Top Tech Gifts for Under $100

Looking for a tablet, fitness tracker, or wireless speaker that won't crush your budget? These gadgets aim to please.

An Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker.
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Trying to bring some holiday cheer to that gadget lover in your life? You don’t need to spend a fortune. These tech gift ideas—headphones, speakers, streaming media players, a fitness tracker, a printer, and a tablet—all earn high marks from the tests in Consumer Reports' labs, and they can all be found for $100 or less. Each product listed here will make for a great gift, so we've organized them by category to help you find the right option.

Need more holiday inspiration? Check out some of our other gift guides: Top Gifts Under $50Best White Elephant Gifts for Under $35, and Top Home Gifts Under $100.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2019 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more.

Tablet
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (16GB)
Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (16GB)

    Amazon Fire HD 8 2018 (16GB)

    CR's take: If you’re willing to overlook some shortcomings, the Amazon Fire HD 8 is a steal. The display is admirably good, and if you’re already on the hook for a $119-per-year Amazon Prime subscription, the tablet will provide you with easy access to content including movies, music, and books.

    Our testers found the 8-inch display to be bright and legible, even under intense light. The microSD card slot allows you to expand that 16 gigabytes of storage with a memory card. As for battery life, the Fire HD 8 clocked in at 10.6 hours in our web-browsing tests and 7.9 in our video-viewing tests.

    For more options: Best Tablets Under $300

    Fitness Tracker
    Fitbit Inspire HR
    Fitbit Inspire HR

      Fitbit Inspire HR

      CR's take: The Fitbit Inspire HR is a great model for the budget-conscious consumer. It boasts a light and slim profile, but packs in a GPS and a claimed-battery life of five days. It’s easy to use and Very Good at counting your steps. But, other models did better in our testing when it came to heart-rate tracking. It also made good on its manufacturer’s claim of water resistance of up to 164 feet.

      For more options: Best Fitness Trackers

      Wireless Speaker
      JBL by Harman Flip 4
      JBL by Harman Flip 4

        JBL by Harman Flip 4

        CR's take: This cylindrical Bluetooth speaker from JBL earns Best Buy designation from CR for its attractive combination of good performance and low price. It's available in six colors and a number of patterns, including camouflage.

        Our testers found the sound quality to be good. Two units can be used in stereo—buy a pair, and you can better fill a room with sound, while still paying less than you would for mono speakers. The test team also liked the Flip's ease of use, including its fuss-free pairing.

        For more options: Best Wireless Speakers Under $200

        Smart Speaker
        Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)
        Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

          Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

          CR's take: The latest version of the Dot offers significantly better sound compared with the previous generation, and though its audio quality may mean it isn't an ideal choice for cranking out “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s fine for listening to podcasts and playing some background tunes while you do the dishes. The Dot can also impart smart speaker functionality to a different and presumably better-sounding Bluetooth speaker. That's an inexpensive way to add IQ points to the audio equipment you already own.

          For more options: Best Smart Speakers Under $200

          Stereo Headphones
          Jabra Move Style Edition
          Jabra Move Style Edition

            Jabra Move Style Edition

            CR's take: The Jabra Move Style Edition, an on-ear Bluetooth model with a sleek appearance and better-than-average sound quality, comes with convenient features like controls for calls, playback, and volume, and the option to forgo Bluetooth and use the detachable audio cable included with your purchase.

            The headphones have a closed, isolating design that will keep some noise from leaking in or out during a listening session. The headphones have an advertised 14-hour battery life, more than enough to get you through a day of listening. 

            For more options: Best Headphones Under $100

            Stereo Headphones
            Anker SoundCore Liberty Air
            Anker SoundCore Liberty Air

              Anker SoundCore Liberty Air

              CR's take: The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air earphones look a lot like Apple's AirPods, but they cost about half as much, and they have a few notable advantages. Unlike the AirPods, the Ankers have an isolating design that will muffle some outside sound, and our testing shows their audio quality is significantly better, too. CR's technicians also note that they fit and stay in place better than many true wireless models. According to Anker, the earphones have a 5-hour battery life and come with a charging/carrying case good for three additional charges on the go. They're also advertised as water-resistant.

