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All of us rely on “big” gadgets like a computer, tablet, or phone to get our work done and have fun, but having a few key tech accessories can make using those devices easier or better.
It’s possible to spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on gear, but we’ve found 25 worthwhile tech accessories you can get for under $25. Our recommendations can keep your devices charged, let you share music with friends, make it easy to back up files, help you stream movies and TV shows, and a lot more.
We’ve been careful to select accessories that are compatible with devices from every major platform — iOS and Android or PC and Mac — so they’ll work with the gadgets you already have.
Note: All of the accessories below were under $25 when we compiled this list, but it’s possible their price may fluctuate a bit over time.
1. 1MORE Vi React In-Ear Headphones
If you want a pair of Bluetooth earbuds for casual listening, exercising, or running, 1More’s Vi React are an excellent choice. They’re IPX6 water resistant — aka sweatproof — and last up to five hours per charge. The Vi React’s in-line remote lets you adjust your volume or switch tracks from the earbuds themselves, so you don’t have to touch your phone. Despite its budget-friendly price, the 1More Vi Reacts have most of the same set of features as higher-end earbuds.
2. Braven BRV-Mini
Braven’s BRV-Mini is one of the best highly portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested because of its great sound quality, solid battery life, and small size. You can toss this speaker in a bag before you head out to the beach or pool (yes, it’s waterproof) to supply the tunes for your next outdoor gathering. We were especially impressed with the BRV-Mini’s pairing feature, which lets you connect two speakers together to play music in true stereo.
3. Amazon Basics 15W Qi Certified Wireless Charging Pad
AmazonBasics’ Wireless Charging Pad can refill an iPhone or Android phone’s battery without a cable or power adapter. Wireless chargers are everywhere, but we’re recommending this one because it has a maximum wireless charging speed of 15W; many chargers top out at 10W. We also like that Amazon’s charger has an indicator light that turns on to let you know your device is actually charging.
4. Anker PowerCore Slim Portable Charger
Anker’s PowerCore Slim is a highly portable battery pack with enough juice to fully recharge an iPhone 12 1.6 times. It has a standard USB-A port, so you can plug your USB-C or Lightning cable into it to charge your devices. We’ve tested Anker’s battery packs before, and have found them durable and reliable over time. The company’s PowerIQ technology, which optimizes the battery’s power output depending on the device that’s plugged in, actually makes a difference in how fast it charges your gear.
5. Aukey Swift 32W 2-Port Fast Charger
We’ve tested a handful of Aukey’s fast charging power adapters, and they’re the ones we rely on to make sure our device’s batteries are always topped up. The Swift Fast Charger can charge a device at up to 32W, which means it’s suitable for phones, tablets, and even laptops. It has one USB-C and one USB-A port, so you can charge two devices simultaneously, which is helpful if you live with multiple people or have a lot of gear. If you’ve been using the charger that came with your phone, this accessory will make a huge difference.
6. Monoprice Charging Cables
Few tech problems are as frustrating as realizing your charging cable is frayed and won’t work. We’ve tried Monoprice’s braided cables, and they’ve held up during constant, repetitive use without showing any signs of damage. The cables are available in a variety of styles (Lightning to USB, USB-C to USB-C) and sizes. Invest in these cables now, and you won’t have to worry about whether your device will charge when you plug it into a power adapter.
7. Cyber Acoustics Desktop Speakers
If you’re tired of your laptop’s tinny speakers, this stereo pair from Cyber Acoustics is the accessory you need. We like it because it connects to your computer’s 3.5mm headphone jack, an industry standard port available on all notebook computers. It’s also got a headphone jack, so you can keep the speakers connected if you’re listening to music at night and don’t want to disturb the people you live with.
8. Maono USB Condenser Mic
Setting up a streaming setup on a budget? Maono’s USB microphone will help you sound better than using the mic built into your computer. It can record 24-bit audio at up to 192KHz, which is higher than CD-quality, and was tuned for applications like video chatting and streaming. The mic comes with a tripod and windscreen, so you can use it at the best possible angle, and block out unwanted sounds that can reduce the quality of your recording. This is a good microphone for beginners who want to prove they’re taking their streams seriously.
