Best Father’s Day Gifts for Every Budget: 26 Top Picks at All Prices – CNET

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Father’s Day is on June 18, and is approaching quickly. But you still have some time to pick out the best gift for Dad or that father figure in your life — and there are plenty of great Father’s Day gift options, no matter your budget.

We’ve assembled some great gift ideas here at a variety of prices, including several that cost less than $100 and some for even less than $50 (our picks are listed from least to most expensive). And if you really want to splurge, we’ve got some pricier picks that I’m sure he’ll appreciate. All of the selected products have been fully reviewed or anecdotally tested by CNET editors. 

Under $50

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If you’re on the hunt for a decent pair of budget sunglasses, Knockaround has various models, including those with polarized and mirrored coatings, for $25 and even slightly less (prices start as low as $15). They’re not premium glasses obviously, but the lenses are pretty decent and the glasses look more expensive than their low price would indicate. These designer sunglasses also seem pretty durable. Several different styles, colors and lens options are available. 

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With the most streaming app options and most user-friendly streaming platform interface, Roku is our favorite streaming system, and the Express 4K Plus streaming media player is arguably the best value streamer out there right now (yes, it supports 4K HDR streaming).

Also, thanks to the AirPlay update, this Roku device is one of the least expensive ways to connect your iPhone or other Apple device to your TV. Cheaper than the company’s Streaming Stick 4K Plus and other 4K HDR streaming devices, it’s our top pick for best streaming device overall.

Read our Roku Express 4K Plus review.

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The JBL Go 3’s durable design, coupled with surprisingly decent sound for its tiny size, make it one of the top micro Bluetooth speakers out there.

Available in multiple color options, it has an IP67 water-resistance rating, meaning it can be dunked in water and is dust-proof. Battery life is rated at up to 5 hours.

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What makes these Soundpeats Air3 Deluxe HS buds special is that they sound surprisingly good for open earbuds — they’re pretty close to what you get from Apple’s AirPods 3 for sound. On top of that, they support Sony’s LDAC audio codec for devices that offer it. Not too many cheap open earbuds have good sound but these Soundpeats have good bass response and clarity. They’re also good for making calls and have a low-latency gaming mode. Battery life is rated at 5 hours at moderate volume levels, and these are IPX4 splash-proof. The price is currently down to $39 — a very good deal if you’re looking for open-style earbuds.

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There’s nothing like a little blending on the go for dear old Dad’s protein shakes. That’s where the BlendJet 2 comes in. Equipped with a rechargeable battery, it’s more powerful than you might expect and it can whip up smoothies without having to plug in anywhere. It charges via USB-C (you get about 15 blends per charge) and is fully waterproof.

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The Baseus Magnetic Mini Wireless Portable Charger is a compact 6,000-mAh wireless power bank that sticks to the back of MagSafe-enabled iPhones (or MagSafe-enabled iPhone cases) and charges your iPhone at 7.5W. If you’re looking for faster charging, you can plug a USB-C-to-Lightning cable into the battery and get 20W charging speeds. It also offers pass-through charging (you can charge the Baseus’ battery while charging your phone). 

The battery is similar in size to many 5,000-mAh batteries and also costs less. That 6,000-mAh capacity will get you close to a full charge with most iPhones, though it may fall a bit short for iPhone Max models.

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The very compact Soundcore by Anker Mini 3 Bluetooth speaker may not deliver huge sound but it delivers more sound than you’d think (with just enough bass) from a speaker of its size. Available in multiple color options and weighing around 8 ounces or 223 grams, it has an integrated strap and is fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating.

The 6-watt Mini 3 sounds fairly similar to the new Sony SRS-XB100, which retails for $60 or around $20 more, and features good battery life — up to 15 hours at moderate volume levels. You can wirelessly link multiple Mini 3s together to create a wider sound field, but most people will use this speaker for casual listening on the go. It also makes for a good bathroom or shower speaker and does have speakerphone capabilities with a built-in microphone. 

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Reef makes a variety of sandals, flips-flops and slides with prices ranging from $30 to $75. While the premium models feature leather uppers, some Reef sandals have a key feature that certain dads will appreciate: a built-in bottle opener. 

Best under $100

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Like its “S” predecessors, Logitech’s new MX Master 3S mouse isn’t a fully redesigned model but an incremental upgrade. Ergonomically unchanged, it features quieter operation and an upgraded 8,000dpi optical sensor that Logitech says tracks on most surfaces including glass and offers faster workflow with high-resolution monitors.

