Doing the research and finding the newest and best technology for everyone from the morning miler to the IRONMAN in your family is easy—deciding which one to get is the hard part.
Jabra Sport Coach Headphones$119.99 1 of 18
Long gone are the days of person-to-person coaching—now everything you need is already in your ear. That's the concept behind the Jabra Sport Coach Headphones.
The magic starts in the Jabra Sport Life app, where you enter all your critical information like personal fitness metrics and workout goals. You then can choose from a pre-programmed workout circuit or make a customized circuit. As you get started, you'll hear personal coaching in your headphones on form and technique, as well as a real-time rep count—and don't worry, your music still plays around all of this, too.
If you're more concerned with audio quality, you'll be happy to know the product also comes with passive noise cancellation and enhanced bass.
Fitbit Charge 2$149.95 2 of 18
Fitbit's highly anticipated Charge 2 makes some serious improvements to the original model, especially for anyone who's a fitness fanatic. Thanks to multi-sport tracking, your Charge can now automatically track outdoor or indoor running, weight training, interval workouts and more.
And for anyone who really wants to dive deeper into workout data, the Charge's corresponding Fitbit app now has a function labeled Cardio Fitness Level, which is essentially your VO2 Max. Your Charge 2 can figure out your resting heart rate and use metrics like your age, height and weight to deliver peak heart rate zones that you should aim for during your next workout.
Another new feature includes guiding breathing sessions that, as we found out, really do lower your heart rate and can make for a calming mid-day break. Fitbit hasn't done away with the classics either. You'll still get to see your steps for the day, monitor your sleep quality and receive phone notifications. For only $150, which can be a steal in the ludicrous tracker market, this product is hard to pass up.
Beast Athlete Sensor$249 3 of 18
The market for fitness trackers may be crowded, but Beast stands out by zeroing in on one activity—lifting. This sensor isn't interested in counting your steps, measuring your sleep quality or tracking your run. Instead, it wants you to get the most out of all those reps at the gym.
The Beast Athlete Sensor can be attached to either a wristband or vest, depending on whether you're lifting weights or doing bodyweight work. Once attached, it sends performance data like speed, strength and power to your phone in real time. It also counts your reps, measures your explosiveness and will even let you know if you're overtraining.
GoPro Hero5 Session$299.99 4 of 18
If you or your loved ones don't already own a GoPro or you do own one but it's an older version, now is the time for an upgrade. GoPro recently released the Hero5 Black and the Hero5 Session and they are both amazing. The Session is completely waterproof, has impeccable 4K video quality, voice control (game changer) and built in stabilization to make your action shots look like you're reliving the experience first hand.
The Hero5 Black comes with the simple one-touch display that's built in (meaning no extra casing) but the Hero5 Session is cheaper. The Session uses your phone as the view finder—if you need one— and GoPro now has specific apps to help you immediately transfer your footage or pictures to your phone over Bluetooth for easy editing and posting.
Withings Body Cardio Scale$179.95 5 of 18
What do you get someone who has everything? A super high-tech scale. And the Withings Body Cardio scale pretty much guarantees you or your loved ones will never need to buy another scale ever again.
First off, it measures your weight, which is obviously what you'd expect but it's accurate no matter what surface you put it on. Secondly, it measures your full body composition including body fat, muscle composition and water weight. Thirdly, it tells you your standing heart rate and it can measure how long it takes blood to pulse from your heart to your feet to give you a feel of how healthy your arteries are in a quantifiable number. Last but not least, the scale is Wifi accessible and it will sync all your data to your phone via the Withings app. An added bonus is that the scale will also give you the day's temperature highs and lows, you know, because why not?
WHOOP 2.0$500 6 of 18
The Whoop 2.0 performance and recovery tracker is as exclusive as it is scientific. Whoop is so much more than a fitness tracker and it's probably not for your casual 5K runner. It's designed to be worn constantly (the battery pack even clips on to the strap instead of the other way around) and its goal is to optimize your performance in every way. It will coach you to optimize your sleep, training and recovery times to help you peak on whatever day matters most to you—think race day—or to keep you at your healthiest all the time. All your data and metrics sync right to your phone or computer where it can be easily analyzed to track your progress.
Whoop describes itself as "a system robust enough to prepare a Navy SEAL for battle, but with the form factor and design that the average athlete would be comfortable wearing 24 hours a day." The WHOOP store was just opened to the public in time for the holidays.
Milestone Pod$24.95 7 of 18
Considering the size and price point, the Milestone Pod delivers huge data. Just lace the device atop your shoe and you're ready to go.
During your workout, you'll never notice it's there. Post-run, the benefits of taking your new gadget along for the ride are plentiful. You'll have access to statistics like cadence, stride length, leg swing and more. Better than that, the Milestone Pod app gives you context with ideal numbers to aim for during future runs.
Bose SoundSport Pulse Wireless Headphones$150 8 of 18
Wireless is becoming the new norm for fitness-focused headphones, and if you've ever run untethered, then you can understand why—the freedom and minimal fuss of no wires makes it hard to go back to the old model.
These SoundSport Pulse headphones from Bose not only capitalized on the wireless trend, but they also added a built-in heart rate sensor. With the Bose Connect app, you can monitor your workout efforts in real time and receive in-ear coaching that will tell you when to push harder or when to slow down.
Another great feature is the inline mic. Not only can you use it to discreetly turn up or lower your volume, but you can also take calls without reaching for your phone. All those features combined with five hours of battery life, and your long run just got a whole lot easier.
