Best Electronics Deals Right Now

·15 min read

You can find some seriously great prices on TVs, laptops, headphones, and other popular tech gadgets

By Samantha B. Gordon

When you’re in the market for new headphones, a bigger TV, or other tech products, it can be hard to save money. But thanks to some lasting Amazon Prime Day deals, we’re still seeing some great prices on everything from Bluetooth speakers and wireless routers to fitness trackers and smartwatches. The two-day sale may be over, but there are plenty of great prices on quality products, especially when it comes to tech devices and gadgets.

Of course, the best sales involve more than a good price. You want the product you buy to work well, no matter how much you spend. So our tech experts look for price cuts on items that stand up to Consumer Reports’ rigorous testing. The list below features this week’s top picks.

Viewing on a mobile device? Click on the links below to skip to each section.

Bluetooth and Smart Speakers
Home Theater
Laptops, Chromebooks, and Tablets
Headphones
Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches
Televisions
Wireless Routers
More Deals

Get discounts, product recommendations, and buying advice from the shopping experts at CR. Sign up for our ShopSmart newsletter.

Spotlight Deal

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

The Galaxy Tab S7 Plus is a solid option if you’re looking for a strong performer in a tablet. It aces CR’s tests for performance, convenience, and versatility. And Samsung as a brand gets great scores for predicted reliability and owner satisfaction in our member survey. The 128GB machine boasts impressive speeds for everyday tasks as well as a bright screen with a wide viewing angle. Our testers found it easy to use.

It was selling for $500 recently, so you may want to wait to see if the price drops again closer to Amazon Prime Day.

CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 Plus

Bluetooth and Smart Speakers

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen)

The Echo Show 5 is Amazon’s smallest smart screen. Our testers report that the sound is subpar for a music-listening device, but that’s not why you should consider this device. It’s a utility machine that works well placed on a night table or desk. You get all the Amazon Alexa functionality you’d have in other Echo devices, including the super-cheap Dot, and some added value thanks to the small screen and camera.

The Show 5 was $5 less at Amazon for Prime Day, but this is still a significant discount if you wanted to buy one but missed the big sale.

CR’s test results: Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd gen.)

Amazon Echo Show 8

The Show 8 has an 8-inch touch screen (ideal for displaying online recipes), responds to voice commands (useful when you’ve got messy hands), and has a camera that can adjust the focus to “follow” you as you move about the room on a video call. The device’s footprint is also significantly smaller than that of the new Show 10, which needs a beach-ball-sized space on the countertop to provide clearance for a rotating screen. As with many smart speakers, though, the Show 8’s sound quality is somewhat lacking, according to our testers, who noted the model’s strident high frequencies. This sale price is $10 higher than we saw for Prime Day.

CR’s test results: Amazon Echo Show 8

JBL Xtreme 3

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a fine-sounding portable speaker, even if it’s not all that portable at more than 5 pounds and a foot long. The Xtreme 3 sounds slightly better than its predecessor, the Xtreme 2, too, although it’s very close in overall character. Like the Xtreme 2, the 3 has strong bass that goes fairly deep—but was somewhat boomy and lacked natural instrument detail compared with better performing speakers we’ve tested. It can play loud enough to fill a midsized to large room. The Xtreme 3 features an internal power bank that can charge other devices, and JBL says it’s both dustproof and water resistant to 3 meters, but CR doesn’t test those claims.

CR’s test results: JBL Xtreme 3

Sony SRS-XB23

Sony’s SRS-XB23 has been on sale for a few weeks but just dropped an additional $10 to $88 at a few retailers. This speaker is proof that less can be more. While older Sony speakers came with superfluous features like lights and sound effects, the more straightforward XB23 still performs its primary function admirably—and at a great price. It’s a midsized speaker that checks a lot of boxes. It’s relatively inexpensive, and Sony claims that it’s water-resistant.

And it sounds good. According to our testers, the low bass of the SRS-XB23 is a bit lacking, and the midrange lacks some of the clarity of the very best portables. But on balance, the speaker delivers satisfying sound.

CR’s test results: Sony SRS-XB23

For more discounts: Best Deals on Bluetooth and Smart Speakers

Home Theater

Roku Streambar Pro

The Roku Streambar Pro is a 2.0 soundbar with a built-in 4K Roku streaming player that supports the HDR10 format but not Dolby Vision or HDR10+. The model essentially replaces the Roku Smart Soundbar, featuring a more advanced voice remote control with a headphone jack for private listening and buttons that can be programmed for voice commands. The soundbar has Roku’s standard access to lots of streaming services.

CR’s test results: Roku Streambar Pro

Roku Ultra - 2020

Roku’s top 4K streaming media player boasts a few great features, including built-in Bluetooth for streaming music from mobile devices and support for Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos 3D sound. It also has an improved WiFi range, so the player can be placed farther away from your router than previous models. The remote even offers voice search and programmable buttons.

