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50 Best Gifts for Boyfriends 2020


No matter if your relationship is brand new or years old, it’s high time you showed your boyfriend how gift-giving is done. That means putting in a little thought before you hit Valentine’s Day, a first anniversary, a tenth anniversary, a birthday, or any other gift-giving occasion. If you do, you’ll surprise him with something so cool and so interesting that he’ll know that from here on out, he needs to get on your level with a truly spectacular gift in return. Now, we know that legitimately good gifts for men aren’t always easy to hunt down, so we rounded up enough to let you pick the best one to fit your boyfriend’s vibe. He’ll dig it. Scout’s honor.

BT One Wireless Headphones

With these Bluetooth headphones, the sound quality is great, the design is modern without being too techy, and the price is truly unbeatable. Good for him, good for you. 

E-Lighter

Green Jay
urbanoutfitters.com

$17.00

No matter what he’s lighting up, this electronic lighter is more dependable come wind and more sustainable for the earth than your standard Bic.

Riviera Swim Trunks

Bonobos
bonobos.com

$58.00

So that he’s prepped for the beach as soon as we shake off winter.

Tech Pouch

Peak Design
huckberry.com

$60.00

If his nightstand, dresser, and desk are buried under a tangle of miscellaneous cords and chargers and portable batteries, get him this carrying case to straighten it all up. It’s a huge help on trips, too.

My Hydro Custom Water Bottle

Hydro Flask
hydroflask.com

$34.00

Get a little creative and design him his own Hydro Flask water bottle—the size, the colors, the lid. And because it’s Hydro Flask, you’ll know the water bottle is a verified tank.

uKeg Nitro Cold Brew Maker

GrowlerWerks
bespokepost.com

$199.00

This gadget turns any old coffee into at-home nitro cold brew by infusing it with micro-bubbles. For coffee snobs and hipsters alike. 

The Corduroy Shirt

Everlane
everlane.com

$68.00

He’ll look smart (but not too fussy) for your next date or dinner with your parents in this Everlane corduroy button-up. If you don’t love this green color, it also comes in navy and slate. 

Masterclass All-Access Pass

If he’s hungry to pick up new skills, get him a year-long pass to Masterclass, where he’ll learn from the literal best via online courses. Helen Mirren teaches an acting class, Aaron Sorkin teaches a screenwriting class, Steph Curry teaches basketball, and more.

Torrentshell Anorak Jacket

Patagonia makes a good rain jacket. In fact, one of the best rain jackets. It looks cool, too.

For the Beer Drinker

Craft Beer Club Subscription

The Craft Beer Club
craftbeerclub.com

$42.00

For the beer snob, hook him up with monthly shipments of intriguing craft brews from every corner of the country.

For the Vinyl Collector

Vinyl Monthly Subscription

Remember burning CDs for your high school crush? Same idea here. A Vinyl Moon subscription will set them up with a new vinyl featuring songs from 10 artists every month, plus original art on the jacket, to keep their record collection cool.

MORE: The Greatest Gift Ideas for Every Music Lover

Wool Runner-up Mizzles

Allbirds
allbirds.com

$135.00

Allbirds are made with responsibly source, sustainable materials. They’re damn comfortable, too. This will be a pair of easy-wearing shoes your boyfriend will book miles in.

Airsnap AirPod Case

Twelve South
nordstrom.com

$34.99

The wireless AirPods charging case is nice and all, but it doesn’t give you a lot of options for carting it around. This case for an Airpods case attaches to a backpack or belt loop for safekeeping.

3-Pack Microfiber Boxer Briefs

Calvin Klein
nordstrom.com

$44.50

You can’t beat Calvins. This three-pack gives him a few days’ worth in classic black.

For the Retro Gamer

Playstation Classic Console

Throw it back to 1994—his best gaming year—with the PlayStation Classic console. It comes with classic titles like Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil.

Travel Garment Steamer

Lemontec
amazon.com

$17.99

It won’t matter that he leaves his clothes rumpled on the floor if you get him a handheld steamer. Sometimes, practical gifts make the most impact.

