At its core, technology solves problems.
Sometimes, these problems are obvious, like your office being so loud you can’t hear yourself think (solution: noise-canceling headphones). But just as often, we don’t realize what an inconvenience some problems are until someone offers to alleviate these minor pain points.
And occasionally, we just love being entertained by cool gadgets. Nothing wrong with that.
For the tech lover in your life, here are 40 fun, funky, state-of-the-art tech toys at a variety of price points.
Tech Gifts Under $50
High-tech doesn’t have to mean high-priced. If you’re shopping on a budget, try this mix of practical tech gifts.
1. Showerhead Speaker
Who doesn’t love to sing in the shower? For your favorite singer-in-the-rain, pick up a shower speaker.
But not just any shower speaker. Nowadays, they make showerheads with speakers built into them. For an economical option, try the Bluevue music showerhead, which provides eight hours of Bluetooth music before needing a charge.
Or get them one that doesn’t need charging at all. Some speakers are powered by the water streaming through them. The Hyquadio hydro-powered speaker doesn’t replace your recipient’s existing showerhead – it fits between the showerhead and the plumbing. That’s great news if they love their current showerhead.
For a higher-end look, spend a little more for Kohler’s polished chrome showerhead speaker.
2. Solar Charger
Speaking of drawing energy without a plug, a solar charger is an eco-friendly gift idea to help your tech-loving pal save on their energy bill while charging all their devices.
The solar charger by Goertek comes with a 25,000-ampere-hour (mAh) battery, which stores enough power in a single full solar charge to recharge seven typical smartphones. It’s ideal for camping, hiking, or just using less energy at home.
And in a pinch, it plugs into the wall so you can charge it quickly before a trip.
3. Hyper-Portable Chargers
At the best of times, your phone dying is a huge inconvenience. At the worst of times, it leaves you lost, stranded, or otherwise in need of help with no way to call for it.
Keep your loved one safe by getting them some spare power to keep with them at all times. The Jackery portable charger bar slips into a pocket and holds 6000mAh, enough to charge a phone at least once and possibly twice, depending on the model.
If you want to give even more power, try the Anker PowerCore 10000 PD Redux. As the name suggests, it stores 10000mAh in its battery pack. It costs more, but it’s not outrageously expensive and remains small enough to fit in a pocket or purse.
4. Amazon Echo Dot
Amazon’s smart home artificial intelligence (AI), Alexa, lives in small packages these days.
For under $50, Amazon’s Echo Dot is a smart home hub and speaker in one. But don’t let the small size fool you – this tiny wonder packs excellent sound in addition to all the AI power behind Alexa.
As a smart home hub, it controls the other smart devices in your home, from light bulbs to coffee makers to door locks. All someone has to do is utter a voice command for instant obedience. If only everyone else in our lives were so cooperative.
But make sure your friend has something to control from their hub. There are plenty of budget smart home gadgets that won’t break the bank.
5. Ambient LED Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker
Patio lights are essential to outdoor spaces. And a waterproof patio speaker is essential to having a great time in an outdoor space. It’s about time someone combined the two.
The DiKaou light-speaker combo can mimic the dancing light of a tiki torch and even takes its design inspiration from the classic patio ornament. Beyond being incredibly functional and looking great, it’s also affordably priced, making it a perfect gift for the nocturnal patio dweller or party host on your list.
6. Retractable Charger
No one likes their charging cables spilling all over the house. Help the tech-obsessed tidy up with the Rabbit Charger.
It fits over a standard dual outlet and leaves one outlet available for use. On top, it has two charging tips for phones or other devices with a retractable cord that disappears when it’s not in use.
The charging tips swap out, so your Apple evangelist spouse can charge their iPhone even as you charge your Android or tablet.
7. Charging Stand
Alternatively, a charging stand hides cables at the back of a desk or night table. It allows you to wirelessly charge your phone while working or sleeping.
For a great value, check out Anker’s PowerWave fast-charging stand. It’s small, sleek, and case-friendly. It can charge a phone through a case up to 5 millimeters thick.
As a stand, it also works well for video calls, and it works whether the phone is in portrait or landscape mode.
