Buying Guides

Ultimate College AV Gift Guide 2022 – Tech Edition

Sending one of your kids off to college is exciting. They are taking their first steps into a new world of independence…and you get to start measuring their room for the new home theater! Jokes aside, starting college is exciting and overwhelming for both the kid and parent alike. But fear not, you will get them off on the right foot with a choice (or two) from our College AV Gift Guide! We know how much college costs so, don’t worry, we’ll take it easy on your wallet!

One of the time-honored traditions is taking your kid shopping for all the stuff they need to set up their dorm room or apartment. When I was a college kid (over 28 years ago!), my needs differed from when I sent my two daughters off. I am sure many of us felt the same way. 

But no worries. I will help you navigate these new waters and give you a series of “must-have” items for the modern college kid. So please sit back and enjoy my Ultimate College AV Gift Guide 2022 Tech Edition.

1) Keyboard and Mouse 

I am assuming that your college kid will have a computer. But we often overlook the most used accessory, the keyboard, and mouse. Now I know that you probably think that most computers come with these accessories, and you wouldn’t be wrong. But they are often the cheapest you can find and are of dubious quality. And let’s face it, they will want something cool as well. Well, look no further. We have you covered with a great mouse/keyboard combo in our AV Gift Guide 2022. And it won’t break the bank.

This Red Dragon K582 SURARA RGB LED Backlit Mechanical Gaming Keyboard (Amazon Link) with a Logitech G502 HERO High-Performance Wired Gaming Mouse (Amazon Link) combo has all the bells and whistles. They include RGB lighting, a mechanical keyboard (with very satisfyingly clicky red switches), and adjustable weights for the mouse. Oh, and they are programmable for different “productivity software” (games). Plus, you get to be the cool parent for picking out something fantastic. 

If you want to win parent-of-the-year, get them a University-themed desk mouse pad, and you are a shoo-in! 

2) Back-Up SSD

Anyone who has bought a laptop or PC lately knows that storage is at a premium, and upgrading internal storage can be pretty expensive. And let’s face it, all those “projects” that your kid will be assigned take up lots of space. So if you want to add something valuable from the AV Gift Guide 2022, an external SSD is up there in terms of utility. We like OWC 1TB Envoy Pro Elektron USB-C Portable NVMe SSD from Amazon for $199.

First off, it’s NVME, so that means it’s fast. Secondly, its USB-C, so that means its speed will be able to be utilized. And lastly, it’s small and USB powered, which means that it doesn’t need anything other than a USB-C. Add a robust case with IP67 water-resistant rating, and it’s an excellent choice for our College AV Gift Guide.

3) Earbuds

So if a set of good wireless earbuds isn’t in my Colledge AV Gift Guide, I don’t know what it should be. A good set of earbuds is a staple for everyone, college kids included. They allow you to listen to music, podcasts, or whatever media you choose. Plus, they can make calls back home to tell you how much they miss you…and ask for money! 

I love my ZVOX AV30 wireless earbuds. They have become my daily drivers, and I use them for all media types. They are $99, so they aren’t exactly budget killers. The AV30s offer noise-canceling – which is great when your buddies are partying and you are just trying to do your homework! And they have excellent battery life. 

If you want something just a bit more high-tech, the TCL MOVEADIO S600 might be what you want. The S600s offer a similar design to the AV30, plus they are available in black and come with an app to dial them in. The S600s are also $99, so they aren’t exactly pricey. 

4) Gaming Headphones

All work and no play make Jack a dull college kid. So naturally, a set of good gaming headphones is on our Colledge AV Gift Guide. But if you have ever looked at the prices of gaming headphones, it can be a shock to the wallet. 

But here is a little secret: most high-priced “gaming headsets” rely on fancy LED lights and name recognition, not actual quality, to sell. While not as sexy as other headsets, the Beyerdynamic MMX 100 gaming headset is the best $99 you will spend for quality headphones. And what you do get is a great-sounding set of headphones that also have a decent mic. 

Plus, they have some great bells and whistles like a detachable microphone, physical volume dial, and mute controls on the headphones. Extra cables allow you to use it both on your gaming console (single mic/headphone input) or PC (separate mic/headphone inputs), giving some flexibility in connectivity. 

5) Streaming Music Subscription

I won’t get into which streaming service is better. Instead, I will say that a streaming music subscription should be on your Colledge AV Gift Guide. Most streaming services offer very similar catalogs of music and artists, so it often comes down to pricing and family plans. 

But before you go shelling out a lot of money for yet another streaming plan, take a look at what your other subscriptions offer. I have Amazon Prime for free deliveries, but I also get Amazon music and Amazon Prime streaming, all for one price. 

Music is a right of passage for every college kid, and I have very fond memories of sitting around with my buddies listening to music, doing our homework, and not partying! 

Our Take

So there you have it, those are our Top 5 Ultimate College AV Gift Guide 2022 Tech Edition! While there are many more items that any college kid would love (stay tuned for more guides), this is a solid set of staple items. 

All are practical and will come in handy for academics and relaxation alike. Plus, they are high quality for their price point. Sure, they are not as flashy as some more mainstream gear, but they also won’t break the bank. 

What about you? What are some of your must-have items? Tell us in the comments below. 

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