Who are Millennials? They're a hard group to define. At one end, they're in their mid-30s, and some have families of their own. And on the other, they are young adults still living at home.
Millennials appreciate the digital world. They grew up knowing nothing but, save for those on the early end of the spectrum who saw glimpses of a non-digital world. They are comfortable with all kinds of tech, prefer to "rent" versus own content, and are drawn to retro styling. With that said, here are some great gift ideas for those who fall into this age demographic.
Auri Smart Home Light
This smart device made by Ling Technology, the same London-based company that developed the AI Owl Luka that reads picture books to children, aims to promote wellness for owners through the use of intelligent lighting and ambient sounds. The lights and sounds of the Auri light, says the company, are designed to help lift one's mood and bring calmness, mindfulness, positivity, and realization. Plus, since it uses smart home technology, you can also listen to music and control compatible smart home devices. Auri uses "Aurish," therapy, its own language system and a combination of light and sound therapy to create natural and emotional ambiance throughout the home. The idea is to help owners focus the mind while meditating, or calm down after a stressful day. Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri, it taps into features such as music playback via Amazon Music and Spotify, as well as smart home functionality with compatible products (Hive, Philips Hue, TP-Link). You can also set reminders with Auri. It connects via both 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, includes an efficient transducer, passive radiators, and omnidirectional acoustic deflector It will be available for US$129 on promotion, then its regular price of US$230.
Thorens TD 202 Turntable
Vinyl is seeing a resurgence, and introducing Millennials to good sound quality, as well as getting them familiar with how things worked decades ago. They might especially like this turntable because, in addition to being easy to use with vinyl records, it also has an integrated phono stage with an additional analogue/digital converter with USB out, which will allow them to digitize favourite vinyl directly to a computer. All they'd need is compatible recording software, which can be downloaded online (not included.) It comes with a pre-configured cartridge, integrated, switchable phono stage for direct connection to any amplifier or receiver, smooth-running belt driven motor, and an aluminum platter with rubber mat. $1,200.
Vizio (PRODUCT)RED Special Edition Smart TV
Millennials love to "give back" and be socially-conscious, and also appreciate being different. A good way to accomplish both is with this special edition TV. Only available in the U.S., it's part of the (PRODUCT) RED initiative, with proceeds of the sale going to fight AIDS. The 55" Class 4K HDR Smart TV is finished in bright, bold red, and features support for Dolby Vision, HDR10 and HLG, along with Vizio's Ultra Spectrum technology, UltraBright 1000, and a high-performance Active Full Array Pro backlight with 56 local dimming zones. It also includes Vizio's SmartCast OS for accessing streaming services, has Chromecast built-in, and supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Teksavvy Internet Package
Millennials require great connectivity at home in order to accommodate their wide selection of smart and connected devices. TekSavvy is an alternative broadband provider to the Big Three, offering a wide selection of high-speed Internet packages at affordable prices. Its DHL high-speed offering that provides 50Mbps is on offer for $57/mo. for the first year, and provides unlimited streaming. Or, grab the 250Mbps high-speed cable package plan for $90/mo.
Get a Millennial on your list a new iPad Pro, which can be used for full productivity on-the-go when used with the Apple Pencil ($169) and a wireless keyboard. It comes with 11" or 12.9" Liquid Retina display options, up to 1TB of storage, and Face ID for secure unlocking. With True Tone and anti-reflective coating, you can easily view it both indoors and outside. ProMotion technology automatically adjusts the display refresh rate up to 120Hz for smooth scrolling and good responsiveness. Weighing just a pound (11" model), it offers an up to 10-hour battery life, and uses a USB-C connector in place of the Lightning connector. Silver and space grey, 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB configurations, starting at $999.
Millennials fall into a core demographic of gamers, and those on the older end of the scale might be old enough to recall the video game consoles of yesteryear. So a gift like the PlayStation Classic might be a fun option that brings them back to their youths. The small, handheld unit comes with 20 preloaded games like Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid, Mr. Driller, and Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and is designed as a mini version of the original PlayStation. It looks identical to the original from 1994, complete with the same logo, button layout, and packaging. Except it's 45% smaller, showing just how far technological development has come. It comes with an HDMI cable to connect to your TV, and a pair of wired controllers, along with a virtual memory card to store content. It's available starting December 3 for $130.