8. Car Vent Phone Mount
Having your phone mounted makes it easier to navigate and DJ while driving. It’s also far safer than digging around in your purse or pocket for a ringing phone while driving 70mph.
Check out Square Jellyfish’s car vent mount for an affordable, effective option. It’s easy to install in 20 seconds, and it works for all phone types. It simply hooks into a car’s vent flaps.
9. Device Tracker
Know someone who’s always losing their keys, wallet, or phone?
They need a device tracker small enough to attach to any of those items. Try the Tile Slim, which is roughly the size of a credit card, although slightly thicker.
The Tile app lets you connect and label multiple Slims via Bluetooth to keep tabs on your valuables. If you lose one, pull up the app and command it to ring, which works as long as you’re within 200 feet of it. It also displays the item’s location on a map via GPS, and its battery lasts three years.
Beyond wallets, keys, and phones, it also works well with passport holders, laptops, tablets, jewelry bags, and any other small-but-valuable items people take while traveling.
10. Pocket Keyboard
Typing on a phone screen just isn’t the same as using a proper physical keyboard.
For people who are always on the move, a pocket-size folding keyboard makes a huge difference in productivity. Check out MoKo’s ultra-slim folding Bluetooth keyboard. The battery lasts up to 40 hours, and it weighs only 4.9 ounces.
When folded, it’s only 0.4 inches thick and easily slips into a pocket, purse, or bag. It works especially well for checking email while on vacation.
11. Clip-On Phone Camera Lenses
Everyone’s got that one friend who’s obsessed with Instagram. A special clip-on lens will let them increase their Instagram follower count by posting stunning wide-angle or fisheye photos using their smartphone.
Try Black Eye’s three-lens kit as a starter option for the average phone photography enthusiast. It comes with a clip, cleaning cloth, and lens caps along with wide, macro, and fisheye lenses.
Alternatively, you can spend a little more and get a clip-on telephoto lens from Black Eye instead, adding an instant zoom to any photo. These lenses make an especially attractive option for travel enthusiasts who can’t always bring their full-size camera with them but still like options.
12. Sunrise Alarm Clock
Jolting alarms hardly make for a pleasant start to anyone’s day.
Try a sunrise alarm clock instead of a blaring alarm or “Groundhog Day”-esque radio blast. The LBell sunrise alarm clock starts off glowing a dull red and gradually brightens into simulated full sunlight. Similarly, the volume begins imperceptibly and slowly grows to ease people into consciousness.
At bedtime, it also simulates a sunset, following a similar pattern in reverse. The light slowly fades along with the volume on your music, news, podcast, or audiobook.
It also doubles as a nightlight for kids and offers eight different color settings and complete brightness control.
13. Headphones Headband
This is one of those “why wasn’t this invented sooner” devices.
These wireless Bluetooth headbands are thin and lightweight and have flat headphone speakers built into them. They’re perfect for listening to mood-setting music while you’re sleeping or working out.
Put them on your gift list for that friend who loves listening to their favorite tunes or audiobooks while running or lifting weights. They’ll keep their ears warm in chilly weather – no annoying buds constantly slipping out of their ears. When phone calls come in, they have a built-in microphone for chatting.
They can also play white noise to help them drift to sleep. And on noisy trips, they’re indispensable.
Try Toppoint’s headband for an affordable option. It offers over 10 hours of battery life, and the speakers easily detach so you can wash the headband.
Tech Gifts From $51 – $100
At the next price range up the ladder, there are even more options that don’t completely wreck your gift budget. Try these ideas for the $51 to $100 price range.
14. Smart Yoga Mat
Despite doing yoga three times per week, I didn’t know smart yoga mats were a thing until just recently. And this one’s perfect for the recipient who loves both yoga and gadgets.
Connecting via Alexa to your Echo speaker, the Backslash Fit smart mat comes with preprogrammed yoga routines that play through a smart speaker. And when the routine is complete, it rolls itself up with the click of a button.
At 5 millimeters thick, it’s soft and cushy, and it offers plenty of room at 24-by-72 inches.
15. Micro-but-Mighty Bluetooth Speaker
When I was a teenager, serious sound required seriously big speakers. Today, a powerful speaker fits in a pocket or overnight bag.
