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The Best Gifts Between $250-$500 to Give This Holiday Season

5 minute read

It’s the holiday season, you’re on the hunt for something that’ll really wow your partner, parent or other loved one, and you’ve got some budget to play with. But what to get? These are our favorite gift options between $250-$500 this year, from a killer pair of headphones to Nintendo’s best video game console in years.

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

Nintendo’s versatile Switch console has a variety of games to choose from, ranging from quirky party starters to serious first-person shooters. And the pair of detachable Joy-Con controllers makes multiplayer games easy to jump into. ($300, Amazon) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Sonos Beam

Sonos Beam

Getting a new TV for your home theater setup is great, but let’s face it: Even some of today’s most visually-impressive television sets still have just-OK sound quality at best. The Sonos Beam soundbar will give your movies, TV shows and video games a serious audio boost, making it seem like you’re in the middle of a theater. And it’s got Alexa built right in, so you can even ask it to turn your TV on and off for you, no remote control needed. ($400, Amazon) — Alex Fitzpatrick

Hopsy Beer Dispenser

Instead of getting your buddy some stodgy bottle of wine, surprise them with a subscription to Hopsy’s beer delivery service. You can choose from selection of brews to use with its compact, countertop beer dispenser machine that both chills your beer and keeps it fresh for weeks. ($239, Hopsy) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Life in Jeneral

Life in Jeneral
Jess Koehler


The ideal gift for anyone living in chaos, California-based home organization company Life in Jeneral offers services for every level of need. Hire the team to overhaul an entire home or office from top to bottom, or work through solutions for smaller problem areas. For in-person clients, the team will help purge all your clutter, create a new organization plan and install each item into its new place using their favorite products. Virtual clients receive a personalized step-by-step plan, with the pros on standby to talk through any trouble spots. After the work is done, they’ll keep in touch and help with any adjustments that need to be made over time. (Starts at $185 per hour for in-person or $399 for virtual, Life in Jeneral) — Lucy Feldman

Master & Dynamic MW07

Master Dynamic MW07

Truly wireless earbuds often sacrifice audio quality for portability. Master & Dynamic’s MW07 provides both, and does it with a design that’s both stylish and functional. ($300, Amazon) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Patagonia Down Sweater Hoody

Patagonia Sweater Hoody

Life in winter-prone places can be a constant quest for the perfect jacket. Ideally, you want something that’s warm but not overly bulky, and stylish to boot. I’ve found exactly that in Patagonia’s Down Sweater Hoody, a classic that took me far too long to embrace. Yes, everybody and their dog has this jacket. But there’s a reason for that: It’s excellent, and a great choice for pretty much anyone. ($279, Patagonia) — Alex Fitzpatrick

PlayStation VR

Playstation VR

Sony’s virtual reality headset is one of the most value-packed VR options around, and uses a PlayStation 4 rather than an expensive gaming PC to deliver an immersive entertainment experience. ($272, Amazon) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Eero Home Wifi

Eero Home Wifi

You can give the gift of better internet using Eero’s Home Wifi mesh network routers. Instead of depending on a single router, Eero uses multiple, smaller routers to expand coverage and alleviate dead zones throughout a home. ($363, Amazon) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Wüsthof Classic Ikon knife set

Wüsthof Knife

There comes a time in every up-and-coming home cook’s life when they realize what they really need is a great set of knives. You can’t go wrong with this offering from Wüsthof, one of the best brands in cutlery. From a classic paring knife to an eight-inch bread knife, everything you’ll ever need to cut with is right here. ($400, Amazon) — Alex Fitzpatrick

Artiphon Instrument 1

The novel MIDI controller and digital instrument lets users become a one-man band, simulating a variety of instruments and boasting compatibility with a slew of music-making apps. ($400, Amazon) — Patrick Lucas Austin

Microsoft Surface Headphones

Microsoft Surface Headphones

Microsoft’s new Surface headphones are feature-rich, look great, and include noise-cancelling that lets users tune out varying levels of sound by turning a dial. — ($350, Amazon) Patrick Lucas Austin

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple Watch

Apple’s latest Apple Watch feels like what the company set out to make in the first place: A great smartwatch, fitness tracker and health monitor all rolled into one well-designed package. With a faster processor and new features — including a new sensor that can check your heart rhythm for signs of irregularities — it’s the best smartwatch on the market. ($400, Amazon) — Alex Fitzpatrick

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Write to Patrick Lucas Austin at patrick.austin@time.com and Lucy Feldman at lucy.feldman@time.com