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Common problem: You’re in the backyard listening to tunes on one of the many, many Bluetooth speakers you now own courtesy of yours truly. Someone comes to the door — say, a delivery person bringing you a new drone — but you can’t hear the doorbell because it’s inside and you’re outside.
Common problem No. 2: You’re upstairs in the bathroom blow-drying your lovely locks. Your grocery delivery has arrived, but you can’t hear the doorbell because of the hair dryer.
Common problem No. 3: Your doorbell sucks. All it does is go bing-bong. Bo-ring! We live in a ringtone world. If you want your doorbell to play “Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain” by The Cascades, then, by gum, it should be able to play “Listen to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain” by The Cascades!
Time for a doorbell upgrade, cheeps. Like this for one: For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Cambond self-powered wireless doorbell with two receivers for $18.99. That’s after applying promo code CAMBELLC at checkout. (Tested and verified at 8 a.m. PT.)
If I sound irrationally excited about this, it’s for two reasons. First, it’s rare that I find a product I’ve never written about before. Second, it’s actually pretty cool — way better than I expected.
The kit consists of the bell itself, which is a bit large but not problematically so, and two receivers that can plug into any outlet. So you might, for example, put one near your door and one on the back patio. Or one in the bathroom.
Too many ‘tones?
Each receiver can play a whopping 58 different songs, but also has a blue LED ring that flashes when someone pushes the doorbell button. So even if you can’t hear it (hair dryer!), you get a visual cue. You can also silence the tones and just use the LED — a potentially useful option for households where someone is hearing-impaired. You can also choose from four volume levels.
If there’s a downside at all, it’s working your way through all 58 ringtones to find one you like — then going all the way around the horn again to get back to it. A printed list of the songs would be nice.
My favorite feature: The doorbell button itself (which is waterproof) requires no batteries. Instead it relies on kinetic energy to send the wireless signal to the receivers. The tradeoff is you do have to press a bit hard on the button so it registers; it’s definitely a “clicker.” Best bet: Write “press hard” on the little paper section below the button.
The whole setup takes literally seconds to install, save for the time you’ll spend listening to and choosing a ringtone. Cambond promises a range of up to 500 feet; I tested the aforementioned back-patio and upstairs-bathroom scenarios, and, sure enough, the receivers worked perfectly. YMMV.
Reviewing the review reviewers
One quick side note: Fakespot suggests that fully one-third of the user reviews (which average out to 4.5 stars) are questionable. ReviewMeta disagrees; only one of the 14 reviews raises red flags. I’m increasingly noticing head-scratching differences between these two review-analysis services, and within their individual findings as well. More to come on this subject.
In the meantime, my goal is to do some hands-on testing whenever possible, because that’s the best way for me to feel comfortable about my recommendations.
Of course, even then the old maxim remains: caveat emptor. Buyer beware. Always do your homework, and always know your options.
Bonus deal: A while back I shared a deal on a surge protector that was designed to sit on your desk. Some of you liked it; others balked at having all those cords in plain sight.
I hear you. So here’s a more traditional floor-minded model: the Witeem 10-outlet Smart Surge Protector for $19.19 when you apply promo code DGFNDL85.
In addition to the 10 outlets (two of which are separated from the rest to better accommodate large wall-wart plugs), you get four 2.4A “smart” USB ports. (That means they sense what device is connected and supply power accordingly.)
The strip is wall-mountable and comes with a 13-month warranty.
Now, remember what I said above about Fakespot and ReviewMeta? Same deal again. Neither report will tell you whether this is a good or bad product, and I’m starting to question the accuracy of the analyses. Anyway, more on that in the future. For now, I think this is a good deal on useful item. Period.