You can zip through thousands of lines in seconds when you switch from ratchet to free-spin mode. This stylish mouse costs just less than $100, and it’ll be a much-welcomed upgrade for the dad who wants a break from a stubborn trackpad.

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The Yoose Mini Electric Shaver isn’t the most powerful electric shaver, and I can’t say I got the cleanest, closest shave using it. But it’s really small — about the size of some wireless earbuds cases — and it does work well enough and looks and feels more premium than I thought it would. That makes it a good on-the-go electric shaver and good travel companion (it didn’t hurt to use and comes with a carry case). 

Available in multiple color options, it’s IPX7 waterproof, so it can be used both wet and dry. Though it retails for $90, it often has instant discounts that drop its price closer to $60.

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Amazon

Amazon has introduced an upgraded Echo Show 5 with a redesigned speaker system for better clarity and bass. The Alexa-powered smart display also has an improved microphone array onboard, and comes in pale blue, charcoal black and white.

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As we head into summer, what dad wouldn’t appreciate a high-quality oscillating fan with multiple speed options and a small remote to control everything from afar? The Iris Woozoo SC15 oscillating fan comes in three colors — blank, pink and blue (pictured) — and is one of the nicer, more powerful “personal” table fans we’ve tried. 

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Under $250

Sonos

With its latest multiroom smart speaker, Sonos wins some (Bluetooth, stereo sound) and loses some (Google Assistant). The Era 100 replaces the existing One, and while the lack of Google is a real drag, the new speaker is also better in terms of sound quality. And with the addition of a $19 adaptor, you can now add external sources for cheap!

Read our CNET review of Sonos Era 100.

Amazon

Dad may be a little embarrassed if you get him this gift but he’ll most likely appreciate it. Panasonic says its new ER-GK80-S has a unique V-shaped head that’s “built to go everywhere” — and with precision. It comes with two attachments, has almost two hours of battery life and can be used wet or dry. A travel case is included.

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Sony’s improved entry-level noise canceling headphones, the CH-720Ns, have a bit of a plasticky budget vibe, but they’re lightweight and very comfortable. Part of me was expecting them to sound pretty mediocre, but I was pleasantly surprised. No, they don’t sound as good as the WH-1000XM5s. But they sound more premium than they look (and feel), and their overall performance is a step up from their predecessor, the CH-710Ns. Are they worth $150? Maybe — or maybe not. But the good news is that, like the CH-710N and WH-XB910 before them, these should see significant discounts in the not-so-distant future, which is what you may want to wait for.

Read our Sony CH-720N review.

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It’s time to upgrade Dad’s PC keyboard. Logitech’s MX Keys is one of our favorite everyday Bluetooth keyboards and now it comes in two smaller versions that leave off the number pad and some other keys: MX Keys Mini and MX Keys Mini for Mac. Both cost $100, the same price as the standard MX Keys. Colors include rose, pale gray and graphite.

Read our Logitech MX Keys Mini first take.

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When the SoundLink Flex speaker launched, Bose made some bold claims about its new Bluetooth speaker, particularly its bass performance. But it mostly lives up to the hype and is arguably the best-sounding wireless speaker for its compact size.

Available in three colors — 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 it’s upright, hanging or flat on its back.

Read our Bose SoundLink Flex review.

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Duer makes some of the best — and most comfortable jeans and pants — I’ve encountered. They’re designed for both durability and stretchability and come in a variety of styles, with options for both slimmer — and not-so-slim — dads. Prices range from $130 to $200 for more weather-resistant models. The company also sells other garments, including shirts and shorts but it’s more known for its “stretch” pants. The Performance Denim Slim is pictured here.

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While the Beats Fit Pro ($200) technically aren’t AirPods, they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro (yes, Apple owns Beats). Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the 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.

Read our Beats Fit Pro review.

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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 2.5 hours, and a neoprene protective case is included.

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Anker’s original Soundcore Motion Boom speaker (see below) has been on this list for a while and is still a decent value at a little more than $100. 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. 

Weighing 5.29 pounds (almost a pound more than the Motion Boom), it uses Bluetooth 5.3 and is equipped with upgraded dual 3.5-inch woofers and newly added dual 1-inch tweeters, delivering up to 80 watts of audio output (60 watts for the woofers and 20 watts for the tweeters). Battery life is rated for 20 hours at moderate volume levels. It’s also IP67 waterproof and dust-proof and floats if you happen to drop it in a body of water.