For the Weekend Traveler

Novel Duffel Bag

Herschel Supply Co.
nordstrom.com

$76.94

For when he’s hitting the gym, going on business trips, or packing for that weekend getaway you just planned together. 

For the Hot Sleeper

Bear Cooling Pillow

Bear
bearmattress.com

$95.00

Give the gift of sweat-free sleep. Bear’s pillow is comfortable and self-cooling. 

Stitch Fix Style Box Subscription

stitchfix.com

Prices vary

If your guy’s not the best shopper for himself, hook him up with a Stitch Fix stylist who will send him options every month. The ones he likes, he (or you) can pay to keep.

Champion Reverse Weave Sweatshirt


urbanoutfitters.com

$60.00

We can’t emphasize enough how good this Champion hoodie is. Warm, heavy, and classically cool, it’ll make its way into his regular outfit rotation immediately. 

For the Reader

‘Exhalation: Stories’

This new collection of sci-fi stories—one of our and Barack Obama’s favorite books of 2019—will change the way your boyfriend thinks about humanity and its place in the universe. Which might be a good thing.

Bespoke Post Subscription Box + Gift Card

bespokepost.com

Prices vary 

If you don’t know what in the hell to buy your boyfriend, then Bespoke Post gives you an assist. Sign him up or get him a gift card, or both, and every month, he’ll receive a box full of themed gifts. That’s minimal effort for you and gifts on gifts for him.

For the Very Stylish Dresser

Marlin Watch

Timex
toddsnyder.com

$199.00

This is a true classic. Originally made in the ’60s and reissued for today, it makes a handsome accessory for any boyfriend with elevated style.

For the Metalhead

Blackened American Whiskey

Sweet Amber Distilling Co.
reservebar.com

$42.00

Metallica (yes, that Metallica) made its Blackened whiskey flavorful by playing its own music through subwoofers to it (yes, you read that right). A whiskey serenaded by “Enter Sandman”—that’s cool.

Backpack Cornhole Game

Outside Inside
rei.com

$29.95

Fact: Cornhole is the Midwest’s greatest gift to America. This set is little, so he can bring it along to tailgates, barbecues, camp outs, and more.

For the Guy Who Likes Gadgets

Aller 380 Folding Knife

Benchmade
amazon.com

$124.00

Not only is this a knife, but it’s also a money clip, a bottle opener, and a screwdriver, all held together by a friction lock. He’ll carry it with him every day.

Rx Jump Rope

Rx Smart Gear
amazon.com

$47.00

Jumping rope is the simplest—and one of the most intense—of workouts, combining cardio with heavy footwork. Rx makes a rope that’ll get him into the headspace of a boxer in training. 

For the Whiskey Drinker

Bourbon Bitters Bundle

WoodfordReserve
amazon.com

$39.99

Woodford makes excellent bourbon, so you can trust it makes excellent bourbon barrel aged bitters. These’ll go well in his homemade cocktails.

Luminous Basketball

It’s a commonly acknowledged fact that anything shiny is better than anything non-shiny. Exhibit A: This Wilson basketball, with bands of iridescent material that reflect the whole light spectrum.

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’

Nintendo
amazon.com

$59.88

The best party game around is…still the best party game around. Smash Bros. is timeless. Break this one out every time you and your boyfriend feel the need to do battle.

MiniLab MkII 25 Slim-Key Controller

Arturia
amazon.com

$109.00

If he’s interested in getting into music production or just laying down some beats, this is the keyboard that’ll teach him to do it. And you won’t even mind listening to his experimentations, because you’re a good partner. 

SM-TA48BA Stainless Steel Mug

Zojirushi
amazon.com

$28.34

Sometimes the simplest gift is the most life-changing. Like this mug, which doesn’t spill, is easy to keep clean, and most importantly, keeps coffee piping hot for hours. Hours.

NASA Electro Landscape Tee

urbanoutfitters.com

$34.00

A graphic tee is timeless; so is space travel. NASA gear works for scientists and hypebeasts alike. 

Best Gift for All Boyfriends

Powerbeats Pro Totally Wireless Earphones

Beats
amazon.com


$249.95

$199.95 (20% off)

These totally wireless buds are perfect for active guys, with hands-free control of calls, music, and more, plus noise reduction. 

