Consumer Reports' top holiday gift ideas for 2014

By Consumer ReportsConsumer Reports

Looking for the perfect present? You've come to the right place. Check Consumer Reports' top holiday gift ideas for 2014 and watch our interactive video (above), which provides a unique way to learn about the our test center and the products we test.

If you're looking for other gift options, read about our picks for moms, dads, grandparents, teens, and kids. Or explore by price: under $200, under $100, under $50, and under $25.

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Finally, check our Gadget Gift Finder and visit our Holiday Gift Ideas page throughout the season to find the best deals, time-saving advice, and much more.

Flat-screen TV: LG 55" OLED ($3,500)

OLED is the most impressive display technology out there. It has unlimited viewing angles (like plasma TVs) and is super thin (like LCD TVs). In our tests, LG's OLED set new benchmarks for performance, most notably for black levels and contrast. The LG 55-inch 55EC9300, in particular, is thinner than even the sleekest LCD TV in our labs and has a gently curved screen. Moreover, OLED is an energy-efficient technology, and the LG model used less energy than any TV its size in our Ratings.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for TVs.

Headphones: Grado Prestige Series SR325e ($295)

This retro-looking pair of headphones is our highest-rated model. It has excellent sound quality that will please even serious audiophiles. Although the open-air design doesn't eliminate outside sounds, it still maintains exceptional detail.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for headphones.

In addition to these top picks from our Ultimate Gift Ideas Interactive Video, we have a few more recommendations in the electronics category. Opening up a brand new tablet computer is always a crowd-peaser, so you may want to take a look at the Amazon Fire 8.9 ($380 for the Wi-Fi, 16GB version) and the Apple iPad Air 2 ($500 for the Wi-Fi, 16G version; add another $130 for 4G). If someone on your list wants a phone upgrade, look at the Apple iPhone 6 ($650) or 6 Plus ($750). (Prices are for 16GB version, without contract.) Can't decide between a phone and a tablet? Consider a phablet such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 ($700, without contract).

Yard gear: EGO POWER+ Tool System ($1,100 for entire system)

This line of cordless tools includes a lawn mower (EGO LM2000), chain saw (EGO CS1401), leaf blower (EGO LB4801), string trimmer (EGO ST1201), and hedge trimmer (EGO HT2401). All are powered by a 56-volt lithium ion battery—a powerful battery that works with all items in the system.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for string trimmers, lawn mowers, chain saws, and leaf blowers.

Snow blower: Troy-Bilt Vortex 2890 ($1,300)

This gas-powered blower with a 28-inch clearning width is designed to feed snow to the impeller quicker than most other blowers we tested. Our tests found superb snow-removal speed and throwing distance. It was also top-notch at tackling dense plow piles at the end of driveways. Handling and controls were superior too.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for snow blowers.

Rower: Concept2 Model D ($900)

Our highest-rated rower, the Concept2 Model D, operates smoothly and quietly. It's also the only rower in our tests that offers games and programmed workouts.  Our testers loved that the foot pedals and foot-restraining straps are fully adjustable.

Watch our rowing maching buying guide video.

Blender: Vitamix Professional Series 750 ($650)

Among our top-scoring models. It aced our frozen drink, purée, and ice-crush tests. It blitzes whole fruits and veggies into juices and creamy smoothies. It's one of the few models that can heat soup and other liquids with the speed of its blades. Plus—a seven-year warranty!

Check our blender buying guide and Ratings.

Looking for more suggestions for the kitchen dweller? We also recommend this food processor, the Breville BFP800XL/A ($400), and this espresso maker, DeLonghi EC155 ($100)

Need more ideas for the fitness fanatic in your life? Take a look at the Fitbit One ($100) activity tracker and the Diamondback 510ic ($800) spin bike. And just for fun, an adventurer may like the GoPro Hero4 Silver ($400) action camcorder.

Bike Rack: SeaSucker Talon ($270)

This rack uses vacuum mounts for a firm attachment to your vehicle. It securely holds up to one 45-pound bicycle. It's perfect for the cyclist on your list who wants a quick easy-to-use way to transport a bike.

Detailing kit ($35, combined)

For that car-lover in your life who washes the car until it sparkes—every weekend! Try this combination of DIY car-care products recommended by the Consumer Reports auto experts.

Check our buying guide and Ratings for car wax.

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