Finest vacation presents underneath $300 for 2021

This story is a part of Vacation Reward Information 2021, our checklist of concepts, by subject, by recipient and by value, that can assist you uncover the right present.

Are you lucky sufficient to have the ability to splurge on some presents this vacation season? Excellent news: We have a bunch of CNET-approved present concepts in our present information beneath, all of which can be found for underneath $300 and have been absolutely reviewed or anecdotally examined by our editors. You’ve got obtained numerous choices on this value vary, the place you may begin to see extra premium-grade merchandise. From massagers and headphones, to trainers and audio system, listed below are presents underneath $300 which are excellent for Mother, Dad and different family members for an important day.

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When it launched, Bose made some daring claims about its new SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker, notably its bass efficiency. However it largely lives as much as the hype and arguably is the best-sounding wi-fi speaker for its compact measurement. Out there in three coloration choices — black, white smoke and stone blue (pictured) — it is geared up with Bose’s PositionIQ know-how to mechanically detect the speaker’s orientation and ship optimized sound primarily based on whether or not upright, hanging or flat on its again. Learn our SoundLink Flex assessment.

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No earbuds are excellent, in fact, and never all people will love the match of the Sony WF-1000XM4 buds or be capable of afford their excessive value. However if you happen to’re on the lookout for great-sounding earbuds with nice noise canceling, strong voice-calling capabilities and good battery life, these buds test all of the packing containers. As of Nov. 1, these have dropped from $278 to $248 at most retailers — one of the best value thus far.

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First launched in 2020, the 1.5-pound Theragun Mini massager is designed to be moveable, simply becoming in a backpack or purse. Whereas it does not have fairly the facility of one among Theragun’s full-size gadgets, it is surprisingly highly effective contemplating how small it’s. I’ve tried bigger therapeutic massage weapons on this value vary, and it is simply as highly effective however half the scale. The rechargeable battery is rated to final two-and-a-half hours, and a neoprene protecting case is included. 


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If you wish to soar into the world of VR, the Oculus Quest 2 is a superb choice and the bottom mannequin now comes with 128GB as an alternative of 64GB for a similar value ($299). Oculus Quest 2 offers a sound and cinematic 3D person expertise. Final 12 months the Quest 2 was exhausting to get, nevertheless it appears to be available this 12 months and we should always see some particular presents on it round Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Learn our Oculus Quest 2 assessment.

Learn our Oculus Quest 2 assessment.


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The FirePit Plus, made by Brooklyn-based BioLite, weighs underneath 20 kilos and is constructed for portability. Measuring 27 by 13 by 15.8 inches, it is comparatively lengthy and slender, making it actually good for patio use. Nonetheless, it holds just a little extra wooden than you’d assume, with room for as much as 4 cordwood logs. You’ll be able to both use it as a regular hearth pit or as a yard grill and it has been upgraded in 2021 with an enamel coating for simpler cleansing and a higher-capacity battery for its built-in fan. 

The FirePit Plus has a few signature options, one being patented airflow know-how. A motorized fan drives air to the hearth field. You may as well management it utilizing an iOS or Android app on a cellphone utilizing Bluetooth. A mesh physique helps you to see flames by the FirePit from any angle. 

Within the new 2021 model, battery life has improved by about 20%, with as much as 30 hours on the low setting, 14 hours on medium and seven hours on excessive. The airflow know-how additionally helps create an nearly smoke-free hearth, making it appropriate as a patio heater. The FirePit Plus’ legs fold up while you need to take the grill on the go, plus the pit comes with a useful rain cowl. A detachable ash tray makes cleansing up straightforward. 

All in all, it is a compelling little hearth pit for somebody who does not need (or cannot have) a everlasting pit at all times consuming up patio area.

