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Get an Apple EarPods two-pack for $16 shipped

From the Cheapskate: Apple sells these for $29 apiece. For runners in particular, there's no better option. Plus: an exclusive deal on Office Tab!

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. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.

Quick note about yesterday: Shortly after my free-game post went live, Bundle Stars appeared to run out of Planetary Annihilation licenses -- a huge bummer. But a bit later in the day, the vendor added more licenses, and as of this morning it appears you can still score the game for free.

The moral of the story: Sometimes, even after a deal appears to "sell out," companies make more inventory available -- so it behooves you to check back later. Secondary moral: Rather than crying foul (or "scam") when you miss out, consider the possibility that the Internet is a heavily populated place, and of course a great deal (especially a freebie) is going to attract a lot of attention. If Bundle Stars started with, say, 10,000 licenses to give away, they could easily get snatched up within an hour or two.


One, good. Two, better. Especially at this price.


Likewise, today's deal has a significant sellout risk, because it's a crazy-good one. Today only, and while supplies last, A4C has an Apple EarPods two-pack for $16 shipped. Walk into an Apple Store and you'd spend $29 for a single pair -- not including sales tax. Here you're getting them for $8 apiece, and only residents of New York are on the hook for tax.

I don't love everything Apple does, but I do like the EarPods. A lot. In fact, they're my earphone of choice for running, because they're comfortable (despite being hard plastic), they stay put and, unlike in-ear 'phones with silicone tips, they don't create a noise-isolating seal.

That seal is great if you're on a train or plane, but it's terrible for running. For one thing, you hear every footfall like a cannon in your head. For another, it's risky, as it prevents you from hearing bikes, cars and other dangers that might be approaching from behind.

I also like the inline microphone and play/pause/volume controls. As for the storage case: meh. In my experience, once the EarPods come out, they don't go back in. (Not that they can't; I just find it too much hassle.)

Given the low price, I thought these might be knockoffs, but A4C definitely lists Apple as the manufacturer, and there's at least one reviewer who confirmed the Apple branding.

For what it's worth, you can use these with Android and other non-Apple devices, but the inline volume controls may not work.

I'm in for a two-pack. Your thoughts?

Office Tab in action in Word. It's a must-have addition.


Bonus deal: Bookshelf speakers make a nice addition to any den or home office, while giving you the true stereo sound you can't get from a single, standalone speaker. So this is pretty sweet: Today only, and while supplies last, Meh has a pair of Philips Bluetooth stereo speakers for $28, plus $5 for shipping. Price elsewhere: $74. These fairly conventional-looking speakers can pair with your phone, laptop or tablet, but there's also an aux-in jack for wired pairings. Might be a nice addition to a small room. Or, heck, plug 'em into your TV's headphone jack for a cheap sound bar alternative.

Bonus deal No. 2: Calling all Microsoft Office users! What's the one feature you wish Word, Excel and PowerPoint had? Let me guess: document tabs. You know, like in your Web browser. ExtendOffice's Office Tab adds that highly desirable feature, but it's a little pricey at $29. Thanks to your good friend the Cheapskate, however, you can score Office Tab for just $17.40 when you apply coupon code AFFI-BXGI-FWJJ at checkout. (Note that you must use the MyCommerce purchase option, not PayPal.) Trust me: Once you start using tabs, you'll never want to work without them.