Illustration of desktop and laptop computers, a smartphone, a smartwatch, a router, and a tablet, symbolizing Labor Day electronics sales.

Thanks to Labor Day promotions and back-to-school sales, this is a good time to shop for headphones, laptops, smart speakers, and more. You’ll also find impressive deals on large appliances and mattresses.

We’ve been keeping an eye out for great offers on tech products approved by our testers, so you get rewarded with savings and quality, too. Better yet, most of the deals are available online, which means you can take advantage of them without leaving home.

If you plan to venture out, consult our coronavirus guide for tips on wearing a mask and other safety precautions


Apple AirPods Pro Earphones

    The AirPods Pro muffle unwanted distractions with active noise cancellation and provide interchangeable ear insert tips, abandoning the one-size-fits-all design of their predecessors. The sound quality is more than sufficient for critical listeners of music and movie soundtracks.


    CR’s test results: Apple AirPods Pro earphones

    Apple AirPods With Wireless Charging Case

      Though the second-generation AirPods don’t get high marks for sound in Consumer Reports’ testing, there’s no denying the appeal of these true wireless earphones for many Apple fans. If you have a wireless charging pad (sold separately), you can power the case cable-free just by setting it down. These headphones originally cost $200 and have been selling for $170 for months, making the discounts at Amazon and Sam’s Club even more appealing.


      CR’s test results: Apple AirPods (2nd generation) earphones with wireless charging case

      Microsoft Surface Noise-Canceling Headphones

        These headphones usually sell for about $100 less than comparable options from Sony and Bose, but they’re an additional $50 off at Best Buy right now. According to our testers, this model is great for listening to music and watching movies, which means you can transition from work to relaxation with ease.


        CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface headphones

        Monoprice BT-300ANC Noise-Canceling Headphones

          If you’re looking for noise-canceling headphones on a budget, this is a terrific option. The headphones don’t have the latest features—like a monitor mode or adjustable noise cancellation—but they deliver where it counts: above-average sound quality and fantastic sound-blocking abilities. They feature integrated controls for calls, volume, and playback, and the ear cups fold in and swivel flat for easy storage and transport. According to Monoprice, the battery will run for 8 hours between charges with both Bluetooth and noise cancellation turned on.


          CR’s test results: Monoprice BT-300ANC headphones

          Laptops and Tablets

          Apple 13-Inch MacBook Air

            This laptop hardly needs an introduction, having blazed the trail for thin-and-light notebooks since Steve Jobs first introduced it in 2008 by slipping it inside a manila envelope. And now, if you’re a student (with a valid ID), Apple will not only trim $100 from the retail price but also throw in a $160 pair of AirPods true wireless headphones free. We tested the base model with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage. 

            CR’s test results: Apple MacBook Air (2020) laptop

            Dell 17-Inch Inspiron

              We haven’t tested this 17.3-inch notebook yet, but the 2019 version performed well in our labs. The on-sale model features an Intel Core i7 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a 2-terabyte hard drive. It even has a built-in DVD drive, which is uncommon these days. And for $30 more, you can trade the raw storage capacity of the hard drive for the zippier performance of a 512GB solid-state drive.


              CR’s test results: Dell Inspiron 17 3000 (2019 version) notebook

              Lenovo 14-Inch Yoga Laptop

                This laptop has good core specs for a midrange computer—an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and a 256GB solid state drive. It will purr along easily while performing most tasks, and it’s convenient to use on the go. It weighs an easy-to-tote 3 pounds and provides plenty of battery life, and the 2-in-1 convertible design lets you prop it up in tent mode or use it like a tablet.


                CR’s test results: Lenovo Yoga C740-14 laptop


                For more computer options, check out CR’s article on the best Labor Day laptop deals.

                Samsung Galaxy Tab A Kids Edition

                  We tested the model for grown-ups. This one comes with an extra-protective bumper case and access to more than 10,000 hours’ worth of kid-friendly content. The model impressed our testers with its ease of use and versatility. It’s lightweight, and the battery life—longer than most at 13.1 hours of video watching—won’t give out before bedtime.


