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Best Gifts Under $300 for 2023


$149 at Lenovo

Bose SoundLink Flex

Excellent-sounding mini Bluetooth speaker with speakerphone

$199 at Amazon

airpods-pro-2-green-background-2

Apple AirPods Pro 2

Even better Apple noise-canceling wireless earbuds

$180 at Amazon

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Soundcore by Anker Motion Boom Plus

Best Bluetooth boom box for the money

$140 at Ecco

ecco-street-lite-retro-mens-sneaker

Ecco Street Lite retro men’s sneakers

Stylish footwear

$249 at Bose

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 have a smaller design and stellar noise canceling

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2

Best noise-canceling with top-notch sound

$180 at Amazon

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Roku Streambar Pro

Best soundbar with built-in streaming video

$150 at Apple

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Ember temperature-controlled smart mug (14 ounces)

Temperature-controlled beverage

Gift-giving is all about showing you care — and you don’t always need to spend a lot of money to find something spectacular for someone you love. However, there are times you just want to spoil your loved ones with something extraordinary. And when you increase your budget, you open up a world of wonderful and thoughtful possibilities. There are plenty of $300 gifts out there that are worth the investment, and finding the perfect present might prove daunting. That’s why we’ve tested out and rounded up some of our favorite gifts for your friend, partner or family member, that you can pick up for $300 or less right now below.

You’ve got lots of options in this price range, where you’ll start to see more premium-grade products. From massagers and headphones to trainers and speakers, here are gifts under $300 that are perfect for Mom, Dad and other loved ones for a special occasion.

Bose SoundLink Flex

David Carnoy/CNET

When it launched, Bose made some bold claims about its new SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker, particularly its bass performance. But it mostly lives up to the hype and arguably is the best-sounding wireless speaker for its compact size. Available in three color options — black, white smoke and stone blue (pictured) — it’s equipped with Bose’s PositionIQ technology to automatically detect the speaker’s orientation and deliver optimized sound based on whether upright, hanging or flat on its back. Read our Bose SoundLink Flex review.

airpods-pro-2-green-background-2

David Carnoy/CNET

Battery Life Rated up to 6 hoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless earbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)

The AirPods Pro (2nd generation) are powered by Apple’s new H2 chip, which delivers more processing power while being more energy efficient, according to Apple. The new chip, combined with new low-distortion drivers, allows for improved sound that offers better clarity and depth. The noise canceling is also improved — Apple says the new AirPods have “double” the noise canceling of the original AirPods Pro. Additionally, the new AirPods add an extra hour of battery life, up from five to six hours with noise canceling on. Plus, a speaker in the case that emits a sound that helps locate your buds via Find My should they decide to hide from you.

Theragun Mini

David Carnoy/CNET

First released in 2020, the 1.5-pound Theragun Mini massager is designed to be portable, easily fitting in a backpack or purse. While it doesn’t have quite the power of one of Theragun’s full-size devices, it’s surprisingly powerful considering how small it is. I’ve tried larger massage guns in this price range, and it’s just as powerful but half the size. The rechargeable battery is rated to last two-and-a-half hours, and a neoprene protective case is included. 

solo-stove-2-0-fire

David Carnoy/CNET

Solo Stove fire pits are among the best smokeless fire pits out there, and while they work great and their stainless steel construction gives them a sleek appearance, the original models had one flaw: They weren’t so easy to clean up. However, that changed with the arrival of the new Solo Stove 2.0 fire pits, which are available in the same three sizes — Ranger 2.0 (small), Bonfire 2.0 (medium) and Yukon 2.0 (large) — and have a removable ash pan, a feature missing from the 1.0 models.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Anker’s original Soundcore Motion Boom speaker is still a decent value at around $150 (you can save $35 by activating the instant coupon on the product page at Amazon). But the new-for-2022 Motion Boom Plus is significantly improved, particularly in terms of sound quality. It’s easily one of the best new Bluetooth speakers of 2022.

The Roll Recovery R8 Plus has a dial to adjust the clamp force intensity

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Over the last few years, foam rollers and massage guns have been popular recovery products after workouts, as well as important tools for stretching and warming your muscles pre-workout. The original Roll Recovery R8 and newer R8 Plus are kind of a combo between a roller and an unpowered massager.

ecco-street-lite-retro-mens-sneaker

David Carnoy/CNET

The Ecco Street Lite retro sneaker is one of those shoes that guys can not only wear in more casual situations but also works with a little more formal attire. They come in the white leather version shown here (with various trim colors), plus some colored suede options.

