The 10 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Under $200

Shop for your family and friends without spending a fortune

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III 2.1 Channel Multimedia Speaker System with Subwoofer
Photo from Amazon

If you're not super strapped for money, but you don't want to fork over an entire paycheck for a gift, then the under $200 category is really your sweet spot. The products here offer a slight edge over our under $100 round-up in terms of quality and functionality (like for example, the revolutionary digital assistant Amazon Echo or the Philips Hue Starter Kit, which is a lighting system that can be controlled from your smartphone). So if you're unsure about what to get the tech guru in your life, this guide has everything you need to hit it out of the ballpark when it comes to buying the perfect gift.

The Bluetooth speaker market is clogged to the brim with cheap, low-quality devices that aren’t likely to last well into the future. If you really want to surprise the music lover in your life with something that’s sure to deliver long-lasting, high-quality sound, you need to check out the Bose SoundLink Bluetooth Speaker II. The battery offers up to eight hours of continuous play; it features voice prompts for simple and easy control; and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best bluetooth speakers

Amazon Echo is the closest thing to a personalized A.I. Through Alexa Voice Service, you can control a suite of apps and automation products to give your home that smart, futuristic feel. It syncs with your music systems so you can simply instruct Alexa to begin playing whichever song you like; performs web searches; controls lights, switches and thermostats; reads audiobooks, schedules and news reports. It’s like Rosie the Robot, only immobile.

Smart lighting may be still be in its novelty, early adopter phase, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t cool. Philips Hue is a personal wireless lighting system you can control entirely from your phone. Whether you’ve installed a single bulb in your bedroom, or a network of lights throughout your home, Hue allows you to adjust the color, tone, and coordination of all your lights. 

The first thing you need to do when you decide to finally and permanently cut your cable TV subscription is to choose a streaming media device. Your best bet is to go with a set-top box, like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Roku. We recommend Roku. The newest generation Roku 4 connects seamlessly with all your favorite apps (Netflix, Amazon, HBO GO, YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, etc.). It’s quick and easy to install, and it even features a USB drive, allowing you to play personal files from hard storage. An awesome gift for anyone who is just about fed up with their cable company.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best streaming devices

But when it comes to GoPro’s, the HERO Session is the simplest of all. Weighing just 2.6 ounces, it’s designed for basic, grab-and-go shooting, but still manages to deliver some robust features: it’s waterproof up to 33 feet, and can shoot 1440p video at 30 fps, 1080p at 60 fps and 720p at 100 fps. The still image camera features an impressive sensor (8 megapixels) for its size, and the 10-fps burst photo mode, time-lapse functionality, and simple user experience all drive the deal home. A solid gift idea for any adventurist in your life.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best adventure cameras

The Canary is basically like an all-in-one home security system — ideal for small apartments rather than large homes. With a 1080p HD camera, automatic night vision and high-quality audio recording, the Canary can proactively alert emergency services and even attempt to thwart intruders. How? With the built-in 90+dB siren of course! In addition to the roster of security features, the Canary also has a dual health function, helping to monitor your home’s air quality, temperature and humidity.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best smart home security systems

In addition to being some of the most stylish over-ear headphones we’ve come across, the BÖHM Wireless Bluetooth Headphones are among the coolest and best sounding. With two, high-end stereo drivers, you can expect some quality sound with a heavy bass presence. They include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 18 hours, an in-line remote and light leather ear cups with a soft headband for stress-free listening. They’re also Bluetooth compatible, so you don’t have to worry about whether they’ll work with the new iPhone 7.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best wireless headphones

These are some speakers out of Minority Report or something — they look more like chemistry equipment rather than computer speakers. But don’t be too distracted by the futuristic look. The Harman Kardon SoundSticks are some awesome-sounding speakers. They include four, 1-inch full-range transducers per channel powered by a 10-watt amplifier, as well as a one 6-inch low-frequency transducer with a 20 watt amp for room-filling bass response. With the 3.5 mm stereo connection, you can connect the speakers to virtually any device. This is a great gift idea for design-conscious music nerds.

Pebble has been in the smartwatch game for a few years now, giving them ample time to perfect stylish, intelligent watches that can compete with offerings from Apple and Samsung — and at a better price. The Pebble Time Round might be the most elegant Pebble watch to date. It features the full suite of Pebble Features, including calendar alerts, notifications, silent alarms and even a built-in activity tracker. It’s super light, very thin and it’s all captured in a minimalistic design with some variations depending on personal taste. Without doubt, a great gift idea.

Vinyl is back, and it’s better than ever. Audio-Technica is most often associated with headphones, but the company has actually been producing turntables for decades. And there are few better options than the AT-LP60. It offers the best of both digital and analog worlds, with both USB and RCA outputs, a die-cast aluminum platter, a Dual Magnet phono cartridge, as well as Mac- and PC-compatible Audacity software for digitizing your vinyl records. This is a great turntable for any vinyl enthusiast — whether they’re old school or new school.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best turntables

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