Gazelle Sneakers

Every guy needs a pair of Adidas sneakers, and Gazelle’s in his favorite color will never not be a low-cost style flex.

For the Bike Commuter

Heritage Bike Helmet

Keep him safe (and looking good) while he bikes, scooters, or boards around the city.

Esquire Sprezza Subscription Box

SprezzaBox
sprezzabox.com

$28.00

If you can’t pick one thing for your boyfriend, let us pick a bunch of things for your boyfriend. This Esquire subscription box packed with style finds will do just that.

For the Vape King

Starry V3 Vape

X-Max
vaporizerchief.com

$99.95

In our opinion, this is one of the best weed vapes you can get under a hundred bucks. 

For the Cocktail Maker

‘Tiki: Modern Tropical Cocktails’

By Shannon Mustipher
amazon.com

For the rum-loving boyfriend or the boyfriend who knows his way around a bar cart, get Tiki, a gorgeous new cocktail book that’ll teach him all the ways of tiki drinks in the modern era.

For the Audiophile

Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Marshall
amazon.com


$249.99

$176.89 (29% off)

UA Tech 1/2 Zip

Under Armour
underarmour.com

$40.00

If his wardrobe trends toward sporty, give it a boost with Under Armour’s half-zip. He’ll be wearing this thing everywhere.

Kuchoma Grill

Primus
amazon.com

$142.46

Your boyfriend can flip burgers for all his houseguests with Primus’s portable outdoor grill, which comes with a special, super-convenient nonstick grill grate. 

‘Lord of the Rings’ Book Set

Juniper Books
amazon.com

$124.99

Diving back into this beloved trilogy is made all the better by Juniper’s custom jacket art. Included is a fold-out map of Middle Earth. 

For the Camper

NanoLoft Puffy Blanket

If he’s an outdoor adventurer, a camping blanket like Rumpl’s is a great gift: It’s lightweight and it packs up small, but it holds in heat crazy well. 

For the Healthy (Sorta) Eater

Air Fryer

GoWISE USA
amazon.com

$64.86

An air fryer fries food, but in a healthy(ish) way. It works for chips, fries, meat, and more, using very little or no oil in the process. 

For the Aspiring Rock Star

Player Stratocaster Electric Guitar

Fender
guitarcenter.com

$699.99

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Whether he’s an experienced guitarist or just getting started, he’ll feel like a rockstar whenever he plugs this Strat in.

Polo Bear Cotton Chino Cap

Polo Ralph Lauren
saksfifthavenue.com

$59.50

Dad hats are the best hats. This cap has that iconic Polo bear and looks great with pretty much any outfit, preppy or otherwise.

CBD Focus Vape Pen

Select CBD
selectcbd.com

$40.00

CBD is all the rage these days. This particular CBD oil is designed to help focus; other oils from Select are intended to relax or revive. He’ll enjoy the medicinal effects (according to anecdotal evidence) with a disposable pen full of oil. 



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FPM Aluminum Rolling Suitcase Review


Modern travel is an incredible privilege. It’s also an incredible pain in the ass. Most of the elements that make it so painful—big lines, small seats, interminable delays—you can’t do a damn thing about. But there are a couple crucial elements you can control, namely how you look and feel. With FPM’s roller, you’ll the best-equipped guy stranded on the tarmac, with a bag full of cleverly packed essentials that’ll make the whole trip that much easier.

This article appears in the November issue of Esquire. Subscribe here.

Eric Ray Davidson

About that bag: It’s the foundation of your whole travel vibe. It should work well, but it should al- so look great. And a little luxury goes a long way, too. FPM is a 73-year-old premium luggage brand that fuses two of Italy’s greatest strengths— modern industrial design and artisanal chutzpah. Its heart and soul is its Bank collection, made from corrugated aluminum held together with hundreds of steel rivets. The robust design looks impregnable (hence the name), but there’s serious luxury in the pains- taking assembly, most of it by hand and finished with touches, like the handles, that nod to FPM’s leather-making roots.


Bank Spinner 55 suitcase

FPM
farfetch.com

$1,189.00



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The 60 Best Gifts That'll Impress Any Guy


Men are tough to shop for. But these ideas are fail-proof.



