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Best for Sleepy Heads: Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp at Amazon
"The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp wakes you from your slumber with a natural colored sunrise simulation."
Best Headphones: Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones (Series II) at Amazon
"With world-class noise-canceling capabilities, they block out surround sounds, so you can focus on the task at hand."
Best Cord Cutters: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K at Amazon
"This is a simple-yet-powerful streaming stick that you plug into the HDMI port on your TV and connects to your home Wi-Fi network."
Best Audio System: Pioneer 5.1 Home Theater System HTP-074 at Amazon
"Comprised of five compact speakers (150W), a subwoofer (100W) and a 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth."
Best Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 4 at apple.com
"The improved accelerometer and gyroscope provide more refined fitness tracking."
Best for Coffee Lovers: Keurig K250 Single Serve at Amazon
"Save money and time by brewing your own coffee at home with the Keurig single-serve machine."
Best for Travelers: Xiaomi Carry-on 20" Spinner Suitcase at Amazon
"If you're shopping for a gadget lover who's always on the go, check out the Xiaomi 20-inch carry-on suitcase for its bountiful storage."
Rise and shine! The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp wakes you from your slumber with a natural colored sunrise simulation. With 20 brightness settings, the customizable light gradually brightens from 20 to 40 minutes before you need to get up. Philips even goes so far as to claim that “the UV-free Wake-Up Light is proven to wake you up with an improved mood and energy level,” and 92 percent of users agree that the light makes it easier to get out of bed. Still not ready to face the day? There’s of course a snooze feature that’ll score you an extra nine minutes of sleep. On the flip side, a dimming feature gradually puts you to sleep come nighttime.
Sometimes we all need a break from the noisy world, and when that time comes, we like to slip on the Bose QuietComfort 35 (Series II) wireless headphones. With world-class noise-canceling capabilities, they block out surround sounds, so you can focus on the task at hand, even if that’s simply relaxing. They feature large, oval ear cups and a headband that are both plumped with padding, so that extended listening sessions feel comfortable.
The QC35 has a battery life rated at an impressive 20 hours when used wirelessly, but because Bose has swapped AAAs in favor of a rechargeable battery, it’s impossible to put in new, standard batteries should yours die in the middle of your listening session. But never fear: If that happens, you can always default to the wired setup to continue listening and you’ll even enjoy slightly improved sound quality.
If you have a man in your life with a new 4K TV, the perfect gift to pair with it very well might be the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K. This is a simple-yet-powerful streaming stick that you plug into the HDMI port on your TV and connects to your home Wi-Fi network, allowing you to stream all your favorite movies and TV shows from streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, CBS All Access, YouTube, Starz, Showtime, and many more. The remote that comes with the Fire TV Stick 4K also connects to Amazon’s smart Alexa service and can search for movies and TV shows based whatever you tell it. (For example, “Alexa, find dramas” or “Alexa, find 4K movies.”) You can also ask Alexa to control lights, thermostats, and other smart home devices that you previously connected to Alexa. What really sets this apart is the price — at just $50, this streaming stick is a great value and sure to be the right price for a useful electronic gift.
An impressive audio system that will blow friends away, the HTP-074 is comprised of five compact speakers (150W), a subwoofer (100W) and a 5.1 channel AV receiver with Bluetooth and 100 W/ch (six ohms, one kHz) up peripherals such as set-top boxes, gaming consoles and more. It also boasts Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio surround soundtracks for stellar sound while watching Blu-ray.
If you’ve collected a vast MP3 library of the years, you’ll certainly appreciate the Advanced Sound Retriever technology, which restores the output of compressed audio to studio quality. The system may take some tweaking to find the perfect placement of speakers, but once you’ve found the sweet spot, you’ll enjoy unparalleled, balanced sound.
Meet the Apple Watch Series 4, the latest smartwatch from Apple, which aims to capitalize on the success of its predecessors while introducing new features for the modern man, whether he treats it as a personal assistant or a fitness tracker. Those reliant on Siri will benefit from the microphone being moved to the opposite side of the watch from the speaker (now 50% louder), which also improves call quality. The new S4 dual-core 64-bit CPU means that it runs twice as fast as the Series 3, and it offers eight new “complications,” including the ability to create new shortcuts to everything from contacts to apps to different time zones for frequent fliers.
