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Speakers

Kick off a summer of songs with the JBL Flip 3 for $49.99

That's a full 50 percent off this top-rated portable speaker, which can repel splashes and play for up to 10 hours. Plus: a seriously excellent freebie for business folks.

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I'll always choose a premium brand of speaker when it's priced like a cheap brand of speaker.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's finally starting to warm up around here, and I couldn't be more eager to start planting stuff in the garden, shooting hoops in the driveway and sitting on the back porch with a mojito in my hand.

For those and other outdoor activities, you can't beat a good portable speaker -- especially when it's 50 percent off.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, Verizon has the JBL Flip 3 portable Bluetooth speaker for $49.99 shipped. It lists for $100 and normally sells for around $80. It hasn't been anywhere near this cheap since Black Friday, and even then it was about $5 more.

If Verizon's stock runs out -- always a possibility, based on past experience with carriers selling accessories -- Harman has the refurbished JBL Flip 3 for $49.99 shipped. Harman also has a lot more color options, where Verizon's inventory is currently limited to just two, and the warranty is a full year, same as with a new Flip 3.

Wherever you decide to buy it, you should find the speaker a pretty sweet outdoor companion. It's water-resistant, with flaps that cover its charging and input ports, so you can take it to the pool, the beach, the park and other splashy and sandy locations.

Now Playing: Watch this: JBL Flip 3: A better Bluetooth speaker for the same price
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Of particular interest, you can pair multiple speakers to spread out -- and amplify -- the sound. That's a feature not found in most of the cheaper speakers I share in this space.

I haven't tried this music-tube myself, so I'll turn you over to David Carnoy's JBL Flip 3 review. His verdict: "One of the best mini portable Bluetooth speakers available." And that, of course, was based on the $100 price tag.

He specifically called out the loudness of the sound relative to the compact size of the speaker, the commendable 10-hour battery life and the handy integrated microphone for making and taking calls.

You know me: I tend to prefer inexpensive off-brand speakers. But when I can get a well-known, well-regarded brand for about the same price? I'm in!

Bonus deal: In case you don't also follow me on Business Bargain Hunter, I shared a deal earlier today that's seriously fantastic for the social-media crowd: One free year of video maker Lumen5.

Lumen5 makes it easy to turn new or existing web content into those animated word-narration videos you see all over the place. The service normally runs $49 per month, so getting a year free is kind of nuts. No strings attached, for real.


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