Product Reviews

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A TV and other gifts

Top Gifts for Dads

He's been your go-to guy for as long as you can remember. We know the importance of giving a great gift to the man who has given you so much over the years. That's why we put together a list of some of the best products we tested this year.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

1
Cordless Drill
DeWalt DCD791D2
DeWalt DCD791D2

    DeWalt DCD791D2

    This 20-volt drill driver demonstrated excellent speed and good power in CR testing. Its impressive performance, compact size, and modest price-point make it a CR Best Buy. At 3.4 pounds, it handles easily while still packing a powerful punch. It comes with two lithium-ion batteries and a built-in work light.

    Check our buying guide and ratings for cordless drills.

    2
    Noise-Canceling Headphones
    Bose QuietControl 30
    Bose QuietControl 30

      Bose QuietControl 30

      This wireless Bluetooth model from Bose, which combines elements of in-ear and earbud earphones, delivers excellent active noise reduction and excellent sound quality; they are a decent choice for the listener who will not be satisfied with anything less than top notch music and movie soundtrack playback. These earphones have an isolating design; they will provide some muffling and electronic canceling of external noises and also reduce the amount of sound that escapes from the ear pieces. As such, they are best for those who want highly portable earphones that reduce the amount of noise they hear from their surroundings, or don't want the sound from the ear pieces to disturb others.

      Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

      3
      Food Processor
      Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A
      Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A

        Breville Sous Chef BFP800XL/A

        This 16-cup food processor earned CR’s top rating by a wide margin, with superb slicing, shredding, and grating performance. It’s also remarkably quiet given its power. Features include an adjustable slicing disk, mini-bowl attachment, whipping blade, and a convenient disk storage case.

        Check our buying guide and ratings for food processors.

        4
        Laptop
        LG Gram 13 8th Gen
        LG Gram 13 8th Gen

          LG Gram 13 8th Gen

          With one of the top ratings among all laptops that CR tests, this 13.3-inch LG computer is one of fastest computers of its size. It handles demanding tasks, such as complex spreadsheets and group conferencing, without a lag in speed. It's an exceptional choice for students or travelers who need a laptop that's easy to transport, because it weighs only 2.1 pounds and has a battery that lasts more than 16 hours in CR tests.

          Check our buying guide and ratings for laptops.

          5
          Stereo Headphones
          Grado Prestige SR325e
          Grado Prestige SR325e

            Grado Prestige SR325e

            The retro design of these over-the-ear-style headphones—with their powder-coated aluminum casings, thick cord, black foam ear surrounds and leather headband—isn’t compact or meant to keep out ambient noise. But the sound quality is superb, which is why the SR325e model, the flagship of Grado’s Prestige series, tops CR’s ratings.

            Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

            6
            Smartwatch
            Samsung Gear S3 Frontier
            Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

              Samsung Gear S3 Frontier

              The Frontier, which is largely matte black, has the sporty look of a dive watch. Its round case, which is about 1.9 inches wide by 0.55 inches thick, is made of high-grade 316L stainless steel and has a large, 1.3-inch color watch face, an ample 380mAh battery, an accelerometer, a gyro, a heart-rate monitor, and a GPS chip for fitness tracking. There’s also a built-in microphone and speaker for interacting with a voice-activated assistant and for making phone calls when the watch is paired to a smartphone via Bluetooth. Accepts standard 22mm watch bands. The Frontier includes a cellular network connection via SIM card that allows it to function independently of a phone which allows you to make and take phone calls using the Gear S3 alone. The SIM-equipped version is available only from AT&T and T-Mobile.

              Check our buying guide and ratings for smartwatches.

              7
              Smart Speaker
              Bose Home Speaker 500
              Bose Home Speaker 500

                Bose Home Speaker 500

                The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a WiFi and Bluetooth wireless smart speaker system with the Alexa digital assistant. It has very good overall sound quality. Bass has good impact but is a bit boomy and doesn't go deep. The Bose Home Speaker 500 is a stereo speaker, but lacks multi-room support and stereo pairing support with another Bose Home Speaker 500. It supports voice command of many common streaming services such as Amazon Music, Pandora, Spotify, Tune-In and iHeart Radio.

