By Merilee Kern, ‘The Luxe List’ Executive Editor
Ah, holiday shopping—the time of year when we go toe-to-toe, elbow-to-elbow and sometimes nose-to-nose with other merry-makers seeking out the season’s latest and greatest giftables. While throngs resign themselves to the chaotic “mall crawl,” it seems the majority of holiday shoppers will forego the parking lot laments and long checkout lines in favor of e-commerce convenience. In fact, during one August 2017 survey, it was found that fully 69 percent of respondents planned to shop for gifts online for the 2017 holiday season in order to avoid the holiday crowds in brick-and-mortar stores.
For those online shoppers looking to ease and expedite their approach, I’ve curated an exciting collection of gift ideas—from under-the-tree fabulosity to creative stocking stuffers to practical lifestyle enhancers—that are sure to make the recipient thankful for your thoughtfulness and generosity.
This year’s categories are as follows:
— For Home Entertainment Enthusiasts
— For the Gadget Junkies
— For Smartphone Addicts
— For the Wanderers
— For Food & Wine Aficionados
— For Beauty & Style Seekers
— For Fashion Devotees
— For the Wellness-Seekers
— For the Do-it-Yourselfers
— For the Kids…and their Mommies
— For Pet Lovers
So without further ado, here is part 1 of this year’s top gift picks:
******** For Home Entertainment Enthusiasts ********
Polk Signa S1 Universal TV Sound Bar & Wireless Subwoofer System (www.PolkAudio.com) – $199.95
The Polk Audio Signa S1 sound bar offers one of the most advanced, room-filling home theater experiences on the market. . It’s designed to bring room-filling home theater experiences with a simple solution that is affordable and extremely easy to operate. It boasts several features such as one-button preset EQ settings, which are aimed at tailoring the listening experience to TV shows, movies and music. It also provides Bluetooth compatibility. Additionally, users can customize voice levels leveraging Polk Audio’s patented Voice Adjust technology, which reproduces clear dialogue. This voice adjust mode allows users to actually adjust only the dialog, so you’ll never miss a word during action scenes again. At just two-inches tall, the Signa S1 features a performance-tuned driver array and supports Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding, all while remaining small enough to fit underneath a TV.
Geemarc OPTICLIP TV Listener Headset (www.HarrisComm.com) – $99.99
Can’t hear the TV without cranking the volume or just want to watch TV while someone else in the space does not? The wireless Geemarc CL7350 OPTICLIP TV listener headset lets everyone enjoy their favorite shows at a comfortable volume (up to 125dB spl) without disturbing others in the area. It lets users binge watch for up to six hours without needing to be recharged. An optional second headset and charger is available so users can watch TV uninterrupted while the other headset recharges. The Geemarc CL7350 Opticlip features optical input and auxiliary input for easier connection and superior sound quality. An integrated microphone lets the user hear conversations with the touch of a button. It has an 80-foot indoor wireless range and works easily through walls for total uninterrupted access. With it, the kids can listen to their shows without disturbing the adults, or vice versa, making it a must-have gift for a family.
Sideclick Universal Remote Control (www.SideClickRemotes.com) – $29.99
Snap the Sideclick Universal Remote onto your existing streaming player remote and control your TV, sound bar, DVD player, AND your streaming device all-in-one. This slim universal remote attachment for streaming devices allows you to control the basic functions of your TV and streaming device at the same time, on the same device. Compatible with Roku, Apple TV, Google Nexus Player and Amazon Fire TV devices, the device is easy to program using IR learning technology and can be programmed over multiple components. Programming occurs in just minutes as there are no complicated source codes. You’ll love that it makes accessing streaming apps quicker and easier for kids who will no longer need to fumble with multiple remotes to watch TV. Sideclick’s clip-on design attaches in a snap and allows users to utilize voice-search features which are lost in other universal remote options. It’s a thoughtful accessory for cord cutters and streamers.
JBL LINK 300 Voice Controlled Bluetooth Speaker (JBL.com) – $249.95
The first portable Bluetooth-enabled speakers to merge JBL’s signature sound with Google Assistant, JBL LINK gives users rich, full-range audio and instant access to their favorite music with just the control of just their voice. The speaker provides a powerful listening experience, featuring high-definition music streaming and built-in Chromecast, which elevates the overall music listening experience. In addition to controlling music by voice, Google Assistant manages other smart, connected devices through the LINK, allowing users to dim the lights or stream Netflix to a TV. The LINK 300 creates an immersive experience, with bigger sound that fills even the largest of rooms. To enhance the multi-room experience, LINK speakers can be synced together to create an absolutely epic listening experience with intense, elevated sound quality.
Harman Kardon Invoke Voice Controlled Speaker (HarmanKardon.com) – $199.95
The Harman Kardon Invoke brings together Harman Kardon’s audio heritage with Cortana by Microsoft, resulting in a beautifully designed speaker for the home. Crafted from premium materials, the Invoke’s striking metallic speaker cabinet delivers power and projects sound with proprietary 360-degree adaptive technology—seven microphones that recognizes all details of your voice commands from any direction. It uses Harman’s beam forming, echo cancellation, and noise reduction algorithms to ensure Cortana can hear you clearly, even in challenging environments. As your personal digital assistant, Cortana helps you stay on top of what’s important. With Invoke, you’ll enjoy captivating sound, can voice control music and a smart home, make and receive hands-free calls with Skype, get answers to your questions and more. Available in either pearl or graphite.