One quick (and hopefully final) note about the SiriusXM Internet Radio fiasco from a couple weeks ago: It's over. The company appears to have pulled the plug on nearly all the giveaways, even if you received a confirmation e-mail. Fortunately, you can still get Pandora, Slacker, Songza, and plenty of other music-streaming services for free. Let it go, OK?
If you're unhappy with the audio quality from your TV's built-in speakers, you may have considered the Vizio sound bar I've written about countless times in this space. It often dips below $50, a hard bargain to pass up.
For a few dollars more, you can do better -- perhaps much better. Today only, and while supplies last, Tech Woot has the refurbished Philips CSS2123/F7B sound bar and subwoofer for $69.99, plus $5 for shipping.
I'm just going to go ahead and apologize right now if this is already sold out by the time you get to it, because that's a pretty rockin' deal. (Actually, if it does sell out, you can get one new for $99.88 shipped, which is still pretty solid.)
The CSS2123 promises the big audio dynamite of a 5.1-channel surround system in a two-speaker package. The bar and subwoofer each delivers 30 watts of output power, for a grand total of 60 watts -- more than enough for a small/medium-size room.
Like most sound bars, this one offers a virtual-surround option that fakes a wider, more "surroundy" audio experience. I've never been a big fan, but even if you turn that setting off, you'll enjoy much better sound than you're getting now. The subwoofer in particular will make a huge difference.
Also, if you're into wires, you can plug your smartphone, MP3 player, or the like into the 3.5mm audio input jack on the side of the sound bar. Philips, sucking up to the Apple crowd, calls this iLink, but it's really just a 3.5mm audio input jack. If only this baby had AirPlay or Bluetooth instead!
A bundled remote controls the action, though you should be able to use your existing TV remote once you've configured the settings for external audio. You can connect your TV to the Philips via optical, coaxial, or composite cables. (Oddly, however, I'm not seeing any evidence that any audio cables are included with the package, so you may need to order them separately.)
As you might expect from a refurbished sound bar, this one comes with a 90-day warranty. Is that worth a $25 savings? Your call, of course, but I'm usually game to roll the dice on refurbs.
Bonus deal: Today only, with a chance that it will "sell out" (there might be a set number of vouchers available), Amazon Local is offering a free voucher for $2 off any Amazon Instant Video purchase. You can apply it to any TV or movie rental or purchase. The only catch: You have to redeem it by October 31. That's a catch? More like a call to action. "Downton Abbey" season two, here I come!
Deals found on The Cheapskate are subject to availability, expiration, and other terms determined by sellers.
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