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John Elliott Black Friday Deals


To celebrate the start of what we here at Esquire call Shoppin’ Season, L.A.-based designer John Elliott is taking 30% off both full-price and sale items. It’s a good deal! But it’s not the only way the designer is embracing the occasion. Instead of just a sale, he’s also releasing an exclusive capsule collection starting on November 27, with drops running until November 30. The extra-cool thing? All those new and exciting pieces are also part of the sale. Bonus.

University Tee – Haze

John Elliott
johnelliott.com

$98.00

Speaking of those new items, they’re not new-new, in that they aren’t silhouettes or styles we’ve never seen from the brand before. Instead, Elliott is taking some of his best sellers—from classics like the Hooded Villain sweatshirt and Escobar sweatpants to more recent fan-favorites like the luxed-up mesh Practice Shorts—and rendering them in new colorways and fabrics. It’s kind of like a greatest hits record, if the hits all happened to get a remix.

Practice Shorts – Midnight Bloom

John Elliott
johnelliott.com

$198.00

The first daily drop just hit, and it includes the Practice Shorts in some floral and leafy iterations, plus a slew of tees—in both long- and short-sleeve varietals—in washed-out colors like “pebble” and “haze.” That’s just the beginning, though. Over the next few days, Elliott is releasing a couple new colorways of the brand’s belted, cozy Himalayan pants, some herringbone cargo pants, more shorts (this time in corduroy, which is just exceptionally cool), and even more sweatshirts and sweatpants.

image

The Beach Hoodie in gauze terry will be available on 11/28 for $448.

Courtesy

The items run from $98 for the tees up to $448 for a Beach Hoodie in a gauze terry fabric that looks unlike pretty much any other sweatshirt you’ve ever seen (in a good way). Also, remember that discount! It’s Shoppin’ Season, and John Elliott just wants you to take full advantage.

image

The Corduroy Game Shorts in gold will be available on 11/29 for $198.

Courtesy



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Pokémon in New Sword and Shield Game Look Like Humans


Courtesy

I haven’t played a main series Pokémon game since Red and Blue. My parents refused to get me Gold and Silver, so, as an act of rebellion, I never played the series again. I showed them!! But, now that I’m a grown person with a child’s brain, I’ve decided to invest my time, once again, into playing Pokémon. I picked up Shield, and from the very start I was bewildered by the sheer volume of new Pokémon who have manifested over the past two decades.

There are snail Pokémon. There are ice cream Pokémon. There’s a Pokémon that’s literally made of garbage. I met a Pokémon yesterday who looked like a floating orb of semen. There are so many goddamn Pokémon now. Gone are the days when I could recite the name and evolution of every one of them from memory. I’m convinced there are more Pokémon in the games now than there are people playing them.

While many of these new critters are full of personality and quirk, I’ve run into a bunch of Pokémon in Sword and Shield who are obviously just human people in varying levels of disguise. Long have I wondered if Mr. Mime was just a dude who realized he could live rent-free inside Pokéballs. Now, after taking a look at the official Pokédex on Pokémon.com, I’ve found almost a dozen dudes who are, without a doubt, up to the same scam. These Pokémon are actually Pokémen. They’ve tricked us all.

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Throh

This guy was the first Pokémon I ran into in my playthrough of Shield who made me realize that there are full-ass men pretending that they’re Pokémon. He’s wearing clothes. This is obviously a businessman named Carl who takes off on Wednesday to physically fight animals with his bare hands. Apparently he has a counterpart named Sawk who is also a grown man wearing a karate uniform.

Slaking

Look at him. He’s lounging. He’s wearing a big fuzzy gorilla suit. This guy’s found the perfect con—he dresses as an ape and just lays around all day being “trained” by Pokémon enthusiasts. Free food. Free airfare all over the world. Lazy asshole.

Mr. Mime

He has “Mr.” in his name. In Sword and Shield, he’s called “Mr. Rime” and he looks like Charlie Chaplin. Come on.

Conkeldurr

Is this a big angry monster with a red nose who carries two super-powerful rocks to beat down his opponents? Or is this a man with a gray goatee and an anger problem?

