10 Cool Gadgets For Teens Reviewed in 2023
Trying to find that perfect gift for a teen can be a tough call. With so many items on the market, something that was a hit last month could be a total miss today. Teens love gadgets and they always seem to enjoy receiving them as gifts. The plus side of the gift giver is they are functional and some are even educational. Suggesting something personal can be hard. Teens often have their own choice of what is cool enough for them. So, we have created a list of ten cool gadgets that teens would love. We've included in this list something for everyone: The book lovers, music lovers, robotics lovers, and even the social media-loving teens who love their photos. We're quite sure that you'll find something on this list that will captivate and enamor your teenager.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 40 hrs of research
Capable of playing any type of music
Can control various other appliances
Useful for shopping
Alexa is a multipurpose service
10 Cool Gadgets For Teens Reviewed
1. Echo (2nd Generation)
Capable of playing any type of music
Can control various other appliances
Useful for shopping
Alexa is a multipurpose service
There are some reported connectivity issues
You've probably heard of the Echo before and with it, tales of a magically AI named Alexa who can do just about anything. Any teenager would be thrilled to hear this voice in their room if only to make it easier to listen to music... Or order a pizza!Read more
There's no way you have heard of the Echo yet and if you haven't, you're in for a surprise. This device comes at a surprisingly affordable price especially when you consider everything you can do with this speaker. In reality, it's not just a speaker at all. Echo enables you to make phone calls, connect various devices in your house such as garage doors, lights, phones, television, etc., it can even order products for you based on your order history.
Your teenager could even order a pizza through Alexa if they really wanted to! This speaker is perfect for a teenager's room if they're fans of playing music; it'll connect to your Spotify, Prime, iTunes, or iHeartRadio accounts. If you don't have any of those, don't worry -- Amazon offers free music as well. This is the speaker to rule all speakers and can be used easily by your entire family which makes it a great investment and one of the most useful gadgets you'll ever use.
What does this gadget have to offer teens, though? With the use of Alexa, kids can request any song they want and Alexa will immediately find and play it. They can request specific television shows or movies, hear fun facts, and even get the weather report if they really want to. Similar to Siri on the iPhone, Alexa is the artificial intelligence behind the Echo that can make any of your wishes, her command.
Teens can take the Echo anywhere they want because of its small and compact size.
2. Belkin RockStar Splitter
Allows up to five listeners
Compatible with most devices
Maintains the same audio quality
It comes in various colors
Easily packed away and portable
Users much have their own set of headphones
You might not think an audio splitter would be helpful for your teenager until they actually try and listen to music with one pair of headphones. This neat gadget changes all of that.Read more
To add a little bit of fun and flair to this device, Belkin has created it in several different fun, vibrant colors. Each jack has been decked out so that it's not just a boring audio splitter, it's one that's chic and stylish.
Rather than your child excluding their family or friends, you can now give them the chance to listen to music without it being a solo venture. This is also great while on road trips or vacations and won't make your teenager feel like they're giving off an "isolation" vibe.
Your teenager will be happy to know that the days of listening through one earpiece or sharing earbuds is over thanks to the creation of audio splitters. Now, all you need is one device, be it a walkman, iPod, smartphone, tablet, or some other MP3 player, and your teen and up to five of their friends can listen to the same song, show, or movie.
This is a small but cool invention and one that will save a lot of headphones.
3. Jackery Portable Charger
Built-in USB and Lightning Cable
Charges faster than normal ports
Can charge devices between 1.5-2.5 times without external power depending on phone model
Compact and super easy to travel with.
Have to turn pack off and on; make sure it’s on when charging
Lightning cable is kind of short
In today’s age, having your cell phone constantly handy is sometimes a matter of convenience, but can also be a matter of safety, especially for kids and teens. We know they run the battery down quickly between music, texting, podcasts, games, and GPS apps. Make sure your teen always has a charged phone so they can reach you by gifting them a portable charging station. It fits right in their pocket and charges phones at roughly twice the rate of original charging blocks!Read more
This is compact and doesn’t have wires dangling out and getting tangled or twisted. It’s a smart and efficient design; the charging ports fold right back into the block so it seals up nice and clean when it’s not in use. The Jackery Portable Charger is meant for Apple products and can charge various iPhone generations including 5, 6, 7, 8, X, XR, XS, and XS Max. It also has a mini USB charging station that folds out of the opposing end.
As much as it’s popular to complain about technology, keep in mind how simple it is to connect with your family from far away now, and how convenient it is to be able to get directions to literally anywhere within seconds. Teenagers are attached to their phones for a reason; these gadgets let them talk to friends and there’s a whole wealth of information available to them at any time. Make sure they’re never stranded with a low battery with the Jackery portable charger.
