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My favorite retro wireless speaker ever is on sale for $69.30

Normally $99, the Lofree Poison is adorable, portable, surprisingly loud and an FM radio. Plus: a sweet deal on my all-time favorite phone accessory.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
3 min read

If you like this kind of retro design, you'll love the Lofree Poison.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

A company you probably never heard of, Lofree makes some really cool retro gear: a mechanical keyboard, the QTV I shared here a while ago, and the curiously named but decidedly excellent Poison speaker.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Cheapskate readers can get the Lofree Poison vintage wireless speaker/FM radio for $69.30 with promo code RRPA8IDU. It normally sells for $99, and the best price I've seen elsewhere is $80. That code should work for any of the four available colors. Update: The red model is sold out, but blue (really more of a teal) is still available.

It goes without saying that the Poison offers a refreshing change from the usual ugly-black-brick design you see in a lot of speakers. Indeed, it's flat-out gorgeous, all curves and chrome and 50s-retro.

It's a Bluetooth speaker , of course, but also an FM radio. (There's an auxiliary input as well in case you'd like to connect an external source.) The implementation of that is mixed; there's a cool FM tuner strip embedded in the top of the grille, complete with LEDs to show approximately -- but not precisely -- where you're tuned in.

But it's tiny, and therefore hard to see. It's even harder to manually tune a station; you'll probably end up relying on the seek and auto-scan functions, which definitely help. In my house (located on the fringe of suburbia), the Poison did a pretty good job picking up local stations. Your mileage may vary, of course, and there's no external antenna to boost reception.

Here's the best part: The speaker sounds amazing -- not just for its size, but for its design. You'd think something like this would be built for looks first and audio fidelity second, but the Poison really delivers on both counts. It has a 20-watt amp that gets extremely loud and a rear diaphragm that produces considerable bass.

That's my two-cents. I'm no audiophile, and I should note that both Fakespot and ReviewMeta find fault with many (if not most) of the 24 user reviews. I'll simply say I love the design, I'm extremely impressed by the sound quality and greatly appreciate the inclusion of the FM tuner.

If not for you, this might make a great gift for someone who digs vintage designs. Me, I'd like to remodel my kitchen around the dang thing.

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The Phone Strap helps you keep a better grip on your phone. It's dirt-cheap drop protection!


Bonus deal: One of my all-time favorite products just got a name change. What was once the awesome "Ninja Loop" is now the boring "Phone Strap." Fortunately, it's still awesome, and I understand the change, because it better describes what the thing actually is.

Which is... a phone strap, duh. And it's genius, because it weighs nothing, works with just about every phone case, doesn't interfere with wireless charging and -- best of all -- helps you keep a much better grip on your phone.

They're already a killer stocking-stuffer at $5, and if you buy three of them, you bag free shipping to boot. For a limited time, however, when you buy one Loop Phone Strap for $5, you get the second one for $2.50. (No code needed.) To put that another way: Buy three, get one free.

I've used one of these for years and still consider it a must-have accessory. I've also converted countless friends and family members (along with more than a few strangers). Now it's just second nature for me to slip my fingers into the strap, and at the risk of jinxing it, I haven't dropped my phone in as long as I can remember.

I especially love some of Loops' new designs: Christmas, coffee, cats, pride and so on. So here's my advice: Choose four of these -- one for you, three to give as gifts -- and you're out the door for $15.

The best tech Christmas gifts for 2018

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Read more: CNET's complete guide to Black Friday 2018

Read more: CNET's Holiday Gift Guide 2018

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