Golurk

It would be very easy to pretend that you’re a Pokémon if you had a gigantic mech suit to conceal your identity. Someone with a mid-life crisis looking for a drastic change and an escape from reality could easily end up inside a suit like this, facing off against gigantic monsters with metal fists.

Jinx

What the hell is Jinx’s deal? This Pokémon has been around for decades now, and we’ve all just accepted that it’s a human wearing lipstick and a flowing red dress. How could this be an organic creation of nature? Born with long blonde hair and a tailored red dress? I can’t even begin to fathom the evolutionary disadvantages of a carapace like that. Maybe in the world of Pokémon, Darwin was wrong.

Bisharp

Yes, clearly this person wearing a gladiator helmet and huge red pants is a creature from nature and not a human man or woman. Makes sense.

Buzzwole

Jacked man in a bug suit. Bodybuilding got too easy so he decided to fight animals.

Blaziken

Look at this real human person in a kinky catsuit. You’re not fooling me. What’s going on with the bulge in the genital region? In my day, Pokémon were colorful turtles and big lizards with flowers growing all over them. This is unacceptable!

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Anthony Bourdain’s Tom Ford Emmys Tux Is Up for iGavel Auction


Anthony Bourdain walked the red carpet at the 2016 Creative Arts Emmys looking like a million bucks in a black Tom Ford tux. That night, he and the producers of Parts Unknown got the win for “Outstanding Informational Series.” He took the stage, beaming, to thank his crew. “We try to outdo ourselves every week,” he said. “I’m so proud of the show and the people I work with.” And then he and his tux walked off stage, Emmy trophy in hand.

“Ah yeah, the tuxedo. He loved that jacket,” Bourdain’s friend and renowned chef José Andrés told me a couple weeks back at the Culinary Institute of America’s dedication of a hall on its main campus in Bourdain’s name. The third of their famed chef-friend trio, Eric Ripert, sitting next to Andrés at the table after the dedication ceremony, gestured at his own outfit and told us, “Actually, today I have a black [jacket] because of him. He always made fun of me, and he’d say, ‘You look ridiculous with your blue suits.’ He said, ‘You have to have a Tom Ford suit.’ And I was like, ‘Tom Ford is too expensive.’ And he was like, ‘You’re so cheap.'”

The Tom Ford jacket and slacks, as seen in the auction.

iGavel Auctions

Tom Ford and his expertly crafted tailoring are, for many men, the epitome of modern luxury. And yes, they generally run you up into the multiple thousands. But Bourdain’s particular Tom Ford tuxedo jacket and trousers are currently $1,450—they’re part of an auction of items from Bourdain’s personal collection that varies from a one-of-a-kind chef’s knife made for Bourdain from meteorite steel, to a bone-crushing duck press he gleefully bought in Paris while filming The Layover, to furniture and art and early manuscripts. Proceeds from the auction, which closes today, will go to Bourdain’s daughter and estranged wife, as well as a scholarship named after him at the Culinary Institute of America.

There are other tuxes and jackets and pants made by Tom Ford from Bourdain’s collection up for auction, as well; he was committed to the look. And though his everyday style was often casual, best suited for hard travel, that didn’t mean he was negligent about it. Ripert remembers how Bourdain wouldn’t let anyone touch his hair, how he dressed carefully and hated to get wet. From his Clarks desert boots to his shades, he most often exhibited cultured roughness.

But that Tom Ford tux—for Bourdain, Ripert said, that was “like the sign of ultimate elegance.” And damn, did he wear it well.



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Nintendo’s ‘Ring Fit Adventure’ Workout Game Goes on Sale Today


Exercising sucks. You’d much rather just sit on the couch and play your action RPGs in peace. Well, too bad, it’s time to get your ass up and get on Ring Fit Adventure with me. I need it, maybe you need it, either way, we’re gonna burn those calories and have a damn hoot and holler while we do.