Apple Watch Series 2$369.99+ 9 of 18
If Apple didn't get you with the original Apple Watch, the Series 2 might just have all the key components to get you to pull the trigger on this high-priced smartwatch. The Series 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters, now comes with a built in GPS tracker and oh yes, it's also a cool looking watch too.
A huge, somewhat obvious benefit of having the Apple Watch, which has been tested and reviewed as one of the most accurate fitness trackers you can buy, is that you don't have to stack all of your gadgets on your arm or decide which of your favorite wearables to wear on a given day. The Apple Watch gives you all the functionality of your typical fitness tracker, it syncs to your phone, it motivates you, it's highly compatible with most fitness apps you probably already use and it's just one easy to use device.
Oakley Radar Pace$449 10 of 18
The steep price tag on the Radar Pace may seem like a lot for a pair of sunglasses, until you learn how much tech Oakley packed into these bad boys. The Radar Pace features a real-time, voice-activated coaching system powered by Intel Real Speech. Although they can't help with the swim leg of your favorite triathlete's next race, these smart trainer sunglasses can coach them to peak performances on rides and runs.
MisFit Shine 2 Swimmer's Edition$119.99 11 of 18
If your triathlete complains of inaccurate lap counting during pool workouts, the Misfit Speedo Shine 2 is about to make you a gift-giving hero. The first activity tracker designed specifically with swimmers in mind, the Speedo Shine 2 boasts loads of cool features in addition to its industry-leading accuracy, including: A vibration motor and multicolor lights to see progress and tell time underwater; a countdown swim timer that provides a gentle vibe alert when a workout is complete; text and call notifications; and Misfit Link compatibility, which transforms the Speedo Shine out of the water into a music remote, selfie trigger, presentation clicker or button to enable a variety of smart devices.
Did we mention it tracks running and cycling, too?
Lumo Run$99 12 of 18
This clip-on wearable wants to be your running coach—no, seriously.
This Bluetooth-enabled sensor clips onto the back of your pants and pairs with your phone, collecting data over the first 10 minutes of your first run together while it learns your tendencies, speed and the overall quality of your form. From there, your virtual running coach is on the job, monitoring your form and grading you across five metrics.
While it may be a bit much for the casual runner, it's the perfect solution for any runner in training, or who runs frequently enough to risk injury with incorrect form.
Polar M600$329 13 of 18
The new Polar M600 sport watch provides everything you'd expect from a sports watch, like activity tracking and phone notifications—but Polar has taken it several steps further with added features and functionality in GPS sports tracking, HR sensor and third-party app integration via the Android Wear platform. The watch is relevant to a variety of disciplines, including running and cycling, though misses the triathlete market despite its waterproof design and ability for users to swim in it.
Polar Flow also makes an encore on this wearable, which allows users to train for any event up to marathon distance and customizes a training plan to meet your goals. The ability to store and playback music is also a nice perk, which means you can leave your smartphone at home. While high performance athletes might opt for other devices, this watch boasts more than enough functionality for the average runner or cycling consumer to enjoy.
Nebula Fire Runners' Headlamp$74.99 14 of 18
If you're a late-night or early-morning runner, then a headlamp is essential safety gear, especially during the fall and winter months. And if you're looking for something a little more high-tech than a traditional, flick-on lamp, we recommend the Nebula Fire.
Since the Nebula Fire is made specifically for runners, the product focuses on blanketing both proximity and distance with 192 lumens, so you can see what's coming right up and what's further down the road. There are also five different lighting modes (low, medium, high, sprint and strobe), and the coolest part is that you can change modes with a mere wave of your hand in front of the device, thanks to touch-free RunWave technology.
The lamp also comes with a sensor than can detect cars' headlights and automatically switch to safety strobe mode.
Coros LINX Smart Cycling Helmet$199.99 15 of 18
Named "Gear of the Show" at Interbike by Outside Magazine, Coros' LINX helmet is the world's first to utilize open-air bone conduction for in-ride audio. What does that mean, exactly? Well, it means your cyclist will be a whole heck of a lot safer than they would be with earbuds in, as bone conduction allows you to hear traffic and the environment while still tuning in to music or ride data. A smart remote mounts easily to your handlebars to allow hands-free control, and the helmet even includes an emergency alert system triggered when the G-sensor senses significant impact. Set-up is simple, the design is low profile and the safety features are unmatched.
Beats Powerbeats3$199.95 16 of 18
Nothing kills a great run faster than rogue earphones. The buds we all know and love cannot be trusted for strenuous activity and, too often, over-the-ear headphones fit terribly. Beats changed the game with Powerbeats Wireless and they've continued along the path of excellence with the latest iteration: the Powerbeats3 Wireless.
The already great fit has been improved and the sound is outstanding—not just for Bluetooth sports headphones, but for any headphone. The Powerbeats3 are good-to-go for 12 hours on a full charge, and a fast fuel of just five minutes is good for an hour of playback. The upgrades over its predecessor are subtle, which is preferable, because if it ain't broke…
TomTom Spark 3$249.99 17 of 18
TomTom's reputation for building the simplest, easiest-to-use GPS watches on the market continues with the slim and sleek Spark 3. Equipped with a built-in heart rate monitor and activity tracking for running, cycling, swimming, treadmill and gym workouts, what we really love is the 3 GB of on-board music storage (or about 500 songs). You can transfer your favorite playlist from iTunes or Windows Media Player, sync the included Bluetooth headphones and cut the cord forever. Also new in this latest version is Route Exploration, which allows runners to plan and upload 15 routes to their watch from TomTom MySports or Strava.