Arteck’s Bluetooth Keyboard will work with all of your devices, and help you achieve a cleaner-looking desk setup. We’re a fan of this keyboard’s full-sized chicklet-shaped keys, which look and feel like the ones you’d find on a high-end laptop. This is important if you’re pairing this keyboard to a notebook hooked up to a monitor, because you won’t have to readjust your typing style. Arteck says its keyboard lasts up to six months on a pair of AAA batteries, so you shouldn’t have to swap them out very often. This keyboard is a simple home office upgrade you’ll appreciate every day.
10. Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse
Microsoft’s Bluetooth Mouse is the perfect compliment to the keyboard we recommended earlier. It’s small enough to take with you everywhere, and a lot more comfortable to use than the small trackpad available on most laptops. The mouse runs on one AA battery, and Microsoft says it can last up to two years before being replaced. Despite it being made by Microsoft, the mouse will work with both PCs and Macs.
11. iOttie Easy One Touch 5
iOttie’s Easy Touch 5 is one of the few tech accessories that you should use in the car. The suction-cup phone mount can be attached to any spot on your dashboard, and is strong enough to stay put. In our tests, the One Touch 5 has enough clamping force to hold an iPhone 12 Pro Max in a case without jittering around — even on bumpy terrain. This accessory has helped us keep our eyes on the road while using a mapping app on our phone, which is a lot safer than looking down to check the directions.
12. ROAV SmartCharge F2
Roav’s SmartCharge F2 is another incredibly useful tech accessory to use in your car. It has two USB ports, so you can charge your phone — which is probably your GPS system — and one other gadget. More importantly, this adapter has a Bluetooth receiver and FM transmitter built into it, which lets you stream music to your car’s stereo wirelessly without a cable or adapter. If you have an older car without a Bluetooth entertainment system, this is a huge improvement. In our tests, Roav’s SmartCharge adapters have handled both tasks flawlessly.
13. InvisibleShield Glass Elite Plus
Replacing a shattered phone screen can cost hundreds of dollars, which is why InvisibleShield’s Glass Elite Plus is one of the most important accessories in this guide. It offers a thin — but strong — layer of protection between your phone’s display and the ground. Many phone cases have a lip to prevent your phone from making direct contact with the floor, but the Glass Elite Plus takes that a step further. We’ve tested the company’s screen protectors and it’s held up incredibly well after numerous falls on tile or wood. If you want to save an awkward (expensive) trip to get your phone replaced, don’t wait to get this screen protector.
14. MOFT Invisible Slim Laptop Stand
Moft’s Invisible Laptop Stand is one of the most clever tech accessories we’ve ever seen. When it’s folded, the stand is incredibly thin, but in a couple of moves you can pop it open to prop up your laptop. The stand is so small, you can attach it to the bottom of your computer without adding much bulk. This is a must-have accessory for frequent travelers, or anyone who wants to make their workspace more ergonomic.
15. Philips Hue Smart Lightbulb
Philips’ Hue smart bulb lets you control your lighting through an app on your phone, or a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo. It’ll fit into any standard-sized lighting fixture, and there no hub is required to use it. In our experience, Philips’ Hue bulbs are a better choice than similar accessories because the company is committed to offering a lot of different smart lighting accessories. Getting into its ecosystem and building up a bigger lighting system over time is a huge benefit.
16. Tile Mate
If you’re afraid of losing your backpack or keys, the Tile Mate can offer some peace of mind. The tracker will show you the last-known location of your lost object (based on the most recent time it was connected to your phone via Bluetooth), so you know where to start looking. If you put it in Lost Mode, the tracker will update its current location each time it comes in contact with another Tile tracker. If it’s somewhere near you (within Bluetooth range), you can ask the Tile to play a sound to locate your gear. In our experience the Tile Mate works pretty well, and has helped us find a couple of misplaced things around the house.
