The key to a strong deals roundup is variety, and that’s exactly what we’re offering up with this selection.
We have handpicked the best deals on everything from electric toothbrushes to smartwatches. There’s even an electric chainsaw thrown in for good measure, because you just might be in the market for a coffee machine and a powerful 2000 watt device with robust metal gearing. Who are we to judge?
These are the best deals from across the internet for April 24.
Best of the best
A selection of the very best deals on an eclectic mix of devices including electric toothbrushes, Amazon devices, and fragrances.
We have carefully selected the best deals on smartwatches and fitness trackers from the biggest names in wearable technology, like Samsung, Huawei, and Fitbit.
The best deals on coffee machines and air fryers from the likes of Tefal, Tower, Bosch, De’Longhi, and other top brands.
While the jury on consumer drones is still out, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are fast becoming an important tool in global delivery networks. Take Zipline as a prime example: since 2016, the Californian company has used unmanned aircraft to deliver critical medicines and blood to hospitals over huge distances in Rwanda.
According to the Financial Times, the Silicon Valley startup is drastically expanding its presence in Africa, mobilzing what will become the world’s largest drone delivery network to transport “150 different medicines,” vaccines and blood to 2,000 clinics in remote parts of Ghana.
Vaccines for polio, tetanus and diptheria — all of which are supplied by the World Health Organisation’s Expanded Project on Immunisation — will be some of the treatments made available to Ghanian clinicians as part of the expansion. Health workers will be able to place an order via text message and receive a delivery via parachute within 30 minutes.
The range of the “Zip” drone hasn’t changed much over the past two years — averaging around 160 kilometers. The aircraft is swift, however, reaching speeds of 110km per hour. Given that local hospitals can be remote and often lack adequate supplies of critical treatments, Zipline can provide a service that doesn’t require new infrastructure or setting up new supply routes.
“What this is going to show is that you can reach every GPS co-ordinate, you can serve everybody,” Zipline CEO Keller Rinaudo told the Financial Times. “Every human in that region or country [can be] within a 15-25 minute delivery of any essential medical product — it’s a different way of thinking about universal coverage.”
Looking for a new laptop? New CPUs and GPUs are just begging for you to upgrade. And if you have a bigger purchase in mind, you should check out the new Teslas, which feature more range than ever — up to 370 miles on a single charge. Finally, we have some bad news about a laundry-folding robot.
Confirming earlier rumors, the flagship sedan and SUV are getting a redesigned powertrain that uses the same “permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor” and associated technology we first saw in the Model 3. Without increasing the size of the battery, Tesla claims it’s improved range, power and torque is enough to make for faster 0 to 60 MPH times.
The Long Range Model S was previously EPA rated for up to 335 miles on a charge, and now it can go to 370. The Long Range Model X, meanwhile, extends to up to 325 miles. Oh, and if you’re a current Tesla owner thinking of upgrading to a Performance model, they’ll throw in the $20k Ludicrous Mode option for free.
According to a memo obtained by MacRumors, Apple has started to stock its retail locations with necessary parts, so Genius Bar technicians can fix keyboard issues in store rather than shipping devices to an off-site service center. The aim is to provide next-day turnaround time, but if you were hoping for a wholesale redesign of the “butterfly” key mechanism, there’s no sign of that happening yet.
The black Laundroid obelisk, developed by Japanese company Seven Dreamers, was supposed to be a washing machine, dryer, ironing and laundry-folding robot rolled into one. It was the perfect appliance, in short, for chore-dodging so-and-sos who hate dealing with grimy clothes. But with Seven Dreamers filing for bankruptcy in Japan, the job of doing things we’re too lazy to do ourselves is now up to the aptly named Foldimate.
As of July, you’ll have the option of returning your goods at any of Kohl’s 1,150 stores in the US. You won’t need a box or label, and it won’t cost you a dime as long as you’re covered by the return policy in the first place.
OnePlus has confirmed when it will showcase the OnePlus 7 lineup for the first time. On May 14th at 11 AM ET, the company will unveil its latest handsets at simultaneous events in four cities: New York, London, Beijing and Bangalore.
