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From a new pair of headphones to a cutting-edge e-reader, there are plenty of amazing tech gifts to give for the holidays this year—but how do you know what’s worth your hard-earned dollar versus what’s worth skipping?
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That’s the general terror of trying to buy a new tech gift for someone: How do you single out the year’s best products from the ocean of sub-par stuff? Luckily, it’s easy—you check out our picks below. Reviewed tests tech all year long and this list is chock full of our most beloved gadgets, including many of those that made our best tech of 2022 roundup, so now’s the time to grab a few awesome gifts before they all sell out.
1. For the binge-watcher: Roku Ultra
Roku’s fancy Ultra 4802R media streaming device has been our favorite for a few years now, and for good reason. Its processing is super snappy and the UI is extremely friendly and intuitive, making it easy to settle in for a night of Netflix (or Hulu, or Amazon Prime, or YouTube or Twitch or anything else). This box also comes with a fantastic voice remote and a pair of headphones that plug right into it for private listening, as well an ethernet cable input so you can easily stream 4K/HDR content, if that’s your bag.
2. For the typist: SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini Wireless
If you’re shopping for someone that spends a lot of time on their keyboard, whether they’re typing away throughout work or spending their afterhours gaming, this is the keyboard you should get them. The SteelSeries Apex Pro Mini keyboard is our favorite keyboard we tested this year. Its easily accessible secondary and tertiary functions, its customizable profiles and its excellent connectivity makes it a great fit for Mac or PC users.
3. For the book lover: Amazon Kindle 11th Generation
Amazon’s newest Kindle took our e-reader testing by storm. It’s easy to use, has a crisp display and a price-point that sits below most of the other options we tested. It boasts weeks of battery life, and comes equipped with enough storage to allow you to store and read up to 16 GB of books.
4. For the podcast addict: Apple AirPods Pro (2nd Gen)
Apple’s AirPods Pro (2nd gen) are still some of the best true wireless earbuds you can buy. While we’ve had some qualms about the comfort and audio quality of the original AirPods, the Pro variant is a major upgrade: much more comfortable, with better audio and great noise canceling. The end result is an awesome pair of true wireless buds that we strongly recommend.
5. For the dedicated listener: Sony WH-1000XM5
Sony’s WH-1000XM5 are simply amazing headphones—in fact, we think they’re the best noise-canceling headphones you can buy right now. Not only do these sound awesome, they’re packed with the most useful headphone features you can get: stunning noise canceling (that automatically listens and adapts to your environment), wireless/Bluetooth connectivity and a plush, comfortable design that you can wear for hours. If your giftee is serious about listening to music (and nothing else), these pricy cans will make their day.
6. For the busy bee: iRobot Roomba j7+
Winter is a busy season for social events and holidays, and if the person on your list often laments their lack of time for home tasks, the iRobot Roomba j7+ might make a great gift. The j7+ is our favorite robot vacuum thanks to its intuitive storage, stellar cleaning abilities and top-notch navigation.
7. For the home theater enthusiast: 65-inch TCL 6-Series TV
If you’ve got a giftee on your list this year who has been hoping to upgrade to a 4K/HDR TV, the 65-inch TCL 6-Series is an awesome pick. You’re not paying nearly as much as you normally would for a bright, colorful, crisp picture bolstered by fancy tech like mini-LEDs and quantum dots. The 6 Series is HDR compatible, too, meaning it can play the latest and greatest movies in a blitz of light and color. To sweeten the pot, the built-in Roku platform is still our favorite smart TV platform, both robust and easy to use.
8. For the fitness lover: Garmin Vivosmart 4
If you’re looking for a gift for that fitness-loving friend of yours, consider the Garmin Vívosmart 4, ranked as our most affordable fitness tracker. This nifty health gadget can automatically detect and track workouts, monitor stress levels, and comes equipped with GPS tracking. It also features an extremely slim design so it won’t feel bulky on your recipient’s wrist.