17. Wyze Smart Home Plug
Wyze’s Smart Home Plug lets you turn appliances on or off using an app on your phone, which comes in handy if you can’t remember whether you turned off the coffee maker or A/V receiver after you’ve left the house. The plug is slim enough that it won’t block an adjacent outlet, which is a problem with some similar smart plugs. If you have simple needs, Wyze’s accessory can make older appliances smart for a fraction of the cost of replacing them. It can even help lower your monthly utility bill if you frequently leave power-hungry devices on all day by accident.
18. Roku Express
If you want to turn an older TV “smart,” or are tired of the clunky streaming apps built into your newer set, get a Roku Express. The pocket-sized media streamer gives you quick access to all of the latest services in a clean, easy-to-use interface. We’ve found Roku’s streamers to be the quickest to learn, and are especially fond of the company’s well-designed remote. The only downside to the Roku Express is that it can’t stream in 4K — you’ll need one of its higher-end streamers for that feature.
19. Samsung Fit Plus
Cloud storage is useful and extremely convenient, but we still recommend keeping a backup of your most important files on a flash drive. You won’t need the internet to access them, and you can move larger files from one computer to another without needing a fast Internet connection. We like Samsung’s Fit Plus because of its high capacity (128GB) and extremely small size. You’ll barely notice it’s there, but this accessory can hold thousands of songs, documents, and pictures, or dozens of hours of HD video.
20. SanDisk 200GB Ultra MicroSD Card
Some tech — like some Android phones and the Nintendo Switch — let you expand their internal storage with a MicroSD Card. If you’re running out of room on your device, we recommend getting this MicroSD Card from Sandisk, which has worked reliably for years in our tests. It’s available in a variety of storage sizes, but we recommend getting a larger one than you think you need so you don’t risk filling it up too quickly.
21. Satechi 4 Port USB Hub
If you have a lot of tech accessories, Satechi’s four-port USB hub is an essential accessory. It allows you to plug four devices into your computer while only taking up one of its internal USB ports. If you’re using a laptop, this can save you from wasting several minutes a day plugging and unplugging devices. We’ve used a few of Satechi’s multi-port hubs and they’ve always provided rock-solid performance.
22. Comsoon Bluetooth Audio Receiver
Comsoon’s Bluetooth Car Kit is a simple solution to a frustrating problem. The mini adapter allows you to stream music from your device (a smartphone, for example) to any audio system with an AUX input or RCA (red and white) jacks. This means you can turn any A/V receiver (going back to the 1960s), powered speakers, or car entertainment center into a Bluetooth-enabled audio system. If you want to retrofit an old audio system, this is the most cost-effective accessory you can get.
23. Texlar Selfie Stick
If you plan on traveling this summer, Texlar’s Selfie Stick can help you take group pictures or panoramas that would be impossible to get without it. The stick can extend between eight and 48 inches, so you can stash it in a bag when you don’t need it. You can use the selfie stick with any smartphone or an action camera like the GoPro Hero8. Our favorite feature is the selfie stick’s Bluetooth shutter button, which lets you capture shots while the accessory is fully extended. It’s a lot more reliable than setting your phone’s camera on a timer and hoping to frame your shot in time.
24. TP-Link WiFi Extender
A spotty Wi-Fi network can make it difficult, if not impossible, to get work done or use the Internet for streaming. TP-Link’s WiFi Extender will repeat the signal from your router to reach places in your house that have slow speeds. We’ve tested TP-Link’s range extenders before, and they’ve done an excellent job, nearly doubling our Wi-Fi speeds in certain locations. This WiFi Extender only needs power to work, so you can plug it into any outlet in your home regardless of how far it is from an Ethernet port or your router. If you’ve been suffering from Internet dead zones, or settling for slow speeds in some parts of your home, this accessory can help fix that issue.
25. 8Bitdo Sn30 Pro USB Gamepad
8Bitdo makes the best third-party video game controllers we’ve ever used, and its USB connected gamepad is a must-have for anyone who plays games. It has the same four-button layout as many classic consoles, with a directional pad on the left side, shoulder buttons on top, and a pair of analog sticks on the bottom. You can use the controller to play retro or contemporary games on a computer or Nintendo Switch. If you’re a console gamer who’s been trying out some PC games, 8Bitdo’s USB Gamepad can help make playing them a lot more comfortable.