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.
We need some new terminology. When I say “wireless earphones,” what comes to mind is “no wire between the ‘phones and your mobile device.”
But today’s deal… no wires at all. (Well, except the one used to charge the earbuds.) Come on, language, give us something we can use!
Let’s table that for a moment. For now, this: You can get the Smartomi Q5 True Wireless Bluetooth Headphones for $23.99 when you apply the promo code VJ587BAV at checkout. Usual rules apply: This is while supplies last… and I have no idea how much inventory the company has on hand.
Given that Apple AirPods sell for $159 and offer a similarly “true wireless” experience, one can’t help but feel a bit suspicious about a product that’s one-sixth the price.
First things first: AirPods rely on a custom wireless technology (Apple‘s W1 chip), so in theory they’re better than Bluetooth at working outdoors and keeping a consistent connection between the two ‘buds (a challenge given that your big fat head is in the way).
Second, the AirPods are good for about five hours on a charge, and you recharge them just by dropping them into their carrying case. Battery life here is “close to three hours,” according to Smartomi, and there’s no charging case. Instead, you use a dual-tip Micro-USB cable.
So, yeah, that’s the reason these are cheaper than others I’ve featured here before. You do get a drawstring case, at least.
As for fit, sound and all that, the user reviews tell an important story. There are 87 at this writing, with an average rating of 4.4 stars. To my amazement, those reviews are all legitimate, at least according to the “A” grade from Fakespot. That’s kind of rare for a product like this from a vendor like this.
That said, I haven’t had the chance to test these myself. But if you’ve been wanting to experience totally wireless (wire-free? true wireless? no-no-wire?) earbuds and not wanting to spend $159 for the privilege, this is a pretty low cost of entry.
Bonus deal: Love this old saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, an ounce of preparedness: For a limited time, SharewareOnSale has Windows Boot Genius for free. Current sale price: $54.95. This utility solves the problem of a Windows PC that will no longer boot or suffers constant Blue Screen of Death crashes. (I’ve been there, people! It’s not fun.) The giveaway nets you a five-PC lifetime license that’s completely free for non-commercial use. There are a handful of very mixed reviews at Download.com, but for the people it helped, it was a lifesaver! Your mileage may vary… but you can’t beat the price.