With the Series 4, there’s no excuse not to hit the gym. The improved accelerometer and gyroscope provide more refined fitness tracking and can also monitor if you’ve fallen, contacting emergency services and your emergency contacts if you don’t move for more than 60 seconds. However, perhaps its most notable feature is the new electrocardiogram (ECG) sensor, which allows you to check your heart health and will alert you if your heart rate is too low or too high. All information is stored in an app so it can be used when consulting a doctor.
Save money and time by brewing your own coffee at home with the Keurig single-serve machine. It comes complete with 4 K-Cup pods, a water filter handle and two water filters, plus a bottle of descaling solution. You can brew multiple K-Cup pod brew sizes – 4, 6, 8, 10 ounce – and there’s even a strength setting that lets you adjust the boldness of your coffee. Its easy-to-use black and white touchscreen display also takes the thinking out of your morning routine, and with a storage drawer beneath the machine itself, it’s designed to save you precious counter space.
If you're shopping for a gadget lover who's always on the go, check out the Xiaomi 20-inch carry-on suitcase for its bountiful storage. The multifunctional front pockets stand out as some of the most tech-friendly around. A padded laptop compartment for up to a 15-inch laptop is front and center. An adjustable elastic belt adds another level of safety to ensure the laptop doesn’t move while in transit. Right beneath it are multiple pockets for a tablet/iPad, cell phone and other digital items. More space exists in the same front compartment for a passport, notebook, wallet or office documents.
Tech-friendly storage isn’t the only reason to give the Xiaomi a look. TSA-approved locks on both the front and main compartments ensure everything inside is safe and secure while traveling. The 20-inch sizing makes it ideal for use in all airline overhead bin compartments.
Built from a 100% polycarbonate anti-scratch and impact material, the insides are reinforced with heavy-duty material for durability. The adjustable gel-based handle adds four different levels for men of all heights. TPE-based silent omnidirectional tires won’t wear and tear with use.
We bought three of our readers’ favorite tech gifts for men that our reviewers tested for more than 85 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these products, from their usefulness to the level of tech-savvy they require. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
Interests - Like any gift, a tech gift should be suited to the interests of the person you’re buying it for. For example, there’s no point in buying a fitness watch for someone who has no interest in exercise.
Tech already owned - What pieces of tech does the person already have at home? This might help you determine the best pick, both in terms of avoiding duplicates and customizing the gift. For example, if you want to buy a streaming device, making sure the person has a compatible TV is an important first step.
Level of tech-savvy - If you’re buying tech for a parent, then you may need to be cognizant of the level of tech they’re comfortable with. Will they be able to set up and use the product you buy for them?
Relaxing to wake up to
Great simple design
Setup instructions are hard to follow
There’s a reason the Philips HF3520 continues to be one of our favorite alarm clocks: It offers gradual lighting that starts 20 to 40 minutes before you need to actually wake up. Plus, there’s a selection of unique sounds you can choose from that replace the typical jarring alarm buzzer. “Having the option to choose among a list of soothing sounds is great,” one tester said, “because you can customize this light to play whatever suits your specific personality.” Although our reviewers thought that the setup instructions could be clearer — they are just pictures — they would still recommend this alarm clock.
Impressive sound quality
Great battery life
A bit bulky
Our testers found that these headphones’ noise-canceling ability is second to none. One reviewer, who regularly wore them during his commute through Times Square, said that “all the sirens, honking taxi drivers, and chatty tourists are completely blocked out.” The noise-canceling levels can also be adjusted, which another tester said is “great if you're not looking to drown out the world.” Their sound quality is also stellar: “[This pair] measures up to studio-quality headphones I have that are similarly priced,” one reviewer raved.
Great streaming quality
Few cords involved
4K and HDR
No YouTube app available
User interface can feel cluttered
“I think this is a streaming device that all sorts of shoppers could enjoy,” raved our tester. “It's plug-and-play enough for less-savvy streamers, but the Alexa integration and the ability to stream 4K and HDR content may appeal to the folks who are more dialed into tech.” She also loved that it didn’t require cords or extra equipment. On the other hand, she didn’t like that it was “overloaded with content and a little frustrating to navigate.” She also added that there was “way too much front-loading of [Amazon] Prime content” and wished it was possible to rearrange the order of apps and channels.