editor at the Verge, recommends the subscription service, which offers high-quality games and a more streamlined gaming experience compared to the regular games you might find in the App Store.

Numerous gamers have recommended this Logitech gaming mouse, including Cameron Faulkner, a staff writer the Verge who says it’s his current favorite. The grip is comfortable, and he likes “that it includes customizable weights for a personalized feel,” if you’re looking for some more resistance while playing. If your dad is looking to step up his gaming, this is the mouse to get.

This wireless keyboard streamlines the gaming process and is perfect for gamer dads with its attractive low price, says Emily Heller, Vulture’s recommendations editor.

F. Martin, a TikToker and mechanical-keyboard builder, recommends this pre-built mechanical keyboard for gamers. It’s a 60 percent keyboard with RGB lights and the option of a wired or wireless Bluetooth connection. The minimal design should free up space on Dad’s desk. Plus, the Kemove is hot-swappable, allowing him to pair up to three devices and switch between them seamlessly.

This controller comes recommended by Sam Byford, Asia editor at the Verge, who says, “I really like this design. It solves many of the biggest pain points of mobile game controllers: They can be awkward to carry, attach, detach, and pair with your device. The Kishi’s setup is effortless.”

For TV-loving dads

If your dad is finally getting tired of cable and wants to stream TV shows and movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Disney+, get him a Roku Streaming Stick+. It’s easy to install: Just plug it into the television, connect to the internet, and start watching. And it can handle HD and 4K broadcasts. Plus, he can also use the voice-activated remote to search for shows and control the volume.

The Apple TV 4K is the perfect streaming solution for dads who are already obsessed with Apple’s other products. He can watch shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video, along with Apple TV+ for Apple’s own original content. And if he likes to play games on Apple Arcade, the Apple TV lets him do that on a bigger screen.

To add a little immersive ambience to Dad’s TV-viewing experience, these lights offer bright but not distracting background colors. They can adjust their colors in response to the movie or TV show that’s playing, making his home setup feel even more like a mini movie theater.

Anker Nebula Capsule Projector
$250
$250

The Nebula Capsule is the size of a soda can, so he can take it anywhere he wants to project his favorite movies, television shows, or YouTube videos. It even includes a built-in speaker. The Capsule can be plugged in via USB or HDMI cable, or if that’s more work than he wants, he can stream shows to it via AirPlay.

For culinary-tech dads

Just in time for grilling season, dad can stick this thermometer in his steak or chicken and monitor the temperature from his phone while he’s playing cornhole.

Baristas say a gooseneck kettle is essential to creating the optimum pour-over brew because it gives you greater control over the timing and direction of your pour. This kettle holds water at your temperature of choice for up to an hour, and a built-in stopwatch counts the extraction or steep time.

This mug is ideal for dads who complain about thermoses that never keep their coffee hot enough. The Ember Mug² keeps their drink consistently warm for hours thanks to its built-in, battery-powered heating system and charging plate. The whole setup connects to Ember’s app via Bluetooth, so Dad can change the temperature of his drink from his phone — or the other room.

Click & Grow Smart Garden 3
$80
$80

The Click and Grow Smart Garden is perfect for any dad who likes to grow their own fresh herbs. Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo recommended it as one of her favorite indoor smart gardens. It’s about the size of a loaf of bread with space to grow three plant pods at a time, and you can choose from over 50 different types of plants.

This pitcher uses UVc light to zap and kill bacteria and viruses that could make you sick. (We bet that your dad will never get tired of explaining that cool technology to guests.) Similar to other water pitchers we recommend, Larq’s version also comes with a filter — one that helps remove the chemicals, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and heavy metals that UVc light cannot.

For wellness-obsessed dads

If your father is obsessed with keeping a perfect sleep routine (or is desperately in need of one), the Philips Wake-Up Light comes recommended by Terry Cralle, a clinical sleep educator. “Research indicates that a more naturalistic exposure to light can improve sleep quality,” he says. “The gradual nature of the increasing level of light mimics a natural sunrise, essentially waking us up before our eyes open.”

We recommended this phone sanitizer in our Father’s Day gift guide for new dads. Just pop your phone inside this case (which also doubles as a phone charger), and the UV-C bulbs will zap 99.99 percent of bacteria and germs. It’s like a car wash for Dad’s phone.

This well-reviewed and affordable Bluetooth-connected scale can make tracking health and fitness metrics even more enjoyable for dads who are into the whole quantified-self thing. One reviewer liked “that the app can connect to Apple HealthKit, so all of this data can be synced with other health and fitness applications.”

Support Dad’s running habit with a GPS watch for tracking his time, speed, distance, and heart rate. City Coach co-founder and head coach Jonathan Cane said the Garmin Forerunner 35 “will certainly do the trick for a new runner, and will be adequate even for a more hard-core athlete.”

$99

When we interviewed athletes about their favorite workout headphones, eight of them praised Apple’s classic AirPods for their reliable connection and small size — an important feature that makes the AirPods less likely to impede movement during intense exercise.

For traveling tech dads

“A USB adapter is extremely practical, and I find myself using mine on every trip,” says Rachel Coleman, the social-media lead at Berlin-based travel agency GetYourGuide. She loves that this adapter has four USB ports, meaning she can charge her phone, headphones, and external batteries all with one device. (Just note that you would still need four USB cords.) Plus, she says, it’s universal: “I can charge everything in one place, no matter which country I’m in.”

This simple device will allow your dad to seamlessly connect his Bluetooth headphones or AirPods to his flight’s onboard entertainment system. Food stylist Judy Kim is a huge fan and uses it frequently while traveling.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best women’s jeans, rolling luggage, bed sheets, coffee makers, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The Best Father’s Day Gifts for Techie Dads