One company in particular excels at packing enormous punch into tiny speakers: Bose. For the ultimate small-but-mighty Bluetooth speaker, check out the Bose SoundLink Micro. It’s under 4 inches square and a little over an inch thick. It connects to Siri and Google, and the battery lasts up to six hours.
Best of all, it’s waterproof to withstand the occasional spilled drink or camping in the rain. That makes it an incredibly versatile gift for any audiophile on the go.
16. Kindle Paperwhite
As an avid reader, I was a purist about holding a physical book in my hands. I liked the smell and feel of the paper and the ability to pass it to someone else when I finished it. I had no interest in trying a Kindle.
Then my mother gave me one for Christmas and preloaded it with a book she knew I wanted to read. Grumbling, I opened it up, connected it to my Amazon account – and was converted for life.
Kindles make for easy travel with no bulky, heavy books. They’re waterproof and more eco-friendly, requiring no trees to die for the paper and no shipping to deliver each book. There are even digital libraries where you have access to tons of Kindle books for free.
And with settings to adjust the text size and no backlight, the Kindle is easier on the eyes than a bright-screened tablet or one-text-size-fits-all paper book.
In short, Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite makes a great gift for anyone who loves to read, especially if they travel a lot.
17. Pocket Photo Printer
Remember when printers were heavy, hulking things that took up half your desk? Well, now they fit in your pocket and are even smaller than your smartphone.
Granted, they can’t print poster-size photos from your last adventure vacation, but printing small photos with peel-and-stick backing is a fun party trick. It’s the 21st century’s answer to the Polaroid camera.
The Canon Ivy mobile mini photo printer is priced just right and connects via Bluetooth for instant photo printing on the go.
18. Noise-Canceling Headphones
Today’s world is loud – often distractingly or even dangerously so.
Give the gift of escape with active noise-canceling headphones that nullify incoming sound waves by emitting equal-but-inverted sound waves.
These headphones range in price from under $100 to over $400, so it’s easy to choose the best model of noise-canceling headphones based on your budget and your recipient’s needs. Provided your pal doesn’t need top-of-the-line noise canceling for particularly loud conditions, try the Mpow H10. It’s a well-rounded option that delivers excellent sound for under $100.
19. Smart Pet Food Dispenser
Like everything else in our homes, pet food dispensers have gotten smart. Whether your pet-owning pal travels frequently or works long hours, automated food dispensers let them feed their furry friends without the expense of a daily pet sitter or boarding facility.
For scheduled feedings, the Balimo automated pet feeder offers backup battery power in case of a power outage. It also makes voice recordings so pets can hear their owner’s voice at mealtimes. And with a capacity of 7 pounds of dry food, it lasts more than a few days.
But if you’re buying for someone who wants true smart connectivity through their phone, expect to shell out more money. For an HD camera-enabled, Wi-Fi-connected, live remote-controlled smart food dispenser, check out the WoPet SmartFeeder.
Tech Gifts From $101 – $250
Looking to spend a little more on your recipient? There’s no shortage of impressive gadgets on the market for gift-givers with midrange budgets.
20. Portable Laptop Charger
Portable phone chargers are one thing. But what about a charger powerful enough to refuel a laptop?
They exist, and they get smaller and more convenient all the time. That’s good news for anyone on your list who lives a plugged-in life on the go.
The Sikon portable laptop power bank includes an AC outlet for instant power to a laptop – or anything else. It also includes a USB port for smaller devices. With 31200mAh in power storage, it charges the average laptop nearly twice over and a phone or tablet many more times.
And for emergencies, it even includes a small flashlight.
It measures around 8 inches long and 2.7 inches wide and tall. Weighing in at slightly over 2 pounds, it’s heavier and bulkier than your average phone power bank. But it also keeps devices juiced far longer, and the AC outlet-plus-USB port configuration provides the ultimate flexibility in what it’s capable of powering.
21. Virtual Reality (VR) Headset
A VR headset lets you give the cinephile or gamer in your life a front-row experience of their favorite movies, shows, or games without shelling out for a massive widescreen TV. They can immerse themselves in a virtual world, all with a small headset that slips into a laptop bag.