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Altra sneakers are recognized for his or her large toe packing containers, which makes them favorites for these with large ft (or individuals who identical to large toe packing containers). For those who’re trying to do some digital exercises together with your new Oculus Quest 2 — or IRL exercises — the corporate’s Solstice XT 2 shoe is a flexible cross-trainer that can be utilized for health club classes or highway operating. This could be a excellent birthday present in your health club junkie boyfriend.

Altra says the “caged higher is firmer than the earlier mannequin, and the toe reinforcement promotes toe safety.” They’re additionally accessible in white, in addition to in a girls’s model.

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After practically three years, Apple has lastly given the Apple TV 4K an improve. The brand new Apple TV 4K prices $179 with 32GB storage or $199 with 64GB.

Together with an upgraded A12 Bionic processor, the largest improve is the all-new Siri distant management. Silver in coloration as an alternative of the unique’s black, it encompasses a directional pad on the prime (with gesture assist), a Siri toggle on the facet and an influence button for controlling your TV. The brand new d-pad addresses lots of the complaints customers had with the unique distant, with its bigger touchpad and lack of directional cues.

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This is the deal: It is practically inconceivable to get a PS5 or Xbox Sequence X, even a 12 months after their launch. However the stepdown Xbox Sequence S is in inventory at some retailers with comparative frequency. Sure, there are caveats: There isn’t any optical disc drive, the decision is lower than true 4K and it solely has half the storage as its large brother. However it performs all the identical video games, together with Halo Infinite. It is an excellent alternative for lots of players.

Learn our Microsoft Xbox Sequence X|S assessment.


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Sizzling on the heels of the third-generation AirPods, Apple has one other new set of earbuds, this time from its subsidiary audio firm, Beats. Technically, the brand new Beats Match Professional ($200) aren’t AirPods, however they’re constructed on the identical tech platform because the AirPods Professional. Not like Beats’ earlier and cheaper Studio Buds, the Beats Match Professional embody Apple’s H1 chip and have a lot of the AirPods Professional’s options, together with lively noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I would enterprise to name them the sports activities AirPods you’ve got at all times needed. And for some folks, they may simply be higher than the AirPods Professional. 

Learn Beats Match Professional assessment.


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With the arrival of the Apple Watch 7, we should always see some intriguing reductions on earlier Apple Watch fashions, however the SE stays arguably one of the best worth in relation to Apple smartwatches. It begins round $270 for the 40mm mannequin with GPS and little greater than $300 for the bigger 44mm mannequin. You may as well get it with LTE mobile service.

Whereas it does not have a few of the further well being options of the Apple Watch 6 and seven, it presents first rate efficiency for individuals who do not need to spend that a lot on an Apple Watch.

Learn our Apple Watch SE assessment.



The HP CC200 is a mini LED projector with native 1080p decision that provides a good sufficient image for the value. It is not the brightest projector (200 lumens), so it really works greatest in a darkened room, however the picture is fairly sharp and the projector is simple to arrange, however its ft aren’t adjustable so you may must place it accurately to get an excellent rectangular picture. The built-in speaker offers ample sound (it isn’t nice sound, however adequate) and the projector has a pleasant look to it, although it does not really feel premium.

Word that this projector, whereas moveable, does must be plugged in, and doesn’t have any built-in streaming platforms so you may want to attach a video streaming machine to its HDMI port. When you have one already, nice, however HSN is promoting the CC200 with a Roku Categorical ($29) and a easy fabric display screen for $260, which is a reasonably whole lot.

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Out there in white or black for $179, the Roam is at the moment Sonos’ smallest and most reasonably priced speaker (if you happen to do not depend these $99 Sonos-compatible Ikea Symfonisk Wi-Fi bookshelf audio system). For its measurement, it sounds spectacular and is supplied with each Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Even when Dad does not have a Sonos system already, it is a good starter speaker and he can use his personal cash so as to add extra Sonos gear sooner or later. Learn our Sonos Roam assessment.

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For those who’re on the lookout for the best-sounding pair of audio glasses with one of the best general efficiency — that features name high quality and battery life — the Bose Frames Tempo are the one to get. It is ostensibly a sports activities mannequin designed for runners and bikers, and whereas it is just a little cumbersome, it stays in your head securely. 

