Rick's Words to Live By (TM): Always, always and never settle for a TV's built-in speakers.
I was reminded of this last one while visiting family this weekend. Beautiful cottage, wonderful company... and a TV that no one could hear. (I know, I know: Why was anyone watching TV? Hey, the elders like to watch their news shows, and in the evenings we all like to play Quiplash.)
As I've noted many times in the past, even the best TVs tend to have poor built-in speakers, in part because they're facing down or backward and in part because there's so little room inside those flat-panel cabinets.
Solution: a sound bar -- an external speaker for the TV. Like this one: Today only, and while supplies last, A4C has the Bohm B2 60-watt Bluetooth sound bar for $54.95 shipped. It originally sold for $200.
The B2 is a fairly straightforward sound bar, one that supports Bluetooth 4.0, coaxial, aux and optical inputs. Regarding its Bluetooth connectivity, that's definitely suitable for connecting to things like phones and tablets for music. If your TV has Bluetooth as well, you should be able to pair the B2 for wireless TV audio.
I say "should" because I've heard anecdotally that not all Bluetooth-capable sound bars work well with all Bluetooth-capable TVs -- audio lip-syncing is often an issue. But Bohm specifically lists this as one of its TV-connectivity options, so, again: You should be fine.
Beyond that, you get 60 watts of audio goodness and three sound modes: Movie, music and night.
CNET hasn't reviewed the B2, and I will note that the Amazon customer rating averages out to just 3.9 stars, which strikes me as somewhat cautionary. But after looking through those reviews, I can't quite pinpoint a single complaint or issue. A few folks mentioned volume problems, but overall the reviews seem pretty glowing.
And, hey, you're spending just $55, not $200 (or $100 or even $75, which is what you'll often pay for similar products). Really the only thing missing here is a subwoofer, but that's a nicety, not a necessity. Trust me when I say you won't believe the difference in TV audio quality once you switch over to this.
Bonus deal: Kids today can tap out volumes' worth of text using only their thumbs, but I need a keyboard. Like this one: For a limited time, the iClever IC-BK03W portable folding Bluetooth keyboard is $19.71 with promo code ICELBK03. Regular price: $28.99.
Designed with phones and tablets in mind, the iClever keyboard can pair with Android, iOS and Windows devices. To my thinking, it's the kind of thing you whip out when you have an impromptu need to take notes or want to compose a lengthy email -- situations when on onscreen keyboard just won't do.
Some 700-plus buyers collectively rated this 4.4 stars out of 5, so it's a good bet you'll find this a good travel companion.
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