There’s plenty of good electronic products out there. When you’re looking for stocking stuffers under $50, though, you’ll have to dig a little to find ones with attractive looks, useful function, and a quality build. That means, more shopping than your patience will probably allow. To help you get started, here are a few tech products within that price mark that should make for welcome holiday gifts.
Blue-Light Blocking Glasses
With people spending hours upon hours of each day in front of a screen, our eyes are getting more strained and fatigued than ever. These glasses help alleviate that by blocking blue light, which is believed to penetrate all the way to the retina, increasing the risk of macular degeneration. Granted, pictures look off in the color department without blue light in the mix, so it’s not something people can wear all the time (sometimes, you need to see colors correctly). With blue light recently identified as a major factor in making sleep difficult (it suppresses melatonin production), though, wearing the glasses while using a tablet or PC before bed makes it immensely useful for absolutely anyone.
Tile’ssmallest Bluetooth tracker yet, this one has an adhesive backing, allowing you to easily stick it onto any of your gear to make it easy to find them at absolutely any time. With a range of 150 feet, this allows you to locate practically anything you’ve somehow misplaced in your home or office either by making the device make a ringing sound or locating it visually from a map. There’s also a “community find” feature that allows other people to help look for your item, so there’s a chance you can locate something even if it’s more than 150 feet away. With its excellent combination of small size and genuinely function, it’s the kind of gift anyone can definitely appreciate.
Most true wireless ear buds are priced north of $100. In the category, we generally consider anything hovering just below that price point to be a budget product. That makes EarFun’s wireless device a really cheap option – so cheap, in fact, that you’ll probably dismiss it as not being worth your time. You would be wrong. While priced very affordably, these ear buds have Bluetooth 5, IPX7 waterproofing, wireless charging, wired charging via USB-C, and even MEMS microphones with noise cancellation. The sound stage is fairly neutral, so it won’t have the superb clarity of its more expensive counterparts, but overall quality should be good enough for all but the pickiest listeners.
At this point, most people will own a streaming device, either as an integrated part of their TVs or a separate standalone product. In case you know someone who hasn’t quite jumped onto the bandwagon, you can get them onboard with this affordable streaming device from Roku, which comes with practically every streaming service out there, including newer ones like Disney+ and Apple TV. With support for 4K and HDR, this converts any TV into a full-fledged streaming screen.
Equipped with a 10,000 mAh battery, this compact power bank can charge an iPhone XS or Galaxy S10 twice, as well as charge an iPad Mini 5 completely, while having extra juice left. With the ability to deliver up to 18W of power, this can also charge faster than most power banks in the market (3.5 hours for most USB-C phones). Do note, while it has USB-C, it’s incompatible with most (if not all) laptops, so if you’re buying for someone who carries a laptop regularly, it probably won’t turn out as useful as they’d like it to be.
No, it’s not the only Bluetooth speaker we’ve seen in this price range. It is, however, the only one in that price range that delivers this level of sound clarity and bass punch. While the maximum volume is likely to be drowned out in a parking lot tailgate party, it has enough loudness for most environments where you want to pump out your playlist. It’s also small enough to fit in bag pockets, waterproof enough to shrug off water (IPX7 rated), and good-looking enough that it doesn’t feel like a cheap hunk of plastic. The only downside is battery life, as the product page promises 24 hours, whereas actual performance actually comes down to less than half of that. Still, 12 hours of playback isn’t so bad.
A multi-device keyboard, you can pair this with up to three devices at a time, allowing you to switch from typing on your PC to tweeting on your iPhone to playing a game on your iPad using the same peripheral. It’s compatible with Windows, MacOS, Chrome OS, Android, iPad, iPhone, and Apple TV, so you can use it with most of the devices you’re likely to have on your desk.
Amazon’s smallest Alexa speaker is also their most popular for good reason: it’s incredibly affordable, all while bringing the full complement of their intelligent assistant’s capabilities, from providing information and music playback to controlling smart devices and executing thousands of skills in its arsenal. With an LED display, it can also show the time, temperature, or a countdown timer, while the 1.6-inch driver produces decent-enough sound to make it a worthwhile device for music playback.
For that person who frequently carries multiple smaller tech devices around, Pelican’s Ruck Case R40 can serve as a protective case for smartphones, action cams, and various small peripherals to ensure they don’t get damaged while you go about your adventures. Measuring 9.8 x 6.1 x 2.9 inches (width x depth x height), it can fit a decent amount of gear, all of which it will protect with its ultra-rugged frame. How rugged? It’s waterproof (even floats in water), dust-proof, crush-proof, and covered in rubber bumpers to absorb impact during drops.
If your recipient owns a Qi-compatible phone, a new wireless charger could make a nice gift. Since most people own one of those round ones that sit flat on your desk, this charging stand could make for a much-appreciated replacement. It can charge phones in both portrait and landscape orientations, so you can check your feeds or watch movies while charging a phone on the stand, apart from charging phones inside their cases, provided they’re 5mm or less in thickness.