Smart home tech continues to evolve, and there are encouraging signs that it’ll become simpler to use and integrate with standards like Matter and Thread. If you’re just starting out, though, the intro course for most smart homes — a starter kit of Philips Hue bulbs — is now at its cheapest price.
Signify’s Philips Hue is discounting its starter kit that includes four white ambiance bulbs and a Hue Bridge to just $59.99. That’s a 50 percent discount on these dimmable lights that change from cool to warm white via a smartphone app or with your voice when you sync the app with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. These are the latest and brightest generation of Hue bulbs, capable of 1,100 lumens of brightness. Four of them should easily be able to light up most rooms. While there are cheaper smart light bulbs out there, the Hue ecosystem is expansive, with a variety of bulb types and trim lights. What makes this starter kit even more of a good deal is that the included Hue Bridge allows you to set all kinds of schedules, routines, and advanced controls that support up to 50 lights — far superior than using Bluetooth control.
If you’re looking for the lowest price on an iPad, it doesn’t get any better than the current deal on Apple’s latest base iPad. The 64GB iPad in silver is just $299.99 at Amazon, which is about $30 off and matches the lowest price we’ve seen. This is the ninth-generation model, introduced in 2021. And while its 10.2-inch display and Touch ID home button make it look like pretty much any ol’ iPad, it sports a formidable A13 Bionic CPU and an improved front-facing camera with Center Stage to keep you centered in the frame. This iPad also supports the first-gen Apple Pencil — yes, the one that charges awkwardly — for some more creative use cases.
If you’re concerned about specs, it’s nearly just as capable as the likes of the latest iPad Mini and the last-gen iPad Air. It’s great for bingeing movies and shows, playing games, controlling your smart home setup, or whatever other iPad-related tasks you may have in mind.
The Jabra Elite 7 Active earbuds are down to their lowest price yet. They cost $119.99 at Amazon. The black model may appear to be priced at $149.99, but you’ll get an additional $30 off at checkout — a total of $60 off of the original cost. These are some of the latest wireless earbuds from Jabra that were introduced alongside the Elite 7 Pro and share a lot of features with that pricier model. The Elite 7 Active rises above the others if you want a fitness-focused build that has improved sweat and water resistance. Combine that with active noise cancellation and Jabra’s excellent multipoint connectivity, and you’ve got yourself a great value when it comes to earbuds for running, working out, and everyday listening.
While much attention has been given to Valve’s Steam Deck in recent months, the Nintendo Switch remains the de facto handheld console for most people. Today, the premium version of Nintendo’s popular console with an OLED screen is discounted as part of a one-day deal from Woot. The Switch OLED version in white is down to $324.99 at Woot ($25 off). Be sure to snatch this one up quickly if you want some of the premium upgrades this Switch offers (that the standard version does not) — notably, a larger seven-inch OLED panel with much-improved color and contrast. It also has slightly improved build quality with a more useful kickstand. Note, however, that it isn’t more powerful than the other Switch models. Read our review.
Google’s Chromecast with Google TV (terrible name, I know) remains one of the best streaming devices available on the market. It has some shortcomings, like limited onboard storage (8GB) and a tendency to load the interface slowly, but Google’s continued support of software updates and new features have kept it on our radar. It’s currently available at Amazon and Best Buy for about $40 — it’s usual discounted price that saves $10.
That’s generally what you want to pay for this Chromecast since it matches the lowest price — one that we don’t see all too often. It’s hard to beat this little dongle at that price since it offers 4K streaming with Dolby Vision and HDR support and an excellent remote with a built-in mic. Read our review.
While wireless earbuds and headphones are commonplace now, sometimes you can’t beat a pair of wired cans for the best sound quality. Beyerdynamic is running a sale on refurbished B-Stock headphones on its site, offering up to 40 percent off on some models. There are a bunch of options on sale, ranging from open-back headphones to gaming headsets, but one staple of Beyerdynamic’s lineup worth your attention is the refurbished DT 770 Pro closed-back headphones for just $89. When new, they sell for $159, so you’re getting $70 off a refurb complete with a two-year warranty and original packaging and accessories. Plus, they come with a 30-day return policy if you change your mind.
I’ve used the DT 770 Pro, and they’re excellent headphones for enjoying some tunes or accurately monitoring instruments in a mix. Its ear pads are made from a plush material that yields comfort for long sessions.