Skullcandy's new AirPods alternative is on sale for $99

The Push wire-free earbuds normally sell for $129. Plus: An unlocked refurb iPhone SE for $123.

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

I'm no audiophile, which is why you'll often hear me say that a certain Bluetooth speaker  or pair of headphones sounds "good enough." But I get that for some folks, good enough, well, isn't.

Indeed, if you crave premium sound and don't mind paying a premium for it, today's deal might appeal. For a limited time, the Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless Earbuds are $99.99 shipped (plus tax). When you add it to your cart, you should also see a free Skullcandy black baseball cap.

Released just last month, the Push normally sells for $129.99. Obviously I have to mention Apple's category-defining AirPods , which run $159. So for $60 less, let's see what you get.

The big difference: The Push employs a noise-isolating design, meaning the earbuds create an inner-ear seal that helps block outside sound and amp up the bass. On a track like Daft Punk's Get Lucky, this affords a greater range and depth to the sound than you get from AirPods. Overall, I'd say the Push ranks among the best wire-free earbuds I've tried to date, at least in terms of audio fidelity.

Read more: The best truly wireless headphones for 2019  

As any good ones should, these power on and autopair the moment you take them out of the case. One small gripe, though: They're a little tricky to pluck out. Your first instinct is to use your thumb and forefinger, but really you have to use just the latter to kind of roll them free.

Also, that case is definitely larger than average, and therefore not as pocket-friendly as some I've seen. According to Skullcandy, the earbuds can last an impressive 6 hours before needing to recharge, and the case can fully recharge them once. Given its size, I feel like it should be able to do better than that. (The case itself recharges via USB-C, which is nice.)

I like the Push's design and fit. A rubber wing -- here described as a FitFin -- helps keep the earbud in place, though if your ears get super sweaty during a workout, I'm not sure they'd prevent the 'buds from falling out.

CNET hasn't reviewed these yet, and I'd be remiss if I didn't point out another new AirPods alternative: the $80 Anker Soundcore Liberty Air. I'll just say that for $60 less than AirPods, you can get wire-free earbuds that offer great noise-isolating sound.

Your thoughts?

Watch this: Top 5 cheap wireless headphones

Bonus deal: The discontinued iPhone SE recently returned to Apple's online store, only to sell out soon thereafter. That wasn't surprising, given the $249 price tag and popularity of the entry-level model.

If you missed out, fear not: Back Market has the refurbished unlocked iPhone SE (silver, 16GB) for $123, plus $10 for shipping.

OK, so Apple's SEs were new and came with 32GB. They were also twice the price. Here, your $123 buys you an SE in "shiny" condition, meaning scratch-free and like-new overall. You also get a six-month warranty and 30-day return window.

Because it's unlocked, you can use it with just about any carrier. I recommend taking advantage of Mint Mobile's current deal, which nets you three months of service for just $20.

Concerned about the limited storage? Here's everything you need to know about surviving with an iPhone with only 16GB.

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