A white Xbox Series S and wireless controller.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It’s still difficult to get a PS5 or Xbox Series X, but the stepdown Xbox Series S is in stock at retailers with comparative frequency. Yes, there are caveats: There’s no optical disc drive, the resolution is less than true 4K and it only has half the storage as its big brother. But it plays all of the same games, including Halo Infinite. It’s a great choice for a lot of gamers.

Apple Watch SE (2022) in starlight color

Apple

If you want the latest and greatest Apple Watch, you should get the Watch Series 8 or the top-end Watch Ultra, but the SE remains arguably the best value when it comes to Apple smartwatches. You can also get it with LTE cellular service.

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Hyperice

We named the original Hypervolt Go one of the best travel massage guns and the upgraded Hypervolt Go 2 offers some small but notable improvements.

The Galaxy Buds Pro 2 in the Bora purple color.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro offer improved noise canceling along with good sound and voice-calling performance, plus support for high-resolution wireless audio streaming if you’re a Galaxy device owner with the right setup. That said, their biggest upgrade may be their new design and smaller size, which make them a better fit for more ears. Aside from their somewhat high price tag, their only drawback is that some of their key features only work with Samsung Galaxy devices.

Beats Fit Pro

David Carnoy/CNET

Technically, the Beats Fit Pro aren’t AirPods, but they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro. Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the original AirPods Pro’s features, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted. And for some people, they might just be better than the AirPods Pro.

The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 have a smaller design and stellar noise canceling

David Carnoy/CNET

Battery Life Rated Up to 6 HoursNoise Canceling Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone Type Wireless EarbudsWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 — Splash-Proof)

Bose’s second-generation QuietComfort Earbuds 2 are not only about 30% smaller than their predecessors, but their case is about 40% smaller and truly pocketable. They feature best-in-class noise canceling and improved sound, thanks to Bose’s new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears. Voice-calling performance is also significantly better than that of the original QuietComfort Earbuds.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Battery Life Rated up to 8 hoursNoise Canceling NoMultipoint NoHeadphone Type Built-in with glassesWater-Resistant Yes (IPX4 — splash-proof)

If you’re looking for the best-sounding pair of audio glasses with the best overall performance — that includes call quality and battery life — the Bose Frames Tempo are the one to get. It’s ostensibly a sports model designed for runners and bikers, and while it’s a little bulky, it stays on your head securely.

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David Carnoy/CNET

Most guys secretly want an electric razor even if they’ve never used one. While the Braun Series 7 isn’t the top-of-the-line Braun — the Series 9 is — it’s a good value at around $145 for the base kit. It can be used dry or wet — it’s fully waterproof — and comes with beard trimmers, a cleaning dock, and a carrying case. Battery life is rated at up to 50 minutes on a full charge and a quick five-minute charge will get you enough juice for a shave. 

10-roku-smart-soundbar

Sarah Tew/CNET

With a full-fledged 4K HDR Roku streamer built in and a single voice remote controlling everything, this bar makes a thoughtful gift and offers a simple all-in-one audio-video system. Setup is a breeze: Plug it into a TV with a simple HDMI connection. Sound quality is very good for a single bar, and you can add Roku’s optional wireless subwoofer for more punch. It also comes with the much-loved Roku remote control. (This model is basically just the Smart Soundbar with an upgraded voice remote.)

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Sarah Tew/CNET

Ember’s temperature-controlled smart mugs have been going up in price over the last couple of years — most likely due to supply chain issues — but they now come in more color options, including some new eye-catching metallic colors that cost $30 more than standard black, white or blue mugs.

The JBL Charge 5 in gray is being held in the palm of a hand.

Amazon

Available in multiple color options, the latest version of JBL’s Charge Bluetooth Speaker delivers improved sound with more bass. It’s bigger than your average portable Bluetooth speaker, but it’s got some good kick to it and like previous Charge speakers, it has a USB out port that allows you to charge a device like a smartphone. Battery life is rated at up to 20 hours at moderate volume levels. It’s fully waterproof and dust-proof.

sonos-roam-lake-background

Sarah Tew/CNET

Available in white or black, the Roam is currently Sonos’ smallest and most affordable speaker (if you don’t count those $99 Sonos-compatible Ikea Symfonisk Wi-Fi bookshelf speakers). For its size, it sounds impressive and is equipped with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Even if Dad doesn’t have a Sonos system already, this is a good starter speaker and he can use his own money to add more Sonos gear in the future. Read our Sonos Roam review.

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