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You'd be hard-pressed to find a better sounding -- and better built -- full size sub-$50 Bluetooth headphone than the Tribit XFree Tune, which retails for $45 at Amazon (without case).
Amazon's smallest, most affordable tablet sold for a mere $30 on Prime Day (and Black Friday 2017). And while we still prefer the faster, better and larger 8-inch Fire HD 8 tablet for $80, this 7-incher still remains the best tablet you can get for $50. Just note that it'll likely drop back to $30 again this Thanksgiving.
JBL's Endurance Sprint sports headphones are like a modified version of Beats' popular Powerbeats 3, which have a hook that wraps over the top of your ear. The Powerbeats 3 cost more than three times as much as these guys.
We already loved the $35 Belkin WeMo Mini, which turns any old lamp into a smart light with full Alexa and Google Home compatibility. And soon, it will complete the hat trick, adding direct support for Apple HomeKit, too. That means you don't need the WeMo HomeKit Bridge to sync it up with Siri anymore.
Another affordable smart home device, the $25 TP-Link Kasa Wi-Fi Smart Plug Mini adds scheduling, voice commands and remote access to everyday devices. It works with Alexa and Google Assistant.
We already loved this little $50 video streamer, which turns any HDMI-equipped TV into a gateway to online entertainment bliss: Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, YouTube, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, HBO Now and literally hundreds of other streaming channels. The latest model (from 2017) adds a voice-activated remote that can also control your TV's power and volume. Get the 4K model if your TV is so-equipped; otherwise, this cheaper version does the job nicely.
If $50 is too pricey, check out the $30 Roku Express. It loses the Stick's voice remote, but it has all of the same channels, and the 2017 model is considerably zippier than than its underpowered predecessor.
Buying a gift for someone who's stuck with an ancient pre-HD tube television? Don't fret: You can still give them the gift of Roku's great streaming video options with the Roku Express+, which connects to old-school RCA jacks (yellow, red, white). And it still has an HDMI port, so it's good to go once they eventually upgrade.
The Anker SoundBuds Slim Bluetooth Sports headphones can be had for less than $26. They sound decent and fit well.
It's not quite as good as the Roku Stick, but the 2017 version of Amazon's Fire TV Stick includes an Alexa-enabled voice remote. Just know that this $40 model sold for $25 on Black Friday 2017 and $20 on Prime Day 2018.
Embrace the mobile lifestyle with the $35 Chromecast video streamer. Connect it to any TV and use your phone as the remote control for services such as YouTube, Netflix and many more. Just note that it doesn't offer Amazon Video -- and it isn't available on Amazon, either.
The Chromecast Audio isn't a wireless speaker in and of itself, but this $35 Wi-Fi gadget adds streaming audio to any old stereo. It offers universal compatibility with Android phones, and some (but not all) iOS apps can stream to it also.
Similar to the Anker Soundbuds Slim, the XFree Color is an in-ear wireless sports headphone that sounds good and fits securely for less than $25 (the headphone seems to be on sale right now, but it's hard to tell with Amazon pricing). As its name implies, it's available in a few different trim color options.
The Echo Dot was selling for a mere $30 on Prime Day. Still, even at its normal $50 price, this is the quickest on-ramp to the Alexa smart home experience. The audio quality isn't fantastic, but you can connect it to any other stereo or speaker system.
Google's most affordable smart home speaker isn't quite as impressive as the Echo Dot -- and it lacks a line out. But this $49 wonder sounds a bit better than the Dot, and it puts all the smarts of Google Assistant at your beck and call.
The JBL Clip 2 can't respond to your voice, but this little waterproof Bluetooth speaker sounds great for its size. It's a great gift for anyone who does a lot of traveling. The newer Clip 3, which plays louder and has a little more bass, costs $60, while its older sibling is now generally sold at closer to $40.
The SoundCore 2 is the best speaker value in Anker's lineup, balancing good sound and a water-resistant body for around $40.
It has a goofy name, but the Oontz Angle 3 Plus is arguably the sound quality champion for wireless Bluetooth speakers in the sub-$50 price range. In fact, you can usually find it for about $28.
Another candidate for best value wireless speaker, the Tribit XSound Go is one of the best ones for the money -- about $40 at Amazon.
If you want a lighter and more open budget wireless headphone than the aforementioned Tribit XFree Tune, the Creative Sound Blaster Jam is a solid go-to choice and about $38 at Amazon.
Prefer in-ear wireless headphones? The iFrogz Impulse Duo deliver good sound at an ultrabudget $30 price, and they have a nifty design, too.
Yes, everyone's phone already doubles as a music player. But for as low as $30, this standalone mini MP3 player is useful for runners and gym rats who may want to set their phones aside for a workout. It works with both PCs and Macs, and -- best of all -- doesn't need to sync with iTunes: just drag and drop your music files. The 8GB storage is easily expandable with any microSD card, too.
The $40 BioLite PowerLight Mini is a handy lantern, bike light and charger all in one. You clip it to a pocket or strap or mount to your bike (mount included) and its 1,350-mAh USB rechargeable battery provides up to 52 hours of light. It can also give your phone a backup boost. Lighting modes include white lantern, red night vision, red and white strobe and white point light. It's a great choice for ecominded students who enjoy camping or other outdoor activities.
BioLite's new mobile light has a solar panel on the back so you can charge it during the day (you can clip it on the the backside of a backpack). It's only $25.
Watch our roundup of the best back to school deals for under fifty bucks. Enjoy!