Cheeps! I'm back from across the pond. Here's what I learned on my summer vacation (aside from the fact that London is awesome): AirPods aren't good for airplanes. I mean, I kind of knew that already, but these flights confirmed it. AirPods offer zero noise isolation, meaning you have to crank the volume against engine noise, crying babies, and so on. Not good.
That's why, for just about any activity except running, I prefer 'buds with noise-repelling silicone in-ear tips. Like these: For a limited time, and while supplies last (the vendor has about 200 in stock, I'm told), AMIR Direct via Amazon has the Criacr D39 True Wireless Bluetooth 5.0 Earbuds for just $13.20 with promo code OLC3W5G7. Regular price: $32.99. As always, if you see a different seller listed or the code doesn't work, it means the deal has ended. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Update: Ugh...these sold out very quickly. I'll check with the seller to find out when more inventory will be available.
At last count, Amazon was home to some 3,782 seemingly identical earbuds -- some with slightly different designs, but most from no-brand sellers and priced in the $30-40 range. Needless to say, the big attraction here is the big discount.
But $13? These can't possibly be any good, can they? Turns out, they can. I've spent the last couple hours listening to Queen, Sting and Hamilton, and honestly I'm kind of blown away. At first, with the stock ear tips (medium-size, which is what I typically use), I was prepared to dub the sound quality "pretty good overall, but lacking some bass -- surprising given the design."
Then I switched to the large tips, and, wow, huge improvement. Great bass, great clarity, great noise-isolation. As CNET's wisest owl, John Falcone, reminded me, "it's all about the seal." I'll just add my usual caveat about sound quality being a very subjective thing, but I'm truly, genuinely impressed with these.
Like all good true-wireless earbuds, they auto-pair when you take them out of their charging case and disconnect when you put them back in. Craicr promises about three hours of play time on a charge and three full recharges from the case -- so about 12 hours total.
Each earbud has a single mechanical multifunction button; use either one to play/pause, skip to the next song or activate voice controls. Pretty standard stuff.
Because these have no ear hooks or wings, I don't know how well they'd stay put during a sweaty workout or run. I also don't know how reliable they are long-term. But for $13, you could literally buy 12 pairs for the same price as one pair of AirPods. (Actually, the coupon probably limits the number you can get at this price, but you take my meaning.)
$13. Great sound. Wow.
Read more: The best true-wireless earbuds for 2019
Bonus deal: Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 GPS and Cellular: $229
The Apple Watch Series 3 had been selling for $199 for a long while, but deals on the "with cellular" model have been harder to come by -- and they've rarely been anywhere near this good.
For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3 GPS and cellular (38mm) for $229. That's a hefty $150 off the regular price. Note that you may need to be signed into your My Best Buy account to see this price.
I'm an Apple Watch Series 3 owner and liker, though I brought my $80 Amazfit Bip to London so I wouldn't have to deal with charging. (After eight days, it still had nearly 80% battery left!)
But the Apple Watch is definitely the best option for iPhone owners. Read Scott Stein's comprehensive Apple Watch Series 3 review to learn more. It doesn't specifically call out the Nike Plus features, which amount to custom Nike watch faces, a Nike sports band and tighter integration with the Nike Plus Run Club app.
Best Buy has a few other variations on sale as well, so look further if you don't specifically want the space-gray case and black band.
The Cheapskate Mystery Box is coming!
Ready to do some good? Starting Monday, Aug. 12, everyone will have a shot at buying the Cheapskate Mystery Box -- a fundraising effort supporting three great charities. We have only 1,000 to sell, but a new lottery system should ensure that everyone gets a fair shot. Plus, we'll have t-shirts available for all!
Check out the video to learn more, and stay tuned for full details on Monday.
CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our , and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.