9. For the gamer: Valve Steam Deck
The Valve Steam Deck is one of the best devices we tested all year. Not only did it get a nod from our editors in our best tech of 2022 roundup, it also seriously impressed Senior Electronics Editor, Joanna Nelius, thanks to its easy set-up, comfortable design and impressive game emulation support.
10. For the music lover on the go: JBL Flip 6
JBL’s Flip line of portable, waterproof Bluetooth speakers constantly top our list of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy, and the Flip 6 is the best one yet. These rounded, meticulously designed speakers produce warm audio with plenty of bass and midrange. They’ve also got rubber-capped ends and water-sealed inputs so you can bring your new speaker along on hikes, beach trips or just out to the backyard without fear of damage. If your giftee likes to bring the jam wherever they go, a Bluetooth speaker like the Flip 6 could be the perfect gift.
11. For the traveler: Logitech G Cloud Gaming Console
Another favorite game console this year, the Logitech G Cloud has everything you could want in a portable console—our editor called it a “near perfect device” that has excellent battery life and a fantastic display and user-experience. It’s compatible with Google Play and Xbox Cloud Gaming, and it paired great with games ranging from Death Stranding to Stardew Valley.
12. For the movie lover on a budget: Vizio V-Series 2.1 soundbar
Let’s face it: TV audio tends to suck. While we love reviewing TVs, usually listening to them isn’t amazing: that’s why we also review soundbars. One of our favorite soundbars is Vizio’s V-Series, a soundbar and subwoofer combo that provides seriously good audio for the price. There’s nothing too fancy going on here, but it’s an easy plug-and-play solution for anyone looking to majorly upgrade their stock TV audio at a reasonable price.
13. For the one who wants movie theater sound: Sonos Arc
There’s some great affordable soundbars out there, but if you want cinematic, room-filling sound that actually competes with the bone-rattling audio you’d get at a movie theater, check out the Sonos Arc. This is Sonos’ first-ever Dolby Atmos-compatible soundbar, meaning it’s capable not just of great stereo sound presentation, but also of implementing Dolby’s proprietary object-oriented and height-channel-based audio solution, placing sound all around you in a room—yep, even overhead. Naturally, a soundbar this awesome doesn’t come cheap, but if your giftee never misses movie night, this gift will blow them away.
14. For the one wants to get into VR: Meta Quest 2
If you’re shopping for a gamer and they have yet to dip their toe into VR, the Meta Quest 2 might be a good starting point. Not only was it one of the best VR headsets we’ve ever tested, the Meta Quest 2 is also available to order before Christmas from some retailers, which is more than can be said for a lot of gaming consoles this year.
15. For the one who needs a webcam: Logitech Brio
The Logitech Brio is our favorite webcam of 2022 for a reason—it boasts excellent picture and video and a wide range of resolutions and fields of view. If the person you’re shopping for over the holidays has been mentioning improving their work-from-home setup, or just starting streaming from their computer, it’s a fantastic webcam for any and every occasion.
16. For the game soundtrack enthusiast: SteelSeries Arctis Pro
If your giftee ends up with a Spotify Wrapped that’s populated entirely by game soundtracks, the SteelSeries’ Arctis Pro gaming headset is an awesome choice for their daily listening. The headset is compatible with PC, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox and basically all mobile devices, and it offers some of the most comfortable, plush cups on the market.
17. For the one whose big house needs better WiFi: Google Nest Mesh System
Maybe you’ve never heard of mesh WiFi systems—but we have, and we’ve tested lots of ’em. A mesh WiFi system is an excellent solution for essentially blanketing your entire home or apartment with high-speed WiFi. If you’ve got a giftee whose place is full of WiFi dead zones, a mesh system might be just what they need. The Google Nest system is one of the best we tested, so it doesn’t come cheap, but it’s an excellent solution for anyone who just can’t seem to stay connected.
18. For the one who needs a new laptop: Apple MacBook Air M2
Whether your giftee is earning an online degree, working from home or working on their next creative project, a good laptop is a must. The Apple MacBook M2 was the best MacBook we used all year thanks to its lightning-fast processor and noticeable improvement from the M1 model.
