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Raise your Zoom or vlogging game with this lavalier microphone for $18 (Update: Expired)

Plus, five great free movies to cue up for your weekend.

This clip-on microphone will greatly improve your audio. It's shown here with its little wind-screen removed.

Modern phones can capture gorgeous-looking video, but they're not too great at audio. That's because built-in microphones are tiny and tend to pick up lots of ambient noise, rather than just your voice. That's not ideal if you're on a Zoom call or trying to become a TikTok star.

An easy, inexpensive solution: A lavalier microphone, one that clips to your clothing and better isolates your voice. Like this one. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Daily Steals has the Galvanox USB-C wired lavalier microphone for $17.99 with promo code CNETLAV. You can also get a Lightning version (for iPhones and iPads) for $19.99 with the same code.

All you do is plug the mic into your phone or laptop, then clip it to your front, ideally somewhere just above chest level. It has a five-foot cord, which should provide enough slack for a tripod setup or the like.

And that's about it. I have no first-hand experience with this, but I can tell you that just about any lav mic is going to afford a huge improvement over a built-in mic. (It's like the difference between built-in TV speakers and a soundbar, but for recording.) Thankfully, you don't have to spend much to enjoy that improvement.

Your thoughts?

5 great free movies you can stream right now


Just Mercy is free to rent right now. You won't be disappointed.

Warner Bros.

If your thoughts were, "Rick, must be a pretty slow deal-day," you're right. So I thought I'd share a few free-movie recommendations, because why not?

Captain Fantastic (free on Kanopy): This is such a charming little movie, but with a story you can't help discussing afterward. Are we too wired? Too disconnected from nature? (Also: "Am I doing a terrible job raising my kids?")

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (free with ads on Amazon): Arguably one of the most underrated animated movies ever, Cloudy is absolutely hilarious -- and family friendly to boot. You wouldn't think a slim children's book could expand into a genuinely great 90-minute movie, but here you go.

Contact (free with ads on Roku Channel): Based on the eponymous Carl Sagan book, this is a movie that deserves to be seen in a theater on a big screen with big sound. If you don't have a suitable setup at home, at least wear headphones.

Just Mercy (free rental on Amazon, Google Play and elsewhere): I just watched this last night with my family, and we were all riveted -- and infuriated. If you want some insight into what's happening across the country right now, this sheds a lot of light. It's also just a flat-out terrific movie.

The Prestige (free with ads on Vudu): Christopher Nolan brings his twisty-turny finest to this story of rival stage magicians in turn-of-the-century London. That may not sound especially interesting but trust me, It's awesome. (And here's a bonus for Nolan fans: You can watch Memento ad-free on Kanopy.)

Have you found any other free movies worth recommending? Shout 'em out in the comments!

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