AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide is here, full of goodies for everyone on your list. Gift-giving for the AV enthusiast is always difficult, so hopefully, we can find you some cool and useful gifts for the geek in your life. I will try to break the list down into practical, fun, frivolous, and useful categories. Let’s discuss!
Editor’s Note: These are products that we have direct experience with. Of course, we’ve not tried every product in every category on this list. If you have suggestions, please leave them in the comments! We’d love to hear them.
Best Gift For People On The Go
We live in a fast paced world. Between commuting for work/school, heading to the gym, and out and about with your friends, we spend a lot of time away from our homes. So why not get some gifts that fit the bill for on-the-go people?
So hands down, the best gift you can give someone on the go is a power bank. With so many mobile devices with us (phones, headphones, watches, etc.), dead batteries are a big concern. So why not give the gift of portable power? Depending on what devices you have, and how much power you need, there are lots of options out there.
I personally own the Anker 325 Power Bank. It is a no-frills bank that will allow you to charge 2 devices at the same time. It will allow you to charge your iPhone 4x and your iPad 2x with the 20,000mAH battery. And my headphones? Like a billion times! At $50, it’s not expensive and it fits in your back pocket. The only downside is that you are limited to USB A chargers.
If you want a little bit more flexibility, the Morphie Powerstation XL ($70) gives you USB A/C and wireless charging. It steps down to a 15,000mAH battery, so you won’t get as many charges as the Anker 325, but you get more options.
No matter what model or brand you go for, a power bank is definitely a must have on the AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide. Your person on the go will LOVE it!
Best Gift For The Gamer On Your List
I am a minor console gamer now, so almost all of my games are consumed on my Xbox and home theater setup. But if you have a PC gamer on your list, we have some solid (and affordable) gadgets in the AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide for you!
I love mechanical keyboards. They are solidly built and have a satisfying firm click when you press a key. And gamers love mechanical keyboards! Mechanical keyboards can take a ton of use from long gaming sessions. Add low input lag and you have the perfect tool to bring your gameplay to the next level.
We like the IOGEAR GKB610R mechanical keyboard. It comes with USB/Bluetooth connectivity, red linear switches (the quietest of the lot) and it’s a 65% form factor. This means it won’t take up a ton of space on your desk. Plus, it won’t break the bank at $68.
Curved Gaming Monitor
Curved TVs have (thankfully) come and gone. I won’t prattle on about the downsides of a curved TV, but the primary complaint is that only the person in the middle gets the best experience. So what is terrible for home theater is PERFECT for a gaming monitor!
Enter the Monoprice 35in Zero-G Curved Ultrawide Gaming Monitor V2. It’s large enough that it put you in the middle of the action, but not so large to completely dominate your entire setup.
It’s 1440p (great for a desktop), has HDMI and Display Port, a 4ms response time (WOW!), supports AMD Freesnyc, and has 120hz refresh. And no, it doesn’t have 4k120 or HDMI 2.1. But at $320, I dare you to find a more capable monitor at the same price.
Best Gift For The Vinyl Lover On Your List
Ok, so I added this one because it’s my article and I will force my vinyl-forward agenda on you! Vinyl has become more popular in the last few years and more and more people are getting into the hobby (Editor’s note: “More and more” of a small fraction of people is still a very small number). But it can be pretty expensive if you go down the rabbit hole. But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be super expensive and you can still get great quality components.
I have just spent a few months getting to know the Fluance RT81 turntable a bit better. And I am here to tell you that at $249, it’s a lot of bang for the buck. It has all the fancy features of the more expensive tables, but it clocks in at a fraction of the price. On top of that, it has a built-in phono preamp so all you need is a pair of powered speakers and you are ready to spin some vinyl.
Fluance Ai41 Powered Bookshelf Speakers
The Fluance Ai41 powered bookshelf speakers are a must-have in the AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide. Not only do they have RCA, Bluetooth, and optical Toslink outputs, they are powered. This means you don’t need a separate power amplifier to power them. This is great for a no-frills or minimalist setup.
On top of that, they sound great. My editor reviewed the Fluance Ai41s, and he loved their sound. He said they were tight and punchy, with great highs, a neutral sound, and no listener fatigue to be had. That’s about all you can ask for in a $249 speaker.
Best Gift For the Chef On Your List
I fancy myself a pretty fair chef, and I love to get new gadgets for the kitchen. So I want to focus on some gifts that will please amateur and pro chefs alike.
Meater Plus Wireless Thermometer
I have multiple wired meat thermometers. They work great, but they have two flaws. One – they have wires that get snagged all the time. Two – I have to be in the same room to check on them and hear the alarm. Honestly, if I am in the kitchen cooking, those two limitations are not too bad. But if I am smoking something on my deck and I am off doing yard work or something else, it’s convenient to have my thermometer in my pocket.
