What The Tech: Gadget gift ideas for Zoom

Local News

Say this about isolation and working from home, it creates a huge new category for anyone looking to complete their Christmas shopping list.

Zoom and other video meetings are part of life now in work, school, and staying in touch with family and friends. These gadgets make great gifts for anyone who’s Zooming. A good web camera should be the first upgrade.

When Zoom meetings became the norm and top of the line webcams sold out, hundreds of cheap knockoffs flooded the market. Most of those web cameras seriously lacked a good picture and decent audio. If you’re shopping for a webcam for yourself or someone else, stick to a name brand. Logitech makes some of the best webcams on the market. They were sold out all year, but are back in stock. If you see a 4K webcam for under $150, don’t expect too much.

Webcams have microphones but they’re not as good as a dedicated mic. Neither are earbuds or headphones. The Blue Yeti desktop mic is a favorite of pro podcasters for $130. The Audio-Technica ATR 2100x is about $30 cheaper and is a great microphone some podcasters prefer. Both microphones connect to a computer using XLR or USB.

Another choice is a Rode video mic. These are good for podcasting, Zooming, or for connecting directly to a camera. Rode has many options including wireless lavaliere microphones that clip on clothing. Some microphones need to be mounted to a desk, so an articulating boom arm or mic stand allows them to move the mic away when not being used.

Earbuds are good for hearing the Zoom meetings but most aren’t good for being heard. Apple’s Airpods are the popular choice but if you want something less expensive, Soundcore’s Spirit Dot 2 is excellent and costs just $80. They’re barely noticeable, and they’re sweat-proof if they want to take them to the gym.

Last but not least: lighting. You can go with a big circle light popular with YouTubers, but if they’re constantly moving around and using their phone and laptop from room to room, the Lume Cube attaches to most anything using a suction cup, tripod mount or a magnet. has different brightness levels. LED light panels connect to a stand or a camera using a shoe mount. You can find them for under $30.

All make great gifts for anyone working from home, including you

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