Move over, Bose: The new-for-2018 Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones finally take the top slot in the full-size noise-cancelling wireless headphones race, pairing superior comfort with excellent sound quality. It's a great gift for frequent travelers.
The updated Echo Dot is an ideal gift for anyone looking to add Alexa to more rooms of the house. Style and sound quality have been updated for 2018. Just keep in mind this $50 smart speaker will almost certainly be discounted during Black Friday week.
Published:Caption:CNET staffPhoto:Ben Fox Rubin/CNET
Alexa isn't the only smart assistant in town. The Google Home Mini is the perfect on-ramp to Google Assistant, and you'll be able to find this $49 smart speaker for half price during Black Friday sales at Target (and likely elsewhere).
Want more flexibility in a smart speaker? The Sonos One supports Amazon's Alexa, and the company is working on adding Google Assistant in the future. In the meantime, it also works with Apple AirPlay 2, so you can stream music from iPhones, iPads and Macs with ease. Oh, and it sounds great, too.
Our top-rated smart thermostat works with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple's Siri, has a built-in speaker and supports smart sensors you can place throughout your home (one is included in the box, too). That's why it's an enthusiastic CNET Editors' Choice
At just $35, the Chromecast Audio is one of our favorite audio streamers. It turns anything with an aux input (digital or analog) into a Wi-Fi music system. It works with some iOS apps, but it's best as a gift for Android users.
This 2017 video streamer is still the best overall choice on the market, with every non-Apple app, an easy-to-use interface, excellent 4K HDR video quality and a remote that controls your TV's power and volume. And it just got a $10 price cut (to $60), making it an even more enthusiastic Editors' Choice.
If you're buying for someone who already owns an Echo speaker or two, the new Fire TV Stick 4K is a great choice for a video streamer. Like the Roku Streaming Stick Plus, it's got TV power and volume control, too.
The Apple TV 4K costs more than the Roku and Fire TV Stick 4K combined, but it delivers a buttery smooth high-end video streaming experience with all the bells and whistles. If you're buying for someone who has all their media in Apple properties -- iTunes, Apple Photos, Apple Music -- this is the one to get.
It's the best of the Super Nintendo, distilled into a tiny, magnificent box: 21 classic games, 2 wired controllers and an HDMI cable to easy connection to any modern TV. Oh, and you can save your games at any point -- which is good, because these old-school classics are much harder than you remember. And all of this great gaming nostalgia costs only $80.
Xbox One S -- the slimmed down, updated version of Microsoft's 1TB gaming console -- will be be priced to move this holiday season, with Target (and others) pricing console plus game bundles as low as $199.
The PlayStation 4 Pro is the 4K version of Sony's game console. It's got more must-have exclusives than Xbox, including God of War and Spider-Man. And you can get it this holiday season with the latest gaming masterpiece -- Red Dead Redemption 2 -- bundled in at no extra charge.
Can't afford to gift an Apple Watch? This smartwatch checks nearly every must-have box -- heart rate tracking, GPS, always-on display, weeks-long battery life, water resistance and Android and iPhone compatibility -- despite only costing $80.
Great battery life, iPhone and Android compatibility, water-resistance and fun custom watch faces make the Fitbit Versa a great gift. And it's going to be 25 percent off at Target (and likely elsewhere) during the Black Friday sales period.
Yes, it's "last year's Apple Watch" -- but the Series 3 is more affordable than ever, and it's got the bulk of the Series 4 features, too. Look for it to be nicely discounted during Black Friday sales, too.
If you want to gift the ultimate smartwatch, the new Apple Watch Series 4 is the way to go. It's lightning fast, has fall detection, a big, beautiful display -- and its electrocardiogram (ECG, also known as EKG) is slated to be activated by a software update later this year.
Turning to tablets: Amazon's Fire HD 8 is our top budget pick, even at its normal $80 price. And it's sure to be discounted even further during holiday sales. If you're buying for children, opt for the Kids Edition, which adds a protective case, a year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited (kid-friendly apps and content) and a 2-year replacement warranty for any sort of damage.
Apple's 2018 entry-level iPad remains an awesome home and travel companion for media consumption, drawing (with the optional Pencil) and basic browsing. And it will be selling for $250 during the holidays, down from its normal $329 price.
Know someone who wants to replace an aging laptop, but doesn't need something that's thin and light? The Acer Aspire E15 has a modern Intel CPU, good battery life, a dedicated graphics chip and that rarest of all things: a DVD drive. All for under $600.
Let's face it: Modern iPhones are expensive. But the 2016-era iPhone 7 is more affordable than ever, and it's still a great all-around smartphone -- especially if you're buying it for a kid, or someone replacing a pre-iPhone 5S model. Just be sure to spend up for the 128GB model.
The aptly named Galaxy Note 9 is Samsung's best phone of 2018 -- and perfect for anyone who's always scribbling. The included stylus tucks neatly into the phone's body, and it doubles as a remote for snapping pics from a distance, too.
"Cheap" no longer needs to mean "nasty." Not only is the Vizio SB3621 one of the best sound bars we've seen in 2017, but -- at $150 in the US -- it's also the cheapest. That's why astounding value racked up a five-star rating and an Editors' Choice.