This is great for just about anyone with a phone. You might want to keep it out of rough little hands (but we also don’t expect your toddler to be racking up a phone bill, so they likely won’t need this). Otherwise, it’s a handy tool for anyone that uses their electronics frequently out in public.
It’s super compact and can travel just about anywhere with you. This is a smart gift if you have a teen that’s driving themselves to school now, carpooling with friends, or needs you to provide them transport. Knowing where they are can help ease some of the anxiety of watching them branch out on their own.
4. JBL 4 Waterproof Speaker
Pairs easily to electronic devices via Bluetooth
Plays up to 12 continuous hours of music on a single charge
Waterproof and easy to transport
Several different colors and designs
High sound quality
Some users found that the battery life diminished pretty quickly after a few months to a year of use
Have a teen that’s often the life of the party? Or looking for a way to make hanging out in the backyard a little more alluring to the older kids? The JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Speaker lets your family bring the party wherever they go. This portable speaker comes in eight different designs and can play music for an impressive run of time. It also is waterproof and safe to sit out by the pool, plus it connects easily to devices via Bluetooth.Read more
You can choose between eight different colors and styles, including a camouflage pattern, trio triangle pattern, and solid colors such as black, white, seafoam green, red, blue, and gray. It can play up to twelve hours of music on a single charge.
Music livens just about anything up. Whether you’re swimming in the backyard, looking for a reliable shower speaker, want something your kid can carry in their backpack, or just need a good system you can move from room to room in the house, the JBL Flip 4 has a long lifespan and is easy to use.
This is just right for teens and pre-teens. Music is often a way to explore self-discovery and identity so they’ll likely want to be blasting their anthems whenever and wherever they can.
The JBL Flip 4 measures about 6.9” x 2.7” x 2.8”. It weighs just one pound, making it a great little device to cart around to various events or parties.
5. SRL l191 Selfie Ring
Light includes a non-slip grip ring
It has three different light settings
The light is cool-toned to prevent warm glows
It can be used anywhere
Great for travel
The battery is rechargeable but dies quickly
Ever take a selfie in dim lighting? Maybe you haven't but we're sure your teenager has tried! This light will keep them from dealing with dimply lit areas and gone will be the days of sub-par social media photos.Read more
This neat little gadget is easily attached to the top of any type of cell phone and even comes with a rubber grip to prevent slipping and sliding while taking photos. It's not overly bulky and won't weigh your phone down or block much of the screen, which is great when you need to use the self-timer or additional front-facing flash.
The SRL Selfie Ring Light keeps your teen from having to deal with all of those washed-out looking photos that they'd get without the addition of extra light. It's great for nighttime videos and photos at dusk, and can even be used for group photos and videos.
Some might see this gadget as just adding to vanity, but teens love to take pictures and everyone knows how disappointing it can be when you have the perfect shot and angle, but poor, dull lighting. This selfie ring can be taken on camping trips, pulled out during outdoor holidays such as the 4th of July, and even used while in a dimly lit restaurant.
You're getting nearly professional-grade lighting that won't cause a harsh or yellow glow on your teen's face for a fraction of the price. This light is portable, easily used, and will change the future of selfies forever.
6. Kindle Paperwhite
Great for school
Perfect for avid readers
Saves paper and the hassle of bringing books everywhere
Allows you to edit reading materials
Might be pricey for a teen who doesn't like reading
For the literature lover in all of us, Kindle has revolutionized the way we purchase and read books. There's no way your teen can deny that this is a cool gadget, no matter how much they think they don't enjoy reading.Read more
Kindles are still all the rage as far as the latest in reading technology goes and we're pretty sure that your teen probably needs this. Just like a laptop is an investment in the future, Kindles help encourage kids to read any type of books, not just those for leisure reading. Kindles all your teen access to thousands of books, many of which are unbelievably affordable and even free of charge.
In addition to all of the amazing literature your child will have access to, they'll also be able to make notes on the pages, highlight, and search for specific sections or parts of their favorite books. Keeping their place is easy as well with the help of a digital bookmark and a reminder so that the book automatically opens to the last page that was left "open". Reading has been made fun again but also highly portable; there's no need to carry around several books, remember a bookmark, or deal with folded ears on every ten or so pages without one.
Of course, this is an awesome gadget but it's also an excellent investment for the future. If your child isn't too keen on reading then this might encourage them to start and if they are, this will allow them to grow the habit and have all of their favorite books in one safe place.
