Posts with «shopping» label

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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Amazon takes up to $1,800 off LG’s 2023 C3 OLED TVs

With the writers and actors strikes in the rear view mirror, many great shows and movies are on the horizon. If you're looking for a solid TV to watch it all on, you're in luck: LG's 2023 C3 Series OLED TVs are having a big sale on Amazon. Take the 77-inch C3 Series, which is down to $1,949 from $3,499 — a 44 percent discount. The deal brings this model down to its all-time low price since debuting last spring.

The LG 2023 C3 Series is available in six sizes, ranging from 42 to 83 inches. It has the new a9 AI Processor Gen6, which is exclusive to LG OLEDs and offers HDR tone mapping, object-based picture sharpening and AI upscaling. The company also introduced the WOW Orchestra feature, which integrates the speakers from the TV and newer soundbars. Plus, there's the Brightness Booster, which helps keep the screen easily visible even in well-lit rooms (though it's still not as effective as some of its competitors).

On top of being great for good old-fashioned program viewing, we recently included LG's C3 Series in our roundup of the best TVs for gaming. This designation is thanks to features like supporting ALLM, the big HDR standards like Dolby Vision and the major VRR formats. The C3 series also follows HGIG's guidelines and comes with four HDMI 2.1 ports that have an output of 4K 120Hz when connected to a PC, Xbox or PS5. 

Currently, sales are running on all sizes, starting with a 25 percent discount on the 42-inch model, dropping its price to $897 from $1,197. The $1,800 discount comes courtesy of the LG C3 Series 83-inch TV, thanks to a 34 percent discount cutting its cost to $3,499 from $5,300. 

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Xbox controllers are on sale for $44 each, plus the rest of the week's best tech deals

The end of another week is upon us, which means it's time for another round up of the best deals on some of the tech we've tested and recommend. A few discounts are still around from last week's President's Day sale, and new savings have popped up as well. If you're in the market for Apple gadgets, quite a few are seeing decent discounts, including the iPad Mini, iPad Air and the 15-inch MacBook Air. Multiple Anker charging accessories are on sale, as are a few of our favorite Logitech peripherals. We got an exclusive $30 discount from Thermoworks on their popular instant-read thermometer, and 8BitDo's Famicom-inspired keyboard is 20 percent off at Woot. Here are the best deals from this week that you can still get today.

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Logitech keyboards, mice and webcams are up to 25 percent off

We often recommend Logitech gear in our guides and right now, a number of the brand's keyboards, webcams and mice are discounted up to 25 percent. The sale puts the Pebble 2 Combo keyboard and mouse at $50, which is $10 off and matches its all time low. You can get the deal from Amazon or directly from Logitech. The Pebble mouse is the newer model of a recommendation in our guide to productivity mice and the keyboard is the next generation of a callout from our MacBook accessories article. Both Bluetooth accessories are compact, portable and quickly swap between devices with a button press. Plus this new generation is made from around 50 percent recycled plastic. 

Elsewhere in the Logitech sale, the Brio 301 webcam is down to $45, which is a 25 percent discount and matches the low it hit a few times over the past few months. We named it a less-expensive alternative to our overall pick in our guide to webcams. It shoots 1080p video, has a noise cancelling mic and uses auto light correction to make up for a dimly lit room. It doesn't support HDR or have an adjustable field of view, but at just $45, it offers a lot of features at a low price. 

The Signature M650 mouse, which we recommend in our gift guide, is down to $35 (instead of the $40 list price) for a few different configurations, including a left-handed version. Logitech is running the same sale price. The mouse is lightweight, made from recycled materials, and has a SmartWheel that lets you swap between precision and super fast scrolling, depending on what you're working on. And it'll run for two years on a single AA battery.  

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The best vlogging cameras for 2024

If you’re a content creator or YouTuber, camera companies increasingly want your business. Last year was no exception, with several new vlogging-specific models released by Canon, Sony, DJI and others. That means there are now over a dozen on sale, alongside regular mirrorless cameras that also do the job well.

Models specifically designed for vlogging include Sony’s new ZV-E1 full-frame mirrorless that launched last year, DJI’s Osmo Pocket 3 or Canon’s compact PowerShot V10. Others, like the new Panasonic G9 II and last year’s Canon EOS R6 II are hybrid mirrorless cameras that offer vlogging as part of a larger toolset.

All of them have certain things in common, like flip-around screens, face- and/or eye-detect autofocus and stabilization. Prices, features and quality can vary widely, though. To that end, we’ve updated our guide with all the latest vlogging cameras designed for novice to professional creators, in all price ranges. Engadget has tested all of these to give you the best possible recommendations.

Factors to consider before buying a vlogging camera

Vlogging cameras are designed for filmmakers who often work alone and either use a tripod, gimbal, vehicle mount or just their hands to hold a camera. It must be good for filming yourself as well as other “B-roll” footage that helps tell your story. The biggest requirement is a flip-around screen so you can see yourself while filming. Those can rotate up, down or to the side, but flipping out to the side is preferable so a tripod or microphone won’t block it.

Continuous autofocus (AF) for video with face and eye detection is also a must. It becomes your camera “assistant,” keeping things in focus while you concentrate on your content. Most cameras can do that nowadays, but some (notably Canon and Sony) do it better than others.

If you move around or walk a lot, you should look for a camera with built-in optical stabilization. Electronic stabilization is another option as long as you’re aware of its limitations. You’ll also need a camera with a fast sensor that limits rolling shutter, which can create a distracting jello “wobble” with quick camera movements.

