The 2019 holiday season is here. As you fill out your shopping list, consider filling the stockings of your family and friends with music, podcast and video streaming gifts. There are lots of options to choose from, including gaming consoles, listening and viewing devices and subscription services.
Streaming gives users access to a variety of music, video and gaming options. Subscription services allow users to fine-tune what they want to listen to or watch. Many devices provide a streaming entertainment experience with high-quality sound and video. Gaming services allow players to play games on advanced consoles and store files offline. And, if your loved ones are into podcasts, you can find entertaining gifts for them on multiple platforms.
Below are some of our favorite picks for streaming holiday gifts.
For the Apple super fan
Apple Gift Card
You can never go wrong with a gift card for the Apple super fan. They can spend it at a variety of places, including the Apple App Store, Apple Arcade, Apple Books, Apple TV+, Apple News+, iTunes store or toward a subscription to Apple Music. If you purchase one online, you can choose your price point, write a personal message to the recipient and select a card design.
Price: Your choice
The Apple HomePod is an interactive wireless speaker that adapts to its location. The HomePod works with Apple Music and Siri so that the listener can recall their music library via voice command. Both the software and audio quality of the HomePod are Apple-engineered. It’s compact enough to use in any room.
Apple TV 4K
Apple TV lets viewers download or stream movies and shows. The newest model displays media in 4K HDR with Dolby Atmos sound. Users can subscribe to streaming services such as Amazon Prime, ESPN, Netflix and more. The new apple Apple TV+ streaming service is available and features all original programming. Viewers can control Apple TV using the Siri voice command.
Price: Starting at $179.00
For the gamer
PlayStation Now is a streaming service that offers a library of over 600 games. Gamers can enjoy the service on the PlayStation console or any Windows PC. They can get titles for previous versions of games on PS2, PS3 and PS4. Subscribers can stream games or download them to devices for offline use. Top PlayStation Now features include resolution of up to 4K on PS4 Pro and 5.1 surround sound.
Price: Starting at $9.99/mo.
Western Digital Game Drive
Game files can take up a lot of hard drive space. The solution: Western Digital (WD) Game Drive. The WD drive provides adequate storage and allows gamers to expand their game libraries. Users can categorize, download and load games faster with WD’s advanced technology. Storage capacity ranges from 1 TB to 8TB depending on the model.
Price: Starting at $62.99
Xbox One X
Xbox One X allows users to play and share video games. It offers onboard selections and an online library with dozens of titles that gamers can download to the console. Features include 1 terabyte (TB) of storage, 4K HDR gaming, a Blu-Ray player and Dolby Audio. On a side note, users love Xbox’s ability to play video. While not a gaming feature, it’s a huge selling point.
For the video viewer
YouTube Premium gives viewers access to YouTube’s video library ad-free. They can access a subscription from any device on their account. They can also download videos to watch offline. With YouTube Premium, subscribers can play videos uninterrupted in the background while opening another app. A subscription includes a YouTube Music Premium add-on with all the same features.
Price: Starting at $11.99/mo.
Free trial length: 1 month
Roku lets users easily enjoy streaming. The player features countless streaming apps and services such as Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix. Viewers can choose which streaming services and apps they want. The Roku player is portable and easily connects to any TV with an HDMI input. Viewers can watch movies and TV shows that are available in 4K for the highest picture quality. The player comes with a remote that users can activate using voice control.
Price: Starting at $24.99
Vizio M8-Series Quantum
If you’re shopping for a TV that has built-in streaming capabilities and wireless connectivity, the Vizio M8-Series Quantum is a great choice. It’s a Roku TV, meaning it has built-in apps that allow a person to subscribe to and use movie and TV streaming services. It comes with a Roku remote, and it’s wall mount ready.
Price: Starting at $499.00
For the podcast listener
Castbox is a good fit for anyone that’s constantly searching for new podcasts. It suggests new titles based on listener recommendations and offers a variety of unique choices that listeners may not find on other streaming services. There’s a free version of Castbox. However, the paid tier includes a customizable homepage, customer support, early-bird access to the newest arrivals, no-ads and unlimited subscriptions. Users can listen to podcasts on any Android or iOS device as well as on Macs and PCs.
Shure SE215-CL+BT2 Wireless Earphones
The SE215-K wireless earphones offer exceptional sound quality and sound isolation that’s ideal for streaming podcasts on the go. They come with an enhanced bass feature that projects a warm, rich round. Sound-blocking technology reduces outside noise, letting the person listen without distraction. Shure designed the earphones ergonomically for maximum comfort. They come with a small carrying case.
Pocket Casts Plus
Pocket Casts provides a streamlined, intuitive interface that allows subscribers to collect, listen to and stream podcasts. It’s ideal for users who have several podcast services from different apps that they want to merge into a single app. Pocket Casts also offers cloud storage to sync files. The app is compatible with Bluetooth devices and car wireless systems. It’s available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets s well as Macs and PCs.
For the music lover
The Amazon Echo speaker is powered by Alexa, a voice-activated, wireless assistant device. Echo responds to questions and voice commands. Users can request information, stream music or podcasts or tell the device what they want it to do. Echo can perform dozens of functions and connect with other wireless products in the home. It’s a compact device that listeners can place almost anywhere.
Spotify offers music and podcast streaming with added social elements. Subscribers can build a music library, create playlists and radio stations and stream podcasts. Spotify Premium allows users to download music and play it offline. Subscribers can also add friends, message contacts and collaborate on playlists in real-time. It’s available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Macs and PCs.
Free trial length: 3 months
Tidal offers music, podcasts and video streaming. It combines lossless audio and high-definition to provide exceptional sound quality. It also offers unique features such as behind-the-scenes artist documentaries, exclusive content, live concert event information and ticket sales. Subscribers can play Tidal on Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Macs and PCs. Users also have the choice to play music on the web app.
Free trial length: 30 days