              The Liberty Air has tap controls for calls and playback, and support for digital assistants, and they come with the option to use the right earpiece alone for single-ear listening. They're available in black or white.

              For more options: Best Headphones Under $100

              Noise-Canceling Headphones
              Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT
              Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT

                Audio-Technica ATH-ANC100BT

                CR's take: These Bluetooth earphones provide superior noise-canceling tech and reliable sound quality. They feature controls for calls, volume, and playback, and come with a detachable audio cable for use with wired devices. Some of the electronics are housed in an external compartment. That may seem inconvenient, but it's small enough to slide into a shirt pocket or clip to your clothes. Plus, the extra space allows for higher battery capacity than you see on many competitors in this category. According to Audio-Technica, the ANC100BT will operate for up to 10 hours with both Bluetooth and noise-canceling turned on.

                For more options: Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Budget

                Noise-Canceling Headphones
                Monoprice BT-300ANC
                Monoprice BT-300ANC

                  Monoprice BT-300ANC

                  CR's take: This over-ear wireless model from Monoprice is usually available for around $50, a steal given its superb noise-canceling performance and above-average sound quality. The BT-300ANC features integrated controls for calls, volume, and playback, and the ear cups fold in for easy storage and transport. According to Monoprice, the battery will run for 8 hours between charges with both Bluetooth and noise-canceling turned on. You can keep the music going even longer by switching off Bluetooth and using the detachable audio cable, which is included.

                  For more options: Noise-Canceling Headphones on a Budget

                  All-In-One Printer
                  Brother MFC-J895DW
                  Brother MFC-J895DW

                    Brother MFC-J895DW

                    CR's take: This all-in-one inkjet printer sits near the top of our ratings, thanks in large part to outstanding versatility and high marks for text and graphics quality. The MFC-J895DW wastes very little ink to maintain the print heads, and based on our estimates of typical use, its yearly ink costs come to about $100—which falls in the lower range for an inkjet model. Features include scan and copy functions, an automatic document feeder, built-in faxing, WiFi networking, and wireless printing with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

                    For more options: Great Printers for Under $150

                    Streaming Media Device
                    Roku Ultra (2018)
                    Roku Ultra (2018)

                      Roku Ultra (2018)

                      CR's take: Roku’s flagship streaming device offers not only great performance but also the wide assortment of channels that makes Roku's platform so popular with consumers. It will search for a movie or TV title across various services, listing the cheapest options first, and it can play 4K video with HDR.

                      The Roku Streaming Stick+ is 4K-compatible, too, and usually costs around $30 less. But here are two features that make the Ultra extra appealing: a button that helps you find the remote when you invariably misplace it and a headphone jack in the remote, which allows for private listening—you know, when you stay up late watching television.

                      For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for streaming media players

                      Blu-Ray Player
                      Sony BDP-S3700
                      Sony BDP-S3700

                        Sony BDP-S3700

                        CR's take: This $80 Blu-ray player from Sony delivers terrific picture quality. It lacks some features found on pricier models—two-way Bluetooth and 4K upscaling for Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, for example—but it does include screen mirroring, so you can display content from a compatible tablet, computer, or smartphone on your TV screen. And the built-in WiFi lets you access online content from popular streaming services.

                        For more options, check our buying guide and ratings for Blu-ray players.

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                        Thomas Germain

                        I want to live in a world where consumers take advantage of technology, not the other way around. Reliable information is the way to make that happen, and that’s why I spend my time chasing it down. When I’m off the clock, you can usually find me working my way through an ever-growing list of podcasts. Follow me on Twitter (@ThomasGermain).