There’s a good chance you’ve found yourself with a new gadget or two after the holiday season, and it might be something entirely new to you. While most of today’s hottest gifts are ready to use right out of the box, there are a variety of accessories that will make using it easier or more enjoyable. Here are some of the most common accessories for getting the most out of your new holiday gift.
HDMI Cables – These are the standard cables used for connecting just about any modern digital video device. Gone are the days of needing a variety of different cords to connect your devices to your TV. HDMI cables have replaced them all, connecting your TV to the Blu-ray player, soundbar, audio/video receiver, or video game console. If you’ve added any new video gadgets this season, like an Apple TV or Roku, you may need an extra HDMI cable.
Soundbar – Who wouldn’t love getting a new 4K TV for the holidays? The vibrant picture and enhanced smart features make movie night better than ever. But if you’re upgrading from a projection screen TV—or even an older plasma or LCD TV—you might be disappointed by the sound quality coming from your new TV. Because of their ultra-thin construction, modern LED TVs have notoriously underwhelming speakers. One of the best ways to overcome this is with the addition of a soundbar. Available in a wide range of price points and featuresets, soundbars offer a great improvement in your TVs sound, without the complication of a full surround sound system.
Video Game Controllers and Headsets – Video game consoles are a perennially popular holiday gift. And between the year’s long-awaited console releases and the uptick in new gamers thanks to stay-at-home orders, gaming seems to be more popular than ever before. If you’re one of the many that picked up a console for the first time this year, these are the must-have video gaming accessories that will take your games to the next level—especially if you want to play with friends. An extra video game controller lets you go head-to-head with players in the same room, in games like Maddden or Forza Motorsport. And if the competition goes long distance, a gaming headset lets you stay in contact with your teammates or opponents, wherever in the world they may be. Check out our comparison of the JBL Quantum gaming headset lineup for some great options:
Memory Cards and Batteries – This one is for those of you who found a new mirrorless camera under the tree. Whether you’re a budding landscape photographer or stick to documenting family milestones, there are two things you can never have too much of: memory and battery life. Having an extra memory card and a spare camera battery in your camera bag ensure that you can keep capturing those memories without interruption.
External Hard Drive – This is another great accessory for the new photograher. We recently stressed the importance of backing up your photos after you’ve downloaded them from your camera or smartphone. Keeping a copy of special photos on an external hard drive minimizes the chances of you losing special memories due to computer malfunction or home disaster.
Headphones – For as advanced as today’s smartphones are, they usually come with some pretty awful earbuds. And some of the most popular models, like the iPhone 12, don’t include any type of headphones at all. Thankfully, there is a veritable sea of headphone models out there, offering every possible feature you could want. Spring for water resistant sport earbuds if your New Year’s resolution includes becoming a runner, or some noise canceling headphones if your main goal for 2021 is finding some peace and quiet.