Price alerts are on for Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2
$259 at Amazon
Hyperice Hypervolt Pro 2
Quiet but powerful massage gun
$350 at GameStop
Nintendo Switch OLED
Portable gaming with a bigger and better display
$480 at Best Buy
TCL 55S535 (Update: Currently unavailable)
Best value 55 inch TV with Roku
Show more (6 items)
This story is part of Gift Guideour year-round collection of the best gift ideas.
Graduation season is upon us: It’s time to get out that wallet and start shopping for the amazing graduates in your life. There are many gifts you can make pick up for $50 or less, but if you want to get them something really special to celebrate their achievement, and don’t mind spending a little more money, there are some amazing pricier options too. Below, we’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorite gift ideas that you can pick up in the $200 to $500 range.
Battery life With an estimate of up to 32 hoursNoise reduction Yes (ANC)Multipoint YesHeadphone type Wireless over-ear headphonesWaterproof No IP rating
When you have a product that many people like, change can be risky. Such is the case with Sony’s WH-1000XM5, the fifth generation of the 1000X series headphones, which were first released in 2016 as the MDR-1000X Wireless and have grown in popularity as they improve with each generation. Sony has made some design changes over the years, but nothing as dramatic as what it did with the WH-1000XM5. Aside from the $400 higher price ($50 more than the WH-1000XM4), most of these changes are good, and Sony has made some dramatic improvements with voice call performance, as well as even better noise cancellation and cleaner sound.
Read our Sony WH-1000XM5 review.
Released in 2021, the PartyBox 110 packs a serious punch and delivers louder sound than many portable boombox speakers, including JBL’s own Boombox 3. There’s an integrated handle for carrying the speaker, but the PartyBox 110 is quite heavy, weighing in at 23 pounds and measuring just over 22 inches tall. You can place this Bluetooth box vertically as shown in the picture above or you can place it horizontally as there are rubber feet on both sides of the speaker.
It’s rated for up to 12 hours of playtime at moderate volume levels and has a redesigned light show that syncs to the beat of your music (you can customize the light show from the speaker itself or use the companion JBL PartyBox app).
The speaker has Bluetooth or wired USB connectivity and has guitar and microphone inputs. It’s also worth noting that the speaker is IPX4 splash-resistant, and you can wirelessly connect two PartyBox 110 speakers together for stereo sound. It normally goes for $400, but you can grab one for $100 off right now on Amazon.
The price of Facebook’s Oculus Quest 2 has risen over the past year – it used to start at $300 for the 128GB version, but now costs $400, with the 256GB version now costing $500 (although it’s ). While it’s not as affordable as it used to be, it’s still the best wireless VR headset available, and it’s a lot of fun to play with a large collection of impressive games.
Meta is expected to release a higher-end “pro” model that will certainly be better, but will also cost a lot more.
Get notified about Oculus Quest 2 prices
Sonos’ new entry-level soundbar includes the company’s excellent multi-room music system built-in. A two-channel soundbar with Dolby Digital decoding, it’s roughly two-thirds the size of the equally excellent Sonos Beam (gen 2), but delivers a surprisingly wide soundstage through the use of proprietary waveguides.
While it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos surround sound or have an HDMI port to connect to your TV (you connect it to your TV with the included optical cable), we were impressed with the sound quality for music and movies. You can pair it with several other Sonos speakers like the Sonos One to create a surround sound system.
Read our Sonos Ray review.
Amazon recently released a large-format 10.2-inch E Ink e-reader that includes a stylus. You could say it’s the spiritual successor to the defunct Kindle DX, which had a 9.7-inch screen. Available with a standard stylus for $340 or $370 with a premium stylus.
Several competing stylus-equipped e-readers with E Ink screens that double as digital notebooks are available from other companies, including Kobo and ReMarkable. But the Kindle Scribe is the only 10.2-inch front-lit e-reader with a high-resolution 300 ppi (pixels per inch) E ink display.
Read our Amazon Kindle Scribe review.
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Apple’s ninth-generation entry-level iPad came out last fall with an updated A13 Bionic processor chip that gives it a nice performance boost (no keyboard or case included). While prices start at $329 for 64GB of storage, they jump to $479 for the 256GB version, so look for special deals as this iPad often gets the flash deal treatment.
Battery life With an estimate of up to 6 hoursNoise reduction Yes (ANC)Multipoint NoHeadphone type Wireless HeadphonesWaterproof 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 cancellation and improved sound, thanks to Bose’s new CustomTune sound calibration system that customizes the sound for your ears. Voice call performance is also significantly better than the original QuietComfort Earbuds.
The other big change is in the ear tips. Bose ditched its one-piece StayEar tips with wings for a two-piece Fit Kit system that includes separate ear tips and “stability bands” in three size options, giving you more flexibility to get a secure fit and tight seal .
Buds initially ship in triple black with sandstone to follow later in the year. They are IPX4 splash resistant and suitable for sports activities.
Read our Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 review.
Theragun Prime is part of the fourth generation of Theragun massage guns. Its previous equivalent was Theragun Liv, which is covered in detail here.
Like the high-end Theragun Pro ($599), the Theragun Prime’s main impressive feature is that it’s much quieter than its now-retired predecessor. In fact, the Prime rivals the notoriously quiet Hypervolt Plus in terms of volume—a huge improvement over the Liv.
The improvements don’t stop there, though: while the Theragun Liv only had two pre-programmed speeds and came with two closed-cell foam attachments, the Theragun Prime has five built-in speeds (from 1750 rpm to 2400 rpm) and comes with five foam attachments with closed cells.
The Hypervolt Hypervolt Pro 2 is the current flagship Hyperice impact massager and rivals the slightly better known Theragun in performance. This new model features a digital speed dial that lets you cycle through five levels of percussion, and features the same 90-watt, high-torque motor that’s remarkably quiet (for the amount of power it generates) as its predecessor. You get up to three hours of battery life and five interchangeable heads along with a nice carrying case.
The step-down Hypervolt Pro ($250) has a 60-watt motor, three speeds, and eliminates the digital speed dial.
If the person on your list doesn’t have a Nintendo Switch yet or needs an upgrade, you can’t go wrong with this gaming system. This fourth iteration of Nintendo’s Switch hybrid handheld adds a bigger, better built-in display (now an OLED screen), plus a redesigned stand and TV dock. It’s a luxury, but it provides hours and hours of fun with games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Metroid Dread, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Super Mario Odyssey. Check out more great game deals here.
No, you can’t get a really high-end TV for less than $500, but with TCL’s 55-inch 55S535, you can get a great gift with a nice-sized screen, very solid 4K picture quality, and the best streaming system available ( Roku ) for less than $500. If you want under $400, TCL’s latest 4-Series 4K line is also a respectable choice.
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