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Nearly everything we use these days has gotten a “smart” upgrade, from fitness gear and beauty tools to crafting and beyond. You’d be hard-pressed to find a category that hasn’t gotten the high-tech treatment, but that doesn’t mean everything is equipped with a touch screen or requires a smartphone app (though many do offer the best of digital and analog worlds).
If you’re looking for the best tech gifts, we’ve rounded up ideas for every type of recipient. Whether you’re shopping for a screenwriter, an audiophile, a beauty enthusiast, or even someone who wants to unplug more, check out our top picks below.
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1. Devialet Phantom II 95 dB Wireless Speaker
FOR THE AUDIOPHILE
Beloved by Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and Elon Musk (to name a few), French audio brand Devialet’s Phantom II is among the best tech gifts you can give to luxury-loving audiophiles. Boasting an output of 600 watts, this luxe wireless speaker delivers high-fidelity audio, booming bass, and evenly-distributed sound for an incredible listening experience from every angle. It connects to devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or optical digital audio cable, and users can pair it with a second Phantom II speaker.
The speaker is compatible with Spotify Connect (your recipient will need a Spotify Premium account), and can be controlled wirelessly via Devialet’s smartphone app or by using the unit’s touch-sensitive controls. Also available in 1100-watt output in colorways including dark chrome, gold, and the Opéra de Paris Edition ($3,200 to $3,800).
Devialet Phantom II 95 dB Wireless Speaker, $1,200, at Nordstrom
2. Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Bundle
FOR CRAFTY TYPES
If your loved one wants to take their arts and crafts to the next level, Cricut’s Air 2 machine can help them whip up professional-looking cards, shirts, home decor, gifts, and much more. The device can cut over 100 materials, including cardstock, paper, vinyl, cork, fabric, glitter paper, vinyl, iron-on transfers, and much more, and users can connect tools for cutting, writing, foiling, and more to expand their DIY capabilities.
The Bluetooth-enabled machine allows crafters to download designs and more, and the Everything Bundle includes a variety of supplies, machine tools, accessories, and mats so that recipients can create right out of the box.
Cricut Explore Air 2 + Everything Bundle, $270, at Cricut
3. Ember Mug²
FOR COFFEE AND TEA LOVERS
Why settle for a basic mug when you can treat your giftee to coffee or tea that stays at their preferred drinking temperature? Ember recently upgraded its 10-ounce smart mug with better battery life so it stays warm for 1.5 hours or all day when it’s on the charging coaster. Drinkers can use the app to set their desired temperature from 120 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and create personalized presets for their favorite beverages, while a smart LED light indicates when the mug has reached the right temp. The chic vessel (now available in four metallic scratch-free finishes) also has an auto-sleep feature that turns the device off when it’s empty or senses inactivity for two hours.
Ember Mug² in Copper, $130, at Amazon
4. Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset
FOR IMMERSIVE ENTERTAINMENT ENTHUSIASTS
Whether your giftee is a gamer, a fitness lover, or a concertgoer who prefers their front-row seat at home, Facebook-owned Oculus’ newest virtual reality headset will certainly deliver in the entertainment department. The Quest 2 is lighter and more comfortable to wear than its predecessor, and the two haptic feedback-touch controllers, speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor, higher-resolution 1832 x 1920 pixel-per-eye screen, and stunning cinematic sound all combine to deliver more realistic graphics that bring games and content to life.
That means users don’t have to leave home in order to work out on an Icelandic glacier (among many other Supernatural workouts); step into the Star Wars universe; or drop their best DJ beats. And Oculus’ platform also offers exclusive events, live shows, films, and more. Recipients will find the unit easy to set up after unboxing (no computer or gaming console needed), but they will need Wi-Fi access, Oculus’ free app, and a Facebook account to get started. Games and content may also require additional purchases; the device is available in 64 GB or 256 GB storage options.
Oculus Quest 2 VR Headset, $299+, at Amazon
5. Loftie Clock
FOR TECH-OVERLOADED SNOOZERS
If your tech-obsessed pal could use a little (or a lot) less screen time, Loftie’s smart clock helps snoozers unplug from their smartphones at night to get better sleep. The device’s nightlight lets users know when it’s time for light’s out, and phone-free content such as guided meditations, sound baths, sleep-inducing stories, and breathwork will help people drift off to dreamland. Those who prefer to listen to their own tunes can connect to the clock via Bluetooth and use it as a speaker.
When it’s time to rise and shine, Loftie’s two-phase alarm gently awakens (instead of jolts) users so they can start the day on a relaxing note. The company also updates its clock content regularly, so your giftee can expect new features, alarms, and more.
Loftie Clock, $149, at Loftie
6. Weatherflow Tempest
Sure, your recipient could just look out the window or at their smartphone to check the weather — but if they’re looking to make their home’s air conditioning or sprinkler systems smarter, Weatherflow’s Tempest station can help. The wireless weather station is equipped with a rain gauge, a wind meter, and AI to accurately report local weather data to a smartphone app, which comes in handy when users want to check conditions when they’re away from home.
The device works with most virtual assistants (including Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, Apple’s Siri, and others) so you can customize your smart sprinklers, Nest thermometer, and other smart home devices based forecasts. Users can also set Tempest’s app to send storm alerts and other weather notifications.
