This top-rated bookshelf speaker just launched for $149.99, but Cheapskate readers can save $50. You're welcome!
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").
First up, thanks for the incredible response to yesterday's post about Microsoft Office. Lots of good discussion, lots of very fair points on all sides. (Note that CNET's commenting system is down for the moment, so you can't add your two cents just now. Same goes for this post. Sorry about that! Hopefully it'll be sorted out soon.)
Second up, most of the Bluetooth speakers you see nowadays are of the compact, portable variety. Those can be great if you want something that can go where you go, even if it's just to different rooms of the house. But there's also much to be said for a bigger, louder speaker that takes up permanent residence in a living room, bedroom, den, or the like.
The folks at Fluance just introduced a new model with that kind of usage in mind, and for a limited time, you can score one on the cheap. It's the Fluance Fi30 Bluetooth speaker for $99.96 shipped when you apply coupon code FI30CNET at checkout. Available in your choice of black or white, it normally sells for $149.99.
If it looks at all familiar, that's because the Fi30 is a slightly smaller version of the Fluance FiSDK500 speaker dock I've featured here before. It's constructed of the same medium-density fiberboard (MDF), which promises a warmer sound and more accurate response than a typical plastic enclosure. I can say from experience that the FiSDK500, a longtime resident in my kitchen, sounded terrific.
With the Fi30, though, there's no dock, nor even a set of volume or transport controls. The speaker was designed expressly to pair with your smartphone or tablet, though it does have a 3.5mm input in case you want to connect a non-Bluetooth player (like an older iPod). There's also a 2.1-amp USB port for charging your mobile device, a handy extra.
My favorite feature by far: The Fi30 remembers up to eight paired devices. That means if Mrs. Cheapskate wants to listen to music from her iPhone or Cheapskate Jr. wants to listen from his iPod Touch, no problem -- I don't have to un-pair my Android phone first, then re-pair it again later.
I haven't had any ears-on time with the Fi30, but David Carnoy reviewed the speaker just a week ago. Verdict: "The best sound for your Bluetooth buck." And that was based on a $149.99 price tag.
For $99.96 out the door, this is a great option for anyone seeking high-quality sound from a speaker that can sit on a bookshelf and look really good doing it. The coupon code is good through March 27.
Bonus deal: Happy birthday, Amazon Appstore! To celebrate, you can get a big pile of apps absolutely free. Grab Polaris Office (normally $12.99), Runtastic Pro (normally $4.99), mSecure Password Manager ($9.99), and a bunch of games, each for the enticing price of $0.
Bonus deal No. 2: Need a good read for the weekend? One of my all-time favorite books is on sale, today only, for Kindle: ""="">"City of Thieves" by David Benioff. Why does that name ring a bell? Oh, he's just the co-creator of a little TV show called "Game of Thrones." This novel came first, and it's a steal at $2.99. While you're at it, why not grab the Humble eBook Bundle 3, which lets you name your own price for an eclectic mix -- with bonuses for beating the average (currently $10.76).
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