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Gadgets

17 Methods to Spend That $50 Reward Card


This story is part of Gift Guide, our year-round collection of the best gift ideas.

In case you nonetheless have a present card from an previous birthday or anniversary rattling round in a drawer someplace, you’ve got most likely already received a few concepts about find out how to spend it. However in case you are not completely certain what you are on the lookout for, we have got a few concepts that will help you get began. These additionally make nice items for a good friend or beloved one, for any upcoming celebration.

And in case you’re on the lookout for trendy know-how, you need not spend lots of of {dollars} to search out an awesome present or addition to your house. Even with inflation, there are many cheap devices on the market, in addition to nice offers floating round that deliver some pricier items right down to lower than $50. The trick is realizing what’s not solely a very good worth however what may be helpful too. Listed here are a handful of the most effective items below $50, so you may deal with your self or somebody you’re keen on.

Amazon

The JBL Bluetooth speaker that acquired the largest enhancements for 2021 is among the many firm’s smallest. The JBL Go 3 has a very new look — it is now lined in sturdy cloth as a substitute of getting the bare plastic design of its Go predecessors — and that new design, coupled with surprisingly respectable sound for its small dimension, makes the Go 3 one of many high micro Bluetooth audio system on the market.

Obtainable in a number of colour choices, it has an IP67 water-resistance ranking (it may be dunked in water and is dust-proof). Plus, the battery life is rated at as much as 5 hours.

Weighted blankets have develop into a well-liked merchandise that individuals use to sleep higher. They hug your physique and distribute weighted glass beads evenly in small pockets. This blanket is breathable and machine-washable in a cleansing bag on the mild cycle. It is already an awesome discount at $30, and it can save you an additional $7 with the prompt coupon, dropping the worth to simply $23. 

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Here is a present that anybody who’s vulnerable to dropping issues will admire. Apple’s new-for-2021 AirTags equipment work with any Apple system and use the corporate’s FindMy community — the identical one used to find misplaced iPhones. Connect them to keys, a backpack or absolutely anything else. It is $28 for one and $99 for 4, and in case you purchase via Apple, you will get free custom-made engraving, too.

Read our Apple AirTags hands-on.

 

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Identified for its worth headphones and earbuds, JLab has launched a pair of on-ear headphones with an built-in increase microphone — it may be rotated up when simply listening to music — and multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you may join them to your telephone and pc concurrently. I am extra a fan of the Jabra Elite 45h, which record for $100 however often promote for round $75. However in case you do not need to spend fairly that a lot, the Go Work is a stable pair of headphones, and headset, for its modest worth. They’re additionally snug to put on, with a light-weight design. You will not mistake these for premium headphones however the construct high quality appears effective. 

Battery life is rated at as much as 45 hours at average quantity ranges, and you’ll mute calls utilizing the multifunction button (an LED lights up on the finish of the increase mic when the decision is muted). I would not name the sound high quality for music listening and the headset efficiency stellar, nevertheless it’s good, significantly for the worth. For music listening, there’s ample bass and readability and a cable is included for wired use. The headphones cost through USB-C. Backside line: It is a stable present for anybody who spends some or all of their time working remotely.

Amazon

Anker’s 10,000-mAh Energy Financial institution is comparatively slim for the dimensions of the battery and contains one every USB-C port and USB-A ports with quick-charging options (as much as 18 watts). You too can wirelessly cost the most recent smartphones which have wi-fi charging capabilities, and the battery turns right into a wi-fi charging pad in case you plug it into an influence adapter, which is not included. The battery will cost as your telephone does in that setup. 

It is at the moment $50, however typically a clip-and-save coupon can deliver the worth down. 

David Carnoy/CNET

I used to be a fan of the unique Earfun Free buds, and now there’s an upgraded model referred to as the Earfun Free 2. They don’t seem to be an enormous improve, however just like the originals they match my ears effectively and ship respectable bang for the buck with robust sound — it has only a contact of treble and bass enhance (there’s loads of bass) — and further options resembling wi-fi charging.

Battery life is rated at as much as seven hours at average quantity ranges, and these buds are totally waterproof with an IPX7 ranking. These are geared up with Bluetooth 5.2 and use Qualcomm’s QCC3040 chip that features help for the aptX audio codec in case you’re utilizing a appropriate system (sure Android smartphones help that protocol).

They’re listed at $40, however you’ll want to choose the moment coupon for an additional 10% off at checkout, dropping the worth to simply $36.

Roku

Nowadays, it is almost not possible to get a TV with out a bunch of “sensible” streaming apps in-built. However that is not true of older TVs, and even newer ones haven’t got all the highest new companies and easily do not supply the quicker efficiency of a devoted video streaming field that plugs into an HDMI port. For below $50, the Roku Streaming Stick 4K (2021) boasts entry to simply about each on-line video service you may consider, together with Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus and lots of extra, at resolutions as much as 4K. The Streaming Stick 4K Plus comes bundled with a step-up voice-enabled distant for $20 extra.

David Carnoy/CNET

I used to be a fan of Inventive’s original Sound Blaster Jam headphones that got here out in 2015 and had a decidedly retro feel and appear, in addition to good sound for the cash. Now these headphones can be found in a 2.0 model with some key upgrades, together with Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging, improved name high quality and multipoint Bluetooth pairing that lets you pair them to 2 units concurrently. Battery life is rated at as much as 22 hours.

BioLite

BioLite’s TraveLight 135 is a multifunction moveable — and wearable — LED mild that can be utilized as a flashlight (brilliant white mild), bike mild (with a flashing pink mild) and even an influence financial institution for charging your telephone. It matches simply right into a pocket and is an effective security merchandise for anybody who hikes, bikes or camps. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Tribit’s StormBox Micro lists for barely greater than $50, however usually dips under the $50 mark, so I am together with it on this record. It is probably the greatest sounding pocket-size Bluetooth audio system I’ve examined, with greater bass and quantity than most different tiny audio system. 

