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Best Father's Day gifts under $250 – CNET

We've compiled a list of the best dad-tested gear we've seen that costs between $100 and $250. Whether you're looking to reward your dad with a new set of headphones or a retro gaming system, there should be a piece of tech on this list to suit them.

These products are independently chosen by our editors. CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Bose QuietComfort 25 ($180)

The Bose QuietComfort 25 is an excellent set of noise-canceling headphones, and they're absolutely essential if your dad is a commuter or just wants to block out ambient noises from the outside world.

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Activ5 Smart Isometric Device ($140)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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The Activ5 is billed as, "A tiny gym in your pocket." About the size of a hockey puck, the Activ5 is more sophisticated than it looks. It's designed to create an isometric workout as you apply pressure to either side of the device -- essentially squeezing it -- using various parts of your body.

You connect your iOS or Android phone to the device and a free companion app (pictured) tracks the amount of pressure you apply to it. With a little gamification, the app guides you through short workouts that you can do anywhere. It seems a little expensive at $140, but it gives you more of a workout than you'd think given its tiny size and simplistic shape.

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Sony UBP-X700 ($179)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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If your dad has a collection of CDs, DVDs and a few Blu-rays then a new player might be just the ticket this holiday. The UBP-X700 offers excellent 4K playback paired with Dolby Vision -- perfect for his new TV -- and also streams from most content services.

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Bose Frames ($200)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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How many sunglasses with integrated audio does your dad already have? Does it number less than one? The Bose Frames sets itself apart from other devices in that nothing goes either in or on your ear, instead the audio is projected from the frames. These Bluetooth sunglasses sound surprisingly good, and will soon include a feature called Audio Augmented Reality, making it a gift for the dad who wants to stay on the cutting edge.

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Arcade1UP Street Fighter 2 ($249)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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There's nothing like a 3/4-size arcade machine to add distinction to a dorm room, and there are no quarters required! Arcade1UP make a series of faithful arcade recreations of everything from Street Fighter to Galaga to Rampage.

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Vizio SB3621 sound bar ($148)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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It's safe to say that every other device on this list pales in comparison with the value of this Vizio sound bar. Honest-to-goodness sound quality -- complete with a wireless subwoofer -- will have your dad thanking you every time they blast a movie. Your wallet will thank you for the price.

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Sonos One ($199)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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If you want to give your dad the gift of improved sound quality, or the ability to speak into thin air to ask for tunes, there can be only One.

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TCL S325 series Roku TV (43 inches for $200)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
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The 43-inch S325 may not be 4K (at this size, you won't notice) but it includes the best-in-class Roku Smart TV operating system to please binge-happy TV addicts.

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Stealth Plankster Core Trainer ($129)

Best Father's Day gifts under $250     - CNET
Sarah Tew/CNET

Love it or hate it, the plank is one of the best exercises for strengthening your core. But actually planking -- maintaining what amounts to a stiff, unmoving push-up, where you strive to keep your whole body rigid, like a plank of wood -- can be a little boring. That's where the the Stealth Core Trainer comes in. 

It looks like a fancy padded board on top, with a sphere on its underside that sits in a base module. The design allows you to swivel from side to side and up and down as you hold the plank position, ideally with your body perfectly parallel to the ground.

The other key element is a little compartment toward the top of the board. It has four sticky pads designed to keep your iOS or Android phone from moving around while you're using the Stealth app, which gamifies your planking workout. And that's why Stealth calls it "an interactive fitness board."

The Plankster is the most affordable version at $130 and should work fine for most people. The Personal version is $180 while a more rugged Professional version costs $300 and is designed to support more weight.

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Father's Day Tech Gift Guide

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