Best Deals on Electronics for Memorial Day 2022
Here's where to find great prices on TVs, laptops, headphones, and other popular tech gadgets
When you’re in the market for new headphones, a bigger TV, or other tech products, it can be hard to save money. But with Memorial Day on the horizon, we’re seeing more deals on everything from Bluetooth speakers to fitness trackers and smartwatches.
Of course, the best sales involve more than a good price. You want the product you buy to work well, no matter how much you spend. So our tech experts look for price cuts on items that stand up to Consumer Reports’ rigorous testing. The list below features this week’s top picks.
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The Clip 4 from JBL is a great choice if you need a portable, affordable speaker, especially with this discount. The Clip 4 has a built-in carabiner that makes it easy to take on the go, and it’s got an IPX7 rating for dust and water resistance. It’s certainly lacking in sound quality, though, as our testers found the highs were a little sizzly and the midrange a bit nasal, and there’s not much bass to speak of. But for a low-cost way to listen to tunes at the pool or by the campfire, it may be just right.
CR’s test results: JBL Clip 4
The 1MORE PistonBuds deliver great sound quality for the price, beating out competitors that cost far more, and with Amazon’s on-page coupon, it’s an even better deal right now. They have an advertised 3.5-hour battery life—fairly standard for a true wireless model—and come with a charging/carrying case that will recharge the earphones almost five times before it needs to be plugged in again. They also feature water resistance and touch controls, and they plug in with USB-C. 1MORE boasts a top owner satisfaction rating, based on surveys of CR members.
CR’s test results: 1MORE PistonBuds
Shopping for noise-canceling headphones on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. A case in point is the Anker SoundCore Life Q20. You can pick it up for just over $50 right now with the on-page 10 percent coupon, and our tests show that it beats models that cost hundreds more.
The model has great sound quality and outstanding noise cancellation. It doesn’t sound quite as good as top-rated options like the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, and you won’t get sought-after features like adjustable levels of noise cancellation. But at this price, those may be sacrifices worth making.
Anker does include some appealing perks, too, such as the ability to work over either Bluetooth or an audio cable, and a free app that adds features, including a bass boost EQ setting. According to Anker, the headphones have a generous 40-hour battery life when Bluetooth and noise cancellation are both turned on.
CR’s test results: Anker SoundCore Life Q20
Want to stand out from the crowd? Skip the AirPods and try these well-rated earbuds from Jabra. The noise-canceling true wireless model gets high marks in our tests, both for sound-blocking and audio quality. It has some handy features, too: adjustable noise cancellation, customizable audio that’s supposed to optimize to your hearing, an ambient sound monitoring mode, and more. Jabra advertises a 5.5-hour battery life bolstered by a charging case with a built-in battery.
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite 85t
The JBL Tune 510BT headphones are a no-brainer if you’re in the market for affordable headphones. The Bluetooth set delivers pretty good sound quality and it has a 40-hour advertised battery life. The 510BTs sit on the ears, which some people find more comfortable than being engulfed by the more common over-ear style. As an extra perk, you can use them with a cable if you forget to charge them.
CR’s test results: JBL Tune 510BT
For more discounts: Best Deals on Headphones Right Now
Sony’s SRS-XB23 is proof that less can be more. While older Sony speakers came with superfluous features like lights and sound effects, the more straightforward XB23 still performs its primary function admirably—and at a great price. It’s a medium-sized speaker that checks a lot of boxes. It’s relatively inexpensive, and Sony claims that it’s water-resistant.
And it sounds good. According to our testers, the low bass of the SRS-XB23 is a bit lacking and the midrange lacks some of the clarity of the very best portables. But on balance, the speaker delivers satisfying sound.
CR’s test results: Sony SRS-XB23
If you’re looking for a speaker that costs even less, this model costs half as much as the one above. But what you save on price you lose a bit on sound quality. The SRS-XB13’s bass, as you might expect from something so tiny, isn’t very strong, and the midrange and trebles lack the smoothness and detail you’d get from more expensive models. The speaker does deliver a decent amount of volume, though, as long as you’re listening in a small room. And it’s small enough that you can carry it by its included lanyard. It’s also water- and dust-resistant, always a plus.
CR’s test results: Sony SRS-XB13
The JBL Flip 4 is a bargain at this price. The classic cylindrical design takes up relatively little space in a beach bag or on a picnic table. And the Flip 4 comes in six fun colors, all the better to coordinate with your favorite sunglasses. The company claims a battery life of up to 12 hours, and the Flip 4’s claimed IPX7 water-resistance rating means that it can survive being fully submerged, which makes it perfect for the beach or any outdoor setting where a shower—or a dunking—is a distinct possibility.
