The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods Pro: A Battleground in the Early Access Sale for Speakers at the LHC
Want more Amazon deals? You should visit CNN. Underscored’s Guide to the Prime Early Access Sale for wall-to-wall coverage of the best discounts to be found during the event.
The Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and second-generation AirPods Pro put up a good fight when in the same ring. There are some of the best earbuds you can get for less than $250.
As an overall winner, we’d have to pick the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro thanks to their more comfortable design, wider soundstage and hi-fi audio support. But the AirPods Pro are certainly no slouch, and either set will suit you well.
Apple says that the ANC is just as good as the previous generation and it is a bit startling how well it works. The noise suppression of these buds are more effective than the winds of boardwalks, the loudest of street corners, and the most chaotic of households.
Deals on Earbuds through Black Friday and Cyber Monday: A State of the Art Guide for Target, Sony, and the XM4
There’s something about a Target trip that cures my anxiety and cabinyness. Because of the Christmas decor out, trips are even more fun this time of year. It’s not fun to shop on its website, but it is packed with holiday sales. Target’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals have been live for almost every day of the month, but several discounts are even sweeter now.
We test products year-round, and we pick the best deals. Products that are sold out or no longer discounted as of publishing will be crossed out. We’ll update this guide through Cyber Monday.
The retailer is offering a price match guarantee this season. From now through December 24 you can request a price match for items you purchase in-store or online. You’ll need to show proof of purchase.
Better sound quality can be achieved by Apple’s second-generation buds, which come with a longer battery life, and Apple’s noise-canceling technology is another reason to purchase a pair of wireless earbuds. This version’s charging case has an embedded speaker so you can ping it with Apple’s Find My app.
Sony’s flagship headphones remain our best overall choice for most people (9/10, WIRED Recommends). They look elegant, last a long time on a single charge, and sound great. Sonys noise cancellation tech is among the best in the business. If you want to save even more, the previous generation WH-1000XM4 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are just $230 right now ($120 off) and almost as excellent to listen to.
You can spend less and still get some of the best audio quality in a tiny package if you go for Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earbuds (7/10, WIRED Recommends). That said, they may be a bit too big for small ears. There’s noise canceling to quiet down the outside world, quick pairing with Android phones, and a charging case that can be topped up wirelessly.
The earbuds have noise cancellation that’s almost supernatural, and WIRED says they live up to their name. The sound is pretty good too, whether your listening to music or podcasts. They’re more lightweight than previous versions, making them comfortable to wear in your ears for long periods of time.
Do earbuds always seem to slip right out of your ears? The Powerbeats Pro have a hook behind their ear that keeps them in place, like on a pair of glasses. They have a battery that lasts nine hours, which is more than Apple’s standard AirPods. You can route a call back to your phone, or automatically pause music, if you take one out of your ear.
Amazon’s second-gen Echo Buds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are some of our favorite cheap buds at their normal $120 price, so this is a great discount. The built-in connection with Alexa voice assistant makes it easy to control the buds, ask questions, or set timers without looking at your phone.
The second generation of Sonos Beam is the Goldilocks of Sonos soundbars. It’s not the most powerful speaker from the brand, but it offers the best balance of sound and size for most living rooms. The Beam supports Dolby Atmos and the big three voice assistants (Google Assistant, Alexa, and Siri), it’s more responsive than its predecessor, and it’s incredibly sleek, whether on your shelf or mounted to the wall. We have rounded up more of the Sonos deals.
While Marshall is most notable for its musical instrument amplifiers, the company makes some really great speakers too. Marshall’s stockwell II is our favorite, but the emberton is a great speaker to pack for beach days or picnic days. A battery gauge will make you not get caught off guard by a record-scratch moment of silence.
JBL speakers are sound reliable. When it comes to the Flip 6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, we expect it wouldn’t be any different. While we haven’t tested this speaker specifically, the previous Flips have fared well, and the Clip 4 is a small and mighty portable player that we love. The flip 6 has waterproof rating, 12 hours of battery life and can be used with other speakers through a feature called PartyPlay.
This is our favorite speaker, because it is convenient and has a lot of fun. The WIRED recommends the UE Boom 3, it lasts 15 hours on a single charge and it has a balanced and pleasant sound. It’s also waterproof, making it the perfect option for those summer pool parties, and comes in multiple colors.
The speaker that WIRED recommends is the Sonos Move, it is an excellent choice if you are searching for a speaker that will work indoors and out. With a built-in handle and an IP56 (splash-resistant) rating, you can carry it between your living room and the backyard with ease. It has a battery life of 11 hours and comes with microphones that can adapt its sound to the environment it is in. You’ll get support for Google Assistant and Alexa.
