A super deal on super audiophile speakers

Ah yes, the Pioneer SP-BS21-LR -- it was love at first listen back in 2011 when I reviewed it as part of Pioneer's awesome SP-PK21BS six-piece, subwoofer/satellite home-theater system. I used the SP-PK21BS package as one of my reference speaker systems in reviews after that and was always amazed by the speaker's sound and build quality. The SP-BS21-LR speakers sold for $130 a pair. It was later replaced by the SP-BS22-LR, which is the current model (the SP-PK21BS package has also been discontinued). The old and current speaker models have the same retail price, $130 a pair, … Read more

Get a Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth speaker for $99.96

First up, thanks for the incredible response to yesterday's post about Microsoft Office. Lots of good discussion, lots of very fair points on all sides. (Note that CNET's commenting system is down for the moment, so you can't add your two cents just now. Same goes for this post. Sorry about that! Hopefully it'll be sorted out soon.)

Second up, most of the Bluetooth speakers you see nowadays are of the compact, portable variety. Those can be great if you want something that can go where you go, even if it's just to different rooms … Read more

Five-deal Friday: Desktops, drones, downloads, and more!

Happy Friday! Nothing kicks off a weekend like a wheelbarrow-full of deals, and today I couldn't settle on just one. In fact, I'm pretty bad at math; there may actually be more than five here. Can't bother counting; I'm too busy buying stuff!

Droning on and on I've always wanted one of these, but couldn't (wouldn't!) pay the $299 list price. Now I'm sorely tempted.

Today only, and while supplies last, Woot has the refurbished Parrot AR.Drone 2.0 Wi-Fi quadricopter for $169.99, plus $5 for shipping. Controlled by your … Read more

Getting better all the time: M-Audio BX5 Carbon speakers

I'm a big fan of M-Audio's desktop monitor speakers. Their build and sound quality standards, even for their near entry-level models, are exceptional. The new BX5 Carbon retails for $149.99 each.

The vinyl-wrapped, medium-density fiberboard speaker measures 10x7x8 inches. Around back there's a large bass port, so don't plan on placing this guy up against a wall. Each 11-pound speaker has two built-in amplifiers: a 40-watt unit for the 5-inch woven Kevlar woofer and a 30-watt for the 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Rather than use the more common Class D amps, M-audio engineers opted for … Read more

The 404 1,429: Where it's good enough to snoop through (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- If portrait video is wrong, these artists don't want to be right.

- iPhone app invites strangers to eavesdrop and solicit advice.

- Tinder flaw may have exposed members' exact whereabouts for months.

- E-cigarette meets Bluetooth speaker: a perfect pair.… Read more

Get a Qube2 portable Bluetooth speaker for $55.99

I'm on a family vacation this week, enjoying a much-needed respite from the horrors (horrors, I say!) of this year's winter. Although we all packed headphones for use with our phones and tablets, I wanted a speaker so we could jam together to Pharrell Williams' can't-not-dance-to-it "Happy."

I had several portable-speaker options to choose from, but I like to travel as light as humanly possible. So I packed the impossibly compact new Matrix Audio Qube2, which sounds way louder -- and better -- than any speaker of its size has any right to.

Alas, it'… Read more

LG G Pro 2 could sound off with better speakers

The LG G Pro 2 may add beefier speakers to its list of enhancements.

The successor to the LG G Pro will be equipped with a high-powered 1-watt speaker system, Korean news site ETNews said on Thursday. The bass will also be bassier courtesy of thicker speakers, while the sound itself promises to be clearer as well as more powerful. Overall, the audio output will be a 30 percent or more improvement over that of the LG G Pro, the site claimed.

Further, users will be able to adjust the sound level and other features via a dedicated app.

Though … Read more

Get an Android alarm clock and speaker dock for $59.99

As someone who's in the midst of migrating from iPhone to Android (namely, the Republic Wireless Moto X), I'm looking for ways to ease the transition. Among them: finding a place to dock/charge my phone at night. My current alarm-clock dock has an old-fangled Apple 30-pin connector.

Ah, but do they make bedside clocks especially for Android devices? Of course they do, and from now through tomorrow, Feb. 4, you can get the Hale Dreamer alarm clock/speaker dock for Android phones for $59.99, shipped. That's after applying coupon code XLL9I5S4 at checkout.

Born on … Read more

Former homeless man finds success in the speaker business

Five years ago I wrote about a homeless man in California who wanted to start a speaker company. That man, Kevin Nelson, dared to be different: his speakers could produce stereo sound from a single box. He was way ahead of his time -- nowadays millions of Bluetooth speakers claim the same thing. But Nelson's speakers do a more convincing job of creating stereo. Nelson started working on the stereo from one speaker idea in 1989 and spent years perfecting the concept. He cooked up the name Zealth Audio early on and stuck with it.

Some time after I … Read more

Get an iLoud Bluetooth speaker for $234 shipped

Calling all musicians (and music lovers): today's deal is for you.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, StackSocial has the IK Multimedia iLoud Bluetooth speaker for $239 shipped. And when you apply coupon code cheapskate5 at checkout, your price drops to just $234. It lists for $299.99 and sells elsewhere in the $290 range.

So, yeah, $234 is still a lot for a speaker. But this is about as premium as they get, a great choice for a den or family room where you want rich, full sound from a fairly compact package. Or for your … Read more