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Our favorite budget wireless earbuds are down to $53 right now

High-end wireless earphones like the AirPods Pro and Sony WF-1000XM5 are great, but getting the absolute best performance doesn't come cheap. If you want a more affordable pair that's actually decent, the Anker Soundcore Space A40 is the top pick in our budget wireless earbuds buying guide, and a new deal has dropped it to $53 at Amazon. Outside of a brief dip to $50 during Cyber Monday, that's the lowest price we've tracked. It's also $47 below Anker's list price, though the set has usually sold for $79 for most of the past year. In recent weeks, we've seen it fall to $59. Still, this is a good chance to save a little extra. This deal applies to the black colorway, but blue and white models are available for a dollar more. You can also get the earbuds for $53 at Anker's online store by clipping an on-page coupon. Anker's listing says the offer will run through Sunday.

As noted in our guide, we like the Space A40 for delivering the kind of features we'd expect from earphones that cost two or three times as much. Its active noise cancellation (ANC) isn't as powerful as something like the Sony XM5s, especially with higher-pitched sounds, but it's still superb for the money. It'll adapt to your surroundings by default, but you can manually set it to strong, moderate and weak levels as needed. The earbuds themselves are light, comfortable and water-resistant with an IPX4 rating, so they'll survive most gym sessions. Battery life sits at a good eight hours or so, with an additional 40-ish hours available through a compact case, which also supports wireless charging. The pair can connect to two devices simultaneously, plus there's a usable transparency mode.

The Space A40's sound quality won't blow anyone away, but it's better than many budget earbuds we've tested. It has a warm profile by default, so there's a bump in upper-base range and the treble is a bit underemphasized. It can't capture as much crisp detail as the best premium pairs as a result, but it's far from a mess and still pleasant with most popular music. If you don't like how it sounds out of the box, you can customize the EQ curve fairly effectively through the Soundcore app.

The big tradeoff to all of this is mic quality. The Space A40 can still work for phone calls in a pinch, but your voice will sound muffled, and it can get lost in noisy environments. This pair also lacks wear detection, so it won't auto-pause your music or podcast when you take an earbud out. Still, it's a great value on the whole, and this discount only amplifies that.

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The second-gen Apple HomePod is down to $285 in a rare sale

The latest Apple HomePod speaker is on sale for $285 at B&H Photo, which is $14 less than buying from Apple directly. This isn't the largest cash discount we've seen, and Apple previously bundled the device with a $50 gift card during Black Friday. But deals of any kind on the home speaker have been uncommon since it arrived in early 2023, so this modest drop still represents the lowest price we've seen in the last few months. The discount applies to both the black and white versions of the speaker.

We gave the second-generation HomePod a score of 84 in our review last year. It'll make the most sense if you're a particularly dedicated Apple user who prioritizes audio quality. It still works easily with other Apple devices and services, from iPhones to Apple TVs to Apple Music, and we generally find it to sound richer and clearer than competing smart speakers from Amazon and Google. As a smart home device, it's compatible with Matter and Thread on top of Apple's own HomeKit protocol, so you can use it to control a growing range of security cameras, thermostats, plugs and other smart home accessories. It also has built-in temperature and humidity sensors, and its included mics do well to pick out your voice through noise.

To be clear, this is still a pricey and relatively niche device. Speakers like the Sonos Five and Sonos Era 300 cost more but offer louder and more dynamic sound quality, while the Sonos Era 100 may be a better value if you want to conserve a little more cash. Apple's own HomePod Mini has nearly all of the same smart home features if that's your main concern, while Google Assistant and Alexa users should still look to Google's Nest Audio or an Amazon Echo device. The HomePod has its own issues, too: Siri isn't the most capable voice assistant, there's no Bluetooth audio, you can't customize its EQ and you need a workaround to control Spotify via voice. Rumors of a touchscreen-enabled HomePod have also floated around over the past year. All that said, if you're all-in on Apple, this is a decent chance to save on the company's highest-end home speaker.