                  CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019) WiFi tablet

                  Home Theater

                  Samsung 65-Inch QLED 4K Smart TV

                    This 65-inch 4K TV from Samsung is in an entry-level series of QLED TVs for 2019, which are the company’s premium TVs. It offers satisfying overall picture quality, though its HDR performance, which can produce enhanced contrast and brighter highlights when done well, wasn’t as good as we’ve seen on Samsung’s pricier QLED models.


                    CR’s test results: Samsung QN65Q60R smart TV

                    Vizio 55-Inch M-Series 4K Smart TV

                      This 55-inch 4K set is in the company’s midline M-Series from 2019. It has commendable high-definition and 4K picture quality but less than stellar HDR (high dynamic range) performance. It also has the company’s SmartCast smart TV system with built-in Chromecast, plus support for Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple AirPlay. 


                      CR’s test results: Vizio M557-G0 smart TV


                      Looking for something different? Check out our roundup of the best Labor Day TV sales.

                      Smart Speakers

                      Amazon Echo Plus Smart Speaker

                        The Echo Plus offers tone controls that allow you to tweak the speaker to match your listening room. But even if you’re a set-it-and-forget-it type, it’s enjoyable to listen to. You can also pair it with a second Plus (or Amazon’s subwoofer) for stereo sound. And the built-in Alexa and Zigbee smart home hub functionality allows you to use the model to control a wide variety of smart home devices.


                        CR’s test results: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation) smart speaker

                        Google Home Max Smart Speaker

                          The Google Home Max ranks among the best-sounding smart speakers available today and can be paired with another Home Max for stereo sound or integrated in a multiroom system featuring other speakers with Chromecast capability. This is the lowest price we’ve seen all year, and if you sign up for Belk’s email newsletter, you may be able to save an extra $10 to $20.


                          CR’s test results: Google Home Max smart speaker

                          Marshall Stanmore II Smart Speaker

                            This Amazon Alexa-powered smart speaker is a great choice if you want something unique to enhance your décor. It’s designed to mirror the look of Marshall’s iconic guitar amplifiers. Our testers found the knobs to be well-placed, clearly labeled, and easy to use. The sound quality is less refined than that on rival speakers, with a somewhat boomy bass and a midrange that’s slightly congested, but the unit does provide enough volume to fill a large room. At the time of writing, Amazon had limited inventory. Best Buy’s price is a bit higher, but it did drop $20 in the past week.


                            CR’s test results: Marshall Stanmore II Voice smart speaker


                            Linksys Wireless Mesh Router

                              Ideal for large houses, the Linksys Velop AC6600 three-unit mesh router system is selling for $100 less than usual at these retailers. It offers automatic firmware updates (good for digital security) and easy setup via smartphone app, plus admirable WiFi signal relay at a full range of distances, according to our testers. For more low-cost options, check out our article on the best mesh router systems for $350 or less.


                              CR’s test results: Linksys Velop AC6600 (3-pack) mesh router system

                              Netgear Nighthawk Wireless Router

                                This is a nice price for a router well suited to midsized homes. In addition to solid performance, the Nighthawk delivers the protection of automatic firmware updates and easy setup via smartphone app.


                                CR’s test results: Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 (R7000) wireless router


                                Google Pixel 4

                                  Google recently discontinued the Pixel 4 and 4 XL, opening the door for great deals on the two models. The 4 has a top-notch screen, a nice rear camera setup (featuring an extra zoom lens and optical image stabilization), and wireless charging capability. The battery life is a little low, though, at 20.5 hours. This is the price for the 64-gigabyte model. If you prefer more storage space, the 128GB version is on sale, too.


                                  CR’s test results: Google Pixel 4 smartphone (64GB)

                                  Samsung Galaxy S10

                                    If you’re looking for a Galaxy phone at a nice price, this is a great option. The model, which started at $900 when it launched in 2019, is now selling for $550 (or $600 if you don’t activate through Best Buy). It features a stunning bezel-less screen, an impressive rear camera, a fast processor, and a battery life that still rates among the market’s best.


                                    CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphone (128GB)