Sound Advice: Great gadget gifts for less than $100

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 14, 2012 - 2:49 PM

Answers to your multimedia questions.

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The Oontz bluetooth speaker.

Q I need to find a gadget lover a really nice gift for under $100. Do you have any suggestions?

A The holiday season will be over soon, but great electronics buys in the $100-and-under price range are always worth talking about. Here are some of my favorites.

Cambridge SoundWorks Oontz, $69: Of everything I tested this past year, the Oontz (www.theoontz.com) impressed me the most. It's a portable Bluetooth speaker with speakerphone capability and a rechargeable battery offering 10 hours of life. Don't let the low price fool you. This is a well-constructed, seriously good piece of audio gear that puts much more expensive competitors to shame with great sound, room-filling volume levels and surprising bass.

Powerbag Messenger Bag, $50-$60: Though it lists for $119, this bag (www.mypowerbag.com) can be found online for much less. A high-capacity rechargeable battery is integrated into the design. Charge the bag, and when you are on the go use its various ports and connections to charge your phone, tablet, e-reader, or other electronic device.

Nakamichi NK780 headphones, $20: These over-the-ear headphones (www.nakamichi-usa.com) are only $20 at Sears. The sound is surprisingly detailed and rich. Stay at normal listening levels, and you won't believe the sound quality for the price.

Logitech Harmony 650 Remote, $60: This universal remote (www.logitech.com) is easy to program using your PC and features a full-color, backlit screen.

Olympus VR-340 digital camera, $99: Although it lists for $149, this compact camera (www.getolympus.com) can be found online for under $100. It features image stabilization, a 10x optical zoom, HD Movies and sensor-shift image stabilization. A rechargeable lithium-ion battery is included.

Spin-Clean Record Washer, $79: Vinyl record lovers aspire to own a record cleaning machine, but high-end models that use liquid and a vacuum can be quite expensive. The Spin-Clean (www.spincleanrecordwasher.com) provides the same deep cleaning action, but you dry the records by hand for the same end result (clean, quiet records) at a fraction of the cost. The Spin-Clean is sure to delight anyone with a record collection and makes a great gift for new turntable owners.

Monoprice 12-inch, 150-watt powered subwoofer, $104: It cracks the $100 barrier by a smidgen, but this is too good of a value to exclude from the list. Whether you are building a home theater from scratch, improving the bass of your current system or adding a subwoofer to a small pair of bookshelf speakers, the Monoprice 12-inch powered subwoofer (www.monoprice.com) offers a lot of solid, well-controlled bass for not a lot of money. It works with speaker-level and line-level outputs so it can be integrated into most any system, and the cabinet looks better than you would expect for the price.

Send questions to donlindich@gmail.com. Get more recommendations and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

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