This is the best speaker for basic smart- home questions, like controlling your thermostat, or setting timers. The fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles. There is a guide to our best smart speakers.
The Nest Mini can also do everything the Nest Audio can, but thanks to the aid of the internet search engine, you’ll get an answer to your spoken questions as well. However, its audio output is significantly better. If you want to play music in the house, this is the speaker to get.
Want to have a display without a camera? There are many reasons that you may want to consider. The 7-inch Nest Hub (7/10, WIRED Recommends) will satisfy. It can act as a digital photo frame when it’s not in use, but you can call up Google Assistant to control your smart home gadgets or ask it any question and see visual responses on the screen. It can use radar to track your sleep habits, so it’s a nice option for the bedroom. Check out our Best Smart Displays guide for more recommendations.
You may want a smaller smart speaker to tell you the news while you get ready for the day, or listen to your favorite podcast while you put laundry away. If that’s you, the Echo Dot is a great choice. The Dot can be stashed on a nightstand, but still can be used to control things like your TV and smart bulbs. Kids can cash out with the Echo Dot Kids (5th Gen) for $30 ($30 off) today, too.
The Amazon Echo Show 8 may not be the biggest of the available Show smart displays, but we think it’s the best for most people. The Show 8 is big enough to easily see your slideshow of family photos, but small enough to fit on the counter comfortably. The device can control the rest of your connected smart home devices and the speaker is good. However, if you want a different-sized display, the bigger Echo Show 10 (3rd Gen, 2021) Smart Display is on sale for $185 ($65 off), and the smaller Amazon Echo Show 5 (2nd Gen) is on sale for $35 ($50 off).
The Fire HD 8 Kids and the 2021 11th Generation models are good deals, but aren’t as good deals as the A53 5G or the S22 Ultra
If you’re a Samsung loyalist, then the Galaxy A53 5G (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is a good budget-friendly choice. It adds a 120-Hz screen refresh rate to the mix, along with a microSD card slot. It is granted four OS upgrades and five years of security updates. It’s a shame the cameras aren’t as good as on the budget Pixel.
It’s likely that Samsung will announce a successor to this phone early next year, but that doesn’t stop the S22 Ultra (9/10, WIRED Recommends) from being a good buy. There are almost no other smartphones in the US with a 10x optical zoom camera. That zoom lets you capture sharp photos of subjects far away—like your kid running across the soccer pitch. It’s a high-end phone in every other way, from stunning performance to a fantastic 6.8-inch display. There’s even a built-in stylus.
The brand new Fire HD 8 is much improved over its predecessor, and we’re still testing it. It has a faster processor and thinner design, and still has the port for charging. It’s cheap to own and use, so you can use it for media and browsing the web. You can get a Fire HD 8 Kids version for $80, $150 off the regular retail price. It includes a two-year worry-free guarantee, in case your kid smashes the slate, and it also comes with a rugged bumper case. Want it to be even smaller? The HD 7 is on sale for just $40 ($20 off). The Fire 7 Kids Tablet is available for $55 off, and comes with good enough performance for web browsing and watching videos.
If your partner is begging you not to bring any more physical books into the apartment, a Kindle Paperwhite could potentially curb your collecting obsession while keeping you stocked up on reading material. The 2021 11th Generation model (8/10 WIRED Recommends) gives you a bigger screen and battery, as well as a faster processing rate so you won’t have to miss a moment of what’s gonna happen to Evelyn Hugo next.
The iPad Mini is a good deal, despite it occasionally going down to this price. The smaller iPad is great for travel, but it’s still a big screen for reading, watching tv, or drawing and there’s second-gen Apple Pencil support. The A15 Bionic processor makes it speedy too. The 256 GB option is out of stock, but the 64 GB model is still available.
The MagSafe Duo and Halo Fitness Trackers: Two options for smartwatches and the Amazon’s Prime Video streaming stick ($75 off the box)
A very precise spot that allows for better power transfer is what the official Applecharger has to offer. Unfortunately, the 3-foot cable is frustratingly short and makes it tough to use the phone while charging, unless you’re right next to an outlet. If you need to charge multiple devices at once, consider the MagSafe Duo for $97 ($32 off).
The Series 8 isn’t bad, if you haven’t changed your Apple Watch in a while. This one keeps a lot of health and wellbeing features, for example blood oxygen readings, as well as Crash Detection, which will notify emergency services if you become unresponsive after a car accident. We don’t want to create privacy issues with that as it will track your fertility.
