— Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us and our publishing partners a commission.
It's difficult communicating with teenage boys unless you know their ever-changing vernacular. It's easy to get lost in the fog of their Tik-Tok speak, anime references and in some cases, Fortnite dances. Basic communication is difficult, but picking out gifts for teen boys for them is another challenge altogether.
Start the year off strong. Sign up for our newsletter to get reviews, deals and expert advice dropped right in your inbox.
Instead of learning a whole new vocabulary or dedicating grey matter to the names of Dragon Ball Z characters we at Reviewed have made things a little easier when it comes to shopping for the teen boy on your list. These are the best gift ideas for teen boys they'll actually want this year, from laptops to gaming equipment to everything else.
►Gifts for teen girls: 46 amazing gifts for teenage girls—fun and trendy gifts even the pickiest teen will love
1. For the gamer who needs the newest stuff: The PS5, Xbox Series X or Series S (or some accessories)
If a teen guy is into video games, there’s probably only one thing they know they want: The new Sony Playstation 5 or new Xbox series X or Series S. It's one of the pricier options to be sure, but easily one of the most coveted cool gifts for teenage boys.
If you can’t snag a console, consider adding on gaming accessories for when they do get their hands on their desired gaming vessel. We love the HyperX Cloud II gaming headset, which we named our Best Value pick in our test of gaming headphones. These stood out from the rest because of their comfortable leatherette headphones and excellent sound quality, which delivers each note of the game with depth and clarity.
2. For the tech-focused student: HP Envy x360
The HP Envy is one of our favorite laptops for someone on a budget, making it ideal for high school and college students. The device is lightweight—yet sturdy enough to withstand jostling around in a backpack—runs fast and even has great battery life. All in all, its performance exceeds what you might expect from its modest price tag, which makes it a great choice for anyone who needs a highly functional, low-maintenance laptop.
3. For the techie: An iPad Air
It's hard to feel disappointed after unwrapping an iPad. If you need any convincing to give it as a gift though, we ranked the Apple iPad Air as our one of our favorite tablets, thanks to its crisp display, easy multitasking abilities and sleek, lightweight construction. Whether it's for watching Netflix, downloading textbooks or as a supplement to a laptop, it's a useful (and fun) addition to a teen guy's tech collection.
4. For tidy snackers: Snactiv snacking tool
For teenage boys, staining your digits with Cheeto dust is less a grimy activity and more a rite of passage. Fun as it is to indulge in this bacchanalian activity, snack dust really stains up clothing and pricey electronics. Snactiv is an inspired way to keep the grime away even during intense gaming or streaming sessions and don't require any special training to use.
5. For the guy who loves VR: Meta Quest 2
The Meta Quest 2 is one of the hottest consoles right now. The console comes with 128 GB of storage and the VR headset is equipped with an optimized display, capturing 50% more pixels than the original Quest model. Expect some seriously immersive VR gameplay that has to be seen to be believed.
6. For the audiophile: Apple AirPods Pro
What is there to say about Apple AirPods Pro that hasn't already been said? Their sound is shockingly good, they have great battery life and they feature an improved shape so they fit nicely into almost everyone's ears. And, for many teens (and, let's face it, adults), they are a bonafide status symbol. Giving them to a teen is a surefire way to help up their cool factor and, possibly, yours.
7. For the one who needs a next-level gaming laptop: Asus ROG Strix G15
A gaming laptop is perfect for both on-the-go players and those that don't have the space for a larger gaming room setup. The Asus ROG Strix G15 is our favorite, thanks to its stellar 9-hour battery life, high refresh rates, seamless gameplay and a clear, bright display. It's on the pricier side but for all it packs, it's definitely worth your buck.
8. For mobile gamers: Razor Kishi V2 mobile gaming controller
Modern smartphones are power-packed which makes them perfect for gaming. Razer Kishi V2 slides into any phone's charging port and automatically syncs, giving teen boys a full-blown 16-button pro controller to play current new titles or classic blockbusters alike. There are models for both Android and iOS phones.
9. For the guy who was born in the wrong generation: Crosley C6 Record Player
Bowie and The Beatles sound great through a pair of AirPods. If you know a teen who's becoming a true audiophile though, (or just watched High Fidelity for the first time), he's probably hankering to hear his favorite artists on vinyl (yes, that includes Billie Eilish). In this case, we recommend the Crosley C6, the best value pick in our test of record players. We love the clean sound and cool, retro-inspired look it delivers at an inexpensive price (compared to other turntables).
