- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Father’s Day is this Sunday, and here are some last-minute gift suggestions for the dad who loves gadgets and being a multimedia couch potato.

Icon Wireless (A-Audio, $379.99) — If father needs an aural stress-release session, but he does not want to disturb anyone near his home office, a pair of luxurious, technology-packed, Bluetooth 4.0 headphones should do the trick.

The headphones, untethered for movement up to 30 feet away from the connected smart device, feature soft leather and breathable memory foam padding that covers the head and ears. These adjustable masterpieces boast bass enhancement, active-noise cancellation and normal audio mode.

The studio-quality sound reproduction is warm and rich for video games, movies and music. Highs and mids are crisp, and a never-distorted bass worked great for roughly a dozen hours of audio streaming on the internal lithium battery’s single charge.

Steel octagonal beveling on either ear cup highlights metallic, circular rings, with the right cup acting as the control module for phone calls and playback down to volume and pausing as well as forwarding through song lists.

You read right, phone calls. The unit comes with a detachable phone cord with remote microphone (offering basic functionally such as rejecting calls on iOS devices) to handle any important calls.

Purist can also plug in the included 4-foot, tangle-free cord into a gold-plated port for a wired experience.

The package even has a power bank (shaped like the size of a lipstick case) that, once charged, offers more power on the go if the headphones run out of juice.

Finally, the set includes a traveling case and polish cloth to make dad feel like he owns the BMW of headphones.

BD-J7500 (Samsung, $199) — With movies beginning to get released in Blu-ray with remastered, 4K transfers, doesn’t a cinema-addicted dad deserve the chance to see what he is missing?

Samsung’s latest affordable, multimedia streaming Blu-ray player arrives to deliver an upscaled image, interpolated to four times as many pixels (2160p) than that current high-definition standard, as long as an Ultra High Definition (UHD) television is attached (remember that caveat).

Now, as to whether a human can actually appreciate that much level of clarity will need to be debated as well as if filmmakers really require that outrageous resolution for their artistic efforts.

No matter, there is no arguing that the compact 7-inch-wide, 1.5-inch-tall and 14-inches-long J7500 offers a smorgasbord for the eyes when watching 4K digital transfers of such titles as “Ghostbusters” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $26.99), “Apollo 13: 20th Anniversary Edition” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $19.98) and “Goodfellas: 25th Anniversary Edition” (Warner Home Video, $34.99).

The sometimes too realistic clarity is readily apparent in the minutia of every special-effects-loaded scene, exotic location and actor’s facial pore.

The device offers analog and digital audio, Ethernet and USB connections as well as a pair of HDMI ports. Also the player supports third-dimensional content (for the select few appreciating it) as well as DTS-Master Audio 7.1 and True Dolby sound mixes.

Speedy menu and playback access (disks load in under 20 seconds) and a ridiculous amount of options for viewing content via online apps though WiFi or hard-wired connections will impress.

That means streaming videos, photos and music via the use of a Web browser, through on-demand content apps from familiar services such as Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant, Spotify, Pandora, Facebook and Accuweather or pulling media from Samsung’s cloud services.

With a reasonably priced Blu-ray player in house, a 4K, ultra-high-definition television is, of course a necessity. Samsung offers an affordably price model with the UN48JU6500 ($899).

Sized for the man cave and not a home theater experience, it’s a 48-inch LED, Smart TV with a quad-core processor to quickly switch between apps, built in WiFi and four HDMI inputs to connect plenty of devices.

It might be overkill to splurge on the UN48JU6500 coupled with the Blu-ray player, but dad is worth it.

805 (Braven, $199.99) — Let’s call this numerically named, brick-sized, noise amplifier, an aural invigator for dads enamored with music.

Yes, also known as a wireless, Bluetooth speaker, the grilled block offers a wide range of sound clarity from booming bass (a boost is accomplished when holding both volume buttons down to set) and punchy high ends.

The pair of 10-watt driver’s fidelity array should satisfy both the relaxed classical fan in need of listening to a Mozart concerto or if dad wants to crank the volume and shred his ears with some AC/DC.

It takes seconds to pair a device with the speaker; its set of top panel buttons and a handy power meter on its side will allow listeners to keep track of battery life.

While on battery life, the 805 can run up to 18 hours from its fully charged, lithium-ion battery (wall charger included with numerous adapters for international use), but it also shuts off after 90 minutes if no device is available.

The rich audio experience is certainly appreciated but extra features include a built-in power bank to recharge wireless devices (USB cord not included). For those who must occasionally work while enjoying tunes, a built-in microphone helps turn the device into a speakerphone (background noise cancellation of course) for a quick meeting.

Other features include the wireless tethering to another Brave 8 series speaker unit and nine color choices ranging from white to grey, magenta and teal for a hue match to any room decor.

40V MAX Lithium Trimmer / Edger (Black and Decker, price range — $153.99 to $179.99) — All play and no yard work makes daddy a pudgy fellow. Between his maelstrom of home-media stimulations, tempt the old man to get his butt off the couch and tackle his favorite lawn duties with the latest revolution in grass manicure tools.

Standing near 5 feet tall with the adjustable scope fully extended, the cordless stick-like device is lightweight, with battery attached (roughly 7.5 pounds) and uses an automatic feed spool (no stopping to push out more line) to offer a comfortable work flow for short and tall dads.

A variable speed trigger helps allow owners to decide the power required for the job while its brushless motor and gear drive transmission technology helps battery life and cutting consistency.

With an efficient, 13-inch cutting swath, the trimmer delivers about 20 to 30 minutes of non-stop action whether slicing down weeds or, with an easy flip of the base, edging along sidewalks.

The included lithium battery pack also offers a push-button, light-up display to show much life remains in its cells so owners can work accordingly.

Additionally, owners get a fast-charger base that gets the battery fully refreshed in roughly an hour.

The only caveat here is the amount of string afforded on the included spool. It’s not enough to handle an average front yard let alone a decent-sized back yard. Make sure to buy extra string-loaded spools (averaging $26 for a 3-pack) to satiate dad as he crafts his greens.

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