I was impressed with the sound quality, which measures up well against a few more expensive — and some larger — speakers on this list. You can tweak the sound profile (with EQ settings) and upgrade the speaker’s firmware in Anker’s Soundcore companion app for iOS and Android. I tended to go with the bass boost engaged — there’s a button on the speaker to activate it — and found that the speaker delivers full sound with good clarity in the mids and highs and good bass definition. For its size, the speaker is able to put out a lot of sound and mostly manages to avoid distorting at higher volumes (I tended to keep the volume in the range of 50% to 75%.) 

If you’re sitting within a few feet of the speaker, there’s a bit of stereo separation. But if you really want to up the sound quality, you can wirelessly pair two Soundcore Motion Boom Plus speakers to create a real stereo pair. 

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Ember makes 10-ounce and 14-ounce versions of its temperature-controlled smart mug, which keeps your hot drink of choice hot while you sip it over a longer drinking session. While it won’t keep coffee or tea warm for hours, the idea is that you can select your ideal temp via the companion Ember app for iOS or Android and keep your drink at a high temperature for the 30 minutes or so it takes to casually finish it.

I personally prefer the larger version, but it does cost more (and the copper version, which does look cool, is $180). A good insulated mug with a top on it will also keep your beverage hot (and they are cheaper), but this Ember mug allows you to drink a cup of joe like you normally would and not sip it through a small hole in the top.

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Under $500

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A handful of competing stylus-equipped touchscreen E Ink e-readers that double as digital notepads are available from other companies, including Kobo and ReMarkable. But the Kindle Scribe is the only front-lit 10.2-inch E Ink e-reader with a high-resolution 300ppi (pixels per inch) E ink display.

The Scribe’s size and weight make it more of a burden to carry around, especially when you consider the smaller baseline Kindle can fit into a coat pocket. But in all, the Scribe strikes a very good balance between a large-format e-reader and an E Ink note-taking tablet. Folks will probably have some quibbles about the Scribe’s high price and the robustness of its mark-up and note-taking capabilities, but we’ve already seen the device improve post-launch with software and feature updates.

Read our Amazon Kindle Scribe review.

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Sonos

Sonos has a new entry-level soundbar featuring the company’s excellent multiroom music system onboard. A two-channel soundbar with Dolby Digital decoding, it’s roughly two-thirds the size of the Sonos Beam 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 an included optical cable), we were impressed with the sound quality for music and movies. You can pair it with a couple of other Sonos speakers like the Sonos One to create a surround sound system.

Read our Sonos Ray review.

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Battery Life

Rated up to 32 hours

Noise Canceling

Yes (ANC)

Multipoint

Yes

Headphone Type

Over-ear wireless headphones

Water-Resistant

No IP rating

When you have a product that a lot of people love, change can be risky. Such is the case for 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 become increasingly popular as they’ve improved with each generation. Over the years, Sony has made some tweaks to the design, but nothing as dramatic as what it’s done with the WH-1000XM5. Other than the higher $400 price tag ($50 more than the WH-1000XM4), most of those changes are good, and Sony’s made some dramatic improvements with voice-calling performance as well as even better noise canceling and more refined sound.

Read our Sony WH-1000XM5 review.

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Bowflex

Many people know about Bowflex’s SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells, which we’ve written about in the past and noted when they go on sale. But the company’s SelectTech ST2080 Curl Bar doesn’t get as much attention, even though it’s arguably an equally useful piece of home gym equipment that features both a straight bar and a curl bar. It’s on sale for $449 ($150 off its list price of $599), which matches its low price for the year.

Like with the SelectTech Dumbbell, you start with the SelectTech Curl Bar sitting in its dock and then dial in the weight you want and either add weight plates or leave them off once you lift the bar out of the dock. You can dial in 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 or 80 pounds. If that isn’t quite enough weight for you, Bowflex sells a 40-pound upgrade that adds four additional weight settings up to 120 pounds (that currently costs $160).

The included dock is designed to sit on the ground. For a more ergonomic option, you can pick up the Bowflex SelectTech 2080 Barbell Stand with Media Rack. That costs $199.

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Bonus premium pick

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French audio company Focal is known for its high-end speakers and headphones. You might call it the Bowers & Wilkins of France. And now it’s finally done what a lot of high-end audio companies have had to do in this age of on-the-go wireless music listening: make active noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones. 

Over three years in development, the Bathys cost $799 and feature not only wireless connectivity but a built-in digital-to-analog converter for USB wired listening with any computer, smartphone or tablet with USB-C. They are easily one of the best-sounding wireless headphones.

Read our Focal Bathys first take.

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