Steve Dent/Engadget

4K recording is another key feature. All cameras nowadays can shoot 4K up to at least 24 fps, but if possible, it’s better to have 4K at 60 or even 120 fps. If you shoot sports or other things involving fast movement, look for a model with at least 1080p at 120 fps for slow-motion recording.

Video quality is another important consideration, especially for skin tones. Good light sensitivity helps for night shooting, concerts and so on, and a log profile helps improve dynamic range in very bright or dark shooting conditions. If you want the best possible image quality and can afford it, get a camera that can record 4K with 10-bits (billions) of colors. That will give you more options when it’s time to edit the footage.

Don’t neglect audio either — if the quality is bad, your audience will disengage. Look for a camera with a microphone port so you can plug in a shotgun or lapel mic for interviews, or at least one with a good-quality built-in microphone. It’s also nice to have a headphone port to monitor sound so you can avoid nasty surprises after you’ve finished shooting.

You’ll also want good battery life and, if possible, dual memory card slots for a backup. Finally, don’t forget about your camera’s size and weight. If you’re constantly carrying one while shooting, especially at the end of a gimbal or gorillapod, it might actually be the most important factor. That’s why tiny GoPro cameras are so popular for sports, despite offering lower image quality and fewer pro features.

The best action and portable cameras

If you’re just starting out in vlogging or need a small, rugged camera, an action cam might be your best bet. In general, they’re easy to use as you don’t have to worry about things like exposure or focus. Recent models also offer good electronic stabilization and sharp, colorful video at up to 4K and 60 fps. The downsides are a lack of control; image quality that’s not on par with larger cameras; and no zooming or option to change lenses.

The best compact vlogging cameras

Compact cameras are a step up from smartphones or action cameras, with larger sensors and much better image quality. At the same time, they’re not quite as versatile as mirrorless or DSLR cameras (and not necessarily cheaper) and they lack advanced options like 10-bit video. For folks who want the best possible quality without needing to think too much about their camera, however, they’re the best option.

The best mirrorless/DSLR vlogging cameras

This is the class that has changed the most over the past couple of years, particularly in the more affordable price categories. Interchangeable lens cameras give you the most options for vlogging, offering larger sensors than compact cameras with better low-light sensitivity and shallower depth of field to isolate you or your subject. They also offer better control of your image with manual controls, log recording, 10-bit video and more. The drawbacks are extra weight compared to action or compact cameras, more complexity and higher prices.

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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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All the best deals in Best Buy's Presidents' Day sale

Though it doesn’t get the respect of Black Friday, Presidents’ Day is actually a very good time for deals. Many stores have dedicated sales in place to help you celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, just like the former presidents intended. Best Buy is especially known for its robust Presidents’ Day sales, and this year is no exception.

The retailer has officially cut the ribbon on this year’s deals and Engadget’s here to find the cream of the crop. Here are the best finds in Best Buy’s Presidents’ Day sale. There's plenty of tech, but no axes to chop down a cherry tree (sorry, George.)

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Bose's new QuietComfort headphones are $100 off right now

Beyond the sound's quality, we want two things when it comes to headphones: a lightweight design and noise canceling. Bose's aptly named QuietComfort wireless headphones make a case for both and, right now, do so at a record-low price. The 2023 QuietComfort headphones are currently available for $249, down from $349 — a 29 percent discount. The sale applies to all colors: Cypress Green, Moonstone Blue, Black and White.

The newest iteration of the Bose QuietComfort wireless headphones improves on the QuietComfort 45. While many of the features (which we'll get into) are quite similar, the 2023 model offers adjustable ANC models and an option to save custom modes. The headphones are our choice for the best noise-canceling wireless headphones for 2024.

Bose's QuietComfort headphones also offer a soft earcup and padded band for that comfort component. They provide 24 hours of battery life with a 15-minute charge providing another two and a half hours of juice. As for sound quality, the QuietComfort headphones offer high-fidelity audio and adjustable EQ for even greater customization.

The Ultra QuietComfort model is also on sale, with a 12 percent discount dropping the cost to $379 from $429. They offer Breakthrough Spatialized Audio, Bluetooth 5.3 and "luxurious comfort." If headphones aren't your thing, Bose's QuietComfort Ultra Wireless Noise Cancelling Earbuds are available for $249, down from $299. Plus, you can grab the SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker for $129 instead of $149.  

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Amazon knocks $100 off the Apple AirPods Max

There's no denying that Apple's AirPods Max are a solid set of premium over-ear headphones that include all of the best features of in-ear AirPods. However, the main drawback with the AirPods Max is its high regular price of $550. A new sale on Amazon mitigates some of that sticker shock, as it takes $100 off the typical price. That means the AirPods Max have dropped to as low as $450, depending on the color. The green, pink and silver versions are all available for that price. The space gray version is $525, while the sky blue model comes in at $529. In any case, $450 is the best price we've seen for the AirPods Max since the 2023 holiday shopping season.

We gave the AirPods Max a score of 84 in our review. We appreciated the balanced sound, active noise cancellation performance, controls and battery life of up to 20 hours (with ANC and spatial audio switched on). Easy pairing to Apple devices and hands-free Siri access are nice to have too. The price was our biggest gripe, but if a $100 discount is enough to sway you, then Amazon's current sale is worth paying attention to.

Also on sale is one of our top picks for a set of wireless Bluetooth headphones. For our money, Bose's QuietComfort Headphones are the best noise canceling wireless headphones around. You can enjoy a comfortable fit and adjust the ANC levels to your liking. This model is also $100 off at $249.

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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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