Can a $40 over-the-ear headphone possibly rival one costing 2-3 times as much?
No. Don't be silly. However, a $40 over-the-ear headphone can look gorgeous, feel comfortable and sound pretty darn good. And because you read the headline, you already know that I've roped one for half that price.
Check it out: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amir Direct (via Amazon) has the Criacr BH8R over-the-ear Bluetooth headphone for $19.60 when you apply promo code AMTBPN3W at checkout. It normally costs $39.99. Update: Looks like the red ones are sold out; I'm checking with the vendor to see if we can get a code for the black ones. Update #2: No-go on the code for the black ones, but we might be able to get it for tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Update #3 (5/16/18): Good news! While supplies last, you can get the black version of the headphones for $19.60 with promo code AMCNST9U.
Skeptics, unite! At this price, the build quality must be poor. The feature set must be limited. The sound quality must be on par with a tin can on a string.
Nope. Nope. Nope. I've been test-driving these for the past few days, and I'm genuinely impressed. For starters, they're just as sexy as in the photo: Fire-engine red mixed with glossy black (though the latter does show fingerprints).
They fold for easy storage but unfold for wearing with a very solid-feeling click. And although they're wireless, you can also plug them in if you prefer to go wired. The battery is good for up to 13 hours of Bluetooth play time, according to Criacr, though of course you can listen indefinitely if you switch to corded.
I found the BH8R extremely comfortable to wear -- more comfortable, in fact, than my much more expensive Plantronics headphones. (Don't judge; they were a gift.) Credit the Criacr's headband, which is a little cushier. The top of my head hurts after about 15 minutes wearing the Plantronics.
Ah, but does this $20 headphone sound as good as a $200 headphone? No; the latter offers more depth, more richness. But when I was listening to the $20 headphone, I enjoyed everything I played.
Also, I took them outside to see if the sound cut out while my phone was in my pocket -- a common problem with Bluetooth headphones. Verdict: No problems! (Your mileage may vary.)
I do have one small quibble: Most headphones, you short-press the power button to turn them on or off, long-press to enter pairing mode. Here it's the opposite; every single time you turn them off, you first hear, "Pairing mode." It's weird.
Also, there's no warranty information listed anywhere. Most likely it's one year, but I'm checking with the seller and will update the post when I get an answer. It's worth finding out because a handful of reviewers mentioned reliability issues. Update: Here's the seller's warranty policy. Short version: 12-month warranty, 60-day money-back guarantee.
Bonus deal: I love a good multifunction printer (MFP) deal. Like this one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, B&H (via Ebay) has the Canon Pixma TS6020 all-in-one for $44.99 shipped. (Staples has it for the same price, but you're more likely to get hit with sales tax.)
The TS6020 can print, scan and copy. It supports auto-duplexing (two-sided printing), all the wireless options (AirPrint, Google Cloud Print) and borderless photo printing (up to 4x6-inch). It relies on 5-tank ink system and works with inexpensive third-party cartridges.
I have this Pixma's little brother, the TS5020, and it's been a solid, reliable performer. At $45 out the door, this is definitely worth a look.
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