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.
Are you doing TV wrong? You might be if: a) You haven't done anything to resolve the dreaded soap-opera effect; b) You're settling for the tinny, anemic sound produced by those tiny built-in speakers; and c) You spend time watching soccer. (Whoa! Who said that? I kid, I kid!)
Let's talk b). You can greatly improve your TV audio by connecting a sound bar -- even a small, inexpensive sound bar. And when it doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, so much the better.
Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Insignia NS-SB216 two-channel sound bar with Bluetooth for $39.99. Shipping is free, but you'll probably have to pony up for sales tax. (Incidentally, it's also available via eBay for the same price.)
It's not immediately clear from the photo, but this is a very small speaker: It measures just 12.6 inches across. Most sound bars are a lot wider, not ideal if you're looking to pair them with a smaller TV, like one in a bedroom or den.
Speaking of pairing, if your TV has built-in Bluetooth or you own a Bluetooth transmitter, you could potentially set this up as a wireless speaker. But that would preclude you using it as a Bluetooth speaker with your phone or tablet, as it can pair to only one device at a time. Personally, I'd go for the traditional RCA or optical wired connection, leaving Bluetooth free for streaming audio. (I've also heard that TV audio can lag slightly when delivered via Bluetooth.)
There's not much else to report, other than the 4.1-star rating from nearly 100 buyers. If you're looking for an easy and inexpensive TV-audio boost, it's hard to beat the price tag on this.
Bonus deal: Game time! I'm old enough to remember playing -- and loving -- the very first Castle Wolfenstein game, so I'll always have a special place in my heart for the series. If you like story-driven first-person shooters as well, you'll love this: For a limited time, GameStop has Wolfenstein: The New Order (for PC) for $6.59. Price elsewhere: at least $19.99.
This 2014 alternate-reality shooter (think: "widespread acclaim from critics and players alike, with solid 8/10 ratings pretty much everywhere you look. For less than $7, you simply can't go wrong. Just take note: The deal was live as of 8 a.m. ET this morning, but I have no idea how long it'll last.") received
Bonus deal No. 2: Regular readers know my position on mobile chargers: They should have built-in wall prongs and cables, even if it means paying a little extra. One of my all-time favorites is on sale: TechRabbit has the Mycharge Hub 6000 for $24.99 shipped. This 6,000mAh mobile charger features -- wait for it -- built-in wall prongs and cables, one each for Micro-USB and Lightning devices. (There's also a standard USB port for charging anything and everything else.)