19. For the one who’s crazy about their pets: Petcube Cam
You’d better believe we tested to find the best smart pet cameras, and the Petcube Cam is our top value pick. This cam packs a lot of useful features into a device that squarely fits in the palm of your hand. It doesn’t come with fancy extras like treat tossing or laser games like some competitors, but it’s got everything you need to successfully check in with your furry friend from anywhere.
20. For those seeking luxurious streaming: Apple TV 4K
There’s a lot of ways to stream content. If the “blech” end of the spectrum is watching hyper-compressed Netflix on your tiny phone during a 12-hour bus ride, the “yay” end of the spectrum is Apple TV 4K. This marvelously zippy, perfectly polished streaming box is for that giftee who loves binging and wants to do it in style. It’s especially good if you already own an iPhone or iPad, as all those Apple devices tend to play very nicely together.
21. For the shutterbug traveler: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10
If you’ve got someone on your list who loves traveling and taking photos, needs something more robust than a smartphone but doesn’t want a huge, clunky camera, say no more. The longstanding Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 is one of our very favorite travel cameras. It’s not cheap, but it’s slightly more affordable than many high-end DSLRs, powerful enough to take excellent photos and compact enough to slide into a pants pocket.
22. For the aspiring vinyl record collector: Crosley C6 turntable
It’s a big debate about whether analog vinyl recordings actually sound “better” or “warmer” than digitally formatted audio files, but one thing’s for sure: the ritual of laying a well-loved record on a vinyl player and listening to it as the musicians and producer intended will always be a special experience. If you’ve got a giftee who might be eager to collect records but needs a viable record player, the Crosley C6 is one of our top picks. It delivers modern turntable fixin’s with a classic look and feel.
23. For the one with too many remotes: Logitech Harmony
We all know that one person whose living room feels like a defunct Radio Shack. A remote for the TV, the soundbar, the Blu-ray or DVD player etc., scattered haphazardly about the room. Enough’s enough—gift that friend a Logitech Harmony, one of the best universal remotes we’ve tested. Sure, they might have to do a bit of programming and tinkering to bring all their disparate devices into the Harmony hive-mind, but we promise they’ll thank you for being so thoughtful.
24. For youngsters who love to listen: Puro Labs PuroQuiet Kids’ Headphones
If you’ve got kids who love listening to music, we think that’s marvelous—but younger kids need to be extra careful about protecting their ears from excessive noise. That’s where these awesome Puro Labs headphones come in: They’re tuned not to exceed volumes that would cause damage while ensuring balanced sound and noise-canceling to also deliver beautiful music. The PuroQuiet headphones were the best headphones for kids we tested, so you can be assured of their quality.
25. For the one who wants a smarter wrist: Apple Watch Series 8
Ranked as our all-time favorite smartwatch, the Apple Watch Series 8 surpasses the Series 7 thanks to its outstanding quality, crash-detection features and impressive incremental improvements on the old model. If your giftee loves staying connected to all their apps and notifications but is always busy with their face buried in their smartphone, this smart accessory is the best gift.
26. For the careful driver: Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2
If you’ve got a giftee who likes to be extra cautious while out on the road, the Garmin Dash Cam Mini 2 is an awesome gift. It’s one of the more affordable dash cams we tested, but they’ll still gets full-HD 1080p video with a 140-degree view: the kind of footage they could use for something like an insurance claim.
27. For those looking to rock out poolside: Anker SoundCore 2
Let’s face it: the only thing better than swimming in a pool is doing so while sweet tunes fill the air. If you’ve got someone on your list this year who loves hanging in the pool but doesn’t want to risk dousing their smartphone, a good waterproof Bluetooth speaker might be the perfect gift. The Anker SoundCore 2 is one of our favorites, and it’s pretty affordable to boot.
28. For the one who loves photo albums: Polaroid Hi-Print
If you’re buying gifts for anyone who loves snapping photos and printing them out in tangible form, the Polaroid Hi-Print is the perfect gift. This accessory was named our favorite portable photo printer and we especially loved its sleek, colorful design and ability to easily connect to our smartphones. You’ve also got step-by-step instructions with the Hi-Print’s companion app that allowed for quick setup as well as basic editing tools for the perfect picture.
