2020 may have been a year quite like no other, but Christmas remains a time of celebration. According to a study by Nectar, the UK will spend a total of nearly £2.8 BILLION on Christmas stocking fillers this year. Chris Price picks six of the best products to buy for a friend, a loved one or even yourself for around for under £30….
Want to catch up on your sleep over the Christmas period, but neighbours arguing over a burnt Turkey or the noise of a partner snoring keeping you awake? Then these two earplug designs from Loop may be just the ticket for you – or your partner. Named by The New York Times as the best earplug of 2020, Loop combines market-leading technology with high-end fashion, all within a ring-shaped design that fits snugly within the ear. Designed from soft, flexible silicone, the Loop Quiet is ideal for deep sleep offering 30dB of peace and quiet. While the Loop Experience is designed for those who don’t want to block out the world completely – such as students, musicians, workmen and motorcyclists – but who want to soften high-end noise. Both products are washable and reusable, making them far more sustainable than the traditional soft foam products of the past. Each product comes with six sets of ear tips and a leather carry case.
Price: £14 (Quiet), £23 (Experience). Available here.
JLab GO Air earbuds
Offering over twenty hours of playtime, these lightweight buds deliver clean, crisp, audio. Featuring dual microphones, the earbuds can be used individually while the other remains in the charging case. Each earbud will hold up to five hours of battery life with the case providing an extra 15 extra hours. Users can play, pause, change tracks, and adjust volume by pushing or holding the outside buttons. Also on board are three Custom EQ settings – Signature, Balanced, and Bass Boost – so that you can get the sound that suits the music best. The built-in microphones allow for phone calls to be answered and hung up, as well as activating voice assistants such as Siri or Google Assistant. Available in black, white and blue (pictured above), the JLab GO Airs provide IP44 sweat resistance.
Price: £29.99. Available here.
Puro Basic kids headphones
Over time, listening to music that’s too loud can damage your eardrums and can even lead to noise-induced hearing loss. Unlike most headphones, these models are designed specifically for children and limited to 85dB to protect their hearing. A wired design, they can be used with an iPad, iPhone or Android device – in fact any device with a 3.5mm audio connector. They’re pretty comfy too, featuring fake leather ear cups and a padded headband, along with a lightweight plastic frame which is flexible and can be adjusted to fit. Considering the bargain price tag, they sound pretty good too. They’re available in bright blue, bright pink and the bright green models pictured above.
Price: £19.99. Available here.
EZVIZ C1C Indoor Wireless Security Camera
Want to keep a lookout for Santa coming down the chimney this Xmas? Rated as the best cheap security camera of 2020 by T3 magazine, the Ezviz C1C has a magnetic base for super easy installation. Features include night vision, two-way talk for instant communications and 130-degree viewing angle. Capable of 1080p HD resolution, the versatile indoor camera can even be used with the Alexa voice assistant.
Price: £29.99. Available here
TCP Smart Wi-fi Bulb
What do you buy the person who has everything? How about a smart light bulb. Unlike some smart bulbs which require the installation of a hub or bridge to connect to the internet, the TCP Smart Wi-Fi Bulb connects directly to your home wi-fi. All that’s required is a smartphone loaded with the free TCP-Smart App for communication with the device to begin. The TCP Smart Wi-Fi Bulb allows you total control, using voice control for spur-of-the-moment lighting changes – via Alexa or Google Assistant – as well as your chosen schedule of set times and daily routines such as morning wake ups and cosy evenings.
Price: £12.99 – available here
Fourfit Mini 2
Of course, you could spend a small fortune on a fitness tracker but these are pretty good for the money. Plus they will help get kids moving which has to be a good thing, especially right now. Available in five different colours (see pic above), the tracker lets you reward children for being active and set health goals. On board is a big OLED screen which displays features such as number of steps taken, calories consumed and heart rate. It even enables your little one to track their sleep patterns as well as lung health by measuring bloody oxygen saturation levels. A vibration smart alarm also helps get them out of bed on a morning!
Price: £24.99 – available here