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Speakers

Get a Vizio 2.1-channel Bluetooth sound stand and gift card for $79.99

From the Cheapskate: This offer includes a $25 Dell gift card on top of an already sweet TV-speaker deal.

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I love television the way I love the air I breathe and the food I eat, but two things drive me crazy: the dreaded soap-opera effect (easily remedied, thank goodness) and built-in TV speakers.

The latter sound terrible. Not just sometimes, in some TVs, but in all TVs, everywhere, always. They're just too small, and usually pointed in the wrong direction (like down or backward, exactly where you're not sitting).

vizio-ss2521-c6-with-remote.jpg

Photos really don't do this thing justice. It's not much to look at it, but it sits unobtrusively under your TV anyway.

Vizio

The fix: a sound bar, or in today's case a sound stand that sits underneath the TV. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Dell has the Vizio SS2521-C6 25-inch 2.1-channel Bluetooth sound stand for $79.99 shipped (plus sales tax in some states). And that price includes a $25 Dell gift card!

Here's why this is better than most sound bars: The Vizio sits beneath your TV (anything up to 55 inches), not out in front of it where it can't help looking ugly and awkward.

Plus, because it's much larger than a sound bar, it's able to accommodate not just separated stereo speakers, but also a subwoofer (the ".1" in "2.1"). As everyone with a pair of ears knows, a subwoofer makes a huge difference in overall sound quality.

The Vizio sports all the important inputs -- RCA, coax, optical and so on -- but it also has a Bluetooth option, meaning you can pair your phone or tablet for those times when you want to listen to music. That's another huge benefit to this model over sound bars that are TV-only.

And how does it sound? Dell customers haven't weighed in, and I haven't located any pro reviews of the SS2521-C6. However, well over 100 Amazon buyers rated it 4.4 stars out of 5, which I consider pretty compelling evidence this is a good product. (Google it and you'll find more or less the same rating from even more Google reviewers.)

I don't know how long these will last at this price, or how long Dell intends to run the sale. (Historically, Dell sales tend to disappear quickly, which is annoying.) But I do know this is a great price on a well-reviewed TV speaker, one that normally sells for around $50 more. Plus, apply that gift card to your next printer, monitor or whatever for an even better deal.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Have you got a big ol' movie library on your PC? Ever wish you could access all that stuff on your iPhone or iPad without actually storing it there? You can if you install VLC on your PC and VLC Streamer on your iOS device. The latter normally costs $2.99; today it's free. The app makes it simple to stream movies from just about any drive on your home network.