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Best Overall: Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi at Zappos
“Sneakers are a timeless gift for teenage guys.”
Best Headphones: Beats EP On-Ear Headphones at Amazon
“Equipped with numerous features and high-end design.”
Best Video Game: Nintendo Switch at Amazon
“Over 1,000 games are compatible with the Switch.”
Best Drone: Holy Stone HS110D FPV Drone at Amazon
“Great for beginners, this drone has adjustable speed modes.”
Best Game: Game of Phones at Uncommon Goods
“Players draw a card and must complete the task the fastest.”
Best Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 at Amazon
“Similar to a DSLR, it has numerous camera modes to use.”
Best Outdoor Gift: Trscind Survival Kit at Amazon
“Offers an assortment of essential tools for the outdoorsman.”
Best Sports Gift: Light-Up LED Rim Kit with LED Basketball at Amazon
“The ball comes with two removable LED lights inside.”
Best Music Gift: Songwriter’s Journal at Uncommon Goods
“The pages inside are full of songwriting tips and inspiration.”
Best Overall: Chuck Taylor All Star Core Hi
Sneakers are a timeless gift for teenage guys, and Chuck Taylor’s are as timeless as it gets. Famously designed in the 1920’s as an early basketball shoe, All Stars were the first Chuck’s ever made. Now, they are one of the bestselling and most iconic kicks in the world—a classic.
All Stars have largely gone unchanged over the past century, still known for their rubber sole, prominent toe cap, and overall clean and simple design. They go with jeans or khakis, shorts or sweats—perfect for the teen boy who occasionally has trouble matching. All Stars are also comfortable, durable, and generally more affordable than sneakers from name brands like Nike or Adidas.
Best Headphones: Beats EP On-Ear Headphones
Family road trips. Traveling to away games. Zoning out while doing homework. Headphones come in handy for 14-year-olds (especially if they have younger siblings to avoid), and this pair of Beats is the perfect pick for teens because of its balance in quality and price.
Beats is one the most esteemed audio brands in the world, so even one of their most affordable pairs, like the EP On-Ear Headphones, is equipped with numerous features and high-end design. This pair is battery-free, adjustable and connects to iOS and Android devices to take phone calls and control music while you listen. They are sleek, lightweight and much comfier than the earbuds knotted up inside your teen’s backpack. You can also buy the EP On-Ears in four classic colors—white, black, blue, and red.
While the lower price comes with a few drawbacks—some customers noted issues with the product’s durability, for example—the reviews are still overwhelmingly positive, with the majority of users giving these headphones five stars.
Best Video Game: Nintendo Switch
In 2017, Nintendo released a console that combines traditional at-home play with the luxury of portability. The Switch is a gaming system like no other and, for that, it’s an unbeatable gift for teens. They can play in the living room with friends and family; in their bedroom when the downstairs TV is being used; or, of course, on the go, from the school bus to waiting for band lessons to start.
Over 1,000 games are compatible with the Switch, with teen favorites like “Fortnite,” “Minecraft” and “Pokémon,” as well as classic titles like “Mario Kart,” “Mortal Kombat” and “The Legend of Zelda.”
With this purchase, you’ll also get some handy accessories: a Switch dock, Joy-Con controllers that attach to either side of the Switch, two Joy-Con strap accessories, one Joy-Con grip, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter.
Best Drone: Holy Stone HS110D FPV Drone
The drone isn’t the gift. It’s the excitement and wonder of experiencing the world from impossible heights, 300 feet in the air, that your teen will love.
Holy Stone’s HS110D FPV Drone is distinctly suited to bring this joy to teens, as it’s both easy to use and easy on the wallet. Great for beginners, this drone has adjustable speed modes, altitude hold (which means stationary hovering) and an easy one-touch start and landing button that will keep teens comfortable and in control while operating.
The video quality is a standard 720p, as opposed to pricier drones that shoot in 1080p, but the views from this 120-degree wide-angle camera are still breathtaking. Make sure to download the Holy Stone app—compatible with both iOS and Android—for the immersive 3D mode, a feature that allows users to see the drone’s point of view in real time from inside the included VR headset.
Best Game: Game of Phones
This isn’t just another excuse for 14-year-olds to be on their phones. It’s an exciting and competitive scavenger hunt, easy to set up and even easier to play.
The objective is simple: collect the most cards, you win. Each turn, players draw a prompt card and must complete the task either the fastest or the funniest to win the card. Tasks can include anything from finding the strangest Google Image result of your name to creating a motionless five-second video selfie. Game of Phones is clever, affordable, and the perfect way to spend an afternoon laughing with friends and family.
Best Camera: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic
With so much of the world made digital, people have rediscovered the joy of items that can be felt, kept, and cherished—and that’s why instant cameras are back. Teenagers have only lived in a world with camera phones, so they will appreciate the newfound experience of having physical tokens of their memories.
And no instant camera is better for your teen than Fujifilm’s Instax Mini 90. Available in black or brown leather, this camera perfectly evokes the heyday of instants.
Don’t let the vintage vibes fool you, though. The Mini 90 has features that 80’s cameras could only dream of. It automatically adjusts the lighting of your shot for a crisp, balanced picture every time. And, similar to a DSLR, it has numerous camera modes to fit whatever situation you’re in, including Macro, Landscape, Party, and Kids mode. One especially unique feature is the Double Exposure mode, which overlays two different images onto a single film sheet for a one-of-a-kind artistic photo.
Best Outdoor Gift: Trscind Survival Kit
A fully loaded survival kit can help teens pretend that a weekend camping trip is, instead, a fun and rugged adventure.
With three different kits available, Trscind offers an assortment of essential tools for the outdoorsman. Simply check the product description of each kit to make sure it contains the exact tools you want. Some of the major pieces include survival knives, flashlights, fire starters, and glow-in-the-dark compasses—and that’s just the start.
If you feel like your 14-year-old should wait a few years before using the more dangerous items, you can remove them from the kit and still have plenty of exciting tools.
Best Sports Gift: GlowCity Light-Up LED Rim Kit with LED Basketball
Your 14-year-old probably loves basketball so much that he’ll hoop friends until the sun goes down. But with GlowCity’s light-up rim liner and basketball, they can play even once the stars come out.
The rim lighting runs on three AAA batteries and is available in eight vivid colors. The basketball can be ordered in sizes 5, 6, or 7—the latter being the regulation size for men’s high school, college, and professional sports. And the ball comes with two LED lights inside, which can easily be removed when it’s time to change the batteries.
This is a perfect gift for parties and events, for teens to practice their game late into the night, or for playing pick-up with friends in games that go to post-sunset overtime.
Best Music Gift: Songwriter’s Journal
Despite the miasma of music equipment on the market, from high-priced amps to convoluted editing software, all a songwriter needs is an instrument and a piece of paper. But this hardcover songwriting journal is more than just a way to jot down notes; it’s a space where the artist in your life can create.
The pages inside are full of songwriting tips and inspiration, including quotes from the world’s greatest musicians and an introductory section that outlines songwriting basics. Each of the 72 pages is lined and labeled with useful areas for the date and song title, as well as for more intricate songwriting facets like tempo, mood, melody, and chords. Writers can also breakdown their songs into verse, chorus, and bridge. This journal is a small and affordable gift that will mean a great deal to the aspiring artist who receives it.