The Kindle e-reader is equipped to deal with all types of study, reading, and research, and it's also equipped to deal with it all in any type of environment. The non-glare screen allows your teen to take their reader with them anywhere, any time of day.
7. 3D VR Headset
Includes cleaning products
Easy to use
Compatible with most smartphones
Many downloadable apps are free
More affordable than many VR headsets
Not for use with kids who suffer from epilepsy or seizures
What's the perfect device to take away rainy day blues? A virtual reality headset, of course. This can allow your teen to feel like they're flying around on a roller coaster without ever needing to leave the house.Read more
The goggles might look uncomfortable, but they're designed to fit most head sizes and also with comfort in mind. They're padded and intended for long-term use so that your teenager won't be bothered by their fit in the slightest. It works with most smartphones and allows your teen to see things in 3D, making them feel as though they're actually going through the motions and dwelling in a world or scenario that they're not.
Virtual reality is something we've only really seen in sci-fi movies and TV shows, but now you can have that same advanced technology in your own home. Any teen who loves gaming and is fascinated by the notion of being able to feel like you're in another reality besides your own will absolutely love this VR headset.
Any teen who loves gaming and is fascinated by the notion of being able to feel like you're in another reality besides your own will absolutely love this VR headset.
It's an all-included deal that will definitely have your teen going wild over all the things they can experience without leaving home.
8. Sphero Mini Blue
Easy to use
The app is easily navigated
It's small and portable
Designed to read facial expressions
Has several different capabilities
Teens only have the choice of three different games at this point
Don't underestimate this tiny sphere, it might look useless but it actually functions in several different cool and fun ways. Whether games or coding is your thing, this little ball has your teen covered.Read more
This tiny little ball might not look like much but it really is a pretty crazy gadget. Similar to the Echo, this sphere isn't all it seems -- It can be controlled via a smartphone app and is actually a robot! You can race it, play games with it, and even use it for coding. This is one electronic buddy your teen will be thrilled to receive as a gift.
This is a cute little way of finding something else for your teen to do with their phone beside social media. It's fun, exciting, and totally futuristic which will engage and entertain them for sure. The most recent addition to this little robot is its capability to play games and function as a game controller. All you have to do is download the app and your teen will be ready to go with no need to purchase an entire game system or anything extra.
Simply download the app and wait for this robot to respond... To your face, that is! That's right; this little guy actually reads facial expression and acts on them. It's artificial intelligence at its best and we can't imagine anyone, let alone a teen, who isn't fascinated by it.
The product is very small and portable. Your teen can take it anywhere.
9. UbiKORT Star Wars Lamp
Comes in several different light colors
The lifespan is outrageously long
Includes tremendous detail
Perfect for fans of Star Wars
It doesn't really "do" anything
Did someone say "Millennium Falcon"? No? Well, we've got one for you anyway! And this one lights up too so that your teen can sit and watch in amazement as their favorite aircraft comes to life.Read more
It lights up in full color LED effects so your child will feel like they're actually looking out a futuristic, laser model of their favorite spacecraft. There's no better way to make them feel like they're actually part of their favorite movie series rather than just watching it, than by giving them part of the action.
his lamp is stunning and features full detail, in fact, you get more detail in this lamp than you do in many buildable models of the airship. It's truly unique and something that your teen will love showing off to their family and friends.
This bedside lamp is truly one of a kind. For all the Star Wars fans out there, this is a must-have, no doubts about it. It's not often that you'll find a lamp that does exactly what this one does and while there is plenty of Millennium Falcon memorabilia out there, there's only one 3D Millennium Falcon lamp.
This isn't an item you can take with you and it doesn't really do anything, but it will look incredible in a teen's room, especially if they are Star Wars fans.
10. VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter
Has Bluetooth capability
Allows your teen to connect their music and phone preferences wirelessly
It's helpful in the way of going hands-free
Can increase car safety
It gives your teen a bit more customization in their vehicle
The speaker when answering a call is a bit low
A Bluetooth transmitter can do a lot more than just answer phone calls and this one can even play the music of your teen's choosing. Whether they're rocking out in their car or yours, this will always allow them to be hands-free on the road.Read more
It features two USB plugs so that your child can charge up to two devices at once (this is great for cellphones) but what we really love is its Bluetooth capability. It functions just like some of the newer cars do so this would be excellent for a teen who just got their first car if it's not a new model.