CR’s test results: Roku Ultra

Laptops, Chromebooks, and Tablets

Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11

This is an 11.6-inch 2-in-1 convertible, which means the keyboard can be fully bent behind the display via a 360-degree hinge, allowing you to use the device somewhat like a tablet or prop it up on a table in “tent mode” to more easily share your screen with others.

The specs are modest: a MediaTek processor, 4GB of memory, and 32GB of flash storage. MediaTek specializes in inexpensive processors, but our testers found the performance here to be somewhat slow even with relatively simple tasks, such as editing text and browsing the web. The battery life isn’t too shabby, though, at 12 hours for web browsing and 10 hours for watching high-res video.

CR’s test results: Lenovo Chromebook Flex 3 11

Microsoft Surface Laptop Go (64GB)

Microsoft has several Surface devices to choose from, but this relatively inexpensive model could be a good option for consumers looking for a smaller laptop, especially at this hefty discount. It has a 12.4-inch display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory, and a 64GB solid-state drive. That’s small, so you’ll probably want to compensate with cloud storage.

The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go scores well in many of our tests, though the performance is a bit sluggish compared with other options. The model is lightweight (2.5 pounds), offers decent battery life (just under 12 hours in CR’s web-browsing test), and has a bright, color-accurate display. There’s a touch screen for flipping through those photo galleries.

This laptop was $50 less during Prime Day, so you may want to consider other options or wait to see if the prices falls again closer to Black Friday.

CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go

For more discounts: Best Deals on Laptops, Chromebooks, and Tablets

Headphones

Apple AirPods Pro

The AirPods Pro aren’t the best scoring noise-canceling headphones in our ratings, but they might be the most popular. And unlike the earlier generations of AirPods (such as the second-generation ones listed above), the Pros deliver when it comes to performance, with solid sound quality and fantastic noise cancellation. If you’ve been thinking about picking up a pair, we’re still seeing the Prime Day price.

CR’s test results: Apple AirPods Pro true wireless earbuds

Bose SoundLink around-ear headphones II

The Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Headphones II don’t have noise-canceling tech like Bose’s best-known models, but they get a great rating for sound and cost a bit less than other options. They aren’t cheap but they’re lightweight, highly portable, and beat almost every Bluetooth over-ear model we’ve tested. According to Bose, they have a 15-hour battery life. Clip the on-page coupon to get the full savings.

CR’s test results: Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Headphones II

1MORE E1001 Triple Driver

For just about the best sound quality you can get from a portable headphones under $100, look no further than the 1More E1001 Triple Drivers. You won’t find many competitors that deliver such impressive audio anywhere near this price. And while they’ve been on sale for weeks, they just dropped another $15. These headphones have a sleek design and come with extras, including a removable shirt clip, a carrying case, and nine sets of earpieces of varying shapes and sizes to help you find a good fit.

CR’s test results: 1More E1001 Triple Driver

Anker SoundCore Life Q20

Shopping for noise-canceling headphones on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. A case in point is the Anker SoundCore Life Q20. You can pick it up for just over $50 right now with the on-page 10 percent coupon, and our tests show that it beats models that cost hundreds more.

The model has great sound quality and outstanding noise cancellation. It doesn’t sound quite as good as top-rated options like the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, and you won’t get sought-after features like adjustable levels of noise cancellation. But at this price, those may be sacrifices worth making.

Anker does include some appealing perks, such as the ability to work over either Bluetooth or an audio cable, and a free app that adds features, including a bass boost EQ setting. According to Anker, the headphones have a generous 40-hour battery life when Bluetooth and noise cancellation are both turned on.

CR’s test results: Anker SoundCore Life Q20

Sennheiser PXC 550-II

The Sennheiser PXC 550-II is such a great deal we could almost call it the best and the bargain pick. It’s one of the highest-scoring headphones in our ratings, and it costs hundreds less than many competitors. In our tests, the PXC 550-II outperforms flagship models from manufacturers such as Beats and Sony, and gets almost the same score as the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, one of our other top picks, priced at almost $400.

The PXC 550-II has appealing features, such as adjustable levels of noise cancellation and an ambient sound monitoring mode that lets noise from your environment back in, so you can hear your surroundings when necessary. Sennheiser says this model will run for up to 20 hours with both Bluetooth and noise cancellation turned on.

CR’s test results: Sennheiser PXC 550-II

For more discounts: Best Deals on Headphones Right Now

Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches

Apple Watch SE (40mm) GPS

In terms of sheer functionality, the SE probably sits at the sweet spot of Apple’s smartwatch lineup. It’s got the look and feel of Apple’s top-of-the-line watches, the outgoing Series 6 and the new Series 7, and most of the important functionality. The major differences? No blood oxygen and EKG functions, a slightly slower processor, and a smaller display than that on the 7. In our labs, the SE performs on a par with its more-expensive siblings, too.