The Tempo presents barely higher sound and battery life than the extra traditional-looking Tenor, which is an efficient alternative for a extra on a regular basis set of audio sun shades. The Tempo has higher specs all-around, with USB-C charging and bigger 22mm drivers. It additionally delivers as much as eight hours of battery life.

Their sound is unquestionably improved from the unique Frames. Bose says the Tempo performs “deeper and louder — loud sufficient for biking at 25 mph — whereas nonetheless in a position to hear visitors and your coaching companions.” They’re sweat-, weather-, scratch- and shatter-resistant, in response to Bose and match underneath most protecting helmets. (I had no drawback utilizing them with a few bike helmets.) Additionally they work effectively for making calls, due to a brand new dual-microphone system. Optionally available lenses can be found for $39 and you’ll order prescription lenses by Lensabl.

Learn our Bose Frames assessment.


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Dads secretly need an electrical razor even when they’ve by no means used one. Whereas many fathers have been spending lots of time at dwelling as of late letting their beards develop out, dad may take extra of an curiosity in shaving if he had a brand new gadget.

The Braun Sequence 7 is not the top-of-the-line Braun (the $250 Sequence 9 is). It may be used dry or moist — it is absolutely waterproof — and comes with beard trimmers, a cleansing dock and a carrying case. Battery life is rated at as much as 50 minutes on a full cost and a fast five-minute cost will get you adequate juice for a shave. 

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With a full-fledged 4K HDR Roku streamer in-built and a single voice distant controlling all the things, this bar makes a considerate present and presents a easy all-in-one audio-video system. Setup is a breeze: Plug it right into a TV with a easy HDMI connection. Sound high quality is excellent for a single bar, and you’ll add Roku’s optionally available wi-fi subwoofer for extra punch. It additionally comes with the much-loved Roku distant management. (This mannequin is principally simply the Sensible Soundbar with an upgraded voice distant.)

Learn our Roku Sensible Soundbar assessment.


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Ember makes 10-ounce ($100) and 14-ounce variations ($130) of its temperature-controlled sensible mug that retains your scorching beverage of alternative scorching when you sip it over an extended ingesting session. Whereas it will not maintain your espresso or tea heat for hours, the concept is that you would be able to choose your best temp by way of the companion Ember app for iOS or Android and maintain your beverage at a excessive temp in the course of the half-hour or so it takes to casually drink it.

I personally desire the bigger 14-ounce model, although it does price extra. A superb insulated mug with a prime on it should additionally maintain your beverage scorching (and they’re cheaper), however this Ember mug permits you to drink a cup of joe such as you usually would and never sip it by a small gap within the prime.

This bigger model is out there in black or white whereas the smaller 10-ounce mannequin is out there in quite a lot of coloration choices.


Out there in a number of coloration choices, the newest model of JBL’s Cost Bluetooth Speaker delivers improved sound with extra bass. It is larger than your common moveable Bluetooth speaker, nevertheless it’s obtained some good kick to it and like earlier Cost audio system, it has a USB out port that permits you to cost a tool like a smartphone. Battery life is rated at as much as 20 hours at reasonable quantity ranges. It is absolutely waterproof and dust-proof.

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The Beats Studio Buds look loads just like the rumored stemless AirPods we have been ready for. Geared towards each iOS and Android customers, they’re lacking a number of key options on the Apple facet of issues (there is not any H1 or W1 chip), however they’re small, light-weight buds which are snug to put on and provide actually good sound. Whereas their noise canceling is not nearly as good because the AirPods Professional’s, they’ve a transparency mode and are first rate for making calls. In the end, their match and sound high quality are the strongest promoting factors — and so they’re about $50 cheaper than the AirPods Professional. Choose full lively noise cancellation? Try the brand new $200 Beats Match Professional as an alternative.

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