Welcome to the latest edition of iDB’s ongoing Gift Ideas series, where we provide curated roundups of some of our favorite products. Throughout the year we cover and test a number of devices and accessories, so we decided to use that experience to help those searching for the perfect present. Today’s roundup is focused on Apple TV users.
Note: although some of these accessories may work with older Apple TVs, this list was curated with the latest 4th-gen model in mind.
Apple Magic Keyboard
When using the Apple TV’s remote, typing in a user name, password or search query can turn into a tedious affair. Using the remote’s touchpad, you have to swipe your way across a linear alphabet, tapping one character at a time, and hope you don’t make any mistakes. That’s where a Bluetooth keyboard comes in, and one of our favorites is Apple’s Magic Keyboard. It looks sharp, is well-built, it’s small enough that it stores easily, and the initial setup is a breeze.
Alternative: for less than half the price, we like Logitech’s spill-proof Keys-To-Go keyboard.
Griffin Survivor Play Remote Case
Buying a case for a remote control might seem silly, until you realize two things: the Siri remote is made of glass, and a replacement will cost you $80. The Survivor Play case is made of thick silicon that completely surrounds the entire remote to protect it in the event of drops, and it’s textured for better grip. This comes in handy particularly when playing games that require you to hold the remote while performing actions like swinging a bat or rolling a bowling ball. Bonus: the case also makes it easier to tell if the remote is upside down or not.
Elago D Stand for Siri Remote
As with all other things electronic, the Siri Remote runs on a battery that eventually runs out. That’s where the Elago D stand comes in. It’s essentially a charging station for your Apple TV remote that was designed to blend in to your entertainment center or living room decor. So when you get the low battery alert, simply drop your remote onto the dock and go on about your business. Good news: it works with other Lightning devices like the iPhone and Magic Keyboard. Bad news: you’ll have to supply your own Lightning cable.
You can buy the Elago D Stand for $25.
Apple Remote Loop
Another great accessory for the Siri Remote is the Apple Remote Loop. Again, with the remote being so easy to break and so expensive to replace, accessories designed to protect it are definitely worth looking at. As you might guess, the Remote Loop clips into the Lightning connector and features a lanyard-sort of loop designed to wrap around your wrist to prevent you from dropping the remote. This comes in handy for active, motion-based games like Beat Sports, or if little ones are going to be playing games on the Apple TV.
SteelSeries Nimbus Wireless Gaming Controller
We mentioned this game controller in our iPhone and iPad user gift guides, and we think it goes here as well. The SteelSeries Nimbus wireless gaming controller works with all iOS devices, but it was specifically built for the Apple TV. In fact, Apple itself was involved in the process, giving it the ability to charge via a standard Lightning connector and it’s even featured on the official Apple TV website. The bottom line is that a lot of Apple TV games play better with a gamepad, and this is the best one you can get.
TotalMount Apple TV Mount
While most Apple products are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, the Apple TV is kind of this little discreet, black box. It doesn’t look bad, but it also isn’t jaw-droppingly beautiful, so a lot of folks like to hide it from plain sight. One of the most popular ways to do this is with a TotalMount Apple TV Mount. It’s well-reviewed, well-made, and it includes 3 different mounting options: hooks for TV vents, special adhesive designed for the back of your TV, and screws for the wall.
Sonos PLAYBAR TV Soundbar
The Apple TV can stream everything from ambient music to blockbuster movies with award-winning sound effects, so do you really want to listen to it all through your TV’s sub-par, built-in speakers? Of course not. You’re going to want some sort of external speaker system, like a soundbar, and our favorite right now is the Playbar from Sonos. It features a simple 2 cable setup, built-in Wi-Fi for wireless streaming, and of course it sounds incredible.
You can buy the Sonos Playbar TV soundbar for $650 (sale price).
Alternative: for a about 1/5th the price, we like the Vizio SB3821 soundbar with wireless subwoofer.
Guitar Hero Live
Imagine being on stage, with your bandmates, playing rock music in front of thousands of screaming fans. That’s what it’s like to play Guitar Hero Live on Apple TV. It’s a new and improved version of the hit music-simulation game, and the package even comes with a guitar controller that will really make you feel like you’re apart of the action. Everyone, of every age and every gaming skill level can have fun with Guitar Hero, making this the ultimate gift idea. Bonus: a lot of retailers are offering huge discounts on this game right now.
AmazonBasics 6-foot HDMI Cable
I know an HDMI cable doesn’t sound like an awesome present, but if you’re buying an Apple TV for someone, they’re going to need it—you don’t get one in the box. There are literally hundreds of different cables available, but since you’re not likely dealing with high-end equipment, you don’t need anything too fancy. Amazon’s Basics brand should work just fine: it meets all of the latest HDMI standards and comes with a lifetime warranty. This one is 6 feet long, but they make them longer if you think you’ll need it.
Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones
If the Apple TV owner you’re shopping for lives in a smaller apartment, dorm or shares a residence with others, they may benefit more from Bluetooth headphones than a soundbar. This will allow them to wirelessly stream audio from their Apple TV such as music, movies, games and more. As I’ve said before, the Beats Solo3s are THE Bluetooth headphones to get this holiday season, and if you act quickly you can get them for almost $100 off.
Alternative: if the Beats just aren’t for you, consider the far less expensive Sony Extra Bass headphones.
Be sure to check out our other gift idea roundups: