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Wearables

2021 Wearables Holiday Shopping Guide: Earphones, Headphones, Smartwatches

By Sanuj Bhatia December 14, 2021, 12:00 pm
2021 Wearables Holiday Shopping Guide Source: Pocketnow

This is the best time of the year! If you're looking to make this holiday season better for someone (or yourself) by buying them a wearable tech gift, then you've come to the right place. This guide lists some of the best TWS wireless earbuds, over-the-ear headphones, and smartwatches you can consider giving as a gift this holiday season. And this is not only it. Whether you're considering buying a smartphone, a tablet, or something out-of-the-box, this holiday season, worry not. We have got a buying guide for all!

We know that no tech is cheap these days. So if you're on a tight budget, this is a perfect list for you as well, since there are a few affordable and cheap devices that you can check out this holiday season. We know choosing a wearable tech gift isn't easy, so we have included devices that are by our expert staff and you would love to own. So without any further ado, let's take a look at the list of all the best earphones, headphones, and smartwatches you can gift this holiday season.

POCKETNOW VIDEO OF THE DAY

Earphones

The Best Earphones for Apple Ecosystem: Apple AirPods Pro

airpods Source: Pocketnow Video

If you're looking to buy a pair of AirPods this holiday season, AirPods Pro is the way to go. We know, it's been over two years since Apple introduced the AirPods Pro, and even with the introduction of the new AirPods 3 this year, we still feel AirPods Pro are the best wireless earphones for the Apple ecosystem. Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), silicon ear tips, H1 chip which brings "Hey, Siri" support and iCloud sync, Adaptive audio EQ, Spatial Audio, sweat and water resistance, and over 24 hours of battery life are just a few key highlights that make the AirPods worth the $179 price tag.

For around $20 more than the current sale price of the AirPods 3, you're getting Active Noise Cancellation and silicone ear tips for a comfortable fit. While the rumors claim Apple is still (at least) six months away from the introduction of the AirPods Pro 2, AirPods Pro is the perfect AirPods gift this holiday season, especially with deals available in the range of $170-$185.

Apple AirPods Pro Product Box Image

Apple AirPods Pro

Best Earphones for Apple Ecosystem

AirPods Pro is an excellent wearable gift this holiday season. It features an H1 chip that brings iCloud sync, 'Hey, Siri' support, and features active noise cancellation. Check out the deal using the link given below!

The Best Earphones for Android Ecosystem: Galaxy Buds 2

samsung galaxy buds 2 Source: Pocketnow Video

If you're on the other side, i.e., on the Android ecosystem, Samsung's new Galaxy Buds 2 are the ideal choice at the price they are available at. At the price of around $110, these earphones offer a lot more value than their pricier Galaxy Buds Pro siblings. This set of earphones offers (pretty good) Active Noise Cancellation. They have a lighter and smaller design than the Buds Plus and offer silicon ear tips for a comfortable fit. They connect to your smartphone using an app wherein you can set the earbuds to your liking. Samsung even includes an ear fit test that helps you choose the best silicon ear tip for your ears. Other than that, these earphones offer touch controls, easy switching between smartphone and PC, and much more for the offered price of ~$110.

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 in Black

Samsung Galaxy Buds 2

Best Earphones for Android Ecosystem

Samsung's newly announced Galaxy Buds 2 are available at a discount of $40 this holiday season, bringing down their price to $109 which is their lowest price ever. Check out the deal down below!

The Best Value-For-Money Earphones: Nothing ear(1)

nothing ear 1 in black color Source: Nothing

Nothing ear(1) is an excellent pair of TWS earphones from the newly launched brand by ex-OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei. At the price of $99, Nothing ear(1) is one of the best value-for-money earphones available. They offer Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), something that not a lot of earphones in this price range offer. They connect to any smartphone using an app (both Android and iOS) wherein you can customize its audio, set noise cancellation to your comfort, and update the firmware of the earbuds. They have a unique transparent-ish design and are now available in a new excellent-looking black edition as well. Even though Nothing ear(1)'s case isn't the best in the world (it seems to get scratches easily), and there are some nitpicks about the device, we still think Nothing ear(1) offers a bang for its buck.

nothing ear 1 black edition

Nothing ear(1)

Best Value-For-Money Earphones

Nothing ear(1) features active noise cancellation, crystal clear voice calls, 34 hours of battery life, low weight of just 4.7 grams, and much more for just $99. Check out the deal down below!

The Best Sound Experience: Sony WF-1000XM4

Sony WF-1000XM4 Source: Pocketnow Video

If you're looking to buy earphones for the best sound experience, Sony WF-1000XM4 is a perfect choice. Even though they come at a hefty price of around $250, these are some of the best-sounding earphones available in the market. They have Sony's custom Integrated Processor V1 that supports the LDAC codec. In addition to ANC and "crystal clear voice calls", they're ideal for outdoor usage thanks to the earphone's IPX4 Water resistance. And they're not short in features. These earphones feature Qi-wireless charging so you can dump these on your wireless charging pad in the night. They connect to the smartphone using an app and support Amazon Alexa as well. If you're looking for a pair of earphones that sound great, look no further and go for Sony WF-1000XM4.

Sony WF-1000XM4 wireless earbuds featured image

Sony WF-1000XM4

Best Sound Experience

Sony WF-1000XM4 are undoubtedly one of the best sounding earphones we've tried. If you're an audiophile and looking for a pair of earbuds that sound the best, go for Sony WF-1000XM4. Check out all the deals available on the device using the links given below!

The Best Earphones for Workout: Beats Fit Pro

beats fit pro cropped Source: Beats

Along with the Beats Studio Buds, Apple also unveiled the new Beast Fit Pro this year. This set of earphones is oriented for workouts and sports. They snug in your ears with the silicon tips and make sure that they don't fall off with the help of wingtips. They're not very bulky and weigh very little. And oh, don't you think they're short in features if they are designed for athletes.

They feature Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) so no one disturbs you on your run. Along with that, they feature Apple's new Spatial Audio system that plays sounds from all directions thanks to dynamic head tracking which makes music, movies, and games more immersive. They feature up to 24 hours of music playback and pair with Apple devices using the H1 chip so you get all the AirPods features like "Hey, Siri" support, iCloud sync, audio sharing, and more. They're currently available for the price of around $200, and we think it's the best set of workout earphones you can buy right now.

Beats Fit Pro case

Beats Fit Pro

Best Earphones for Workout

Beats Fit Pro is the best wireless earbuds you can get if you're looking for a workout-dedicated pair of earphones. They're currently available for the price of ~$200. Check out the deals down below!

The Best Budget Earphones for Apple Ecosystem: AirPods 2nd Gen

Now we know this is gonna raise some eyebrows, and it's okay too. If you've searched a bit about earphones, you'll probably ask why we are recommending you to buy four-years-old looking Apple AirPods in 2021? Well, the question is right but we do have something to defend here. AirPods 2nd gen is currently available for the price of around $100. And in this price range, you're getting some of the features that are exclusive to the Apple ecosystem that you will not be able to enjoy with other earphones.

These exclusive features include "Hey, Siri" support, iCloud sync, audio sharing, and more, which are available thanks to the H1 chip here. If you're invested in the Cupertino ecosystem, you'll enjoy features like auto-switching between your Mac, iPhone, iPad, and even Apple Watch. You get the best call quality earphones in this price range, and the simplest pairing process as well. For $100, these are still the earphones to beat due to their exclusive features and tight integration with Apple devices.

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen

Best Budget Earphones for Apple Ecosystem

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen is also available at an attractive price of around $100 this holiday season. Check out the deal using the link given below.

The Best Budget Earphones: Jabra Elite 3

jabra elite 3 Source: Jabra

Jabra is a brand that has quickly made its name in the audio market. They've made some of the headphones that we absolutely love and with Elite 3, they've expanded their audio portfolio to almost all the price ranges. And if you're on a tight budget and looking for a pair of earphones that won't burn a hole in your pocketnow, Jabra Elite 3 are the true wireless earbuds to get.

For the price of ~$80, this set of earphones features IP55 dust and water resistance — something that other earphones in this price range lack. They feature support for Google fast pair, Amazon Alexa voice assistant, and Spotify Tap playback. They have 6mm drivers for excellent audio quality and silicone ear tips for a comfortable fit. Even though they don't feature ANC, they feature "Intelligent" noise control through Jabra's HearThrough technology. They have 4 microphones for satisfactory quality calls as well. We think that for $80, Jabra Elite 3 are the earphones to get. Check out all the deals available on these using the links given below!

Jabra-Elite-3

Jabra Elite 3

Best Budget Earphones

If you're tight on budget and are looking for a pair of earphones with a decent amount of features, we'll recommend you to pick up Jabra Elite 3. They're currently available for the price of ~$80. Check out the deals down below!