29. For the one wants a gaming laptop: Asus ROG Zephyrus 14-inch Gaming Laptop
Set the gamer on your list up to win. Our favorite gaming laptop we tried this year was the Asus ROG Zephyrus 14-inch WQXGA 120 Hz gaming laptop, so if someone on your list is on the hunt for a high-powered machine with excellent portability and robust features, you can’t go wrong.
30. For the one whose WiFi is always too slow: Linksys EA7500
When we tested the best WiFi routers, the Linksys EA7500 really blew us away with its sheer speediness. This dual-band router outed all the others we tested in terms of combined 2.4 and 5 Ghz WiFi channel speeds. Naturally, performance like this doesn’t come cheap, but if your giftee really needs a boost to their internet juice, this is the router to get them.
31. For the one who always needs more power: GoalZero Sherpa 100PD
If you’ve got a giftee who always seems to chronically suffer from poorly-charged devices—a laptop, smartphone or tablet, for example—a portable battery pack like the GoalZero Sherpa 100PD might be just what they need. This was our favorite power bank for its huge selection of ports, support for wireless charging and large, 25,000 mAh battery. It’s even got Power Delivery technology so your recipient’s devices will be powered up faster than ever before.
32. For the pro PC gamer: Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro
If you’ve got someone on your list this year who uses their mouse and keyboard for a lot more than browsing the web, you might want to consider gifting them a top-end gaming mouse. The Corsair Dark Core RGB Pro recently swept the best overall spot for our roundup of the best gaming mice, thanks to its perfect balance of comfort, customizability, performance, and price.
33. For the one who needs to glow up an office: LIFX Z LED light strip
Our #1-rated LED light strip, the LIFX Z LED smart light strip is a seriously cool way to spruce up a home theater or office. It’s a snap to sync these smart LEDs up with assistants like Alexa or Siri, or integrate the LIFX into an existing SmartThings or Nest ecosystem—from there, it’s really up to your giftee’s imagination whether they have ambient, soft mood lighting or a demonic red glow lighting up the room.
34. For the one who needs a better alarm clock: Jall Sunrise Alarm Clock
When we tested the best sunrise alarm clocks, we were pleasantly surprised by the affordable Jall Sunrise Alarm Clock, which does an awesome job emulating sunrise and sunset and works beautifully for what you’re paying. If the person you’re buying for is serious about sleep hygiene, or just isn’t much of a morning person, a sunrise alarm clock can be a great way to greet the day in a more pleasant manner, especially during those darker winter months when the sun is scarce.
35. For the one who needs more freedom: Logitech MX Anywhere 3
Logitech’s MX Anywhere 3 wireless mouse is our favorite wireless mouse, and for good reason: as long as you’ve got the USB dongle in tow, you really can use it basically anywhere. It tracks reliably on any surface—even glass—and with roughly a 70-day battery life you could basically take it on a two-month journey without needing to seek out a mousepad or AC adapter.
36. For the gamer who needs a visual upgrade: Acer Predator XB253Q
Our top-rated gaming monitor may seem like a huge indulgence for the non-PC-gamer crowd, but for anyone hoping to trounce the competition, the 24.5-inch Acer Predator XB253Q is a necessary tool. Testing revealed outrageously smooth performance, not to mention high refresh rates, excellent response time and a thin bezel design. You’ve even got an adjustable stand so your gamer friend can adjust it any way they want.
37. For the one who needs more space for games: Seagate expansion card
Microsoft’s new Xbox Series X and Series S consoles were the biggest launches a few years ago, and having more storage for games is almost a must. Seagate’s proprietary expansion card allows you to smartly expand the console’s storage capacity without having to move games back and forth between an external hard drive and the console in order to play them. While it’s a bit pricy, it’s the kind of advanced and thoughtful gift that’s sure to pleasantly surprise the gamer in your life.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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