With the C6, he'll get away to listen to the classics the way they were originally heard—and some motivation to support his local record shop.
10. For the guy who likes to play video games everywhere: Nintendo Switch OLED
The Nintendo Switch continues to be one of the most popular gifts to give period. Its OLED revamp makes games played in portable mode come in even more bright and vibrant than before, and is well worth the extra cash. With hundreds of games to choose from, it'll keep him and his friends entertained for hours.
11. For the on-the-go music lover: JBL Flip Waterproof Speaker
This JBL is one of our favorite portable speakers, thanks to its excellent sound quality and robust battery life. It's also almost entirely waterproof and quite durable, meaning it can endure, say, being knocked around in a backpack or being used as an all-purpose speaker in a college dorm. It also comes in a wide range of colors—including camo—to suit anyone with any kind of style.
12. For the guy who drops his phone a lot: A cool new case
Smartphones? Way too easy to drop. Help your teen guy keep his intact, even when it slips out of his hand, with one of Mkeke's cases. This ultra-slim phone case packs military-grade drop protection and is available in tons of styles and sizes to suit any phone.
13. For the Star Wars die-hards: LEGO Star Wars Millenium Falcon Set
It doesn't matter if you're 13 or 45, the Millenium Falcon will always be cool. The same goes for the allure of the best brick-building toy brand ever (sorry, Mega Blocks). And while there are plenty of Star Wars LEGO sets, few are as awesome as this one. Your giftee can create the iconic science-fantasy ship, which comes with Finn, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, C-3PO, R2-D2, BB-8 and Boolio figures.
14. For the workout junkie: lululemon License to Train linerless shorts
If he spends his days training at the gym, he's going to need a good set of workout shorts. The License to Train linerless short was beloved by lululemon fans, with many praising the thick, abrasion-resistant fabric and inner pockets, where they could store keys, AirPods, card cases and more. There are also three available colors to choose from so you can choose a style they'll love.
15. For arcade lighting: Govee Glide Hexa LED light panels
You don't have to be an influencer or Twitch streamer to bask in the glow of customizable LED lights. The Govee Glide Hexa LED light panels comprise 10 individual panels that can be arranged any manner of ways. They're controlled via a handy smartphone app that offers countless colors and effects to choose from.
16. For the sneakerhead: Reebok Classic Harman Run sneakers
Nothing beats a good pair of running shoes, especially if you're trying to get your giftee to stop staring at a screen for at least a few hours. The Reebok Classic Harman Run sneakers not only encourage boys to get active, but they look great too, and go with just about every outfit. They're durable and lightweight while also providing efficient foot support for all manner of outdoor fun.
17. For the guy who loves lawn games: Tabletop Cornhole
Cornhole is an almost universally beloved, socially distancing-appropriate sport. (Yes, it is actually a sport.) But when heat waves, rain or snow make it necessary to play the game inside, this tabletop version is a great option. Equipped with eight mini beanbags, plastic launchers and an on-the-board scorekeeper, it’s an all-but-guaranteed way to have a blast with the family inside the house.
18. For the one who's Marvel obsessed: Classic Marvel Comics shirt
Marvel and its many celebrated properties are some of the most popular shows going right now, and there are plenty of teen boys who are destined to be lifelong fans. But even in the age of the multi-billion dollar blockbuster, there are ways for your giftee to stand out from every other casual Marvel fan. The Classic Marvel Comics t-shirt harkens back to the Golden Age, with an awesome retro look. It's available in a myriad of colors and styles including a classic t-shirt, long sleeve and even a hoodie.
19. For the guy who's always on the move: Fitbit Versa 3
If he's into tech and fitness, a fitness tracker is a great way to serve the intersection of these interests—and the Fitbit Versa 3 is an especially great option for any active teen.
It has built-in Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice assistants, which allow the user to check the weather or get reminders with a simple question. It also tracks all kinds of workouts, from runs to bikes to hikes, in addition to measuring step count all day long.
The Versa 3 also allows the user to connect to Bluetooth headphones and control Spotify or Pandora, which makes it possible to listen to tunes and podcasts during a workout without lugging around another device. Finally, it tracks sleep, so he can make sure he’s making the most of his zzzs.