If you have a Samsung phone and are thinking of adding a smartwatch to your gadget stack, the Samsung Galaxy Watch5 (7/10 WIRED Recommends) is the best bet for you. While many smartwatches are square, the Galaxy Watch5 takes on a more round, minimalist design. That doesn’t mean it’s cutting any corners, though the tech and hardware does have some features like accurate fitness tracking and water and dust resistance.
You don’t want to watch the number of miles tick by when you’re working out. The only thing that you can do with the Halo fitness tracker is to keep an eye on your progress. The app is easy to use, but it also has some advertising on you, so keep that in mind. The Halo View Fitness Tracker is also on sale for $35 ($45 off) if you really do want the screen.
There are a lot of games that you can play with your iPhone, but it’s not always easy or hassle free. The Backbone One (8/10 WIRED Recommends) is easy to set up, works with most iPhones, and even has pass-through charging so you don’t have to worry about when to press pause so you can charge up.
If you prefer Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant and watch mainly Prime Video content, go with this streaming stick. It works with most apps, but it is obviously geared toward Prime shows and movies. There’s a picture-in-picture feature so you can pull up your security camera feed without interrupting your current binge. The lesser of Amazon’s streaming devices is on sale. Check out the Fire TV Stick 4K for $25 ($25 off) and Fire TV Stick Lite for $15 ($15 off).
The Roku Ultra has the strongest dual-band Wi-Fi radio of the lineup, plus it comes with headphones for private listening if the rest of your house is asleep (you just plug them into the side of the remote). If your TV supports it, this 2022. version adds support for HDR10+. It has a remote that has voice control.
You can get an upgrade to your streaming and audio quality for $80 with the Streambar. It’s just 14 inches long, so it works great in smaller living rooms. It has Dolby Audio for better sound, and there’s a night-listening mode so you don’t have to worry about constantly turning down the loud scenes while your roommate is sleeping. If you need better sound quality than this and don’t need a streaming device, there are a few other discounted soundbars in the section above.
TCL makes some of our favorite TVs and we love how much you get for your money when you buy a TV from this company. This 43-inch 4-Series TV is about as cheap as quality televisions get. The image tech that’s made previous 5- and 6-Series TCL TVs so good has filtered down to the 4-Series.
The Best Budget Gaming Laptops (WIRED): The 15-inch Victus, the V10 Cyclone, and the Dyson V12 Detect Slim
This is the 15-inch version of the HP Victus we like in our Best Budget Gaming Laptops guide. It has a slightly smaller screen, but the same Intel i5 processor, Nvidia RTX 3050 graphics card, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and 512-gigabyte SSD. It isn’t the most powerful gaming rig, but if you’re on a tight budget it will get the job done.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad Slim 9i features an 11th-generation Intel Core i7 chip, 16 gigabytes of RAM, and a 512-gigabyte SSD. That means it can handle some light video editing too.
I prefer using random mugs with a warmer one, as I love the ones I have. If you need to keep your coffee warm in the office, Ember’s mugs are a good choice. You need to connect it to the app before you can set your temperature, but it is possible to do in a few minutes. The battery can be used for about an hour and a half.
This is the best robot vacuum we have. It’s attractive, easy to use, and most of all, effective. It empties automatically into the bin and it means you don’t have to empty it as often.
This stick vacuum is still a great deal even though it has gone as low as $350 before. The V10 Cyclone is the vac that WIRED recommends, but it’s also the vac of choice for many of the team members. The suction is strong, the body relatively lightweight, and the whole thing is easy to maneuver. You can attach different heads, such as one made for pet hair, and convert them into a hand vac. You can learn more in our guide. The brand-new Dyson V12 Detect Slim is also on sale for $500 ($150 off)—read our review here—but you can also save and get the older V8 Origin for $280 ($100 off).
The Nest Cam for Outdoor Security Cameras and the Cost of Artificial Christmas Trees (Artisan models and cheaper than Artisan trees)
The Nest Cam (Battery) is one of our top picks for outdoor security cameras, particularly if you want to stick to the Google Assistant ecosystem. It has a simple magnetic mounting plate, and its battery will last a little more than a month before needing a recharge. Even when low light causes night vision to kick on, the1080p quality is great. A Nest Aware subscription isn’t required, but it adds a few helpful features. There are two versions of the Nest cam, a corded version for indoors is on sale for $30 less and a floodlight version is on sale for $90 less.
