Raise your hand if this is familiar: You're dialed into the company meeting orand you put your phone on speaker so you can do other things while listening in. But the sound quality is terrible, both for you and the people at the other end. That's no surprise; your phone has to rely on one tiny microphone and two (at best) tiny speakers.
Want to make these calls suck way, way less? Pick up a Bluetooth speakerphone, one that's expressly designed for this purpose. Anker recently unveiled one, and it's back on sale: For a limited time, and while supplies last, the. Total savings: $30.
The PowerConf can connect to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth 5.0, but also has a USB-C option in case you want a laptop hookup. It works for just about any kind of call, including FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and so on.
As noted, this represents a huge improvement over your phone's speakerphone capabilities. It incorporates a six-microphone array that effectively provides 360-degree omnidirectional audio capture, while at the same time reducing background noise. That means everyone can be heard regardless of where they're sitting. Anker recommends this for groups of up to eight people.
As an added perk, the PowerConf is portable, offering up to 24 hours of call time via its 6,700-mAh rechargeable battery. And it doubles as a power bank: There's a USB port you can use to top off your phone or another mobile device.
The unit recently scored a place in CNET's roundup of; we already thought it was a great value at $130. Meanwhile, it earned a 4.2-star average rating from around 180 Amazon buyers.
Get a 2-pack of Kasa Smart Plugs for $17
My daughter just discovered the joys of smart plugs, which, when paired with a voice assistant like Alexa, allow her to verbally command her bedroom string lights to turn on or off. Of course, something like that is just the tip of the smart-plug iceberg.
Want to see for yourself? For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the, the lowest price to date. It regularly sells for $29.99.
Though wider than some such outlets, these are compact enough that they won't block the outlet that's above or below. Indeed, you can "stack" two right on top of each other.
You can control these via the Kasa app (if you want to set timers and the like) or use a voice assistant; the plugs support both Alexa and Google, no hub required. Also worth noting: Some 4,200 buyers collectively rated these 4.7 stars out of 5. Great buy at this price.
Originally published earlier this year. Updated to reflect new availability. Replaced previous bonus deal.
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