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The best-sounding portable Alexa speaker is $99.99 today

And only today! Grab the Ultimate Ears Blast at a massive discount. Plus: a killer deal on a must-have kitchen appliance and a CNET giveaway with huge prize bundles.

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
3 min read

CNET's Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones , gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter!

Sarah Tew

Which would you rather have: a cheap speaker that sounds like a cheap speaker or an expensive speaker you bought for cheap?

If you chose the latter, here you go: Today only, Amazon is offering the Ultimate Ears Blast portable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker with Alexa for $99.99 -- shipped free with Prime. It's available in four colors. Regular price: $230.

This isn't the usual Cheapskate speaker fare. The Blast is a high-end, feature-rich portable boom-box that hits nearly all the right, er, notes. In fact, I'm going to stop right here and turn you over to CNET's Ultimate Ears Blast review.

That review, which dates back just a few months, praised the speaker for its compact design, great battery life, great sound and more. One big complaint: the $230 price tag. Well, we can hardly complain about that now, right?

The Blast is also waterproof, so feel free to set it up near the pool (or even in the pool: It can survive in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes).

Whoops, I almost buried the lede: This thing supports Amazon's Alexa voice control -- though as with Amazon's own Tap, you have to be connected to Wi-Fi in order to use it. Thankfully, the Blast itself supports Wi-Fi -- a rarity among mobile speakers -- and can also work as a straight-up Bluetooth speaker when paired with your phone. That said, note that the Blast doesn't support every Alexa function like a full-blown Echo speaker does: You can't call up Spotify songs with voice commands yet, for instance, though Ultimate Ears pledged to add that feature at some point.

There's a lot more to say about this model, but the review tells you most of what you need to know.

My two cents: This is a rare chance to get an especially good deal on a great-sounding speaker that's extremely versatile.

Your own two cents?


Bonus deal: Let's talk kitchen for a minute. I'd argue that there's no better appliance you can own than a countertop grill, because it's great for everything from burgers to pancakes to paninis.

For a limited time, one of the all-time great models is on sale: Best Buy has the Cuisinart Griddler GR-4N for $39.99 shipped (plus tax). Price pretty much everywhere else: $79.99.

Curiously, Best Buy's page refers to this as a "four-in-one" grill, but every other listing (including Cuisinart's ) tags it as a five-in-one. Whatever the case, it's a killer grill, with removable, flippable non-stick plates that are easy to clean and dishwasher safe.

I bought one of these a few months back (for $60, annoyingly) to replace a worn-out Foreman Grill, and it's been a champ so far. I wish it had a slightly steeper angle for draining burger fat, but that's my only complaint. At $40, this is a seriously sweet deal.


Giveaway! CNET's Spring-time-to-win-time sweepstakes ends on Friday, April 13! That means you've got three more opportunities (including today) to score increasingly awesome prize bundles.

For example, today's booty: One $25 Hulu Gift card, one Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug , one Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) , one Philips Hue White LED Starter Kit , one Amazon Echo (2017) , one August Smart Lock (HomeKit-enabled), one Instant Pot DUO60 6-Quart seven-in-one multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker and one Lutron Caseta In-Wall Wireless Smart Lighting Kit .

Um, yes please! To enter, you simply need to fill out a form. From there, you can score additional entries by leveraging your social networks. Good luck!