Sound Advice: Electronic gift ideas for under $100

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 13, 2013 - 1:29 PM

Looking for an electronics-related gift for the holidays? Here are picks from the best products of 2013, as well as enduring choices that prove their value year after year — all for under $100 each.

Monoprice HDMI cables: Don’t waste your money on expensive HDMI cables sold in stores. These HDMI cables are just as good as the expensive ones and sell for less than $5 each. (www.monoprice.com)

Nakamichi 780M headphones: Selling for $25 online, as well as at Sears and Kmart, these over-the-ear headphones come in many colors, fit comfortably and sound surprisingly good. I recommended them last year, and readers loved them. (www.nakamichi-usa.com)

RCA RTS735E sound bar: Flat-screen televisions have notoriously bad sound. This $59 sound bar provides a lot of performance for the money. (www.voxxintl.com)

OontZ Bluetooth speakers: Cambridge SoundWorks’ line of speakers has been critically acclaimed for sound quality and value. The top-of-the-line OontZ XL is on sale for the holidays for $99 using promo code XLSALE99. The original OontZ sells for $49 and is much smaller and lighter, while delivering excellent sound quality in smaller spaces. The new, pocket-sized OontZ Curve is on sale for the holidays for $30. All have class-leading performance at lower prices than the competition and long battery life, making them standout values. (www.theoontz.com)

D-Link SharePort Go: For $45, this nifty device is sure to be appreciated by tablet and smartphone fans, especially those who travel. It can transform any Internet connection into a secure wireless hotspot, has a high-capacity battery that can be used to recharge your smartphone or tablet, and includes a USB port that can be used to add storage to your device or stream music, photographs and movies. (www.dlink.com)

Spin-Clean Record Washer: This $79 record cleaner is sure to be loved by vinyl fans. It duplicates the cleaning efficiency of far more expensive vacuum record-cleaning machines, although it requires more effort. (www.spincleanrecordwasher.com)

RHA MA450i noise-isolating earbuds: Available at the Apple Store, these $50 earbuds are a nice, affordable upgrade to any device. (www.rha-audio.com)

Panasonic DMP-BDT230 Blu-ray player: If you don’t have a Blu-ray player yet, what are you waiting for? This great sub-$100 player offers 1080p picture quality via Blu-ray discs, streaming from Amazon and Netflix and upconversion to improve the picture of your DVDs on your HDTV, and it adds SMART TV features to any television using Panasonic’s VieraConnect. (www.panasonic.com)

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

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