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The 14 best Presidents' Day sales at Amazon, Best Buy, Target and others to shop this weekend

Presidents' Day sales are usually more focused on appliances, mattresses and home goods than consumer tech, and that's the case again in 2024. That said, if you're looking for a new gadget, we've managed to pick out a few tech deals that are actually worth considering. Apple's AirPods Max are $100 off, for instance, while Anker's Soundcore Space A40, our favorite set of budget earbuds, is down to $59. The highly-rated Samsung S90C OLED TV is about $200 cheaper than usual, and Microsoft's Xbox Series S console is on sale to $220. We're also seeing good discounts on ASUS' ROG Ally gaming handheld, Samsung's Evo Select microSD card and Apple gift cards. Here are the best Presidents' Day 2024 sales on tech we could find. 

Best Presidents' Day sales on headphones

Best Presidents' Day sales on TVs

Best Presidents' Day sales on gaming gear

Best Presidents' Day sales on smartphones and tablets

Best Presidents' Day sales on other tech

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One of our favorite Samsung microSD cards is on sale for $25

If you're looking to boost the storage space of a Nintendo Switch, Steam Deck, Raspberry Pi or any other device that accepts a microSD card, here's a deal worth noting: The 512GB version of Samsung's Evo Select card is back on sale for $25. That matches the lowest price we've tracked for this model, which normally retails between $30 and $35. The offer is available at Amazon, B&H and Samsung's own online store.

The Evo Select is the "best value" pick in our guide to the best microSD cards. It's still a step down from our top picks, especially when it comes to sequential write speeds, so it's not ideal for a camera or other devices that frequently require you to save large files to the card itself. But if you just want a big chunk of space for as little cash as possible, it should be perfectly usable for most use cases. Its sequential read performance was faster than most other cheapo cards we tested, and there aren't many options from reputable manufacturers that provide more space per dollar. If something ever goes wrong, Samsung covers the card with a 10-year limited warranty. We tested the 128GB version of the card, but this 512GB model has the same speed ratings, so we'd expect it to perform similarly.

If you're willing to trade some capacity for faster performance, the 256GB Samsung Pro Ultimate is also on sale for $28. That's $3 more than its all-time low, but it's a decent price if you need something a little more heavy-duty. The Samsung Pro Plus, meanwhile, remains our top recommendation overall but isn't significantly discounted as of this writing.

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Target is offering a $10 bonus credit when you buy a $100 Apple gift card

If you plan on picking up an Apple product in the near future, a new deal at Target is worth a quick PSA. Through February 17, the retailer is throwing in a $10 Target credit for no extra cost when you buy a digital Apple gift card worth $100 or more. We've seen this deal several times before, but if you already need a Apple Thing and often shop at Target anyway, it's hard to complain about what is essentially free money. 

As a reminder, besides retail products you can apply Apple gift card credit toward subscription services like Apple Music, Apple TV+ and iCloud+, as well as purchases in storefronts like the App Store or Apple TV app. Just note that you'll only be able to redeem the offer once per account, according to Target's listing, and that it may take up to four hours for the store credit to arrive via email.

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The Google Pixel Fold is $400 off right now

Most people do not need to pay the premium for a foldable smartphone. But if you've got some cash to burn and have been looking to take the plunge, the Google Pixel Fold is one of our favorites, and a recent deal has dropped it down to $1,399. That's still far from "affordable," but it ties the largest discount we've seen for the unlocked 256GB model, taking $400 off Google's list price. The offer is available at several retailers, including Amazon, Target, Best Buy and Google's online store. If you need more storage space, Google has the 512GB model for $1,519, another $400 discount. The company says this deal will run through February 24.

The Pixel Fold is the runner-up pick in our guide to the best foldable phones, and Engadget Senior Writer Sam Rutherford gave it a score of 85 in his review last June. Similar to Samsung's Galaxy Z Fold 5, our top pick, it's a "book-style" foldable, one that works like a traditional 5.8-inch smartphone when folded in half but offers a larger 7.6-inch display when unfurled. Next to Samsung's phone (and the OnePlus Open), though, the Pixel's displays are shorter and wider, which generally makes the device easier to use like a traditional phone. Your fingers have more room to breathe while texting when the phone is folded, while apps and videos will look more natural on the cover display. Samsung's screens are brighter and more vibrant overall, but the 120Hz OLED panels here are still far from poor. You can see a crease in the middle of the internal display, however.