At least it shouldn’t be confused, yet it is still with all of the rebooting and speed tests. You won’t have to worry about complicated set ups because the Eero 6 is so easy to set up. The routers are not only easy to blend into your decor, but they also extend and boost your internet enough to make it easier to use.
It’s actually kind of insane how expensive Christmas trees can be, artificial or not. Target has a Wondershop brand artificial trees for 50 percent off, which means you can spend more on your friends and family.
This model has one of the lowest prices we’ve seen. These stand mixers can stand (pun intended) the test of time and will prove a useful addition to any home baker’s arsenal. The Artisan model that has a head that tilts back is on sale for $350, which is $100 off. If there is still stock, you may be able to pick up a shipment at your local Target store.
Best Target Black Friday Deals 2022: Streaming Elden Ring with the Blue Yeti Microphone, and Exclusively to Nintendo Switch Online
This deal is on the original Nintendo Switch model and includes a digital download code for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. You also get a three-month membership for Nintendo Switch Online, so you can crush your friends and strangers online. The price of the console is what you’re getting with the game and membership.
Before the holidays, get a spare for Player 2 since the box only has one controller. All of the color options, from Carbon Black to Shock Blue, have their prices slashed.
Plug in and go, Blue makes great microphones that are easy to use. The microphone is easy to use at home or in a gaming setup.
If you’re willing to spend more, this Blue Yeti is still an affordable solution that can be used for streaming Elden Ring sessions. Plug it into your computer, and it’s done. We have other tips and recommendations in our Best Podcasting Gear guide.
Target Target Black Friday Deals: The Best Target X Series S, the Best Hair Tools, and a Secret Keyboard for Typing All Day
The Series S is the better choice if you want to get the Series X in stock. It’s a lot cheaper than the other alternatives. The Series S is smaller and can only play digital games (there’s no disc drive), but it can play titles up to 120 frames per second at a 1440-pixel resolution (not 4K). This is the lowest price we’ve tracked, and Target is throwing a $50 gift card, which you can use to snag an Xbox game. It could not be shipped for shipping. but you might be able to pick it up at a Target near you. (Alternatively, you can buy it directly from Microsoft sans the gift card.)
Deals like this are basically free money. The gift card only costs 20 and you can use it to buy anything in the store. If you buy something in the future, you will get a 20 percent discount. For a total of$15 off your $75 purchase, you can buy up to three cards.
Mechanical keyboards make typing all day fun, with satisfying clicky clacks. This one is a 60 percent keyboard, so it loses the number pad and the arrow keys, leaving a cute little board with just the basics. It’s compatible with Razer’s key cap kits, so you can customize your color scheme.
The Oral-B toothbrush has brush heads that get right in between your teeth and gum tissue and leave them sparkling clean. The brand has released a few very expensive smart brushes, but the classic Pro 1000 is the best for most people.
I like to use cheaper hair tools than expensive ones. One of the highlights is the flat iron from Remington. I didn’t have to go over a section multiple times, because it straightened my hair fast and easily. I don’t know if it added shine, but my coarse hair has never been shiny a day in its life. I think it’s a win because it doesn’t make it look bad.
Theragun Prime: the first percussion device of a high-powered processor and smartphone, and an extra smartphone to treat sore muscles
Sore muscles are a fact of life when you exercise. You will be sore after a good workout. You can massage a lot of the pain with a percussion device. The Theragun Prime provides up to 30 pounds of pressure, making it a solid midrange product in Theragun’s lineup. Check out our Best Theraguns guide for more information.
I get home with too many beauty products when I go to Target. The 25 percent off deal includes several beauty sets. Here are a few suggestions.
I’d also like to mention that OnePlus partnered with Hans Zimmer (the famous composer behind film scores like “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “The Lion King” and “Dune”) that’s supposed to really bring the Buds Pro 2 to life. It wasn’t available to test during my review period, but I was told that it will come out in February. I will keep this review updated once I get to play with it.
For the most part, the OnePlus 11’s specs tally with what we’ve come to expect from flagship smartphones in recent years. It has a high-end processor and display that is well-suited for 120-hertz sound waves and bright colors. You can get three rear cameras, once again with the Hasselblad brand.
The Chinese version of the phone has a 100W battery, which is about as powerful as the 5,000mAh one on the other side of the world. The maximum charging amount is now 80W, but it is a little less than the 150W offered by the 10T. Based on previous OnePlus releases, US customers are unlikely to get this full 100W charging speed thanks to North America’s 110V sockets, but that shouldn’t make too much of a difference to the number of minutes it takes to charge.