                Check our buying guide and ratings for smart speakers.

                8
                Noise-Canceling Headphones
                Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
                Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

                  Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

                  This wireless Bluetooth model from Sennheiser delivers excellent active noise reduction and very good sound quality, and is a decent choice for the more critical listener for both music and movie soundtrack playback. These headphones have a closed design; they will provide some muffling and electronic canceling of external noises and also reduce the amount of sound that escapes from the headphones. As such, they are best for those who want to reduce the amount of noise they hear from their surroundings, or don't want the sound from the headphones to disturb others, and who are comfortable with the size of a home/studio style model.

                  Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

                  9
                  Mirrorless Camera
                  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/ 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. Power O.I.S.
                  Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/...

                    Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 w/...

                    This top-rated camera model earned a CR recommendation by delivering high image quality and performance. It can capture ultra-high-definition video at 30 frames per second; is fast enough to fire off 12 frames per second in burst mode; and has an excellent swiveling touch screen.

                    Check our buying guide and ratings for cameras.

                    10
                    Stick Vacuum
                    Dyson V8 Absolute
                    Dyson V8 Absolute

                      Dyson V8 Absolute

                      One of the most expensive stick vacuums but also one of the best CR ever tested. It receives top marks for carpet, edge cleaning, noise, and pet hair; quickly converts to a hand vac; does a good job controlling the release of fine dust particles; and easily empties in one step.

                      Check our buying guide and ratings for vacuum cleaners.

                      11
                      Blu-Ray Player
                      Sony UBP-X700
                      Sony UBP-X700

                        Sony UBP-X700

                        This 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player from Sony, an entry-level model from the company, doesn't have all the features of the step-up UBP-X800 model, also in our ratings, but it delivers on the basics, including excellent 4K picture quality and UHD performance. Among the lowest-priced 4K players in our ratings, this model has a very compact design, and it has two HDMI outputs, which can be useful if your receiver can't pass through 4K video signals, as you can run one HDMI for audio and then connect the other HDMI output directly to the 4K TV or projector. Right now its supports the HDR10 HDR format, but later this year it will add Dolby Vision support via a firmware update. The player also supports high-resolution audio, as well as Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive sound formats. It offers access to several online streaming video services, but lacks the Bluetooth capability—which lets you send music wirelessly to a set of Bluetooth headphones or speakers—found in the pricier UBP0X800 model.

                        Check our buying guide and ratings for Blu-ray players.

                        12
                        Noise-Canceling Headphones
                        Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II
                        Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

                          Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II

                          This wireless Bluetooth model from Bose delivers excellent active noise reduction and excellent sound quality; they are a decent choice for the listener who will not be satisfied with anything less than top notch music and movie soundtrack playback. These headphones have a closed design; they will provide some muffling and electronic canceling of external noises and also reduce the amount of sound that escapes from the headphones. As such, they are best for those who want to reduce the amount of noise they hear from their surroundings, or don't want the sound from the headphones to disturb others, and who are comfortable with the size of a home/studio style model.

                          Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

                          13
                          Smart Speaker
                          Sonos One
                          Sonos One

                            Sonos One

                            The Sonos One takes the multiroom audio integration that Sonos is famous for and adds Alexa-powered voice commands. The Sonos One can sit at the heart of a whole-home system that will allow you to listen to the latest episode of the “Reply All” podcast in the kitchen while streaming Beyoncé on Spotify upstairs, and all you need to do is ask. 

                            The One can even integrate with nonsmart Sonos speakers, most of which have done very well in our testing. It’s also one of the few assistant-agnostic speakers on the market. The Sonos One works with Alexa and Apple AirPlay, and the company has promised an update that will allow the speaker to play in the Google ecosystem. This cross-compatibility makes the Sonos One look futureproof in a market that’s in a state of flux.

                            But the best part is that these smart speaker capabilities don’t add much to the price of the Sonos One. It sells for just $25 more than the similarly sized, nonsmart Sonos Play: 1.

                            Check our buying guide and ratings for smart speakers.

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