Millennials are also often early adopters of the latest and greatest technology, and they're the perfect candidates to use virtual reality (VR) glasses, particularly for gaming. The PlayStation VR can be used with a variety of games, and comes in a bundle with Creed: Rise to Glory and Superhot VR for $450. The bundle includes the VR headset and cables, PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move Controllers, the PlayStation VR Demo Disc 2.0, Creed: Rise to Glory on Blu-ray, and a digital voucher for Superhot VR. Another bundle, selling for $380, includes the game Astro Bot Rescue Mission on Blu-ray and a digital voucher for Moss instead. Gamers can enjoy a variety of immersive experiences while wearing the headset.
Last year, I took the plunge and sent my saliva in to find out more about my heritage. The results were interesting, and have even evolved over the last year as the company receives more samples, and is able to fine-tune its data. Not only did I learn exactly what my genetic make-up is, but I was also able to learn about, and even connect with, a number of relatives, including a second cousin who happens to live 20 minutes from me! It was a wonderful experience. If you know of someone who has wondered about his past, origins, and background, it's a great gift. It's especially great for someone who was adopted, or who might not have family around that can provide more details about the family history. You'll get a percentage breakdown of what countries/regions are in your genetic make-up, and a list of potential relatives, ordered by how much DNA you share with each person, and the likelihood that you are actually related, and how. Reach out to some if you desire and communicate with them through the website and/or app, learn more about your family story, and migration journeys of your ancestors, and create your own family tree. $129, but look for deep discounts during the holidays. Order it by December 7 to receive it in time for Christmas via standard shipping. (Or you can always include an IOU slip, or pay for faster expedited shipping and order by December 19.)
Millennials are the first generation to truly switch to the subscription economy, opting to "rent" content, or stream it, versus owning it. And a big part of that is television. Many Millennials are cord-cutters, or strive to be, opting to watch television exclusively via streaming services. In this respect, consider grabbing them a gift card they can put toward their service of choice, or to sign up for a new one to add to the list. Netflix is the obvious choice, with subscriptions ranging from $8.99/mo. for watching in SD and being able to download videos on one phone or tablet, up to the Ultra HD package, which is $13.99/mo., and affords the ability to watch on four screens at once, in HD and Ultra HD quality (with a compatible display, of course), and download videos to up to four phones or tablets. For under $100, you can get them a gift card that will give them the premium subscription for the next six months.
TCL TVs officially launched in Canada in November, with a number of affordable models in a variety of sizes, starting as low as under $200 for a 32" screen. The LED TVs range in feature set, but all come with Roku software built-in for seamless access to streaming services, which cord-cutting Millennials will love. It comes with the standard Roku remote, or use the Roku app to control the TV. Grab the 55" 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV for $500, which comes with three HDMI 2.0 inputs with HDCP 2.2 (one with HDMI ARC), one USB, RF, composite, headphone jack, optical audio out, and Ethernet.
Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Anyone can appreciate having music accompany them wherever they go. And while a Millennial might have a fully tricked out smart home, they might also want a speaker they can bring with them on adventures, whether it's out camping, to the beach, or up to the cottage. This speaker has a Magic Button on its top for controlling music, or control it from the iOS app. Offering 360-degree sound and deeper bass, it is IP67-rated, making it water-, drop-, and dust-proof. Plus, it can float. Wirelessly charge it with the Ultimate Ears Power Up charging dock (sold separately for US$40). With PartyUp in the app, you can connect more than one speaker (up to 150 of them!) for fully immersive sound - ideal for backyard or loft parties. It comes in four two-toned colours: might (black), sunset (red), lagoon (blue), and ultraviolet (purple) for US$200.
Incipio Stashback Sliding Credit Card Case
Millennials love to be trendy, and, like most, always have their smartphones with them. This handy case for the new iPhone XR includes a back that slides back to reveal up to three credit cards, ID, or cash. It's perfect to store essentials for a night out at the club, or party, without having to bring a purse with you, or bringing only your small-sized clutch. Guys can also slot the phone right into their front or back pocket, and leave the wallet at home, or back at the office during a lunch meeting. The compartment is discreet, so no one will even know it's there. And the case itself is made of slim, shock-absorbing material that protects the phone against drops, and a soft touch finish. It comes in asphalt black or blue for US$40.
Griffin WatchStand Powered Charging Station
For the Millennial who has invested in an Apple Watch and iPhone, this handy stand is a great and thoughtful gift that will help them recharge both at the same time, on their nightstand or at the office at work. It uses the Apple Watch Magnetic Charging Cable that comes with the Apple Watch, and has a non-slip and no-scratch padding to hold the WatchStand in place on a desk or table. It has built-in cable management for both the Watch and an iPhone or iPad. It comes with a built-in power supply and two USB ports. Note that the pad is not Qi-enabled, but can still be used with the new iPhones for wired charging via Lightning cable. US$60
Want more gift ideas? Check out our other themed gift guides.