CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again


These wireless headphones are $10 and they're damn good

At this price you'd expect junk, but these aren't junk. Plus: A not-to-be-missed sale on boardgames.


Putting my money where my ears are: I'm listening to the perfectly cromulent Smartomi HAP-1 right now.

Photo by Rick Broida/CNET

Today's deal is a rerun of the best kind: Lower price, vetted (by me) product. For a limited time, and while supplies last, Amazon has the Smartomi HAP-1 Bluetooth neckband earphones for $9.90, shipped free with Prime. That's after applying promo code 551KV4KE at checkout, or you can just click this link and it'll get applied automatically.

Update: Alas, these are already sold out. I was assured by the vendor that there were hundreds in stock, but that was on Saturday... I guess they must have sold some over the weekend. My apologies, cheeps!

Update #2: CNET's David Carnoy, who must have a little cheapskate in his blood, spotted these Sharper Image Bluetooth neckband earbuds for just $7.99 at Amazon. They have no ratings, but functionally they're pretty close to the Smartomi 'buds. Definitely a winner on paper, at least.

Update #3: Annnd...the Sharper Image deal is busted as well. Onward! Here's a similar Bluetooth neckband earphone for $7.49 (!) with promo code N6UUNMK3. Any good? Don't trust the reviews, according to both Fakespot and ReviewMeta. But if you're bummed about missing the other two deals, well, here's yet another alternative.

Ten-dollar headphones, you scoff? They must sound terrible, you say? Allow me to address the tone-deaf elephant in the room...

I'm not an audiophile. I don't believe in spending big bucks on premium headphones or speakers because I don't consume music that way.

Rather, I listen while running or working out. I listen in the kitchen while making dinner. Heck, I listen in the shower (not with headphones, natch). None of these conditions requires pristine audio fidelity; as long as my tunes don't sound like AM radio, I'm happy.

And I'm quite happy right now, grooving to Florence and the Machine's "Dog Days are Over" while I type. (Thank goodness I don't have co-workers around me, because there'd be a lot of pointing and laughing.) Because, as you can see in the accompanying photo, I'm wearing the HAP-1. I've owned them for months and consider them way better than any so-called low-end headphones have a right to be.

Indeed, my non-audiophile ears give these a B+. I find the sound quality to be surprisingly good, though occasionally I'll notice that a song sounds a little muddy. And the 'buds themselves can get uncomfortable after extended periods -- but that's true of every kind of headphone I've ever worn.

The HAP-1s are impressively lightweight, with magnetic 'buds that snap easily into their respective "silos" when not in use. Smartomi promises up to 14 hours of play time from the battery, compared with the 8-9 hours you get from some neckbands and the 3-4 hours from many Bluetooth sport 'phones. I haven't done any formal testing, but I feel like I go for long stretches without having to recharge them.

Also impressive: The neckband vibrates, making it much easier to tell when you've successfully turned it on or off. (Usually you have to watch a tiny LED.) It also vibrates when a call comes in, meaning you're less likely to miss it when the earbuds aren't in your ears.

User reviews: 4.1 stars from over 150 buyers, and ReviewMeta gives those reviews a passing grade (though Fakespot is a little more critical of them). And Smartomi backs the product with a one-year warranty. (This isn't specified on the product page, but it's printed right on the back of the box.)

My take: These are 10 bucks. Keep your expectations in line with that and I suspect you'll be very happy. I have no qualms about recommending these for your morning meditation, your train-ride podcast, your time at the gym and even your groovin' at your desk. 

If you bought these last time around, let's hear from you! The good, the bad, the other.


A rare deal on a top-rated boardgame.

Plaid Hat Games

Bonus deal: Game time! Aha, but not the usual kind: Today only, Amazon is offering big discounts on select boardgames.

That's right! Gather your friends and/or family around a table for a wholesome activity that doesn't involve screens. A couple great picks include Escape the Room: Stargazer's Manor (on sale for $10.99, reg. $21.99) and Dead of Winter ($38.50, down from $60).

The former is kind of like an escape room in a box; the latter, a zombie-themed survival game for 2-5 players. Are there any for-sale titles you'd recommend? Name them in the comments!

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. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!