The Best Cheap Earphones: Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds

skullcandy dime true wireless Source: Skullcandy

Skullcandy doesn't use to be what it was a few years ago. However, they still make some of the best cheap earphones available today. If you're in for a set of affordable earphones this holiday season, we recommend you to get Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds. They feature a very small and comfortable design. They're easily pocketable and, with the case, they're as small as your car's key.

They feature IPX4 sweat and water resistance, so you don't need to worry about spilling some water on them. Despite themselves being small and featuring the small case, they boast 12 hours of playback time. The call quality of these earphones is decent too. For the price of $22, these are the best affordable earphones to get this holiday season. Check out the deals down below!

skullcandy dime tws

Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds

Best Cheap Earphones

For $25, Skullcandy Dime True Wireless Earbuds feature the best audio quality of any earphones available in this price range. They're are the best cheap earphones we recommend. Check out the deals on the device using the link given below.

Headphones

The Best Overall: Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony WH-1000XM4

Sony, again, takes the award for the best overall headphones experience with the Sony WH-1000XM4. Unveiled last year, they're still the headphones to best. They are one of the best sounding over-the-ear headphones with a 40mm driver Liquid Crystal Polymer diaphragm. Plus, they're not short on features as well. They have one of the best-in-class Active Noise Cancellation — perfect for flights, bus, train, office work, and pretty much everything. They have adaptive sound control as well that sets the ANC according to your environment.

They feature up to 40 hours of playback time and have fast charging that gives 5 hours of playback with just 5 minutes of charging. They support Amazon Alexa so you can simply ask your headphones to play a song that you want to listen to without even touching your phone. It features a skin sensor so it automatically knows when you wear them to play or pause the music. It comes with an outstanding quality case and can be paired with your smartphone using an app. For a price of ~$250, Sony WH-1000XM4 is one of the best audio purchases you can do this holiday season.

Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones

Sony WH-1000XM4

The Best Overall

Sony WH-1000XM4 is overall the best earphones to get this holiday season. They feature excellent audio quality, active noise cancellation, playback time, and much more. Check out all the deals available on these headphones down below!

The Best Affordable Headphones: Beats Solo3

beats solo3 solo 3 Source: Beats

Beats Solo3 is the best affordable headphone to get this holiday season. They don't burn a hole in your pocket and for the price, it is available at, it's one of the best you can buy. Thye feature Apple's W1 chip so if you're in the Apple ecosystem, you can enjoy features like "Hey, Siri" support, iCloud sync, audio sharing, and much more. They feature up to 40 hours of playback time and also feature fast charging that boasts 3 hours of playback time on 5 minutes of charging. They have one of the best comfort-cushioned ear cups that don't stress your ears too much. For the price of around $150, Beats Solo3 is the budget headphones to get this holiday season.

Beats Solo3

The Best Affordable

Beats Solo3 is one of the best affordable headphones to get this holiday season. Check out all the deals available on the pair of headphones using the links given below!

The Best Sound Experience: Apple AirPods Max

AirPods Max

Now we know, we know, this recommendation is again going to raise some of the eyebrows. But, barring the hefty price tag that these headphones come with, Apple's AirPods Max is the best sound quality headphones available out there. We know it lacks some of the features like the ability to play music via a 3.5mm headphone jack — something that over-the-ear headphones should offer — but the quality of any music you throw at it 'stupidly' amazing. The instrument separation annd the rumble this pair of headphones from Apple produce is amazing.

The ambient mode feels as if you're wearing nothing, and when you feel like, you can separate yourself from the rest of the world with best-in-class Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The design is premium too, with a knit-mesh canopy and memory foam ear cushions, and stainless steel frame. It features Apple's H1 chip for iCloud sync, automatic switching, and "Hey, Siri." If you're looking for a pair of headphones that sound great, grab Apple's AirPods Max this holiday season.

Apple AirPods Max

The Best Sound Experience

Apple AirPods Max is still the best sounding earphones available out there. Check all the deals available on the over-the-ear headphones from Apple down below!

Honourable Mentions: Jabra Elite 85h, Bose QuietComfort 45

Jabra Elite 85h product box image

Jabra Elite 85h

Jabra Elite 85h is another over-the-ear headphone option for you to consider this holiday season. It features 36 hours of battery life with ANC, 8 built-in microphones for clear voice calls, SmartSound noise cancellation, and they're the only headphones with water resistance. Check out the deal using the link given below!