Nintendo’s shockingly good Ring Fit Adventure fitness video game launches today for $79.96, including both the game and one of Nintendo’s signature peripherals, the new Ring-Con. Gone are the days of the Wiimotes and Wii Wheel; now everything’s a “con” to Nintendo. Anyway. This game is legitimately fun, and it gets the blood pumping. The Ring-Con has a surprising amount of resistance, making flexing it a workout on its own. The game also utilizes a Joy-Con strapped on your thigh for balancing, posing, jogging in place, and more. While motion controls have always been a hit or miss for gaming, Ring Fit Adventure actually accurately reads what you’re doing. Yep, that means no more Wii Sports frustrations, where you’re screaming “I hit that!” or “I didn’t spin that ball!” at an inanimate object.

Beyond just the tech, Nintendo once again is showing us how much it understands fun. The title really does make you want to keep working out, and it has so much variety and versatility in how it gets you to stay active that you sometimes forget you’re actually doing something pretty damn physical. If you’re worried about it being too easy or too challenging, there’s a ton of difficulty settings built in to assure everyone and anyone can play, and get a nice workout in, too.

New Nintendo Switch

$274.99 with coupon
amazon.com

As goofy as it may seem, Ring Fit Adventure is a great addition to the Switch roster, bringing some of that physicality from the Wii back, but doing it so much better than before. So whether you’re trying to get active, stay active, or just want a really fun and different game, pick up Ring Fit Adventure. As a plus, if you’re looking to pick up a Switch specifically for Ring Fit Adventure, which is some serious commitment to your health, Amazon’s got a decent deal for you: The new Switch model with the improved battery life is on sale (click the little coupon box) for about 25 bucks off. Now, back to the couch and the action RPGs until your purchase goes through.



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Rami Malek Wore a Black-and-Navy Outfit in New York City


MediaPunch/Bauer-GriffinGetty Images

Rami Malek is a man of many talents. He can act! He can sing! He can talk with big ol’ prosthetic teeth in his mouth! He can also put one hell of an outfit together, as evidenced by what he wore this week in New York City. The look is a master class in wearing black and navy together. And, depending on where you fall on the “style rules” spectrum, it’s also a master class in fashionable rebellion.

To clarify: There are still some folks in this world under the impression that black and navy should not be worn together. I, personally, reject this premise, as do many of my colleagues at Esquire and in the fashion world at large. Perhaps you do not, though. Perhaps the belief has been ingrained in you by a wise old grandfatherly type who smells faintly of wood smoke and old wool, and told you in his wise old way that the combo is verboten.

Gaze upon Malek, and consider this (possibly not real) man’s advice in a new light:

Celebrity Sightings In New York - September 30, 2019

Rami Malek is seen on September 30, 2019 in New York City.

MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin

Sorry, but gramps is just plain wrong. Black and navy look fantastic together, and Malek’s outfit is proof. It doesn’t hurt that his sweater and chinos are perfectly fitted to his frame. It’s also a boon that he’s wearing a crisp white shirt to anchor everything, giving the eye just a little break from all the darkness. Oh, and the sunglasses help, because sunglasses always help you look a little cooler. Not that Malek needs the assistance.

If you’re interested in trying out a similar combo, start with some easy essentials. A merino sweater and slim black chinos should do the trick. Movie star status not guaranteed, of course. But, hey…anything’s possible.

Merino Wool Crewneck Sweater

Connor Slim-Fit Chinos

Club Monaco
mrporter.com

$100.00



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Amazon Has a Great Sale on Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones Today


As far as we’re concerned, a great pair of headphones is the gift that keeps on giving. It doesn’t matter if you use them to blast your pump-up workout playlist or get some peace and quiet on a 12-hour flight, the right pair can make your day-to-day life a lot easier.

Beats has been making quality headphones for years, but they can be expensive. If you’re looking for some awesome new headphones, but don’t want to completely blow your budget, we have some good news: Amazon is offering over 50 percent off Beats’ Solo3 wireless on-ear headphones.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones

$149.99

In true Beats fashion, the Solo3 headphones feature impressive playback, awesome acoustics, and clear, crisp sound with every track. Plus, if you want to turn your pair into a virtual assistant, it’s also compatible with Apple’s Siri system. All you need to do is pair your headphones with your smartphone and press play.

Thanks to it 40 hour battery life, this pair is a great choice for extended workouts, long commutes, or grueling flights. Need an extra charge? Beats has a quick-charging feature, where five minutes of powering up can give you three hours in playback.