Enter the Meater Plus wireless thermometer. Sure, it’s not super cheap at $79, but it offers wireless connectivity, a cool app that tells you temps and cook times, and it syncs to your phone for on-the-go alerts. It’s definitely on my list this year.
Corsi Pro Smart Airfryer
I LOVE my airfryer, but my only complaint is that it’s a dumb appliance. Well, if you are in the market for a new airfryer, check out the Corsi Pro Smart Airfryer.
It features a 5.8 quart capacity, tons of presets for your favorite foods, and it will work with both Amazon and Alexa. And I know what you are saying, why do I need a “smart” airfryer? The question you should be asking is why don’t you need a smart airfryer? It’s a few bucks more than a standard one, and it can remind you from anywhere in the house that your stuff is done. Or you can take a quick look and see how much time is left. It’s a value-add proposition that you didn’t know you needed.
Best Practical Gifts
When I was younger, I hated the practical gift. Now that I am older, I see the value in getting black socks and I look forward to them. So here are some practical gifts for the AV enthusiast on your list.
Having a couple of extra good HDMI cables around is amazing. It allows you to quickly add new gear to your system. If you are having issues, troubleshooting the issue with a known good cable is a must.
I am not talking about getting an “audiophile-grade” HDMI cable that is made with angel tears. I really like Monoprice HDMI cables. Their 8K Ultra High-Speed HDMI Cables are a full 48gbps and are $7.99 for a 6’ length. Or you can really break the bank and hop up to their in-wall rated HDMI cable for $8.99. Whether you go for standard or in-wall, a good set of HDMI cables (or three) is in AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide!
3-in-1 Charging Cable
I don’t know about your house, but I have all sorts of devices that use USB C, micro USB, and lightning ports. Because of that, I have more cords and charging bricks than I know what to do with. Well, a 3-in-1 cable from Anker is exactly what you need for that scenario.
The Anker 3-in-1 allows you to quickly swap out the charging tip for the device, and the unused ends are attached to the cord. No need to worry about losing them! At $21.99, it’s one of the more affordable and practical gifts that I would love to see under my tree this year.
Best Gift For The Streamer On Your List
Streaming services are mainstream services now. To get the best out of them, you need a good steaming box. While it’s true that your smart TV probably has a bunch of apps built-in, we always suggest a decent streaming box that has a bit more power.
Apple TV 4K – Best For Most People
The new 2022 Apple TV 4K just released and not only is it more powerful, but it’s also cheaper than its predecessor. Offering 4k HDR/Dolby Vision, plus some of the best frame rate switching, the Apple TV 4K is one of the best investments you can get for your home theater. Starting at $129 for the WiFi only model, and $149 for the Ethernet model, the pricing is certainly attractive.
Chromecast With Google TV – Best Budget Streamer
I have a Chromecast for my father-in-law. He is a no-nonsense fellow that struggles with technology. Basically, he likes simplicity. The Chromecast is probably the easiest streaming box out there. It has a very straightforward layout and a very simple remote. He is able to navigate the streaming services and my Plex server. The only complaint he has is that the volume buttons on the side are a bit small. At $39 for the 4K version and $20 for the HD version, it’s not going to break the bank at all.
Best Gift For The Headphone Lover
Headphones are probably my most used accessory. Whether I am listening to AV Rant while on the bus to work, or using them to drown out the generic gym music while I work out, headphones are a must-have on my list.
Best Over-The-Ear Headphones
I have not jumped down the earphone rabbit hole. My over-the-ear cans are just a set of cheapie gamer headphones so I can chat with my buddy on COD. But, my editor recently tested out the Monoprice 43251 Bluetooth headphones and was very impressed with their performance. At $60, you would be hard-pressed to get a set of Bluetooth headphones that can rival these.
They have a 32’ range and all the different hi-res streaming codecs you could want. Plus, they sport a very respectable 20-hour battery life. Lastly, they sound fantastic and have active noise canceling. That’s pretty unbeatable for $60.
I live in the IEM world. I love the freedom of not having cords, and I don’t like having a set of cans over my ears while I work out. But often times you end up sacrificing sound quality unless you want to go really high-end.
My daily drivers are the ZVOX AV30 wireless headphones. At $99, they are not crazy expensive and they have great sound quality. Plus they have three sound levels (ANC, external sounds, and normal), great connectivity and range, and crazy battery life. The only complaint I have is that they only have a play and pause feature, so if you are a frequent music skipper, these may not be for you. I have mine hooked up to my Apple Watch and I can work out without having to bring my phone with me.
So there you have it. This is my take on AV Gadget’s 2022 Gift Guide. I hope that I gave you some ideas for the hard-to-buy-for AV enthusiast that seems to have everything. Let us know what you will be getting your AV nerd this Christmas. Drop it in the comments below.