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Best Tech Gifts Under $150

These devices—headphones, fitness trackers, streaming players, and more—are ideal for the budget-conscious gift-giver

An illustration of two people exchanging holiday gifts

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 trackers, streaming media players, tablet, and wireless speakers featured here all scored well in CR's ratings and are available for under $150 year-round—no special deal needed.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2018 Holiday Central for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

1
Fitbit Charge 3
Fitbit Charge 3

    Fitbit Charge 3

    The newest version of the popular Fitbit Charge, which rolled out earlier this fall, did great in our testing. It's easy to use and read, as well as great at tracking steps and heart rate. With recent version iPhones and Android phones, our experts found it very easy to pair, very easy to synch, and very easy to interact with.

     

    Check our buying guide and ratings for fitness trackers

    2
    Garmin Vivosmart HR
    Garmin Vivosmart HR

      Garmin Vivosmart HR

      This is one of our top-rated fitness trackers. It checks all the important boxes, earning top marks for heart-rate and step-count accuracy, along with ease of use and water resistance. Its 1.1-inch LCD display is easy to read in both low and bright light, making it great for outdoor use. The device will track your calories burned and sleep patterns, while also letting you know when you have a new text, email, or other notification.

       

      It's easy to put on and comfortable to wear, and has tracking abilities designed specifically for a handful of different sports, including running, golf, and swimming.

       

      Check our buying guide and ratings for fitness trackers.

      3
      1MORE E1001 Triple Driver
      1MORE E1001 Triple Driver

        1MORE E1001 Triple Driver

        These small, sleek earphones have an earplug-like design that limits extraneous noise, and they deliver Excellent sound, beating out models that cost hundreds more. The audio cable has inline volume and smartphone controls with an integrated microphone. To ensure a proper fit, the device comes with nine pairs of earpieces in various sizes and types.

        Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones

        4
        Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC
        Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

          Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

          The best noise-canceling headphones don’t come cheap, but you do have some great budget options. Chief among them is the Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC. It delivers fantastic noise-canceling capability and can be used wired or through Bluetooth, and you can find it for as little as $150.


          These headphones deliver high-quality sound as well, though they don’t match the best headphones in our ratings. The HD 4.50 BTNC has integrated volume, playback, and call controls that work with paired Bluetooth devices. With Bluetooth and noise-cancellation turned on, the headphones boast a reported 19-hour battery life.

          Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

          5
          Sony WI-SP600N
          Sony WI-SP600N

            Sony WI-SP600N

            This wireless model from Sony is a decent choice for the more critical listener for both music and movie soundtrack playback. The WI-SP600N operates for up to 6 hours and features a quick charge function, which provides 60 minutes of playback after 15 minutes of charging, according to Sony. It's advertised as water resistant, it has an integrated button to toggle an ambient sound monitoring mode, and a free app adds additional functionality, like optional EQ settings. It features NFC Bluetooth pairing and is compatible with Siri and Google Assistant.

             

            Check our buying guide and ratings for headphones.

            6
            Amazon Fire TV Cube
            Amazon Fire TV Cube

              Amazon Fire TV Cube

              Essentially a mashup of two of Amazon's popular Alexa-powered devices—the Fire TV streaming player and the Echo Dot smart speaker—the Fire TV Cube throws an additional interesting element into the mix: universal remote control capability. As its name suggests, the Fire TV Cube is a squarish set-top box that will play 4K videos with HDR, just like the newest Fire TV.

              Although it has some buttons on top of the unit, the Cube is really all about voice control and voice commands. But what makes the Fire TV Cube really unique is that it lets you control a host of other compatible A/V gear, including TVs, sound bars, receivers, and even some cable and satellite boxes.
               

              Check our buying guide and ratings for streaming media players.

              7
              Roku Ultra
              Roku Ultra

                Roku Ultra

                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.

                Check our buying guide and ratings for streaming media players

                8
                Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (16GB)
                Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (16GB)

                  Amazon Fire HD 8 2017 (16GB)

                  This Amazon product lets you do the basics well: read news and books, watch movies, and play simple games. Its 15-hour battery life is better than average. Though not at the top of CR’s tablet ratings, it’s a great deal, selling for about half the cost of most competitors. It comes with Alexa, the voice-responding virtual assistant.


                  Check our buying guide and ratings for tablets

                  9
                  Polk Audio Signa s1
                  Polk Audio Signa s1

                    Polk Audio Signa s1

                    Not everyone needs a full surround-sound system or one with advanced features such as voice control. This basic 2.1-channel system, which includes a main enclosure and a separate wireless subwoofer, delivers good overall sound quality at a price that won't break the bank. Note that this model has an optical input and a 3.5mm auxiliary jack, but no HDMI input. It does come with an optical cable.


                    Check our buying guide and ratings for sound bars.

                    11
                    Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)
                    Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)

                      Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)

                      The new Echo Plus pulls off a pretty neat trick. It’s smaller than its predecessor. But in a world where bigger generally equals better in terms of sound quality, the smaller Plus sounds much better. Some of the sonic improvement can be attributed to the new tone controls that allow you to tweak the speaker to match the room where you listen. But even if you’re a set-it-and-forget-it type, the Echo Plus is Amazon’s best-sounding screen-less smart speaker.

                      Check our buying guide and ratings for smart speakers.

                      12
                      Sony BDP-S3700
                      Sony BDP-S3700

                        Sony BDP-S3700

                        The BDP-S3700 Blu-ray player from Sony delivers excellent picture quality, as do all the models in our Ratings. Compared to its pricier sibling, the Sony BDP-S6700, it lacks a few features, such as 4K upscaling and two-way Bluetooth. It does include screen mirroring, so you can display content from a compatible tablet, computer, or smartphone on your TV screen. It's an Internet-capable model with built-in WiFi for connecting to a home network, convenient if you don't have a nearby Ethernet jack. The player has access to online content from several services.

                        Check our buying guide and ratings for Blu-ray players.

                        13
                        Brother MFC-J680DW
                        Brother MFC-J680DW

                          Brother MFC-J680DW

                          This inkjet printer is a great gift for the family photographer. The Brother MFC-J680DW quickly prints very good photographs on glossy paper (only fair on plain paper) and has a separate tray for snapshot-sized photo paper. Its 1.3-inch touch-screen display lets you preview the images on a memory card reader. It also prints two-sided copies and has scan and fax functions and built-in WiFi networking.

                           

                          Check our buying guide and ratings for printers.

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                          Mary Beth Quirk

                          A native Wisconsinite and avid cheese enthusiast, I've written thousands of stories—on topics ranging from product safety to the best way to cook a burger—in my six-year career as a consumer-focused journalist. I live in Brooklyn, N.Y., and I have a very hard time passing up pizza. Follow me on Twitter (@marybethquirk).