The Oculus Go is lightweight and affordable and travels easily. It comes with a controller and both built-in audio and a headphone jack for those who prefer their own headphones. It also lets them sync with other users for a shared experience.
Best of all, it comes with built-in storage available at either 32 or 64 gigabytes (GB). It doesn’t have to connect to an external device to work, which means no more clunky wires.
If you’re buying for a hardcore gamer, consider spending more on the Oculus Quest. It comes with two hand controllers, built-in environment-detection sensors, and gesture control.
22. Portable Smart Home Theater Projector
Another alternative to a huge TV? A high-def theater projector.
The WiMiUS P18 projects an image up to 200 inches wide, dwarfing even the largest home television. It projects at a resolution of 1080p and has built-in dual stereo speakers. Input ports include HDMI, VGA, USB, and AV, and it’s compatible with Android TV Box, Amazon Fire TV Stick, and Chromecast.
Historically, the challenge with projectors is brightness. They work well in the dark, but not so well for a Sunday afternoon football game with the sun streaming in the window. The WiMiUS P18 delivers an impressive 5,200 lumens of brightness to rival the glare from sunlight, but if you want an even brighter picture, pay a little more for the Yaber Native 1080p projector. It boasts 5,500 lumens along with similar features and specs as the WiMiUS P18.
23. Audio Sunglasses
Yes, Bose is known for its compact-but-powerful speakers. But built into sunglasses? That’s pretty awesome.
Bose audio sunglasses make an excellent gift for the gadget-loving audiophile who thinks they already have it all. They have speakers built into the arms, so people around the listener hear virtually nothing. They allow someone to listen to tunes or a favorite podcast and still hear the world around them – so much safer for pedestrians in a bustling, traffic-heavy city.
Stylistically they look sharp, with options for either rounded or squarish frames. The battery lasts around three-and-a-half hours, and they include a built-in microphone for taking phone calls.
24. Responsive Yoga Pants
You can argue the practicality of this gift either way. But for the yoga fanatic with everything, it certainly makes for a conversation starter.
The Nadi X yoga pants include built-in sensors, accelerometers, and yes, vibrating strips that provide haptic feedback while you move through your poses. Connected to an app on your smartphone, the pants vibrate to indicate where you should be moving differently in a given pose.
25. Apple TV 4K
After more than 40 years, Apple somehow manages to stay fashionable and hip as a brand.
The Apple TV 4K connects to a TV to display local storage, streaming content, or content from other devices, such as your computer or smartphone, with image resolution up to – you guessed it – 4K and high dynamic range color enhancement. Even the audio is impressive, featuring Dolby Atmos and 7.1-channel surround sound.
Just like most other Apple products, the Apple TV 4K takes voice commands via Apple’s Siri AI. It comes with built-in storage of either 32 or 64 GB. It also connects directly to a variety of streaming accounts, such as Netflix, Hulu, Showtime, HBO, and NFL Sunday Ticket, just to name a handful.
26. Sonos Ikea Symfonisk Table Lamp
You know Ikea, and you might also know Sonos, famed for their multiroom, Wi-Fi-enabled sound systems. Well, they teamed up to create modern-looking Ikea lamps with Sonos speakers built directly into them.
The Sonos Ikea Symfonisk table lamp comes in light or dark colors and serves two functions in one lamp. It’s the perfect gift for people who live in small apartments – and for those who think speakers should be heard and not seen.
Sonos speakers all deliver high-quality sound, and because they rely on a home Wi-Fi network rather than Bluetooth technology, they don’t suffer the same range limitations. It streams multiple audio sources in different rooms for a comprehensive home-wide sound system.
27. Home Barista Machine
They say you can spot a prima donna by the number of words in their coffee order.
If you know someone who likes their coffee drinks exactly right, pick up an EspressoWorks all-in-one espresso machine and cappuccino set. It includes a bean grinder for the freshest taste, a milk frother for cappuccinos and lattes, and, of course, options for single or double shots.
And your recipient won’t have to wait around with red eyes, either. This machine is lightning fast, with a Thermoblock heating system that brews the perfect drink from bean to cup in 45 seconds.
