The 2021 Super Bowl is only a few days away and is shaping up to be a very different event this year. The Kansas City Chiefs are back in the championship and will face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the new home team of football superstar Tom Brady. This will be the 43-year-old quarterback’s 10th Super Bowl appearance, with six wins under his belt. Canadian R&B/hip-hop artist The Weeknd is set to be this year's halftime show performer. The 55th Super Bowl will be played in Tampa and make for the first time a team will play in their home stadium.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it will also be the smallest live attendance at the Super Bowl with only 25,000 tickets sold. Although you may usually host or attend a party to enjoy the annual championship game, experts recommend staying home and watching with your immediate household. Just because you can’t enjoy this event with friends and family in-person doesn’t mean you shouldn’t elevate your Super Bowl watching experience, though. From TVs and sound systems to kitchen appliances and games, we’ve compiled a list of the best products to help you enjoy the game and virtually connect with friends and family.
Best TVs and sound systems
In our TV buying guide, technology writer Whitson Gordon walks you through everything you should consider before buying a new TV, from screen size and resolution to the best smart TV platforms. We’ve listed out a few TVs that might help bring the game to life in your home.
1. Sony X950H 65-Inch Ultra HD Smart TV with HDR
According to the brand, this TV includes Sony’s best processor yet, which is meant to analyze the content you’re watching to help boost color, contrast and clarity. It sports a full array LED display so you can experience brighter highlights and detailed dark scenes. Connect to your Alexa or Google Home to voice control the TV and easily search for movies and shows. The Sony X950H also has a Game Mode meant to provide a smoother and more responsive gaming experience.
2. TCL 50-Inch 5-Series QLED 4K Roku Smart TV with Dolby Vision
If you’re looking for an affordable TV option, we recommend this TCL. It’s equipped with 4K UHD picture clarity and Dolby Vision HDR. The Roku Smart TV platform gives you easy access to all your favorite streaming services and applications. Pair it with your Amazon Echo or Google Home so you can use voice control to easily navigate channels, find movie titles and more.
3. Sony HT-S350 Soundbar with Wireless Subwoofer
The wireless subwoofer can go anywhere in proximity to your TV and should fill out the sound in your space. Seven sound modes allow you to optimize for the type of audio you're watching, from sports to the news. This soundbar uses voice enhancement to isolate voices and amplify them over background noises. Bluetooth streaming will let you connect to it with your phone and stream anything you like.
4. JBL Bar 4K Ultra HD 5.1-Channel Soundbar with True Wireless Surround Speakers
This model is similar to the Sony Soundbar, but also includes two wireless speakers at the end that you can break off and place around your home to create a 5.1 home theater sound system. The detachable, battery-powered speakers have up to 10 hours of playtime. You can easily connect the soundbar to any of your 4K devices to upgrade your home entertainment.
Best kitchen appliances for game day snacks
Watching the Super Bowl is not the same without the array of snacks. These kitchen appliances can help you prepare your favorite game day snacks from wings and fries to popcorn.
5. Cosori 5.8 Quart Air Fryer
If you don’t own an air fryer yet, we recommend investing in the increasingly popular kitchen appliance. The Cosori Air Fryer is highly-rated with a 4.7-star average rating from more than 52,500 Amazon reviewers. It is meant to use up to 85 percent less fat than traditional deep frying methods. With 11 different presets, you can cook a variety of foods with just the touch of a button. For easy clean-up the removable, nonstick basket is dishwasher-safe.
6. 8-Quart Instant Pot IP-DUO80 Pressure Cooker
This pressure cooker is Instant Pot’s No. 1 bestselling model, according to the brand. It combines seven appliances in one easy-to-use device. Its built-in safety features are meant to protect the device from overheating, as well as safely lock the pressure cooker when in use. The inside components and accessories are dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
7. Open Kitchen by Williams Sonoma Hot Air Popcorn Maker
Whether for the big game or when watching your favorite movie, popcorn is an ideal snack. This Williams Sonoma exclusive popcorn maker has a 1200-watt heating system that can make 12 cups of popcorn in just five minutes. The unique head shape helps to dispense hot popcorn right into your bowl and reduce the amount of unpopped kernels. It also includes a lid-mounted measuring cup and melting butter tray.
Best products to stay connected to friends and family
Even though you may not be able to celebrate the Super Bowl with your friends and family in-person there are still plenty of ways you can stay connected. Send them their favorite drink or hop on a video call and play some games before the big game.
8. Drizly Wine Delivery Service
The alcohol delivery company was recently purchased by Uber for a whopping $1.1 billion. The service delivers beer, wine or liquor to you in under 60 minutes — that’ll save you from the last-minute booze run you may have to make. You can also use the service to gift some beer or wine to your friends so you can all enjoy a drink together, even if you are physically apart. Download the Drizly app on iOS or Android to make your order process more convenient.
9. Facebook Portal
With the Facebook Portal you can easily call friends and family members linking your WhatsApp or Messenger account. It uses a Smart Camera that automatically pans and zooms as you move, to keep everyone in frame. The Smart Sound feature also helps to enhance your voice while minimizing any background sound. You can join or host a call of up to 50 people using Messenger Rooms.
10. Jackbox Party Games
Before the big game, hop on a video call with your friends and family to play some virtual games with any of the Jackbox Party Packs. The company has seven different party pack options that all include up to five different games. Once you download a pack on either your computer or gaming console all you and your friends need to play are your phones. Each game can have up to eight players, but more people can join as the audience and vote on their favorite answers in certain games.
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