9to5Toys Gift Guide: Simon’s favorite tech-enhancing gear

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Here at 9to5Toys we annually create a series of gift guides that showcase our favorite gear in an attempt to make your holiday shopping a bit easier. This time around, I’ll be recommending items that have seriously enhanced the common tech that I already owned. So sit back, relax, and scroll down to find favorite tech gift recommendations that set out to make ordinary electronics better.

Avantree Leaf

Update: This product is incompatible with Xbox One.

My first recommendation is one of those products that I’ve been eyeing for a while, but only recently pulled the trigger on. It’s called Avantree Leaf and it’s basically a USB-powered version of Twelve South’s AirFly. For those unfamiliar, this device brings simple Apple AirPods (or any other Bluetooth headphones) pairing to devices with a USB Type-A port.

This tech gift idea has been incredible for gaming on PlayStation and even supports using the built-in microphone on AirPods. Not a PlayStation users? No problem. This handy dongle works on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (when docked) too, making it a solid tech gift for any friend or family member that loves to game and owns Bluetooth headphones.

Cocoon GRID-IT! Accessory Organizer

Many of the people that know me have quickly become aware of my obsession with organization. This makes much of Cocoon’s product lineup a money trap for me, but one that I will never give up. That’s why this year I strongly recommend Cocoon Grid-IT! Organizer as tech gift that’s worth every single penny. I could try to explain how Cocoon works, but it’s unique elastic straps on a board design is better conveyed in the picture found below.

Fosmon HDMI Switch

Nearly every household has a home theater of some sort. Even if it only consists of a TV, streamer, and game console, that’s enough to bring about confusion when switching between devices. Thankfully, there’s a product that can simplify this process and it’s called an HDMI switch.

There’s a bunch of options out there, but the one I’ll recommend this time around is Fosmon’s 3-Port HDMI Switch 4K. With this guy you’ll be able to turn one of your TV’s HDMI ports into three and benefit from automatic switching. This means when you turn on a game console or fire up a streaming device, it’ll sense it and automatically display it on your TV.

Raspberry Pi

This next tech gift idea is aimed at coders and tinkerers. You’ve probably heard of Raspberry Pi before, but may not fully grasp what it is capable of. That’s okay because I don’t think there’s a single person that fully does and it’s because its use-cases are constantly growing.

Some of the ways I’ve used it include setting up RetroPie for old-school gaming, HomeBridge for bringing HomeKit support to unofficial devices, and most recently adding remote access to my new 3D printer. The list of abilities goes on-and-on, making it a product worth having around the house.

iOttie Auto Sense Phone Mount

Whether you spend a small or large amount of time in the car, having a place to put your phone is extremely handy. I recently acquired the iOttie Auto Sense Phone Mount and it has been incredible. This incredibly smart gadget senses and opens when you approach with a smartphone. Once you’ve placed it inside, it automatically contracts and holds it in place. Qi charging is built-in, plus mounting is straight-forward and has been exceptionally strong in my experience.

Bonus: Wiremold Cable Hider CordMate III

While certainly not the most exciting tech gift on the list, I’ve experienced utter jubilation once I set up Wiremold’s Cable Hider CordMate III in my home theater. Each strip has peel and stick adhesive on the back and once in place, you’ll be able to hide several cords inside of it. This streamlines a busy home theater and makes it look clean and professional.

That concludes my list of tech gift recommendations, but if nothing on the list has caught your attention, take a moment and swing by our list of Gift Guides to see if anyone else has the perfect recommendation.

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