This is hard for me to believe, but Cheapskate Jr. is graduating high school in a few weeks. (And, ahem, going to my alma mater, Michigan State, with an honors scholarship. #crazyprouddad)
That means there's a backyard graduation party in our future, which means we'll need tunes, which means today's deal is perfect.
Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has the refurbished Braven XXL portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker for $149, plus $5 for shipping. It originally sold for $349 and currently runs $300 new.
This is what my generation would refer to as a boombox: A big, loud outdoor speaker designed to be hoisted over your head while you proclaim your love for that special someone -- or just, you know, set up in the backyard so everyone can jam.
The Braven XXL lives up to its name: It's a big speaker, so big that it has both a carrying handle and a shoulder strap. (The latter has a built-in bottle opener, which I find awesome.) In fact, it weighs a whopping 18 pounds, meaning if you're going to imitate Lloyd Dobler, you better have decent upper-body strength. Update: Ack! Meh just informed me that not all of these units come with the shoulder strap. Some do, some don't.
Why so big and heavy? The XXL packs in four 10-watt drivers, two passive radiators and a 50-watt subwoofer. That's audio-speak for, if you like thumping bass, this is the speaker for you. (I particularly like the user-adjustable bass and treble; this really is like a boombox!)
It also has a 15,600mAh rechargeable battery that's good for up to 14 hours of playtime (according to Braven). In fact, because the XXL has power to spare, it has a USB port for keeping your phone powered while it streams your Spotify. There's a line-in jack if you're connecting something a little more old-school (like an MP3 player), but also NFC for quick-pairing compatible Android phones. (iPhones still have to pair the old-fashioned way -- there's no Lightning port on top, just a cradle for phones of any type to sit vertically as shown, or horizontally.)
Last but not least, there's a microphone jack, meaning you could use this as part of a karaoke setup or just when you want everyone to pipe down while you toast the graduate. (Sorry, there's something in my eye.)
CNET hasn't reviewed the XXL, but elsewhere on the interwebs, it earned high marks from reviewers and buyers alike. (At Amazon, for example: 4.3 stars. At Braven proper: 4.8 stars.)
Because it's a refurb, it has a 90-day warranty. Deal-breaker? I'm fine with it; Braven makes quality gear, and I haven't seen any customer reviews citing reliability issues. A roll of the dice is the price you pay for paying half the usual price.
Bonus deal: Game time! The Humble folks are back with another stellar freebie: The Flame in the Flood (Win/Mac/Linux), a survival/adventure indie that normally sells for $15.
Not sure it's your cup of tea? Read GameSpot's review. (Verdict: 8/10.) Of course, it's free, so what do you have to lose? After you add the game to your Humble cart (you'll need an account there, natch), just check out like normal and you'll receive a Steam key via email. (You'll need a Steam account as well, and the Steam desktop client to actually play the game.)
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