Alternatively, if you’re gifting to a couple who disagree over traditional coffee versus espresso drinks, try the Breville Vertuo coffee and espresso machine. It makes delicious drinks, but it runs on capsules, not beans. So that makes it more expensive to operate in the long term.
28. Smart Mug
If everything else in your recipient’s house is smart, why not their mug ?
The Ember temperature-control smart mug keeps beverages at the drinker’s preferred temperature for up to an hour. It connects to a smartphone for control via an app.
When they’re finished sipping, they just wash it like an ordinary mug – if they wash their ordinary mug by hand, that is. The manufacturer doesn’t guarantee it can withstand the rigors of a dishwasher.
29. Voice-Activated Trash Can
The pedal-operated lid was a nice upgrade to the age-old trash can. It comes with a few drawbacks, though. First, you have to hold your foot on the pedal to keep the lid open. Second, you have to contend with the lid when it comes time to free the trash bag from the bin.
Voice-activated trash cans solve both problems and then some. The Simplehuman voice-activated trash can opens and closes on command. And since it doesn’t close until it’s told to, it’s especially helpful for longer-lasting chores, such as cleaning the kitchen after the holidays or when it’s time to empty the trash. It also comes with two bins – trash and recycling – that sit harmoniously side by side. It’s available in a full range of sizes perfect for any space, from New York City apartment to suburban family home.
Every serious home chef on your list will want one.
30. Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers have a variety of functions that let people take control of their health and fitness, like counting their steps and measuring the quality and quantity of their sleep. Higher-end models provide even more detailed data geared toward serious athletes, like tracking their active heart rate.
Fitbit was the first company to popularize these devices, and they remain a leader in the field. For the exercise buff in your life, try their Versa series, which lets the wearer control their other smart home devices through Alexa. It also allows them to control their music-streaming services like Pandora and Spotify.
31. Under-Desk Elliptical Machine
With at-home workout support on the rise, no one says you have to work out at the gym. Or, for that matter, when you’re off the clock.
To help the hardest-working person you know multitask their workout and deskwork, buy them a Cubii Jr. under-desk elliptical machine. It’s extremely quiet, so they won’t disturb their coworkers, and requires almost no assembly. It offers eight resistance levels and a display monitor and provides a low-impact workout that’s easy on the joints.
If they want Bluetooth connectivity, though, you have to pay extra for a Cubii Pro.
Tech Gifts Over $250
Who needs jewelry? For special occasions, it’s fun to spring for the really good gadgets. These are the go-to gifts for times you want to make an impression.
32. Mirror Interactive Home Gym
This product is an undeniably great idea for the workout enthusiast or serious athlete in your life.
When it’s not in use, Mirror interactive home gym just looks like any other mirror. But when you turn it on, Mirror transitions to a semireflective screen that loads either prerecorded workout routines or live personal training for you to do at home. From yoga to boxing, cardio to weights, and everything in between, Mirror turns your living room or bedroom into a high-intensity training studio.
It comes with all manner of connectivity and lets you track things like your performance, biometrics, and progress. And as you’d expect, it’s not cheap. Expect to pay for both the device itself and a monthly subscription fee for all those workout routines.
33. Pour-Free Wine-Preservation System
If there’s one thing a wine aficionado hates, it’s wasting a fine wine.
The Coravin wine-preservation system combines physics and chemistry to keep wine tasting perfect for days or weeks after pouring a glass. It works like this: The needle goes through the cork into the wine and allows you to pour wine without ever removing the cork. A canister of inert argon gas replaces the volume of wine you pour from the bottle, so no oxygen can get in to oxidize and ruin your wine.
So the lucky person who receives this gift can pour that glass of wine without worrying about when they’ll drink the rest of the bottle.
34. Robot Bartender
If your recipient is more of a cocktail connoisseur than an oenophile, spring for a robot bartender.
The BarSys robot bartender holds five bottles of liquor. They just have to program their recipes for their favorite cocktails into a smartphone app, and the bar-bot mixes them on command.
They can change the bottles and reprogram the cocktails at any time. And like any good robot or bartender, it cleans up after itself so they don’t have to.