Amarey has just two robot vacuums in its product line, but they happen to be two of the best and most affordable in their respective price ranges. The Amarey A800, our current top pick for vanquishing pet hair, is its budget model. The A900, which includes app control and camera mapping and navigation, is its de-facto premium model—though at just $350 via Amazon, it doesn’t come with the associated price tag.
The A900 has the same slim dimensions as the A800: 12.7 inches in diameter and a low-furniture friendly 2.7 inches in height. On its underside are a roller brush and a pair of spinning edge brushes. It also packs up to 1,400Pa of suction power, which is great for pulling debris out of carpets.
Whereas the A800 navigates through its obstacle-detecting sensors, the A900 adds a 145-degree navigation sensor on its top that works with “Visual SLAM” (simultaneous localization and mapping) technology to map the environment. This allows it to plot the most efficient path through the room, which should lead to better cleaning and longer battery life.
The A900 comes with a remote control that you can use to control its cleaning modes and suction levels or use to manually direct the vacuum. The Amarey companion app provides the same controls plus access to mapping, scheduling, and third-party voice control features.
Setup and usage
The A900’s setup follow the usual steps of placing the vacuum on its charging dock and following the app prompts to connect to your Wi-Fi network and assign the robot vacuum to a room.
On its maiden voyage, the A900 gropes around walls, furniture, and your home’s other landmarks to get a feel for the environment. Although its path looks anything but efficient at this point, the vacuum is methodically building a map, which you can view in real time in the Armarey app. Once the A900 has the lay of the land, subsequent cleanings are much more straightforward.
The A900 has a few cleaning modes. Spot cleaning focuses on a localized area, Edge intensely cleans along walls and furniture legs, and Auto mode adjusts the suction for different floor types. You can also schedule cleanings by setting a start time, and then assigning it to specific days of the week.
The vacuum had no trouble navigating different terrains in my testing, smoothly transitioning from carpet to hardwood to linoleum and back again. And as with the A800, the slender profile allowed it to easily squeeze between chair legs and under my couch without getting stuck. If the vacuum does get into trouble—as when it sucked a Nerf dart off my living room floor—it alerts you with a voice message and a push notification on your phone.
The Amarey app is simply laid out with a large directional pad on top and the various mode, mapping, and scheduling selectors toward the bottom. It also provides detailed instructions for setting up voice control through third-party services, including Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
The A900 is a powerful and efficient cleaner. Like the A800, it does a particularly good job of extracting pet hair from carpet. Amarey claims the A900 gets about 100 minutes to a charge, and I found I could get a couple of cleanings of my condo’s lower level in that time.
But low-priced robot vacuums with app control and mapping navigation aren’t that uncommon anymore. In fact, feature-for-feature the Ecovacs Deebot N79S matches pretty well with the A900 and costs only $190. That Ecovacs model is our current favorite budget vacuum, and is our recommendation if you want a robot vacuum some advanced features without breaking the bank. The Amarey A900 is a close runner-up.
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In this noisy world, finding a quiet haven in which you can get lost in your favorite music is a godsend. One way to achieve this elusive dream is by wearing headphones with active noise cancelling (ANC). Among the many such models available today is the TaoTronics TT-BH046 wireless headphone. It turns out to provide excellent isolation from your environment, but its sound quality leaves something to be desired.
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 is an over-ear headphone with soft “protein” earpads and headband. It’s relatively lightweight at less than eight ounces. Each earcup holds a 40mm driver that is said to reproduce a frequency range from 20Hz to 20kHz (no tolerance given). The press release touts “HD sound with intense bass;” we shall see.
Like most such headphones, the primary audio input is Bluetooth—in this case, version 4.2 with support for the A2DP, AVRCP, SBC, and AAC profiles. It does not support the aptX codec. If you want to listen to a non-Bluetooth source—or the battery is dead—you can use the supplied 3.5mm cable that plugs into the bottom of the right earcup.
As I mentioned earlier, the TT-BH046 provides active noise cancellation (ANC). In this process, ambient sound is sampled by one or more built-in microphones, phase inverted, and mixed with the unaltered ambient sound, reducing its perceived level thanks to phase cancellation. This is generally most effective in the low frequencies.