Bose QuietComfort 45 Bluetooth Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones product box image

Bose QuietComfort 45

Bose QuietComfort 45 is another fantastic sounding headphone you can consider buying this holiday season. It features High-fidelity audio with Volume-optimized Active EQ, USB-C port for fast charging, synthetic leather and impact-resistant cushions, and much more. Check out the deals on Bose QuietComfort 45 using the links given below!

Smartwatches

The Best Smartwatch: Apple Watch Series 7

Even if it doesn't come with the expected redesign, Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch for iPhone users. Not only does it gain from the tight integration with Apple devices, but it genuinely offers some features that other smartwatches don't support with iOS. It features the overall same frame as the Apple Watch Series 6, but it benefits from the bigger displays and smaller bezels.

In addition to featuring a bigger display, the display panel is crack resistant as well. Other than that, the Apple Watch Series 7 features IP6X dust resistance, a SpO2 blood oxygen sensor, and an ECG sensor that detects irregular, high, and low heart rates. Other features include Apple Pay integration, the Mindfulness app, sleep tracking, syncing with iPhone, fall detection, fast charging, and much more. If you're in the Apple ecosystem and looking for a smartwatch this holiday season, Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch to buy. Check out the deals on the smartwatch using the links given below!

Apple Watch Series 7 product box

Apple Watch Series 7

The Best for Apple Ecosystem

Apple Watch Series 7 comes with a bigger display in the same form factor as the previous Apple Watch models. It features an always-on display, IP6X dust resistance, ECG measurement, sleep tracking, and much more. Check out the deal on Apple Watch Series 6 using the links given below!

The Best Budget Apple Watch: Apple Watch SE

Apple Watch SE screenshot from video presentation Time Flies event

If you're on a tight budget and looking to grab an Apple Watch, Apple Watch SE is the way to go. For nearly $200 less than the Series 7, the Apple Watch SE features the same integration with iOS as its price siblings. The Apple Watch SE features sleep tracking, workout tracking, fall detection, and Retina display. In addition, it also features the same irregular, high, and low heart rates detection system as the Series 7 despite having no dedicated ECG app. For the price of around $200, Apple Watch SE is the smartwatch to get for Apple users.

Apple Watch SE

The Best Budget Apple Watch

If you're on a tight budget and you're looking for a smartwatch to pair with your iPhone, we would recommend you to get an Apple Watch SE. Check out all the deals available on the device using the links given below!

The Best Android Smartwatch: Galaxy Watch 4

Galaxy watch 4 color options

With the Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung has regained the position of the best smartwatch for Android users. Not only does it come at a lower price than its Apple counterpart, but it's also better on some fronts as well. The new Wear OS made by Samsung and Google is the best operating system for Android-compatible smartwatches. It's deeply integrated with Google's Android OS and is pretty much faster and battery efficient now.

And it's not only about the Wear OS, the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 comes with a slew of features as well. It features sleep tracking, SpO2 blood and oxygen monitoring, ECG heart measurement, and a body composition scale that helps the get factors like skeletal muscle, fat mass, BMI, body water levels, basal metabolic rates, just from their wrist. If you're looking for a smartwatch for your Android smartphone this holiday season, we would recommend you to get the Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Galaxy Watch 4 is the device to pick if you're looking for a fitness-centric smartwatch that doesn't hurt your wallet. For a price of around $230, its assortment of features and assurance of quality make it worth buying.

The Best for Fitness: Fitbit Sense, Garmin Venu

fitbit sense

Fitbit Sense

Fitbit Sense is a superb choice for fitness smartwatches lurkers. It features heart rate tracking, 6 days battery life, on-wrist skin temperature sensor, support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, built-in GPS, and much more. Check out all the deals using the link given below!

Garmin Venu

Garmin Venu features AMOLED display, 5-day battery life, support for offline music playing, health monitoring features, 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps, and much more. Check out all the deals using the link given below!

Honourable Mentions: Fitbit Versa 3, Amazfit GTR 3

Fitbit Versa 3

Fitbit Versa 3 features built-in GPS for your to track your runs, voice calls support, SpO2 blood oxygen tracker, support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, and much more. Check out all the deals using the link given below!

Amazfit GTR3

Amazfit GTR 3

Amazfit GTR 3 features a circular design, a big and bright display that also ensures good battery life, plenty of health tracking options, customizable watch faces, 150+ built-in sports modes, 5 ATM water resistance and much more. Check out all the deals using the link given below!

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