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Amazon's first-ever Echo Buds sale slashes $40 off

Sweat-proof design, hands-free Alexa and Bose noise-reduction technology, all for $90. Plus, this cordless drill comes with two batteries for $40.

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Amazon's Echo Buds are on sale for the first time.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Earlier this month, CNET's David Carnoy praised Amazon's first-ever true-wireless earbuds, the Echo Buds, but suggested you "wait for a sale." Because while he liked the hands-free Alexa features and Bose-powered noise reduction -- the latter putting the Echo Buds on the same playing field as Apple's AirPods Pro -- he felt the sweet spot would be more like $99.

Well, you didn't have to wait long, and Amazon went a little further than the sweet spot: For a limited time, you can get the Echo Buds true-wireless earbuds for $89.99. Regular price: $129.99.

I haven't tried these myself, but absolutely everything you need to know can be found in Carnoy's Echo Buds review. Two key features separate these from a countless number of competing products: Hands-free Alexa and active noise reduction (which is effectively the same thing as active noise canceling, or ANC, but I'm not sure why Amazon didn't use that term here).

How valuable is Alexa in a headphone? I think that's something you discover along the way. Right now, I'm hard-pressed to imagine how I'd use it. I can already access Siri via just about any headphones I'm wearing (though not hands-free) and almost never do. And I don't consider it a hardship to, say, tap an earbud to pause playback or double-tap to advance to the next song. But I do use Alexa around the house quite a bit, so perhaps I'd find ways to do likewise with the Buds.

As for noise reduction, it's certainly a welcome feature, and most earbuds offering ANC cost considerably more. I expect that's soon to change, though, based on colleagues' reports of products they saw at this year's CES. ANC is coming in a big way, and it will quickly cease to be a "premium" feature.

Everything else appears to be on point: good sound, good battery life, good for making calls. (You can use either earbud independently, which many users will applaud.) The sweat-resistant design puts them a step above non-Pro AirPods, which also lack noise-canceling capabilities and start at $159.

This being a first-generation Amazon product, you might do better to wait for the Echo Buds 2. On the other hand, that could be a long wait. If you want solid noise-reducing earbuds at a really competitive price, this deal is worth a look.

Your thoughts?

Read more: The best true-wireless earbuds of 2020

Powerful cordless drills with two batteries don't come much cheaper than this

meterk-drill
Meterk

I own a decent cordless drill, but, ugh, the battery is always dying right when I need it. And because it came with only one, I have to pause whatever I'm doing and wait while it recharges. Never again. Next drill: two batteries.

Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon seller Gervus has the Meterk 20V Cordless Electric Drill Driver with two batteries for $39.89. That's after applying promo code UNOLIMYN at checkout.

Are there a few cheaper drills floating around Amazon? For sure, but most of those are 12-volt models. Most 20-volt drills will set you back closer to $60, if not more. That extra horsepower is important when you're trying to drive a screw or drill through something extra thick or extra solid.

As noted, the drill comes with a pair of rechargeable batteries, plus a fast charger where you can park one while using the other. The only thing missing here is a simple reversible screwdriver bit, which is essential for the small jobs you do regularly. Some drills come with one; I wish this one did as well.

Still, you're getting a heap of horsepower and two batteries on the cheap. Worth a look!

Now playing: Watch this: Amazon Echo Buds take on AirPods with built-in Alexa
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