The watch was $30 cheaper during Prime Day, but this is still a great discount.

CR’s test results: Apple Watch SE

Fitbit Versa 3

If you’re looking for a versatile smartwatch under $200, Fitbit’s Versa 3 may be a good option. It has built-in GPS, which allows you to go for a run or ride without taking your smartphone along, plus a blood oxygen sensor, which enhances its sleep-tracking capabilities. It also has a mic and a speaker that allow you to take calls via a Bluetooth connection to your smartphone. Our testers found the Versa 3 to be a solid performer when it comes to counting steps and tracking heart rate, and it’s easy to pair with a smartphone.

CR’s test results: Fitbit Versa 3

Fossil Gen 6 (44mm)

The Fossil Gen 6 may be a great choice if you’re looking for a smartwatch that looks more like a sports watch. It runs the latest Wear OS3 operating system. The Gen 6 also features stand-alone GPS, which helps runners and cyclists track their workouts, and a blood oxygen sensor that enhances sleep tracking.

But keep in mind that the Fossil Gen 6’s claimed battery life is only a day, which is short compared with what you can find with other models. It also depends on the rather basic Google Fit suite of health and fitness apps. And while it has a blood oxygen sensor, it lacks ECG functionality that can measure heart rhythm irregularities. The watch was $30 less during Prime Day, but this is still a significant discount.

CR’s test results: Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch

Samsung Galaxy Watch4 (44mm)

The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 has a bright, round, 1.3-inch AMOLED display that can showcase a variety of interesting watch faces. The model has a mic and speaker for handling phone calls. It offers a robust suite of health and fitness options, including a blood oxygen sensor, ECG monitoring (which could detect irregularities in heart rhythm), and even a sensor that is claimed to measure body fat. It works best if you have a Samsung Android phone because that gives you access to all the Samsung Health features.

CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Watch4

For more discounts: Best Health, Beauty, and Fitness Deals

Televisions

Insignia NS-70DF710NA21

This 70-inch 4K smart TV from Insignia, Best Buy’s house brand, is a fine overall performer, but its HDR (high dynamic range) performance is ineffective, mainly because of peak brightness limitations. It uses the Amazon Fire TV smart TV system, and Alexa is built in for using voice commands.

Unlike many deals after Prime Day, this one has actually dropped in price by $30, making it one of the best offers still available.

CR’s test results: Insignia NS-70DF710NA21 70-inch TV

LG 70NANO75UPA

This 70-inch mainstream 2021 LG NanoCell 4K TV does well for overall picture quality, but it can’t deliver a great HDR experience. It also lacks the wider-than-average viewing angle we see on many LG LCD-based sets. It has built-in support for virtual assistants including Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

CR’s test results: LG 70NANO75UPA

For more discounts: Best TV Deals Right Now

More Deals

Netgear Nighthawk EX7000 WiFi Range Extender

This WiFi range extender from Netgear delivers dual-band WiFi up to a manufacturer-claimed maximum of 1900 Mbps. Features include a mobile app for help with setup and network management, parental controls, a DLNA server that allows you to play media on a smart TV or game console, a USB 3.0 port for faster access to stored media, and five Ethernet ports for creating wireless access points and connecting a game console, Blu-ray player, smart TV, or streaming player to your WiFi network.

Learn more: Should You Buy a WiFi Range Extender?

Netgear Orbi AC1200 (3-Pack)

The Netgear Orbi AC1200 has been on sale for a while, and the price has fallen steadily from around $150 in the past few weeks. This three-unit mesh router system performs well in our tests overall. But it doesn’t rate quite as high for speed at midrange and far distances, and it isn’t compatible with the WiFi 6 standard, which might not be ideal for early adopters who want the fastest connections to the latest smartphone and other gadgets. (Don’t worry about compatibility, though; all new devices work with the earlier WiFi standard.) Given the relatively low price, however, there’s a lot to like here, including an easy app-based setup, a built-in Ethernet port, and automatic firmware updates, which protect you from hackers, malware, and other security vulnerabilities.

CR’s test results: Netgear Orbi AC1200 wireless mesh router (three-pack)

Whistle Go Explore

The Whistle Go Explore is lightweight yet solidly constructed. The Whistle has a strong light for spotting your dog at night, but despite the name doesn’t emit any sound. In lost pet mode, it geolocates every 15 seconds, which is more frequently than all the models CR has tested except for the Tractive. And the accompanying app allows you to track your pet’s activity, even monitoring negative behaviors like excessive licking and scratching.

The claimed battery life of “up to 20 days” beats the Tractive by a sizable margin. One small knock: It can’t be charged without removing it from the collar, an extra step that might lead you to accidentally head out for a walk without your tracker.

CR’s test results: Whistle Go Explore



More from Consumer Reports:
Top pick tires for 2016
Best used cars for $25,000 and less
7 best mattresses for couples

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.