TaoTronics calls its version “hybrid” ANC, which combines feedforward and feedback techniques. Feedforward ANC orients the microphone to face away from the driver, and it can reduce the level of frequencies as high as 1kHz or so. It has no way to self-correct, however, because it does not detect the output of the headphone driver. Also, it covers a relatively narrow range of frequencies, so if it’s tuned to, say, 1kHz, it might not reduce the level of low frequencies.
By contrast, feedback ANC orients the mic to pick up sound from the headphone driver, which allows for self-correction—for example, if a user wears the headphone in an odd way that doesn’t completely cover their ears. Also, works in a wider range of frequencies than feedforward designs, but it can’t reduce the level of frequencies as high as the 1kHz range.
By combining both feedforward and feedback ANC with two microphones in each earcup, TaoTronics’ hybrid approach is designed to provide the best of both—reducing the level of a broad range of frequencies, correcting errors, and exhibiting less sensitivity to how a user wears the headphone. The company claims it can reduce ambient low-frequency sound by up to 96 percent.
Bluetooth and ANC both require power, of course, which the TT-BH046 provides with a 550mAh lithium-ion battery. Charging time is remarkably fast: 45 minutes to full charge, after which it will operate up to 30 hours with Bluetooth or 11 hours with Bluetooth and ANC. Even better, a quick five-minute charge will provide two hours of playing time with Bluetooth and ANC. This is undoubtedly thanks to a USB power capacity of 5V/2A rather than the more common 5V/1A capacity of many headphones. Of course, you need a 5V/2A USB power adaptor to get the fastest charge, which TaoTronics does not supply.
Another nearly universal feature of Bluetooth headphones is the ability to accept or reject phone calls while listening to music. The TT-BH046 also lets you redial the last number and mute the call. The microphone for phone calls is separate from the ANC mics.
All controls are found on the right earcup. On the back of the earcup, the power on/off button performs several functions. Naturally, it turns the power on and off by holding it for a couple of seconds. It also serves are the play/pause button by pressing it once, which also answers and hangs up phone calls. Hold the button for three seconds to reject a call, or press it twice to redial the last phone number. Finally, hold the button for five seconds to enter Bluetooth pairing mode.
Also on the back of the earcup, the volume up and down buttons form the ends of a rocker switch; they are slightly raised, making them easy to find by feel. Press one or the other to increase or decrease the volume, or hold one or the other to skip to the next or previous music track. Press both simultaneously to mute the music or phone call. All this multifunctionality can be confusing, but it is an efficient use of limited space.
The only other control is the ANC switch on the front of the right earcup, which slides down engage ANC. Interestingly, you can turn on ANC even if the headphone’s main power is off, which I assume would extend the battery life if you just wanted quiet without music.
The 3.5mm input for a wired connection to the source is located at the bottom of the right earcup, along with a tiny LED that indicates power and Bluetooth status. A Micro-USB port on the bottom of the left earcup lets you charge the TT-BH046’s battery with the included cable, and an LED next to it indicates the charging status.
The TaoTronics TT-BH046 paired to my iPad without a problem. When I first put the headphones on, I noticed that the opening in the earcups is larger than many over-ear models, making it seat easily on my head. Also, the swiveling earcup gimbals rotated to match the angle of my head near my ears.
Before playing any music, I turned ANC on and off in a quiet environment. As I’ve heard from other ANC headphones, the TT-BH046 produces a soft hiss when ANC is on. It is more pronounced than others I’ve heard, but I still think it’s insignificant when playing music—or with no music in a noisy environment.
I started my listening with “Europa” from the album Caminos by Latin-fusion group Alturas. The instrumentation includes acoustic guitar, electric bass, Latin percussion, synth strings, and pan flute. With ANC disabled, the overall sound was somewhat congested and veiled with boomy bass, though the guitar was nicely rendered. Turning ANC on cleared up the sound, and the bass was better balanced with the rest of the instruments, though the sound was still slightly veiled.
Next up was “Tropical Breeze” from Freedom at Midnight by pianist David Benoit. Aside from piano, the instrumentation includes electric bass and drums as well as soprano sax. Without ANC, the sound was quite rich but slightly closed in with bloated bass that obscured the drums. Engaging ANC cleaned up the bass and made the overall sound somewhat thinner but with better balance and clearer drums.