Beyond that, we've found the Pixel Fold's cameras and image processing to deliver more accurate and dynamic photos than either the Galaxy Z Fold 5 or the OnePlus Open, especially in low-light conditions. It's thinner than Samsung's phone as well, though it's slightly thicker than the Open. Like other Pixel phones, the Fold runs on a relatively clean and streamlined version of Android. A decent number of Google's own apps are tweaked to better fit the larger screen, and you can run two phone apps side-by-side. Google says it'll provide OS updates through June 2026, with two additional years of security updates. That said, the Z Fold 5's UI has more powerful tools for multitasking. And as with most Android tablets, it won't take too long to find apps that aren't optimized for large displays.

There are other caveats. The Pixel Fold is by no means slow, but its Tensor G2 chip is now a bit dated, so the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Open provide better raw performance. Battery life is worse by a few hours, too, plus it has larger bezels around the display. Then there's the elephant in the room: All foldable phones carry a higher durability risk. The Fold has more ways to break despite costing more than the best "normal" phones, so you'll have to be particularly careful with it. It's also worth noting that Google is likely working on a Pixel Fold 2, though that isn't expected anytime soon. All that said, the current Fold has plenty to like if you dead set on a foldable phone today, and this deal makes it at least a little more accessible.

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One of our favorite noise-canceling earbuds is cheaper than ever

We recommend the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds in our guide to the best wireless earphones for those who just want the strongest active noise cancellation (ANC) possible in a true wireless design. If you've been looking to pick up a pair, take note: A recent sale has brought the earphones back down to $249, which takes $50 off their usual price and matches the previous low we saw during the holiday season. The offer is available at several retailers, including Amazon, Walmart and Bose's own online store, and it comes as part of a wider spate of discounts on the company's headphones, earbuds, soundbars and Bluetooth speakers.

Engadget Senior Reporter Billy Steele gave the QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds a score of 88 in his review last September. Again, ANC performance is the big attraction here: The earphones do a superb job of reducing external sound across the board, and Bose's app lets you lower the intensity of the ANC if it ever feels uncomfortable. (Though, as with most noise-canceling headphones, voices and other higher-pitched sounds will come through a little clearer than bass- and midrange tones.) The actual earpieces are larger than most other pairs, but they're comfortable, with soft silicone tips that don't create too much pressure in the ear. 

Bose's sound signature is a bit bass-heavy out of the box, but not to the point of sloppiness, so it should particularly satisfy fans of hip-hop and pop. If you want a little less low-end, you can tweak the EQ curve through Bose's app. This model also comes with an optional spatial audio feature dubbed "Immersive Audio," which aims to give any song a greater soundstage and sense of width. Some tracks will still take to it better than others, but Steele found it to offer impressive detail on the whole.

There are some issues to keep in mind, though. The QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds lack wireless charging by default; to add it, you need to buy a $49 case cover. They also can't connect to two devices simultaneously. The built-in mic is fine for phone calls, but not good, and the six to seven hours of battery life is similarly just OK. With Immersive Audio on, the latter drops closer to four hours. Sony's WF-1000XM5, the top pick in our guide, offer a wider feature set and excellent ANC performance in their own right (though they may be less comfortable for those with smaller ears). Apple's AirPods Pro, meanwhile, still include a bevy of conveniences for iPhone owners. Still, if you want a true wireless set that focuses on ANC and spatial audio, this is a decent discount.

In other Bose deals, the over-ear version of the QuietComfort Ultra are also $50 off at $379. That pair delivers top-notch ANC as well, but it's harder to justify when Sony's WH-1000XM5, our favorite wireless headphones overall, is currently on sale for $50 less. The older QuietComfort Earbuds II are available for $199 as well, though our review found the Ultra model's spatial audio tricks to be worth the upgrade.

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The latest Amazon Echo Show 8 returns to an all-time low of $90

If you're already onboard with Alexa and have decided you want a smart display, a new deal on Amazon's latest Echo Show 8 may be of interest. The 8-inch display is currently down to $90 at Amazon, Target, Best Buy and other retailers, which matches the lowest price we've seen since the device was unveiled last September. Amazon normally sells the smart display for $150, though we saw it drop to $105 for much of the holiday season. Amazon's offer also includes a Sengled color smart bulb for no extra cost. That bulb is compatible with the Matter smart home standard, and we recommend a similar model in our guide to the best smart lights.

