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Lately I've been test driving a bunch of wire-free earbuds. Cheap ones, of course, because $159 for AirPods is just ridiculous (and a non-starter if you're an Android user). I must say, they've gotten pretty good, especially compared with some of their first-generation counterparts.
If you're interested in testing the wire-free waters but don't want to spend a lot, here's a deal. For a limited time, and while supplies last, IyeskuDirect (via Amazon) has the Iyesku YK-T02 wire-free earbuds for $26.45 with promo code HL6Y4HI3. Regular price: $42. That code works only for the black model.
Like approximately a zillion similar products, these earbuds ride around in a little plastic case that keeps them fully charged -- and then recharges them after you're done listening. Expect about three to four hours of playtime and two or three recharges before the case needs to get juiced up again (which it does via Micro-USB).
Each earbud has a single function button, but it's not a touch-sensitive one. That's a good thing, because I've discovered that it's way too easy to accidentally touch a touch-button and accidentally end up back in pairing mode or activate-Siri mode or whatever. No, thank you.
As soon as you pop open the case, the 'buds pair with each other and your phone. That's another must-have feature; no more having to manually turn on both 'buds. Likewise, when you're done listening, drop 'em back in and shut the lid; they automatically turn off and start recharging.
Sound quality: Pretty good. I'm not hyper-critical about that, because I mostly use these for podcasts while walking the dog, TV audio on the elliptical and Hamilton around the house. There's not much bass, despite the noise-isolating fit of the rubber ear-tips. Overall, I'd give them a "B+" grade -- and remind you to consider the price.
Here's what I don't like about these: They don't snap into their case with that same satisfying magnetic "grab" as some others do, and they're a little hard to pluck out as well. Those are minor gripes, no question, and I solve the latter problem by just turning the case over and letting them fall into my hand.
I did encounter the same occasional outdoor audio dropouts that tend to plague these things. If my phone is in my pants pocket and I turn my head too far in one direction, the audio cuts out in one 'bud or another. I'd say it happens once or twice on every dog-walk -- not so often that I want to crush the earbuds with my boot, just a brief annoyance.
Also, Fakespot and ReviewMeta both call out lots of questionable reviews, which is why I elected to test these myself. Remember: fake reviews don't necessarily indicate a bad product.
Indeed, it's pretty amazing that for $26 and change, you can get wire-free earbuds -- and decent ones at that. These would make a great gift, no question.
Bonus deal: A toothbrush? That's hardly a tech item. But don't just brush this off: Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the Quip Electric Toothbrush for $14. That's for the plastic version. The way-cooler metal version is $19. Here's the surprising part: These sell for $35 and $50 at Target, where they have a five-star review average from over 4,500 customers. Update: This deal is sold out.
I actually just switched over to similar toothbrush (not this one) and have to say I like it a lot. Specifically, I like the 2-minute timer (that's how long you're supposed to brush) and the 30-second pulses that tell you when to switch, er, mouth quadrants.
It's waterproof, so you can take it in the shower, and the travel cover doubles as a stand or mirror mount. When it's time for a new brush head, you can buy them from Quip proper -- or choose a subscription plan and automatically get replacements every few months.
My only complaint about this $50 toothbrush for $19? The $5 shipping charge. Makes me kind of "mehd."
Giveaway! The good folks over at Roadshow want to help you defray the cost of gas (and other expensive things). So enter for. Entering is easy, so do it now!
Read more: The best gifts for 2018
Read more: The best gifts under $50
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