Turning to some country music, I listened to “Voice Inside My Head” from Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks. This is a great mix that’s heavy on guitars with electric bass, drums, and pedal-steel guitar as well as solo and background vocals. With ANC off, the sound was thick and heavy with boomy bass, while turning ANC on produced much better, more balanced sound with cleaner bass and more upfront vocals. There was, however, still a slightly veiled quality to the sound.
Eric Clapton’s “Change the World” (in this case from Clapton Chronicles: The Best of Eric Clapton) is a beautiful tune that the TT-BH046 does not serve well with ANC off. As I’d come to expect by this point, the bass was quite bloated, more so than the other tunes I had listened to, with a congested sound that obscured Clapton’s vocal. With ANC engaged, the overall sound was still somewhat thick, but the bass was better balanced with the rest of the instruments, and the vocal was more present.
For a bit of world music, I played “Atlantic Bridge” from Out of the Air by Davy Spillane, a master of the Irish uilleann pipes. These pipes are related to the Scottish bagpipes, but they are supplied with air from a bellows under the arm rather than the player’s lungs. The track includes a rhythm section with electric guitar and bass. As before, without ANC, the sound was congested with bloated bass, whereas with ANC engaged, the sound really opened up with tighter bass and the pipes more upfront.
Moving on to classical music, I listened to “Selig sind die Totem” from Ein Deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 by Brahms as performed by the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique under the direction of John Eliot Gardiner. With ANC off, the overall sound was still a bit thick but better than it had been with the previous selections: the choir sounded rich, and the dynamic range was very good, though the low end was still a bit boomy. Turning ANC on, the sound had more air and the low end was better balanced.
Gardiner is one of my favorite conductors of Baroque music, so I listened to the Symphony (instrumental introduction) from The Messiah by Handel as performed by the English Baroque Soloists under his direction. With ANC off, the overall sound was somewhat thick, especially in the bass, but the dynamics were quite good. Turning ANC on, the sound became tighter and drier with better balance between and rendition of the instrumental sections.
Finally, I took the TT-BH046 on a drive around my neighborhood to test its ANC with more ambient noise than I have in my house. The ANC worked wonderfully well with no music on, reducing engine and road noise dramatically. However, when I played some music, the sound was veiled and closed in—less so than with ANC off, but still clearly noticeable. I also tried the Edifier W860NB that I recently reviewed for TechHive, and it definitely sounded more open with its ANC on.
Comparison with the PSB M4U 8
I recently reviewed the PSB Speakers M4U 8 headphones for TechHive, and I consider it my reference for Bluetooth headphones with ANC. So, I compared its sound with that of the TT-BH046 by listening to the same selections on both models.
In terms of comfort, the M4U 8 is quite a bit heavier than the TT-BH046—nearly 13 ounces versus less than eight ounces. Also, the opening in the PSB earpads is smaller than the TaoTronics, making them slightly more difficult to seat on the head. However, the PSB earpads have more room within the opening, so they are completely comfortable once they are seated properly.
The first thing I noticed about the sonic difference was that the M4U 8 is a lot louder at a given volume setting. Fortunately, the iPad remembers the volume setting for different Bluetooth devices, so I was able to set roughly equal volumes for the two headphones (60 percent for the TT-BH046, 50 percent for the M4U 8) as I switched between them.
Listening to various tunes, it was immediately apparent that the M4U 8 sounded much better with ANC off than the TT-BH046 in the same condition. The PSB’s sound was rich, full, and much better balanced without congestion or bass bloat. This was especially evident on the Dixie Chicks’ “Voice in My Head” and Clapton’s “Change the World,” but it was clear during all my listening.
Turning ANC on, the bass became a bit boomy, as I had observed in my review of the M4U 8. By contrast, the sound quality of the TT-BH046 improved when I engaged ANC, though it was still slightly closed in. I prefer the sound the M4U 8, even with ANC on, but the PSB costs four times as much as the TaoTronics, so it’s no surprise that it performs better.
During my road trip around the neighborhood, I also listened to the M4U 8 with ANC on to compare it with the TT-BH046. (Of course, I pulled over each time I switched headphones!) The PSB was much cleaner, clearer, and more open. It also sounded better than the Edifier W860NB, which sounded better than the TT-BH046.
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