Get an iLoud Bluetooth speaker for $234 shipped
Designed with musicians in mind, this premium speaker (normally $299) features a microphone/guitar input for use with iOS music-creation apps.
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 coffee-shop gigs, beach visits, and everyday travels.
The iLoud weighs just under 3 pounds and measures 6.3 inches by 9.8 inches by 2.4 inches. It's portable, with a rechargeable battery that's good for about 10 hours, but it can just easily find a semi-permanent home on a bookshelf or the like.
What really sets this model apart from the competition is its 1/4-inch guitar/mic input. No, the iLoud doesn't double as a traditional amp, but it does allow for pairing with an iOS device and some app-powered music creation and performance, courtesy of a built-in IK iRig circuit. (Be sure to read the full description to get a better understanding for how this works. I'm not a musician, so it's a little Greek to me.)
CNET hasn't reviewed the iLoud, but I recently had the opportunity to demo one. To my ears it sounded fantastic -- at least as good as my other favorite Bluetooth speaker, the $299 Braven 850. That model lacks the guitar input, but it does afford speakerphone capabilities, which the iLoud does not. (Quick survey: Does anyone ever use that feature?)
I definitely recommend reading the iLoud reviews at iLounge and PC Mag. They're quite positive overall, the key complaints being the all-plastic body and the need for iOS accompaniment to take advantage of the guitar features.
Of course, those reviews were based on a $300 price tag. At $234 out the door, the iLoud seems a little more splurge-worthy. I'm listening to one right now, and it really does sound exceptional. Do take note, however, that delivery may take up to two weeks.
Bonus deal: E-readers are probably an endangered species, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't grab one while the grabbing is cheap. Today only, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch e-reader for $37.99 shipped (plus sales tax). You even get a free 8x8 photo book from Shutterfly for some reason. And you know a great first book to get for your Nook? This one!
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