5 Tech Gifts Under $50
As part of our annual Holiday Gift Guide, we’ve compiled this list of five affordable gadget gifts. All of this stuff is perfect for you, the smart shopper, to buy for the tech lover in your life without draining your bank account.
Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver
The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver is the easiest way to drop your docks and go wireless. Connect this dongle to any stereo (or anything with a “line in” or “aux input” port, and you can wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth-enabled device. That includes all iPads, most smartphones, new iPod Touch models, and most new tablets.
- The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver adds Bluetooth streaming capability to anything with an audio input.
- It comes with both RCA-to-3.5mm and 3.5mm-3.5mm cables.
- While it’s “wireless,” it needs to be plugged into both the audio component and a wall outlet.
The Belkin Bluetooth Music Receiver is an affordable and easy way to add wireless audio streaming to any speaker system. It’s great for people who want to amplify the music on the iPhone or iPod without having to leave it on a dock.
The iPod Shuffle has no screen and a limited capacity, so it should really only be purchased as a secondary music player—one to be used while working out or jogging. With that said, it’s the cheapest iPod available, and it accomplishes its one and only mission: playing music.
- The iPod Shuffle has a sturdy built-in clip so you can easily clip the device to your clothes.
- It supports playlists, audiobooks, Genius Mixes, and a multilingual VoiceOver feature that announces track info, battery status, and menu navigation.
- There’s no screen—obviously.
- With a 2GB capacity, you’ll run out of space fast.
- The track controls can get pinched when you clip the iPod to your clothes.
- This is one of the easiest devices to accidentally run through the washing machine.
Apple’s iPod Shuffle is an effective way to take your music on the go, but it may be too small for its own good. You may want to splurge on a more expensive iPod.
SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip
SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip—say that five times fast. This MP3 player is the closest thing you’ll get to an iPod Shuffle with the added advantages of a screen, 4GB of storage, a built-in FM radio, and a voice recorder.
- The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip plays most audio formats.
- It works with audiobook and subscription music services.
- You can use it as a voice recorder, and it turns into an FM radio.
- It doesn’t play nice with iTunes, so you’ll have to drag and drop your music files.
- The construction quality needs improvement.
Like the iPod Shuffle, the SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip should really only be a secondary music player. But it’s a great value for the price, and it’s perfect for the gym.
Plantronics .Audio 655 USB Headset
The Plantronics .Audio 655 USB Headset is a great product for the price point. It’s perfect for Skype calls, gaming, and even entry-level podcasting.
- The .Audio 655 offers good build quality and high-quality sound with good bass.
- The headset is quite comfortable.
- The microphone folds up (and auto-mutes) to stay out of the way when you’re not using it.
- It’s small and portable for on-the-go use.
- It has on-board volume-control buttons.
- The ear cushions are quite small, so if you have larger-than-normal ears, they may be slightly uncomfortable to wear for a long period of time.
The Plantronics .Audio 655 costs a lot less than higher-end headsets and offers impressive performance and decent build quality for the money.
Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 Earbud Headphones
If you like gifts under $50, you’ll love this gift under $10. You can get the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120 headphones for just $5.89 on Amazon.
- Very inexpensive.
- Sound good for the price.
- The thin cord tangles easily, especially if you put the headphones in a pocket.
- No integrated microphone.
For less than $10, it’ll be hard to find in-ear headphones that sound better and are more comfortable than the Panasonic ErgoFit RP-HJE120s.