Now that your favorite scholar has finished with final exams, making sure to completely fill in every Scantron circle with that No. 2 pencil, why not reward him or her with one of these graduation gifts? They're sure to get high marks for summer fun, before college or—yikes!—the real world beckons.
1MORE E1001 Triple Driver
Most likely to bring music to your ears: Our techs were pleasantly surprised by these small, sleek headphones. Unlike most portable models, they deliver excellent sound, with an earplug-like design that limits extraneous noise. Slip them into a carry-on and suddenly that long flight to Amsterdam next to those noisy passengers is no longer a problem. The 1MORE Triple Driver also comes with nine pairs of earpieces to help the user find just the right fit.
Most likely to be the life of the party: These elegantly-designed Bluetooth speakers deliver very good sound quality and ease of use, masterfully converting any late-night gathering into an unforgettable party. They're a good choice for the more critical listener in need of a wireless speaker for music and other audio content. And, unlike many models we've tested, this one ships as a pair, so your grad and her hipster friends can hear their favorite songs in stereo.
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Most likely to get you close to the action: This Nikon definitely makes the honor roll for point-and-shoots. If someone you know were to take it to see Weezer in concert, for example, it could probably catch the beads of sweat on lead singer Rivers Cuomo’s forehead. (Cool!) That’s because it packs a 30x zoom into a relatively thin body. It also has a swiveling liquid crystal display, great for composing mosh pit selfies and other hard-to-reach shots. It even has a good image stabilizer, which comes in handy when you're dodging stage divers and security guards.
Most likely to capture the life of a mover and shaker: Whether your spunky scholar is hang gliding in the Himalayas or sprinting through Pamplona in front of an angry bull, he’ll want to capture those adventures on a dependable action cam. And this is one of the best: Yes, it’s pricey (and it's not made by glamorous GoPro), but it’s lightweight, easy to use, and shoots 4K-resolution video. It also has new-and-improved image stabilization, designed to counteract low-amplitude vibration, which Sony claims is a common problem when you shoot video from a drone. So, if your certain someone decides to capture an aerial view of himself, shaking with fear after dodging that bull in Pamplona, the footage itself won’t be jittery.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV
Most likely to succeed in almost any scenario: Talk about head of the class! It’s hard to believe Sony has packed so much technology and image quality into such a compact camera. This Cyber-shot takes very good quality photos, excellent flash photos, and excellent video. That's what makes it such a great travel companion, whether you’re backpacking through Europe or shooting the landscapes in Grand Teton National Park.
It also offers precise, artfully-designed controls for tweaking photos and shooting 4K-resolution video. And not only can it fire off 16 frames per second in burst mode—awesome for capturing coyotes on the run—but it also includes various high-frame rate video settings for dramatic slow-motion effects.
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