Gifts for Geeks (Part II)

As promised last week, here are more reasonably priced gift ideas, starting with some that I guarantee will please the music-loving geeks you love.

Good Sound at Reasonable Prices

Many geeks (including yours truly) love Apple’s wireless earphones and headphones, which make a great gift if you can afford them. But, with prices starting at $129 (for second-generation AirPods) to a whopping $549 for top-of-the-line AirPods Max, Apple’s offerings aren’t cheap.

The good news is that I’ve found several third-party earphones and headphone offerings that sound as good as (or almost as good as) Apple’s offerings but at significantly lower prices.

For example, I know of at least two in-the-ear phones that work and sound great while costing far less than Apple’s. The Monoprice Monolith M-TWE earbuds ($79.99 at offer premium features, including active noise canceling and aptX HD Audio. They sound fantastic and work flawlessly with Apple devices.

Monolith earbuds sound great and cost less. 
Monolith earbuds sound great and cost less.

I’m also impressed by Tribit’s FlyBuds 3 ($39.99 at While these earbuds don’t include high-end features such as noise cancellation, they do deliver surprisingly rich sound at a rock-bottom price.

If your loved geek prefers over-the-ear headphones, check out Monoprice’s BT-600ANC ($69.99 at, which are more comfortable than others, with premium features and superb sound quality.

Or, if your loved one prefers to listen through a speaker, you can’t beat the sound quality of Apple’s HomePod mini at its price ($99 at Or, if your loved one would prefer a rechargeable Bluetooth speaker (the HomePods require AC power), consider Tribit’s Stormbox Pro ($119.99), a 2-pound portable powerhouse with deep, punchy bass and 24-hour battery life.

Loud and clear at a reasonable price.
Loud and clear at a reasonable price.

First Class Ear Protection

My last pick for music lovers will help protect their hearing in loud environments such as music venues. They’re called Vibes high-fidelity earplugs ($23.99 at, designed to reduce ambient decibel levels without sacrificing sound clarity. They’re reusable, comfortable, and a small price to pay to protect your loved one’s hearing.

Two More Great Gifts for Geeks

Moving right along, here are a few gift ideas for your non-musical geeks:

First up is the Prop Tart ($9.99 from, a grip and kickstand for mobile phones. It collapses and is almost flat when not in use, extending into a sturdy loop for your finger when you need a better grip for one-handed texting or shooting selfies. Plus, it doubles as a kickstand for watching videos or reading. Available in four colors, I like it better than Popsockets.

Finally, if your loved one tends to misplace things like keys or wallets, Apple’s AirTags ($29 for one; $99) may be just the ticket. Affix one to any item you’re likely to misplace. Then, if it goes missing, you can see its last known location or trigger an audible alert from the AirTag’s integrated speaker using the Find My app on your iPhone.

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