Weatherflow Tempest, $329, at Amazon
7. Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Writing Set Pen & Ruled Smart Notebook
FOR AVID NOTE-TAKERS
Moleskine is already a trusted name among writers and stationery enthusiasts who prefer to sketch or jot their ideas onto paper. The iconic company’s Pen+ smart pen and notebook tablet lets your giftee digitize their hand-written notes and share, search, edit, and organize their ideas using the app (compatible with both Android and iOS). Users can also record audio to accompany their notes, save files as PDFs, and upload to Evernote or Google Workspace apps. The digital-meets-analog writing set includes a charging cable and extra ink refill for the pen.
Moleskine Pen+ Ellipse Smart Pen & Notebook Set, $149, at Amazon
8. StrapQuest Leather Apple Watch Band
FOR STYLISH SMART WATCH WEARERS
For the fashionable pal who’s seeking a stylish swap for their Apple watch’s basic band, StrapQuest’s handmade leather bands offer a chic alternative. They’re made of hand-sanded Italian leather and finished with 316L stainless steel buckles, and available in a range of colorways and patterns.
StrapQuest Apple Watch Band in Oat, $110, at StrapQuest
9. Shani Darden Skin Care Facial Sculpting Wand
FOR SKINCARE AFICIONADOS
Your beloved beauty buff can experience Hollywood-loved facialist Shani Darden’s skin-smoothing treatments (favored by clients like Jessica Alba, January Jones, and Emmy Rossum) at home with her facial sculpting tool, which uses sound waves in combination with the aesthetician’s hyaluronic-infused Hydra Prep Gel to sculpt the visage. Regular users say they’ve noticed more relaxed facial muscles as well as fewer fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead, crow’s feet, and nasolabial area. The device has three intensity levels and includes flat disc and precision ball attachments so that users can customize their facials.
Shani Darden Skin Care Facial Sculpting Wand, $399, at Sephora
10. Ēdn Indoor SmartGarden
FOR PLANT PARENTS
Ēdn’s minimalist indoor garden (which you may have seen on Shark Tank) makes a great gift for tech-savvy green or gray thumbs who live in small spaces. The sleek walnut wood and aluminum design fits in with most interior decor styles, and Ēdn’s precisely engineered non-GMO and biodegradable SeedPods and automatic LED lighting system make it easy to plant herbs, veggies, and flowers with little effort. Recipients can use the device’s app (currently for iPhone only) to manage their garden’s water levels and light schedule, get watering reminders and tips, and more. You can also treat your giftee to a SeedPod membership so they can easily restock on their favorite plants.
Ēdn Indoor SmartGarden, $200, at West Elm
11. WeMo Smart Plug 3-Pack
The best tech gifts don’t need to be the priciest gadgets. Everything from floor lamps to toasters can get a smart upgrade when they’re plugged into these Wi-Fi-enabled WeMo outlets, which can be paired with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant for controlling nearly any device via voice or smartphone.
WeMo Smart Plug (3-Pack), $45, at Amazon
12. Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer
FOR HIGH-TECH CHEFS
Breville’s Smart Oven Air Fryer is one of the best tech gifts you can give to your favorite plugged-in chef. This kitchen must-have’s Element iQ system automatically adjusts the cooking temperature and time, whether it’s baking pizza or cookies, toasting up to six slices of bread, slow cooking, air frying, and other techniques.
Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer, $350, at Williams Sonoma
13. Cinemood 360º Portable Projector
FOR THE MOVIE BUFF
On-the-go fanatics can turn any spot into a movie theater with Cinemood’s pocket-sized projector, which delivers 1080p HD video as large as 150 inches on any wall or other flat surface. It’s got a 2.5-watt built-in speaker as well as a 3.5-millimeter audio jack, or you can pair it with your favorite wireless speaker. A built-in rechargeable battery lets you watch content for up to five hours, and you can also cast videos from Android and iOS mobile devices.
Cinemood 360º Portable Projector, $499, at Nordstrom
14. Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Foam Roller
FOR THE ATHLETE
This grooved foam roller offers three vibration settings that are designed to boost circulation and flexibility pre-workout and soothe sore muscles afterward. It’s small enough to fit into a gym bag and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts up to two hours.
Hyperice Vyper 2.0 Vibrating Foam Roller, $199, at Amazon
15. Snapino Learn to Code Kit
FOR THE CODER
No matter their age, DIY techies will appreciate this cool coding set that lets them learn how to program an Arduino, the open-source micro-controller that’s a favorite among budding makers and professional programmers alike. The Snapino kit includes an Arduino Uno board and 14 snap-on circuit sets that giftees can make into 20 projects.
Snapino Learn to Code Kit, $50, at Adventure Town Toys
16. Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler
FOR THE BEAUTY BUFF
Starry hairstylists and brand ambassadors Jen Atkin and Matt Collins are among the Hollywood-beloved pros who keep the Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler in their tress maintenance kits. The styling device can dry, curl, wave, volumize, and smooth out wet hair of all types without damaging strands, and the six-piece set comes in a sleek leather storage box.
Dyson Airwrap Complete Styler, $550, at Dyson
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