Compared with the best-sounding speakers we’ve tested, the Flip 4 has a few shortcomings, with bass that’s a bit boomy and trebles that are somewhat subdued. But when played outdoors and in other casual environments where a speaker like this works best, the Flip 4’s largely forgiving sonic signature encourages you to play tunes one right after the other.
CR’s test results: JBL Flip 4 speaker
Amazon’s latest stick-style streaming player is also the company’s fastest thanks to a more powerful processor, so apps launch quicker than on earlier models. Also, it includes WiFi 6, the latest version of the wireless protocol. (You’ll need a WiFi 6 router to take advantage of this feature, though the device also works with older routers.) This model supports the HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and Dolby Vision HDR formats, as well as Dolby Atmos audio. It comes with an Alexa voice remote, so you can find, launch, and control content or even change inputs using voice commands.
CR’s test results: Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K Max
Roku’s top 4K streaming media player boasts a few great features, including built-in Bluetooth for streaming music from mobile devices, and support for both Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos 3D sound. It also has an improved WiFi range, so the player can be placed farther away from your router than previous models. The remote even offers voice search and programmable buttons.
CR’s test results: Roku Ultra
This streaming device runs on the Google Android platform, with a proprietary TiVo app for searches and content recommendations. The device supports 4K videos with HDR10, Dolby Vision, and HLG HDR formats. The player, which also supports Dolby Atmos sound, comes with a tiny peanut-shaped TiVo remote or you can use voice commands with the built-in Google Assistant. You can access virtually all streaming services via the Google Play store, but a few, such as Apple TV+, are not available.
CR’s test results: TiVo Stream 4K
Laptops and Chromebooks
This 15.6-inch notebook performed reasonably well in our tests. It comes with an Intel Core i3 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory, and 256GB of solid-state storage, all of which are about average for a laptop that debuted in early 2021. You’ll also find decent battery life (as many as 9 hours on a single charge) and a touch screen, which is handy for navigating certain types of content, such as photo galleries. The only place it really falls short is in the display quality, which our testers note is only-so-so in terms of color, so it’s not going to be ideal for video playback.
CR’s test results: Lenovo IdeaPad 3 15
Microsoft has several Surface devices to choose from, but this relatively inexpensive model could be a good option for consumers looking for a smaller laptop, especially at this hefty discount. It has a 12.4-inch display, an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and a 64GB solid-state drive. That’s small, so you’ll probably want to compensate with cloud storage.
The Microsoft Surface Laptop Go scores well in many of our tests, though the performance is a bit sluggish compared with other options. The model is lightweight (2.5 pounds), offers decent battery life (just under 12 hours in CR’s web-browsing test), and has a bright, color-accurate display. There’s a touch screen for flipping through those photo galleries.
CR’s test results: Microsoft Surface Laptop Go
This 15.6-inch Chromebook has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 32GB of flash storage, which is similar to but slower than solid-state storage. As with other Chromebooks, the idea is that you’ll store just about everything in the cloud, so you don’t need much onboard storage. The battery life is average (about 5 to 10 hours in CR testing, depending on the task), the display produces somewhat pale colors, and the model weighs 3.7 pounds, about what you’d expect from a notebook this size.
CR’s test results: Samsung Chromebook 4 (XE350XBA-K01US)
This 14-inch Chromebook has an Intel Celeron processor, 4 gigabytes of memory, and 64GB of flash storage. Its admirable battery life (almost 13 hours for web browsing and almost 8 for more demanding tasks) and comfortable keyboard make it a great choice for prolonged use. Performance is about average, and the display is merely so-so, but as long as you treat this as a low-cost productivity device as opposed to the only computer you’ll ever need, you should be okay.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go
Fitness Trackers and Smartwatches
This retro-looking Citizen CZ Smart comes from a company best known for analog watches. The model’s price is fairly high compared with others, but the traditional styling will appeal to users who want smartwatch functionality in a model with the look of something made of chunky stainless steel. The watch performs very well in our labs, with solid scores in ease of interaction as well as heart-rate and step-count accuracy. Compatible with both Android phones and iPhones, the watch offers GPS. It lacks the blood oxygen sensor found on some smartwatches, which limits its sleep-tracking functionality. Clip the on-page coupon at Amazon for the full discount.
CR’s test results: Citizen CZ Smart Smartwatch
The lightweight and stylish Fitbit Luxe looks more like jewelry than a straight-up fitness tracker, but it performs well on basic functions. The device earns high ratings for both ease of use and counting steps, and it includes the stress-tracking features found on the more expensive Fitbit Sense smartwatch.