Except for its nice design, Bose’s SoundLink Micro stood out as a result of it was in a position to ship extra bass than each Bluetooth speaker in its dimension class, and it additionally managed to restrict distortion at larger volumes. And it is the Tribit’s bass and general quantity degree for its tiny dimension that permits it to face out. 

It is IP67-rated so it is dust-proof and water resistant (it may be totally submerged in shallow water for a short while) and has as much as eight hours of battery life at average quantity ranges with USB-C charging. Like different audio system on this class, this Bluetooth mannequin has an built-in strap so you may clip it to your backpack or bike’s handlebars.

Read our Tribit StormBox Micro review.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

This one is not a enjoyable present, nevertheless it’s the kind of factor they will use every single day. This wall wart is among the higher values on the market, with twin USB-C PD (energy supply) ports, a USB-A and a complete of 65 watts of energy. That can can help you cost most units, together with some bigger USB-C laptops. It makes use of GaN know-how, which helps scale back the dimensions of the charger, and the plug is foldable. 

David Carnoy/CNET

In case you’re seeking to present a stable set of true wi-fi earbuds with out spending a fortune, the EarFree Free Professional are a stable selection. They provide lively noise cancellation with a transparency mode, wi-fi charging and Bluetooth 5.2. Rated for seven hours of battery life with out the noise-canceling operate on, or about six hours with it, they’re IPX5 water resistant, which suggests they will stand up to a sustained spray of water.

They sound excellent for the cash, with comparatively clear, balanced sound and bass that has some kick to it — they’re fairly open-sounding. Light-weight and cozy to put on, they’ve little fins that assist hold them securely in your ears, they usually’re pretty discreet-looking.

Do not anticipate them to cancel noise in addition to the AirPods Pro, however they do present some respectable muffling. It is price noting that you need to use both the left or proper earbud independently, and there is a low-latency mode for video watching (and presumably gaming). Name high quality was respectable, too — callers mentioned they heard some background noise, nevertheless it wasn’t intrusive they usually may hear my voice effectively. The contact controls had been responsive.

They record for $60, however you’ll want to activate the 20% off prompt coupon on the product web page, which drops the worth down to simply $48.

David Carnoy/CNET

Mophie’s magnetic energy financial institution is much like Anker’s PowerCore Magnetic 5K Wi-fi ($54) however has a extra refined design. Just like the Anker, this is not an official Apple MagSafe accent, nevertheless it magnetically adheres to the again of your iPhone 12 or 13 collection or a MagSafe case — sure, it sticks properly — and is svelte for five,000-mAh battery. It may also be used with different telephones that help wi-fi charging, because it comes with a stick-on magnet. 

Wi-fi charging speeds are restricted to 7.5 watts for iPhones, however in case you want a quicker cost you may join a USB-C to Lightning cable to bump the pace as much as 12 watts. This has sufficient juice to totally cost an iPhone 13 or 13 Professional as soon as, nevertheless it’ll fall just a little wanting a full cost with an iPhone 13 Professional Max.

Whereas it is a bit expensive at $50, it is half the worth of Apple’s choice. First-time consumers on Zagg.com can get 20% off in case you join the Zagg publication and it is also available on Amazon for $50.

Lego

Legos aren’t only for youngsters by any means, with increasingly kits geared towards adults popping up every single day. Working example: this mannequin of the Batman cowl worn by the caped crusader of Gotham Metropolis. This $50 equipment is 410 items altogether and comes with a examine mount and knowledge plaque to show with the completed product. A fantastic present for the comedian e-book nerd in your life.

Splurges Below $100

The next objects are a few of our favourite splurges in the meanwhile, and infrequently you’ll discover these things discounted at near or below $50. So hold your eye out for offers and resolve in case you’re prepared to place just a little bit of money with that present card to seize one in all these indulgent finds, which might be an awesome choice as a present or for your self.

David Carnoy/CNET

Edifier has a number of completely different new true-wireless earbuds and most, together with the TWS 330NB, are nice values. Whereas the TWS 330NB buds are lacking a sensor that robotically pauses your music while you take them out of your ears, they function excellent sound high quality for the cash, respectable lively noise canceling with a transparency mode, and stable voice calling (they’ve three microphones in every bud for noise canceling and noise discount throughout calls). 

They match my ears effectively — they’re basically AirPods Professional clones — and whereas the contact controls are just a little restricted, they’re programmable utilizing the Edifier Join app for iOS and Android (you may set the extent of contact sensitivity). They’ve an IP54 ranking, which suggests they’re splash- and dust-proof, and battery life is rated at 4 hours with noise canceling on and 5 hours with it off, at average quantity ranges. That is solely OK, however you do get a further two expenses within the charging case. Be aware there may be appreciable variation in how a lot the completely different colours value.

Sony

These aren’t the most recent and best headphones available on the market proper now, however for below $60, they nonetheless boast some spectacular specs. They function a 30mm driver and a swivel design for superior consolation and straightforward packing. And with lightning quick USB-C charging, they will ship as much as 35 hours of steady music on a single cost. They’re solely accessible at full worth proper now, however we have sometimes seen them drop under $40. 

Amazon

The Echo Present 5 is Amazon’s smallest sensible show, and is nice for nightstands or kitchen counters the place you do not need it to take up an excessive amount of house. Get fast updates on the information, verify the climate, up to date your day by day scheduled and rather more — all with simply the sound of your voice. With a 5.5-inch show, it is also nice for watching brief movies like recipe directions, and it is geared up with a 2MP digital camera for voice calls and checking in on your house while you’re away. 

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