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Get a refurbished Vizio sound bar for $49.99

Not happy with the way your HDTV sounds? Don't want to spend a small fortune on speakers? For just 50 bucks, this is an awesome solution.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read
The Vizio VSB200 sound bar delivers much better sound than your HDTV's built-in speakers could ever hope to.
The Vizio VSB200 sound bar delivers much better sound than your HDTV's built-in speakers could ever hope to. TigerDirect

Note: This is an update of a deal I wrote about a few months back.

If you own an HDTV, I'll wager you've discovered an almost universal truth: built-in speakers blow. Unfortunately, with rare exception, you can't just plug in a set of external speakers; usually you need a receiver to act as the go-between, and that gets expensive.

Note that I said "usually." Another option is a sound bar, a speaker/receiver combo that sits above or below the screen and does the work of two or more standalone speakers. Of course, these can be pricey, too.

Not today: TigerDirect has the refurbished Vizio VSB200 HD Sound Bar for $49.99, plus around $10 for shipping. That's after applying coupon code CFX36685 at checkout. New, these sell for closer to $100. And the last time I wrote about it, it was $70.

The VSB200 consists of four midrange speakers and two tweeters, which kick out a maximum of 60 watts' worth of audio. And thanks to built-in SRS TruSurround technology, you can opt for a virtual surround-sound experience.

Make no mistake: this isn't intended to rival a full-on surround system--but you can bet it's a vast improvement over your TV's built-in speakers.

That's my takeaway from reading a ton of user reviews, which average out to around 4 stars out of 5 on TigerDirect and Amazon. That said, I don't have any hands-on experience with the VSB200, so my stamp of approval is based solely on the price.

I do have some hands-on experience with another external-speaker solution: the Zvox 550, which is currently on sale for $299.99. Even then, it's not cheap--but it sounds incredible. Just thought I'd throw that out as another option.

Bonus deal: Today only, and while supplies last, CowBoom has the Kodak Zx3 waterproof HD camcorder for $79.99 shipped. (It's listed as model 1442102, but it's definitely the Zx3.) This is new, not refurbished, and a killer deal given that it sells for at least $120 everywhere else. Cheapskate Jr. and his buddies have been using one to make movies all summer, and they're loving it.