The holiday season is upon us and it’s time to start thinking about the perfect gifts for everyone on your shopping list. While Micro Center is known for our expansive build-your-own PC section and wide range of desktop and laptop offerings, we also have a wide range of toys and gifts for everyone. From speakers and microphones to models and handheld games, our champions recommend some of their favorite gifts for this holiday season!
If you’re looking for a gift for the gamer on your list that won’t break the bank, I’ve got two great suggestions for you. First is the Dreamgear Atari Pocket Player. The Pocket Player gives you access to a wide range of classic Atari games on a full color screen, portably. This neat device includes 100 video games built in, including acclaimed titles like Asteroids and Centipede. With the built-in speakers and USB C charging capability, the Pocket Player delivers a fun, ready-to-play experience for only $39.99, making it an absolutely fantastic stocking stuffer.
If your list includes someone who craves a more advanced, customizable experience, we’ve got you covered there as well. The Pimoroni PicoSystem (362939) is a small, gaming handheld built on a Raspberry Pi. The PicoSystem features a full aluminum body with a high quality D-pad, a 240 x 240 IPS screen, and a USB-C port. The Picosystem uses a Pi RP2040 chip and is built for the enthusiast or the aspiring coder. The tiny handheld is extremely programable and is ideal for helping anyone learn to create games, whether you’re a novice or seasoned creator. The more experienced coder will be able to use C++ to write games, but novices have the option to use other platforms like MicroPython or CircuitPython. At $67.99, PicoSystem is a great gift for gamers and aspiring developers alike.
Models don’t always have to be big robots or made of blocks. Robotime offers a wide range of wooden models that look great everywhere in the house. From the gorgeous Cathy’s Flower House to mechanical Starry Night Orrery Music Box, these models are sure to delight everyone on your list. Designed to fit on bookshelves and desktops, there’s no worry that they’ll just be “too big” to put together.
Robotime’s models are ready to be built out of the box, with all parts and tools included. No need to run out to the store to buy a pair of cutters just to start building. Some, like the Holiday Garden House kit, even feature in-model lighting to highlight the ornate details of the model. Whether you’re buying for a long-time model builder or just someone who enjoys a hand-made decoration, you can’t go wrong with a Robotime model!
In the world of microphones and audio setups, there are tens of thousands of possible combinations of mics, mixers, and interfaces. For the average user, having multiple audio devices on their desk just to get a mic running seems like a stretch. Now, don’t get me wrong, a solid audio interface paired with a sweet XLR microphone is hard to beat in the audio quality department. BEACN offers the best of both worlds with their microphone, saving users’ desk space and money.
The BEACN Mic brings a lot to the table in the world of USB microphones. Built-in voice processing, an amazing suite of software, and a 300 ohm DAC are just a few of them. What caught my attention was the noise filtering, somewhat similar to AI tools like NVIDIA’s RTX Voice, but without the latency and drop in quality. Another huge thing that I like is the ability to fine tune the EQ, compression, and noise gate to make the mic sound great with your voice. Everyone’s voice is different, and everyone’s voice sounds different through different microphones. There are mics that make my voice sound great and others that make my own voice sound like nails on a chalkboard. Regardless of the type of voice you have, BEACN gives you the instruments to get you sounding your best.
Whether picking up one for yourself or someone else, the BEACN is a great option to consider leading into the holiday season (especially now that it’s on sale). It’ll be a staple in any gamer or content creator’s setup. Oh, and did I mention that it looks great as well?
Thanks to cell phones, everyone walks around with a speaker in their pocket. Unfortunately, a phone speaker is rarely enough. Often, they’re either too quiet or sound washed out and muddy. And if you want to use it outdoors, you risk exposing your cell phone to the elements, and no one wants to buy a new phone because they dropped it in a puddle while listening to music.
The JBL Go 3 is the answer to every single one of these problems. JBL is known for high-quality, great-sounding speakers and the Go 3 is no exception. However, that doesn’t mean it’s like other speakers. The Go 3 is built with portability in mind, with the whole speaker taking up less than 5” of space. It also comes with a bag hook, so you lace it through your backpack and forget about it. The Go 3 is even IP67 waterproof. No need to worry if it starts to rain or you take an accidental dip while kayaking!
If you’re looking for a gift for the music lover in your life (or maybe yourself!), the JBL Go 3 is a great option. Choose from Red, Blue, and Black models then get out there and enjoy a life with music that goes where you do!
With smart homes on the rise in popularity, I recommend anyone start off their experience with a smart lightbulb! Smart bulbs are the easiest smart home upgrade and have the most immediate impact, with lots of very visible customization options. AQiA’s smart bulbs use LED technology, which can help save you tons of money on electricity. However, unlike most traditional LED bulbs, the AQiA has a full RGB spectrum, so you can light your room with different colors whenever the mood strikes you. The best part of a smart bulb is the ability to use all the features remotely: turn it on or off, change the color, or dim the light with a phone app or even your voice! The AQiA smart bulb is compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. AQiA lights are wildly affordable, even when they’re not on sale, making them a perfect add-on gift for that family member who keeps complimenting your smart home setup.
The BEACN mic is awesome! I've had a week with it now and plan on doing a full review soon!
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