20. For the relaxed gamer: Scuff Exo Ergonomic Posture Cushion
Even a sedentary hobby like gaming can cause strain on the body. The Scuff Exo Ergonomic Posture Cushion slides into your giftees lap, where they can prop up a 16-button gamepad, a laptop or even a tablet. Using it promotes better posture, enhances comfort and may even improve their response times in games. It's one of those "how did I ever live without this before?" gifts for anyone who games regularly.
21. For the one who could use some self-care: Black Wolf face wash and oil-free moisturizer gel bundle
Nothing rejuvenates like a deep face wash with a great skin-care product like Black Wolf. This bundle comprises a deep cleansing charcoal-powered face wash and moisturizing gel that makes oily skin a thing of the past. Both products are great separately but amazing together.
22. For the guy who always forgets to charge his phone: Anker portable charger
Portable phone chargers are always nice to have on hand—especially if you're always on your phone, or never remember to charge it when you're at home. Because both of those statements could very well apply to a teen guy, it's probably a good idea to get them a portable charger. The Anker PowerCore make a great gift because it is compact, holds multiple charges and charges phones speedy fast. (Reminding him to charge his charger is a topic for another time.)
23. For the guy who's an occasional klutz: Tomtoc laptop sleeve
For many students, a case-less laptop is an accident waiting to happen. Prevent these future (expensive) mishaps by getting them a case. In our review of laptop sleeves, the Tomtoc performed well, thanks to its luxurious inner lining, spacious outer pocket and rounded protective corners that absorb the shocks from falls and bumps.
24. For the guy who loves layers: Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece
This Patagonia makes for a fantastic grab-and-go sweater for road trips, outdoor gatherings and everything in between. When the weather is still warm, it works as a main layer of warmth, and when it gets cooler, it's slim enough to provide extra insulation under a jacket. For a teen boy who seems to rotate among a few go-to's, this sweater will no doubt get a prime spot in his rotation.
25. For the wannabe world traveler: Scratch-off map
If your guy is always hankering after new passport stamps, you can help him get excited about the places he will go with this scratch-off map. When you rub the shiny gold surface with a coin (or fingernail), it reveals a bold pop of color, making each map totally unique to the person who owns it.
Giving the map now offers the satisfying task of scratching off the places he’s already visited and can only get him more pumped about planning his next trip (soon, hopefully), so he can scratch off even more.
26. For the guy who needs a good reason to wear a coat: HMLYN Down Parka
It might still be 80 degrees outside, but it's never too early to start prepping for winter. Teen boys can be extremely picky about wearing their chosen winter gear—but with this North Face HMLYN Down Parka, they won't need any prompting. It's puffy and warm, yet still stylish in a retro way, so they'll be glad to pull it out and wear it all winter. It's also available in two awesome colors.
27. For the guy who always drops his phone: Popsocket
Whether it's from FaceTiming, browsing Instagram or taking a front-facing video, there are a lot of ways to drop a phone. This Popsocket, a gadget that grips to the back of a phone or case and provides something that's almost like a hand, might help prevent it. It's not a full preventative measure, but it helps a hand get a better, more comfortable grip to prevent it from slipping.
28. For the guy who doesn't want to carry much: Smartish Wallet Slayer Vol. 2
This is a seriously handy iPhone case that doubles as a wallet. The cardholder doesn't have a ton of space, which keeps it slim, but it's still more than sufficient to carry a student ID, driver's license or learner's permit, and a credit or debit card or two. This makes it an ideal phone case for a teen guy—especially one who never remembers to bring his wallet with him when he needs it.
29. For the guy who wants to stay warm and look cool in the snow: Duck boots
L.L. Bean boots are a tried-and-true gift for a reason. These iconic snow boots— the “original antidote for wet feet,” according to L.L. Bean—keep feet warm and comfy in wind, snow and rain. With grippy rubber soles and a full-grain rubber upper, their design hasn’t changed in the 100-plus years they’ve been around, so you don't have to worry about them going out of style. According to hundreds of happy Bean Boots reviewers, they also last for many, many years.
30. For the guy who wants to revisit the classics: Disney+
Sure, maybe he has access to his family’s account. But if not—or he just wants his own—consider giving him a Disney+ subscription. A full year of access is $110 (or $10 a month), and with it, he can watch old favorites from his childhood, plus newer movies and shows such as What If...? and The Mandalorian. To really sweeten the gift, you can make it a package with Hulu and ESPN+ for $13 a month. No matter what you opt for, it’s sure to keep him entertained throughout the cold winter months ahead.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
This article originally appeared on Reviewed: 30 best gifts for teen boys they'll actually like and want to use