Mother’s Day Gift Guide – for the more affordable Mum

Mother's Day

We’ve already made a few suggestions for expensive Mother’s Day gifts. But this time let’s keep things well under a thousand dollars and see what’s available. Remember, Mother’s Day is this coming Sunday.

Red Dyson Supersonic hair dryer – $549

Mother's Day

This we love. It’s just about perfect for Mother’s Day. A Dyson hair dryer is both personal and practical. Unless your Mum already has one, she will love it as well. You can skimp a little and buy the $499 model, but the red model comes in a “special travel case designed by James Dyson himself”. And it’s red.

As well as looking magnificent, as we discovered at the Dyson Hair Science event last month, this dryer features a host of clever innovations. The motor spins at 110,000RPM for up to eight times greater power. It samples air temperature twenty times a second to make sure it doesn’t get too hot.

But most of all, she’ll just love it. Read the Gadget Guy review of the standard model here. It’s operationally identical.

Apple HomePod – $499

Mother's Day

Let’s get away from the Apple phones and computers and tablets for a while. What about giving your mum a personal assistant for her home. One with a fine voice of its own. That sounds just about right for Mother’s Day. We’re talking about the Apple HomePod, Apple’s first device for interacting with Siri throughout your home.

It’ll work best if your mum has an Apple Music account – hey, that’s another gift idea ($119 for 12 months)! That’ll let her choose from 45 million songs. Just by asking. The HomePod uses Siri, of course, to listen and understand what she wants. And it’s not just music. It’ll give her information, and as time goes on, allow her to control all her smart home devices.

Read the Gadget Guy review here. We particularly liked the sound.

HP Sprocket Plus photo printer – $229

Mother's Day

Your mum has a smartphone. Her smartphone has a camera. She often takes photos. How much would she love being able to print them out, easily and without a computer. Mother’s Day can help here.

HP helps with the Sprocket Plus photo printer. This is a compact device that your phone can use as a photo printer via a Bluetooth connection. It uses ZINK Zero Ink technology. Which means that the ink is built into the paper itself.

The HP Sprocket Plus prints bigger photos than the HP Sprocket (still available for $199). They are 58mm by 86mm, up from 50mm by 76mm.

We haven’t put hands on the Plus yet, but the Gadget Guy review of the standard Sprocket is here.

Nest Cam IQ Indoor security camera – $479

Mother's Day

How about a bit of safety and security for mum? Well, since most security cameras are ugly as, they may not be quite what she’s after. Which is where the Nest Cam IQ comes in. It looks so good it isn’t out of place as a Mother’s Day gift.

And using the Nest Aware app on her smartphone, she can monitor things from afar, and even speak out through the Net Cam IQ’s built-in speaker.

As always with a network-based security camera, to get the best use you need an Internet connection with decent upload speed. Nest recommends 2Mbps. That will rule out many homes not yet connected to the NBN.

Read all about this camera here.

3SIXT PureGlitz Case for iPhone 8 and 8 Plus – $24.95

Mother's Day

We realise most of our recommendations here are still fairly expensive. But there’s always the good old – and inexpensive – standby of a case for Mum’s phone. It will protect the phone for her, and perhaps give a welcome change of style.

The case is available in gold/silver styling, or rose gold/silver.

Check out the 3SIXT website here for more low-cost gift possibilities.

Yamaha WXA-50 Wireless Streaming Amplifier – $699

Mother's Day

You can have your portable speakers and your earbuds and all that stuff, but for real sound quality, the gift of stereo might be just what she wants. The Yamaha WXA-50 is a compact, attractive and powerful stereo amplifier with all the wireless capabilities she will need.

Does she have an iPhone? She can send her music to the WXA-50 via Airplay. Perhaps she uses Android? Then DLNA does the same thing (unless she has a Google Pixel phone). Spotify? TIDAL? Deezer? For sure.

It also works with Yamaha’s MusicCast multiroom system, so for future Mother’s Day, you can just give her more MusicCast speaker to progressively give her music everywhere throughout the home.

Read the Gadget Guy review of this amplifier here.

Andatech AlcoSense Verity personal breathalyser – $269

Mother's Day

We’re torn on this one for Mother’s Day. It makes sense, even if it’s a bit self-serving. The AlcoSense people suggest that you can give this device to “Keep Mum safe so she can still be a Mummy taxi service!”

We’re talking about a personal breathalyser. Specifically, the AlcoSense Verity personal breathalyser. It is a fine way to remove the uncertainty from your travels. You had that last glass of wine. Should you drive? Or, rather, should she?

But will your mum consider such a gift a kind of rebuke? “Mum, we all know you’re a bit of a lush. Here, stay safe.” We guess it depends on your relationship.

Buy her one of the pink ones and $100 of the purchase price will go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

See the Gadget Guy review here.

Rega Planar 2 turntable – $849

Mother's Day

Does mum love music? Does she have a pile of records – good old-fashioned vinyl records – that she doesn’t play? Perhaps because she doesn’t have a record player? Then what about a stylish turntable?

Black, white or red, the Rega Planar 2 turntable looks a million dollars, and it comes with the playback cartridge. A minimum of setup – you’ll do that for her, won’t you? – and it’s right to go.

The thing is, with a high-quality turntable, her records will be preserved in their best condition and will sound better than she’s ever heard them before.

See the Gadget Guy review here.

Audiofly AF140 In-Ear Monitors – $399.99


What if mum loves music, but doesn’t have vinyl. Like normal people, perhaps she uses her smartphone or iPod for listening. Fact is, most earphones supplied with such devices are awful. We’d like to be kinder, but they sound terrible. Apple earphones aren’t as bad as the pack, but they’re made of hard plastic, and they hurt our ears.

What sounds great? The Audiofly AF140 In-Ear Monitors. Don’t let the name fool you. IEMs are a fancy name for earbuds. Audiofly is an Australian firm that specialises in high-quality personal audio devices. They are used on stage by performing artists. As such, they must sound good.

As we found in the Gadget Guy review, they sound great.

Make Mother’s Day Great for 2018!

Always keep in mind gadgets for Mother’s Day, and give her our best wishes this year as well.