CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


Get a pair of JBL Pebbles desktop speakers for $20

Though designed with PCs in mind, these snazzy speakers (reg. $50) can also provide an audio boost to another important appliance.


When it comes to computer audio, you should never settle for built-in speakers. Sure, your laptop or Chromebook may move around a lot, but for those times when it's parked at a desk, you should always plug in desktop speakers -- the better to enjoy Netflix streams, Spotify playlists, YouTube vids and so on.

Same goes for your TV: its built-in speakers are a crime against ears. More on that in a moment.

Ah, but do you need to spend big bucks on decent desktop audio? Not if you act fast: Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the JBL Pebbles USB speakers for $20, plus $5 for shipping. Price elsewhere: at least $50.

First things first: These are designed for use with PCs; they plug into a USB port, which supplies both audio data and power. Of course, there's also a traditional 3.5mm line-in jack if you prefer to connect another source -- like, say, a tablet -- but you'll need to route that USB cable to a USB AC adapter (not included).

And what about using these as TV speakers? Now we're talking. For any smallish TV, like the one in your den or bedroom, speakers like these would provide a huge improvement over the built-ins. Just plug them into the TV's audio-out or headphone jack. If the TV has a USB port as well, it may supply the necessary 2 amps to power the speakers, but chances are you'll still need the aforementioned AC adapter.

Wherever you plug them in, they look pretty cool: thick, white-with-silver-trim circles that look like they've partially melted into the table. I have no firsthand knowledge of how they sound, but the user reviews at Amazon (where they sell for $50) are overwhelmingly positive: 4.5 stars out of 5 from some 75 buyers.

Based on past experience, Meh doesn't always have a ton of inventory, but I'm hoping there's enough stock to satisfy any/all Cheapskate readers who want a pair. Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Want robust PC security for most of the rest of 2015? SharewareOnSale has a free nine-month license for Bitdefender Total Security 2015. This is widely regarded as one of the best security suites you can buy, with Editors' Choice awards from the likes of PCMag and Tom's Guide. At the end of November, the software will continue working; you just won't get any additional updates unless you pay up. The giveaway is good for a single-PC license, though it stands to reason you could outfit additional systems by registering with additional email addresses.