CNET's Cheapskate scours the Web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
Quick housekeeping note: If you missed out on yesterday's sport-headphones deal, it's because the vendor's stock ran out. Unfortunately, it's not always obvious when this happens, because Amazon doesn't show a "sold out" banner or the like. Instead, it switches over to another vendor that might be selling the same product -- but usually for a different price, and with no support for (or knowledge of) the accompanying promo code.
In other words, if you see a different price than what I indicated or can't get a code to work, that might be the reason. I do my best to make sure a vendor has sufficient inventory, but ultimately there's no way for me to know when stock runs out. If you miss out, don't fret. There's usually a similar (or better!) deal just around the corner.
And now for something completely different...
Regular Cheapskate readers know I'm a champion of the sound bar, simply because most TVs have terrible built-in speakers. The only problem is that sound bars stick out like sore thumbs when positioned above or below the TV.
Problem solved! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Walmart has the Monoprice High Quality TV Stand with Built-In Sound Console for TVs Up to 55 Inches for $99.99 shipped (plus tax). The full price at Monoprice is $229.84.
So, yeah, this is a TV stand with a built-in sound bar. And it's built in in such a way that you hardly notice it's there, which is pretty cool. Plus, the price is about what you'd pay for a sound bar all by itself. Here you're getting a retro-mod TV stand, too!
The front of the unit features a blue LCD readout, an AUX input (in case you want to manually connect something like an iPod and a USB input (in case you have a flash drive packed with music).
At the rear: RCA and optical inputs for connecting your TV and/or stereo. Also, the speaker supports Bluetooth 4.0, though it's limited to a single paired device, which is kind of a bummer.
The speaker incorporates two 10-watt tweeters, two 15-watt full-range drivers and a 40-watt subwoofer. I'm no audio expert, but that should prove considerably better than what you're getting from your TV's speakers. Unfortunately, there are no user reviews to speak of, so audio quality is the big unknown here.
Bonus deal: A wireless keyboard can come in mighty handy for things like media-center PCs, Android TV dongles, game consoles and so on. For a limited time, and while supplies last, HaborDirect (via Amazon) has the Seneo mini wireless keyboard/touchpad for $14.99 when you apply coupon code UP99YBLY at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers. Specs include backlit keys, a rechargeable battery and compatibility with a wide range of devices and operating systems.
Bonus deal 2: What do you get for the dad or grad who has everything? A "Back to the Future"-inspired Flux Capacitor USB car-charger, of course. Created by ThinkGeek, this geek-tastic gadget normally sells for $24.99, but it's currently on sale for $9.99. Shipping adds $6.95, unless you bring your cart total to $75 or more. (ThinkGeek has lots of other cool stuff. Just saying.)