Regular Cheapskate readers know of my fondness for sound bars, which supplant the usually sucky speakers built into HDTVs with bigger, better, forward-facing audio.
One gripe with most bars, however, is the lack of bass. Another: price. Typically, these babies ain't cheap, especially if you opt for one with a subwoofer.
Exception! For a limited time, and while supplies last, Best Buy has the Vizio VSB210WS sound bar and wireless subwoofer for $84.99, shipped (plus sales tax where applicable). It originally sold for $349, currently lists for $259.99, and sells elsewhere for as much as $227.
Before I go any further, you'll want to read the two user reviews on Best Buy's product page. One indicates the buyer received a recertified unit, even though the page makes no mention of this being anything but new. (Indeed, the warranty is listed as one year.) The other seems to suggest a faulty unit. Your mileage may vary, of course, but just to be on the safe side, you might want to choose ship-to-store shipping. Then you can go check out the merchandise before taking possession -- and refuse or return it if it appears to be anything but new.
By the same token, a few of the users' reviews on Amazon point to possible reliability issues, something I've heard before regarding the non-subwoofer version of the Vizio sound bar. Seems like most people who get the gear positively love it, but a few unlucky ones end up with faulty hardware. It might be worth paying with a credit card that doubles your warranty. Just saying.
Also just saying: for $85 and change, this should prove an awesome addition to your living room. The sound bar will vastly improve the quality of your TV and movie audio, and the subwoofer will add much-needed depth. Plus, the latter is wireless! So you can position it just about anywhere that's convenient, with one less cord cluttering up the place.
CNET reviewed the VSB210WS way back in 2009, awarding it four stars and praising its easy setup, gloss black finish, and "reasonably full-bodied sound." (Among the dings: limited connectivity options and so-so simulated surround.)
As always, this was in stock when I wrote about it, but deals like this tend to sell out very quickly. Hope you're able to grab one!
Bonus deal: In case you missed it last time around, Daily Steals has the XtremeMac BT Home Connect Bluetooth audio receiver for $15, shipped. This is an AC-powered version, meaning it's best suited to adding Bluetooth capabilities to your home (as opposed to car) stereo. A very popular product, if my last post about it is any indication.
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