Here’s the short version of my usually long-winded pitch for this kind of product: Got a TV? Get a sound bar.
Seriously, you will not be sorry. Your ears will be so grateful that your fingers will find themselves tapping out a thank-you note. (Well, if you must — find me on Facebook or Twitter.)
Here’s what I dislike about most sound bars, though. They’re not especially attractive, and they kind of ruin the home-theater decor by sitting there awkwardly in front of the TV. And that’s precisely why I like today’s option.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, this new Aukey Bluetooth sound bar is $84.69 with promo code CNET52KM. Regular price: $110.
See it at Amazon
This sound bar does a trick I haven’t seen since the more expensivea few years ago. It can separate into two halves and flank your TV, standing upright thanks to included tower stands.
Beyond that, it’s fairly standard. It supports Bluetooth 4.2 and also has optical, stereo and USB inputs. (If you need HDMI, you’ll have to look elsewhere.) Particularly impressive, it comes with optical and stereo cables, and even includes an adapter if you want to connect RCA cords to the 3.5mm input jack.
It’s wall-mountable (in standard “single-bar” configuration) if you prefer to go that route and comes with hardware for that as well. Aukey backs the bar with a 24-month warranty.
About the only thing I don’t like is the lack of an LCD that shows volume level, selected input and so on. Also, your best bet is to ignore the user reviews currently attached to the product. FakeSpot and ReviewMeta say all five are likely bogus. That doesn’t mean the sound bar is bad, mind you. I’ve used a variety of Aukey products over the years and have liked them all.
There are a few less-expensive sound bars out there, and there’s a valid argument to be made in favor of choosing one with a subwoofer. (At $130, theis the best budget one we’ve tested.) But if you want one that can separate for aesthetic purposes or true stereo sound, this could be a good option.
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Bonus deal: Good heavens, how much cheaper can drones get? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Tomtop has the JJRC H37 Elfie drone for just $11.99 shipped — and that’s coming from its US warehouse, not China. A couple years ago, when I first wrote about it, I was super jazzed by its $38 price tag!
See it at Tomtop
This is a cute little flier, one with folding arms, LED headlights and a 480-pixel camera (which, to be honest, is pretty terrible). It’s entirely app controlled and lacks blade guards, so it’s maybe not the best bet for younger kids.
But, wow, $12 for this? Totally worth it.
Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! Wantbut don’t want to pay $60 for it? If you’re willing to wait six months or so, you should be able to get it for $40 or less. But if you must have it now, either for yourself or as a gift, this is the best deal currently available: Alldayzip (via eBay) has Red Dead Redemption II (XBox One) for $46.99 shipped.
See it at eBay
Read GameSpot’s review if you want to learn more about this red-hot game. Spoiler alert: It scored a 9/10.
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