If you missed Black Friday or Cyber Monday, don’t sweat it. You can still find great tech gifts without going over your budget.
The headphones, fitness tracker, streaming media player, tablet, and wireless speaker featured here all scored well in CR’s ratings and are available for under $150 all year round—no special deal needed.
If you’re looking for headphones for someone on the move, this small, sleek model could be the right pick. It delivers great sound and does a good job of blocking extraneous noise. And it’s a good buy: In our ratings, the $100 1More E1001 Triple Driver tops headphones from companies such as Audeze and Klipsch that cost at least twice as much.
To ensure a proper fit, this model comes with nine pairs of earpieces in various sizes and types. The audio cord has inline volume and smartphone controls with an integrated microphone.
Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.
A fitness tracker can be an excellet way to help anyone jump-start a workout plan. And the full-featured Fitbit Charge 2 offers great performance at an attractive price.
It’s splashproof, fits comfortably on most wrists, and pairs easily with smartphones. And, unlike typical smartwatches that might also have workout features, the Charge 2 runs for nearly a week on a charge.
The Charge 2 provides real-time heart-rate monitoring with inactivity alerts and can track steps, sleep, and calories burned. The controls are simple and intuitive. Its OLED display has very good readability in bright light and excels in low light, so you won’t struggle to see your stats on a sunny day.
Roku’s flagship streaming device offers great performance, plus the wide assortment of channels that helps make Roku popular with many consumers. Roku will search for a movie or TV title across various services, listing the cheapest options first. And the Ultra can play 4K video.
The Roku Streaming Stick+ is also 4K-compatible, and it’s $30 cheaper. But there are a couple of reasons to spring for the Ultra: A button on the unit makes the remote beep if you misplace it, and a headphone jack in the remote allows for private listening.
If you’re buying a gift for someone with a $99-per-year Amazon Prime subscription, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is hard to beat. It provides easy access to a bevy of Amazon movies, music, and books. And, best of all, the Fire HD 8 costs just $80 for the 16GB version—and often sells for even less.
It supports Alexa, which allows the tablet to act as an additional Echo speaker and a smart-home controller. The Fire HD 8 is also a channel for discounts exclusive to shopping done through the virtual assistant.
Full disclosure: This tablet doesn’t make CR’s recommended list, primarily because of its middling-quality cameras and the fact that it lags behind other models when running graphics-intensive apps. And this tablet uses Amazon’s Fire OS 5.4, which limits owners to Amazon’s relatively small app store.
But those characteristics won’t matter to all users. For anyone who wants to watch videos and browse the web, the Fire HD 8 is a good tablet at a great price.
Check our buying guide and ratings for tablets.