35. Robotic Vacuum
Robotic vacuums have been around for over a decade, but they get smarter and more effective every year, which is excellent news for the neat freak in your life.
The iRobot Roomba 675 can scale the lip between carpets and hardwood floors. Its battery lasts up to 90 minutes, and when it nears the end of its charge, it automatically goes back to its charging station.
As a smart home device, it’s compatible with Alexa, Google Home, and smartphones.
Robot maids are no longer consigned to “The Jetsons.” Sorry, Rosie!
36. GoPro Action Camera
Outdoor adventure junkies can’t get enough of the GoPro, which popularized the action camera and remains the industry leader.
The GoPro Series 8 lets them capture exciting photos, photo bursts, and videos during activities like skiing, scuba diving, surfing, and skydiving. It’s sturdier than ever, with a lens that can handle up to twice the impact of previous models.
Its patented TimeWarp technology adjusts video capture speed according to its rate of motion. Its HyperSmooth feature also uses several levels of image stabilization for smoother-looking videos. Videos it captures in 4K, by the way.
But if they don’t need all the whiz-bang features and just want to capture high-def videos and photos on the go, don’t be afraid to save some money by opting for an earlier model.
37. Aerial Drone
Like most tech, drones have dropped in price even as their features have radically improved in the last 10 years.
Depending on whether your loved one wants a racing drone, selfie drone, aerial photography drone, or professional videography drone, costs from under $50 to over $3,000, so there are plenty of drone options at all price points.
But for photography and selfies, check out the DJI Spark Mini. In addition to being fun to fly, it comes with several neat features, like hand gesture piloting and a TapFly feature, in which a click on the first-person control screen directs the drone to the desired location, where it will shoot photos or videos.
38. Wireless Turntable
Twenty years ago, everyone thought turntables were dead technology. Then they suddenly became cool again.
For your favorite hipster-retro audiophile, check out the Pro-Ject wireless turntable. It puts a novel spin on the old turntable concept by playing records over Bluetooth speakers (not included). Oh, and it does so vertically, so it looks pretty sweet too.
The belt is quiet and uses “an ultra precision frequency DC-driven AC generator for ultimate velocity stability without unwanted vibration.” In other words, it doesn’t skip or buzz.
39. One-Wheel Self-Balancing Scooter
If you live in a city, you’ve probably seen someone gliding down the sidewalk on a self-balancing one-wheel scooter. You probably also know a person who wants to be that someone.
The Segway Ninebot One S1 travels up to 15 miles on a single charge at speeds up to 12.5 mph and scales inclines up to 15 degrees, which is as steep as you’re likely to see in most cities. When it’s not in use, the pedals fold inward, and it takes up only 16.6 by 7.2 by 17.6 inches. At 25 pounds, it’s not lightweight, but it’s not unmanageably heavy, either.
For those on a smaller budget, look at the Hoverclub solo electric unicycle. It weighs a bit more at 29.3 pounds and maxes out at 7.5 mph, but it costs roughly half as much as the Segway.
Fitness trackers are all well and good for counting steps or tracking sleep patterns. But if your loved one wants the complete smartwatch experience with full smartphone integration and syncing, look to the Apple Watch. Just don’t be surprised by how much more it costs than a standard fitness tracker.
The Apple Watch offers all the bells and whistles of a fitness tracker and does much of what a FitBit does. But it also lets the wearer take calls, check incoming messages, and view maps and directions without pulling out their phone.
Being water-resistant, it also makes it easy to set reminders by voice command while working out or even while showering – although Apple takes pains to remind consumers that “water-resistant” does not mean “waterproof.” The Apple Watch also connects with your iPhone via Wi-Fi network rather than Bluetooth, expanding the sync range to the size of your network coverage.
Tech gifts run the gamut from “wow, that’s useful” to “only the rich would spend money on this.”
Wherever you and your recipient fall on that spectrum, you have plenty of fun gift ideas to explore. Just remember the person you’re giving to cares less about how much you spend than the fact that you made an effort to remember them, so stick to a budget for your gifts. Don’t go into debt over birthdays, anniversaries, or holidays.
What tech gifts would you love to receive? What are you planning to buy as a gift for someone else over the next few months?