We haven't formally reviewed the latest Echo Show 8, but it's largely similar to the second-gen model from 2021, which we previously called the best smart display for Alexa users. It still offers a 1,280 x 800 resolution panel and a 13-megapixel front-facing camera. The design is mostly the same, though the new model's rounded back is a little less pronounced, and the glass on its front stretches edge-to-edge. Its front camera is also located in the center of the top edge, not off to the right, so it's a bit more convenient for framing yourself during video calls. Internally, there's an upgraded octa-core processor that should make it faster to complete Alexa requests, and the new model can work with other smart home devices using the Zigbee and Thread protocols in addition to Matter. Amazon promises improved sound quality, too, though you still shouldn't expect deep sub-bass or ultra-spaciousness with a smallish speaker like this.

All of this should keep the Echo Show 8 as the sweet spot in Amazon's smart display lineup. It's not as affordable as the Echo Show 5, but it's faster and louder, with a superior camera and more spacious display for showing photos and making video calls. It's not as big as the Echo Show 10, but it's significantly less expensive and easier to fit in more rooms around the house. Either way, you can use it to check the weather, pull up recipes or stream music, among other typical Alexa tasks. And while no smart display like this will truly be comfortable for those protective of their privacy, the Echo Show 8 at least has a camera cover and mic mute button built in. Google's Nest Hub remains a better buy for those who heavily use services like Gmail, Google Calendar and YouTube — and there are still questions regarding Alexa's long-term outlook — but this should be a solid deal if you're looking to build a smart home through Amazon's assistant. 

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The 4K Google Chromecast is back on sale for $40

The Google Chromecast with Google TV is the top pick in our guide to the best streaming devices, as it provides an attractive, detailed interface for navigating apps at an affordable price. If you find the smart platform built into your TV slow or unwieldy and are looking to make a switch, Google has kicked off a new sale that brings the 4K streamer back down to $40. 

Google has run this discount several times in the past: It's a few bucks more than the lowest price we've ever seen, but it's still $10 off the device's typical going rate. It's also the first major discount the Chromecast has received in the new year. The offer is available at several retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, B&H and the Google Store. According to Google's listing, it'll last through February 11.

The 4K Chromecast was released way back in 2020 and doesn't support Wi-Fi 6 (or 6E), so we wouldn't be surprised to see a refresh at some point. That said, the existing model is still snappy enough to navigate apps and load up content. It supports all the major streaming services and the most-used HDR formats (Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+), as well as Dolby Atmos audio via HDMI passthrough. The dongle itself plugs directly to a TV's HDMI port, and it comes with a simple remote that can also control volume and power for your TV (though it lacks a dedicated play/pause button).

But you'd mainly buy the Chromecast for its UI. Instead of presenting a grid of apps like a Roku device, Google TV takes a more content-centric approach, proactively recommending shows and movies you may like based on your viewing history. This works well: Recommendations are pulled from a wide range of services, and series you've been watching recently are usually placed toward the top, so it's easy to jump into the next episode. It can also integrate with certain live TV services like YouTube TV and Sling TV to show what's on right from the menu. You can create separate personalized profiles for different people, and contextual searches through the Google Assistant typically work great. You'll still see sponsored content, as with most streamers, but the advertising here generally isn't egregious as it is on, say, Amazon's Fire TV Sticks.

The Roku Streaming Stick 4K is another affordable option that we recommend in our buying guide; it's currently available for $39 as well, though that deal has been around for most of the last two months. Its app-based interface is more basic than Google TV, and it's generally not as precise as the Chromecast when searching for content. But if you want a streamer that just shows you apps and gets out of the way, it might be a better fit. Roku's streamer also supports Apple AirPlay, so you can beam content to it right from an iPhone. If you've got much more cash to burn, meanwhile, the $129 Apple TV 4K is faster and less ad-filled than either device, but that one isn't significantly discounted right now.

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Our favorite microSD card drops to $11, plus the rest of the week's best tech deals

The Super Bowl is set, and we're already seeing a handful of deals on well-reviewed TVs in advance of the big game. Sonos has rolled out a sale on some of its home theater equipment as well. If you're not looking for a living room upgrade, the top recommendation in our microSD card buying guide, the Samsung Pro Plus, is down to a low of $11 for a 128GB model. And for those in search of new headphones, Anker's Soundcore Space A40 is top pick in our guide to the best budget earbuds, and it's now $20 off at $59. A few Apple gadgets are also down to all-time lows, including the iPad Air, Apple Watch SE and 15-inch MacBook Air. Here are the best tech deals from this week that you can still get today.

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