Through the Bluetooth, this device makes hands-free phone calls possible whether you're making them or answering them, and also allows them to connect their music wirelessly. They'll be able to easily skip ahead or go back a song by simply hitting the button on either side of the device without even taking their eyes off the road. This is perfect for use in their parent's cars as well and allows them to have control over every important aspect of their phones while in the passenger seat -- We just hope you like their taste in music!
This FM Transmitter might be the perfect little gadget for your teenager. It's easily plugged into a cigarette lighter and can be used for several different functions, all of which are hands-free.
A Bluetooth capability is a great tool when driving. This device connects easily to your cell phone and allows you full control over the important tasks on it without even needing to touch it. Going hands-free is so important but also challenging in today's age of technology. This device takes an old-school concept such as making use of outdated cigarette lighters and has turned it into something useful and beneficial in the way of car safety.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
We've taken into account a teenager's typical lifestyle, their influences from society, and the current interests of today's generation and that's how we ended up with these expansive options. Not every teenager will enjoy everything on this list, but it's in our mission to provide at least something that targets every interest a teenager could possibly have.
Gadgets should be fun and useful, not boring and useless! That's why we've made sure to include things that had excellent ratings as far as usage goes, even if it's only to bring a new appreciation for the digital age to a teen. Gadgets encourage kids to think and ponder which is why they can make such exceptional gifts. You're providing them with something out of the box that they genuinely think is neat and cool, and that's what makes each one of these products so successful.
Age was yet another determining factor in how well-received or poorly-regarded these gadgets would be when they ended up in the hands of a teenager. Since teens can range in ages 13 all the way up to 19, we had to come up with a comprehensive list that included something for both of those ages and every single one in between. That led us down a road where gadgets for the majority were definitely the most viable and successful option, which is exactly what we've presented to you here.
One of the main components of our research was to figure out exactly how portable or travel-friendly each item was. While products such as the Echo and LED lamp are excluded from this category, many others are able to be traveled with easily. Many teenagers are active and if they're not driving, then they're being driven, therefore, having gadgets that were great on-the-go was important to us as it is to them. We didn't want to add anything too bulky or outdated on this list and even included a unique way to transport their gadgets -- A "smart" backpack!
It's important to show teens that technology in the digital age doesn't always need to revolve around social media and, in fact, can be used for other hobbies besides texting.
It's important that the products can both hold their attention and provide them with an ample pastime option.
Other Factors to Consider
Ease of Use
Ease of use was an important feature as well, which is why we didn't include gadgets that were too complicated or that required much fussing. The way we saw it was that if it's too complex for us, there's no way a teenager is going to have enough patience to deal with it for very long! While each product is simple to use and many offer a variety of functional uses, they're all versatile when it comes to age and what they can actually be used for.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: How do I know if these would be age-appropriate for a 16-year-old?
Any of these gadgets would suit a child within the age range of 13 to 19-years-old, however, it all depends on your child's interests. Are they avid readers or do they love listening to music? Are they fans of sci-fi? Maybe they just got their first car and are in need of an accessory for it -- These options are all available to you on this list.
q: What's the easiest gadget on here to use?
That would definitely be the Millennium Falcon lamp. It requires no assembly and is as simple as plugging in the electric cord and watching it come to life. If your child isn't a fan of Star Wars, then we'd recommend something like the Echo or Kindle; Neither require any assembly, extra purchases (barring music or books that aren't free) and are simple and entertaining to use.
q: How long will a gadget such as these last?
Indefinitely, as long as your teenager takes good care of it. Obviously, things that aren't getting too much physical use like the lamp or Echo will last for much longer. You might begin to see some signs of aging on things such as the backpack, Kindle, audio splitter, etc., just from being handled so much.
q: Could these be good for a preteen as well?
Of course! These lists aren't specifically targeted toward any age group with no exceptions; if there's something on this list that you think would be good for a 10 to 12-year-old, then go for it. In fact, it makes our day better knowing that we could help you in another area besides the one we're writing about at the current time.
q: Do products such as the Echo or Kindle require any additional purchases?
Depending on what your teenager is using them for, yes. If your child wants to have access to Amazon music specifically, a Prime account will be needed if they're not happy with the free music that's already provided. Additionally, the Echo is compatible with Spotify, which also requires a subscription. Similarly, the Kindle does have many, many books for purchase, but Amazon also offers free options as well. It depends on what your child is interested in and where they can find the best options, but no, you don't absolutely need to invest in extra options.
q: Are there warranties for any of these items?
Yes, in fact, most of them do offer some type of warranty whether it's for an entire lifetime or temporary. Always check with the manufacturer before purchase if you're concerned but in general, something that's electronic will normally have a warranty, just in case.
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