The Global Launch of the OnePlus 11 Pro and the How to Use it: Soundproofing a OnePlus Phone/earbuds System Using Multi-spectral Sensors
The phone has three cameras, a 50-mil main camera, 48-mil ultrawide, and a 32-mil sensor for portrait shots. There isn’t a telephoto lens but the phone has a 13 channel multi-spectral light-colour identifying sensor which is able to deal with all photography scenarios. A spokesperson for OnePlus declined to provide any further information on what this extra sensor does. The three rear cameras are contained within OnePlus’ black hole camera bump.
I understand that spatial audio is popular and I should care about it, but it feels like a ploy to sell the Buds Pro 2.
Although both the phone and earbuds will be available to buy in China on January 9th, customers in the rest of the world will have a little longer to wait. The global launch of the OnePlus 11 will be on February 7th. It’s a similar launch strategy to what the company used for last year’s OnePlus 10 Pro, which launched in China on January 11th, 2022, and globally on March 31st. In China, the OnePlus 11 will start at ¥3,999 (around $580) for a model with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, rising to ¥4,899 (around $710) for the highest end version with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
They slot in my ears and stay there, all while not adding any discomfort during long listening sessions. There are ear tips in the box to help find the right fit. The buds ship with a matte finish (the best type of finish for earbuds since it greatly reduces fingerprints) and come in two colors. The Eternal Green color is very nice next to my phone, and there is a Titan Black version if you want something simpler.
The Buds Pro 2 are safe to use at the gym because of the rating of the water resistance. If you need to use your earbuds while in a rain shower, the case has an IP rating of IPX4 so it will give you protection.
Sound profile and quality of the Bose-Einstein condensates from one-plus-buds-pro-2 earbuds
The stems on either bud offer touch controls for controlling the playback of your content, adjusting the volume and using the Google Assistant. This can all be done through a series of taps, swipes and presses. In my experience, it all worked as you’d expect.
I watched a lot of Morgan Wallen and Tyler Hubbard. The twang of the acoustic guitars, kick drum in the background and wide-ranging protection style of both artists were well represented by these earbuds. The buds were meant to focus on bass and other genres, like pop and jazz, also sounded good on them. It is a mainstream sound profile, and I like it on the Buds Pro 2.
You need a phone with the correct software in order to stream audio. A lot of modern phones do, but your iPhone does not. I tried streaming lossless audio with my OnePlus 11 and Apple Music, and it all sounded a bit crisper than it did via Spotify. However, the difference can be completely indiscernible to anyone who hasn’t used dozens of pairs of earbuds in the past like I have, so you might have a harder time appreciating the feature. Still, it’s there and it works well.
The OnePlus-based Buds Pro 2 Audio Headphone for Audio Visual and Audio-Aided Devices: A Pedestrian’s Guide
I tested it a lot during my review process and found that it works really well. Wind is unfortunately one of the only disturbances the Buds Pro 2 can’t cancel completely, but everything else remained quiet while I typed away at Starbucks and walked down the streets of Ocean City.
The transparency mode worked well with the earbuds. Once enabled, I could hear my surroundings quite well, although vocals sounded a bit wetter than they do with transparency modes on other earbuds like the AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 Pro. Still, it’s very solid.
The microphone quality is pretty decent. I sounded perfect and my voice was clear, when I called everyone using the Buds Pro 2 mics. You won’t want to use these earbuds to record audio, but for voice and video calls, they work really well.
To charge your earbuds, OnePlus includes a USB-C port on the back and wireless charging on the bottom. If you want to juice up quickly, you’ll want to plug them in — after 10 minutes, you’ll get 10 hours of listening time.
These earbuds are cheaper than the competition, Apple and SAMSUNG, but I still feel like the carry case from OnePlus would have been nicer. It designed a cheap and flimsy one, that could crack if accidentally dropped onto concrete. The hinge on the lid feels very fragile as if I could just snap it off. This pair is one of the cheapest-feeling cases you are likely to find, and I use a lot of earbuds. At least it looks OK.
On the Sound Quality of a Low-Redshift EQ Effect on Top Quarks and Other Audio Sources: Does it Matter What I’m Listening To?
It sounded like a cheap EQ effect that adds echoes and artificial depth to whatever I was listening to when it was turned on. Music sounds the worst by far, while content like movies and TV shows sounded slightly better (as long as they were equipped with Dolby Atmos/Spatial Audio mixes). I tried the head tracking feature, but it did not improve the sound quality.