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Best gifts for grads between $100 and $250

If you're looking to reward your graduate, here are the best gifts from a new gaming console to the best wireless headphones.

The sun's out, but we're stuck inside. And in lieu of mortarboards being thrown skyward, many colleges are preparing to host their graduation ceremonies online instead. Yes, that's going to be a tough transition that no one anticipated even just 90 days ago. And that's why 2020 graduates deserve a generous gift this year. To that end, we've compiled a list of the best indoors gear we've reviewed that costs between $100 and $250. Whether you're looking to reward them with a new TV or a gaming console, there should be something on this list to suit them.

Vizio SB3621 soundbar

Amazing soundbar value

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's safe to say that every other device on this list pales in comparison with the value of this Vizio. Honest-to-goodness sound quality -- complete with a wireless subwoofer -- will have your grad thanking you every time they blast a movie. Your wallet will thank you for the price.

Read our Vizio SB3621 review.


Joby GorillaPod Vlogging Kit

Excellent starter kit for YouTubers


The job market may not be so great for grads these days, but there's always a career as a YouTuber or a TikTok star. This versatile Vlogging Kit from Joby comes with everything you need to make your videos look better, including the company's flexible GorillaPod Mobile Rig Base (it works as a mini tripod and also wraps around objects), a Wavo Mobile microphone, a Beamo Mini LED Light and a phone holder. The arms detach and you can also add other accessories to the rig or even a GoPro. Push the legs together to form a pole and you've got yourself a sturdy selfie stick (phone not included).

Joby has several other GorillaPod accessories that make shooting stills or videos easier, but the Vlogging Kit is a good starter pack. You can also mount the phone holder to a standard, taller tripod.  

Theragun Mini

Best Mini percussive massager

David Carnoy/CNET

This gift is sure to please any grad: Their very own mini percussive therapy device. 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.

Key specs: 20 pounds of force, 12mm amplitude with three speeds (1,750, 2,100 or 2,400 percussions per minute) and a rechargeable battery that lasts two and a half hours. A neoprene protective case is included. 

Óscar Gutiérrez/CNET

If your grad doesn't need the TV connection or team-play capabilities of the original Switch -- which is impossible to get, anyway -- the Switch Lite is a capable and pocketable console that plays nearly all of the same great games.

Read our Nintendo Switch Lite review.


Eero mesh router system

Whole-home Wi-Fi

James Martin/CNET

With all the video streaming, multiplayer gaming and Zoom meetings going on, your grad will benefit from a new router. But why not go for the whole-home coverage of a mesh network system to boot? The three-piece Eero system is currently on sale, and Amazon is even throwing in a free Echo Dot, too.

Read our Eero (2019) review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

If you want to give your grad the gift of improved sound quality, or the ability to ask for tunes out loud, there can be only One. It works with Alexa or Google Assistant, and it's compatible with AirPlay 2 streaming.

Read our Sonos One review.


Sarah Tew/CNET

The AirPods Pro aren't necessarily the best-sounding true wireless headphones out there, but they integrate seamlessly with Apple devices, their noise-canceling is excellent and the transparency mode is great for listening without shutting out the world around you. Any iPhone-owning grad will dig these.

Read our Apple AirPods Pro review.


Roku S425 50-inch TV

Splurge pick: Smart TV with all the apps

Sarah Tew/CNET

This 50-inch 4K TV doesn't have the best picture quality we've seen. But at this price, who cares? What it does have is the best-in-class Roku smart TV operating system, which means that every worthwhile streaming app from Netflix to HBO and everything in between is built right in. It's a great starter TV that can migrate to the bedroom or game room to eventually make way for a bigger, better set. If you need to stay under $250, go for the 43-inch model -- but spending just $30 more gets your grad this 50-incher instead.

Read our Roku S425 TV review.