Get a Fluance AB40 Soundbase TV speaker for $199.96
That's $50 off the regular price of this top-rated home theater helper, which can also stream music from your mobile devices. Plus: two seriously sweet bonus deals!
Rick BroidaSenior 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").
Two products I feel every person should have: a car mount for your phone and an external speaker for your TV. You've heard me espouse the virtues of car mounts many times; today, let's talk TV.
It crushes me when I see people watching big, beautiful screens and listening to the weak, tinny speakers built into those screens. That's no way to enjoy the new "Star Trek"! Or the next season of "Stranger Things," or a catch-up binge of "Game of Thrones." TV is meant to be heard, not just seen.
That's why I wholeheartedly recommend investing in a good sound system. Sure, you could add an inexpensive sound bar and enjoy better audio. Absolutely. But for a few dollars more, you can get something that really elevates the experience.
Not familiar with Fluance? Over the years, the company has earned a stellar reputation for offering high-performance speakers at affordable prices. Their products employ wood cabinets, which audiophiles know deliver a warmer, more natural sound.
The AB40 is a big, single-cabinet speaker, one designed to sit under a TV rather than in front of it. One important thing to note: If your TV has feet at either end, that poses a problem; this requires a TV with a center stand.
If you've got one, you're in for a treat:
Sound was also richly balanced, without a hint of the hollowness/phasiness we've heard from other sound bars and bases that process stereo sound to produce faux surround effects. The AB40's sound processing is excellent. Dialogue also sounded natural and clear, dramatically more so than what we heard from the much smaller ZVOX AccuVoice speaker, which retails for the same price as the AB40.
Alas, I wasn't able to test this for myself, but I do own a couple other Fluance speakers that I like a lot.
Oh! Nearly forgot: The AB40 doubles as a high-end Bluetooth speaker, able to stream from your phone, tablet, etc. That's really a huge added bonus, I think, as now your living room can become a concert hall, dance hall... basically any kind of hall that has music.
If you've been considering a TV-audio upgrade, this is definitely worth a look.
Bonus deal: One of my favorite deals of the year has returned, albeit with a slightly higher price. (Trust me: Still worth it.) For a limited time, and while licenses last, AppSumo is offering 100 stock photos from Depositphotos for $49.
Why is this such a great deal? Stock photos -- the kind you're allowed to use for business or commercial purposes -- can be really expensive. In fact, Depositphotos normally charges $49 for just 10 royalty-free images. Here you're getting 100 for the same price.
Like most AppSumo deals, this one includes a 60-day money-back guarantee, which is awesome. If you end up not liking this for some reason -- any reason -- you can get a refund. I grabbed this deal last time around; it was some of the best money my small biz ever spent. (Heck, I used a Depositphotos image for the cover of my latest book!)
Bonus deal No. 2: As you may have noticed recently, The Cheapskate is expanding his horizons a bit; watch for more "lifestyle" deals in addition to the usual tech stuff.
For example, can't afford a gym/yoga-studio membership but want your daily dose of exercise? Look no further than Daily Burn, which streams all manner of exercise classes to your laptop, phone, tablet and TV.
Daily Burn offers a huge range of classes: dance, cardio, strength training, yoga and so on. I desperately need to start doing yoga, but honestly I feel super-self-conscious when I'm in a public class. With this, I can do it in the privacy of my home, embarrassment-free.