Of course, these headphones aren’t strictly utilitarian. Between the cushioned ear cups and an adjustable fit, this pair will help make your next listening session a comfortable affair, too. As a bonus, this model is available in several fun colors.

On any given day, Beats’ Solo3 wireless headphones typically costs $299.95. While Amazon is offering small discounts on a variety of colors, you can currently buy a matte black pair for $149.99—that’s 50 percent off. Whether you’re in need of a great pair of headphones or want to get a head-start on your holiday shopping, this is one deal that’s simply too good to pass up.



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Nintendo Switch Lite Review – Reasons to Buy New Switch Handheld


I really thought I’d hate the Nintendo Switch Lite. I was so wrong.

Nintendo has a knack for confusing and slightly disappointing me, then singing a siren song to lure me and my wallet back to the rocky shore. (After the 3DS’s weird, rocky launch, Nintendo got to work implementing improvements. The Wii U was a flawed console, but it made up for it with a fantastic game library.) But nearly all the gripes that I had about the Switch Lite after it was announced were vanquished the second I got to pick up this adorably vibrant mini-machine.

At the time of the announcement, I didn’t hate the idea of the Switch Lite, but I thought Nintendo had made some crucial missteps. First off was the price, $199. I’m normally not a stickler on price tag, but the Lite removes the ability to connect to a TV, ditches the detachable Joy-Cons, and shrinks the screen size. So it seemed like we were going to have to sacrifice quite a bit for only a $100 cut down from its big brother. As goofy as it is, I think a $170-ish price point would have been perfect. While it’s not a huge difference—maybe a sale will get it there at some point?—in my eyes it would better match the shortcomings.

Switch Lite

Nintendo
amazon.com

$199.96

Nor was I sure who the Switch Lite was for. Of those folks who have only ever played handhelds, most already changed over to the Switch long ago and still love its versatility. Why would they want…another Switch?

Everything changed when I met this little machine. Time seemed to stop. The nostalgic Nintendo collector instinct rushed back to me, and I knew I had to have it. The console feels great, plays great, looks great. Honestly, it makes so much more sense for on-the-go play than its predecessor. It’s remarkably comfortable, and the smaller nature allows for ease of packing. While the Switch is still a good portable console, the Switch Lite perfects that signature Nintendo handheld feel.

While there are still those sacrifices with the Switch Lite—like not currently being able to hook it up to a TV (someone will inevitably figure it out) and the un-detachable Joy-Cons—a few key features I wasn’t expecting help make this a killer system for new Switch owners and current Switch owners alike. For one, the stationary controls actually feel great. While the Joy-Cons on the Switch weren’t bad, holding onto the entire unit was a little uncomfortable and wiggly at times, so removing the controllers actually improves the quality of play. In fact, it’s shocking to me how good the Switch Lite plays.

Nintendo absolutely aced the look too, with a gorgeous matte finish, in a size that works for both kids and adults. A big drawback to handheld mode with the previous model was its clunkiness for children and people with small hands. That shouldn’t be a problem any longer.

The Switch Lite surprisingly also makes a solid addition to the Nintendo ecosystem for current Switch owners. The company recently caught up with the rest of the world on online play, cloud storage, and more, and thank god for that. This new handheld works with all your current games and functions with cloud saves, meaning you can leave your larger Switch docked and venture out with your little travel companion. It even gives me hope that we could see a completely non-portable Switch Pro console, with 4K and more upgrades to compete with the upcoming generation. A Switch Pro and Lite bundled together right at $499 would rival any next-gen console, especially with the Switch’s unbelievable game line-up.

While the price point could still be slightly lower, the Switch Lite is a fantastic machine for those coming from the 3DS with games like Animal Crossing and Pokémon who want to pick up some of the epic titles the full-blown Switch has to offer. It isn’t overkill for current Switch owners, either. The Switch Lite is in stores and online now in three colors—grey, teal, and my personal favorite, yellow—with a special edition Pokémon version coming this November. While the baby brother of the gaming’s biggest hunk still has some to learn, it’s an option that’s more than worth checking out.



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