But the Fitbit Luxe isn’t quite as good as other models when it comes to tracking heart rate. In addition, the tiny screen can make it tough to read, especially for people who have trouble seeing up close.
CR’s test results: Fitbit Luxe
The Fossil Gen 6 may be a great choice if you’re looking for a smartwatch that looks more like a sports watch. It runs the latest Wear OS3 operating system. The Gen 6 also features stand-alone GPS, which helps runners and cyclists track their workouts, and a blood oxygen sensor that enhances sleep tracking.
But keep in mind that the Fossil Gen 6’s claimed battery life is only a day, which is short compared with what you can find with other models. It also depends on the rather basic Google Fit suite of health and fitness apps. And while it has a blood oxygen sensor, it lacks ECG functionality that can measure heart rhythm irregularities.
CR’s test results: Fossil Gen 6 smartwatch
The Venu 2 smartwatch is more stylish for everyday wear than Garmin’s previous offerings. It’s compatible with Android phones and iPhones, and is packed with activity profiles ranging from basic workouts, like running, to more esoteric pursuits, like indoor rowing and bouldering. It even includes workout animations that show you how to do a variety of exercises and indicate which muscles are targeted.
The device features a very long claimed battery life of up to five days. But unlike many smartwatches, it doesn’t have a mic, so you can’t use it for calls, making it best suited for someone more focused on fitness than all-day use.
CR’s test results: Garmin Venu 2
The Samsung Galaxy Watch4 has a bright, round, 1.3-inch AMOLED display that can showcase a variety of interesting watch faces. The model has a mic and speaker for handling phone calls. It offers a robust suite of health and fitness options, including a blood oxygen sensor, ECG monitoring (that could detect irregularities in heart rhythm), and even a sensor that is claimed to measure body fat. It works best if you have a Samsung Android phone because that gives you access to all the Samsung Health features.
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Watch4
This powerful 12.9-inch device represents the pinnacle of what a tablet can be. Dwelling on the bleeding edge of performance and design, it isn’t cheap, though. Prices typically start at $1,100, and you can add $200 to that if you want the model with built-in 5G wireless networking. But right now you can get a substantial—and rare—discount at Amazon and Walmart. As you might expect from a tablet aimed at professional users and powered by Apple’s M1 processor, the performance is very strong, allowing for video editing and demanding video game play.
CR’s test results: Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (128GB) 2021
Walmart’s Onn Tablet Pro 8 is a great low-price option, particularly for those with kids, according to CR’s tests.
It ships with the Android 10 operating system and gives you access to the Google Play app store. That means you can download Google’s full suite of productivity apps (Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Classroom, etc.), not to mention a wide range of popular games. By contrast, Amazon’s similarly inexpensive Fire tablets use a more limited app store.
The 8-inch Onn comes with 32 gigabytes of built-in storage, plus a microSD card slot for adding more storage as needed.
CR’s test results: Onn Tablet Pro 8
This 70-inch 4K smart TV from Insignia, Best Buy’s house brand, is a fine overall performer, but its HDR (high dynamic range) performance is ineffective, mainly because of peak brightness limitations. It uses the Amazon Fire TV smart TV system, and Alexa is built in for using voice commands.
CR’s test results: Insignia NS-70DF710NA21 70-inch TV
This is a top-performing LG OLED TV that excels in every picture-quality test in CR’s labs. Like other OLEDs, it has excellent black levels and can be viewed from almost any angle. It also gets Very Good scores for HDR (high dynamic range) performance, a calling card for the best TVs these days. And it has great sound. Walmart’s sale price beats the best we’ve seen by $100, but the other retailers recently increased the price by $100.
CR’s test results: LG OLED65C1PUB 65-inch TV
While few people would call a $3,000 TV a bargain, right now you can save several hundred dollars on this jumbo-sized 2021 4K OLED model from Sony, one of the best sets we’ve ever tested. It has been on sale for a few months but recently dropped an additional $200, making this the perfect time to pounce. The 77-inch smart TV has top-notch picture quality and impressive HDR performance. And it features Sony’s Acoustic Surface Audio+ sound technology, which uses vibrating actuators that turn the entire panel into a speaker to deliver fantastic sound.
CR’s test results: Sony XR-77A80J 77-inch TV
This 58-inch Vizio, in an entry-level 4K set, offers satisfying picture quality overall, but like many entry-level models its HDR performance is ineffective, mainly due to limited peak brightness. It has Vizio’s SmartCast smart TV platform, with Chromecast and Google Assistant built in. And it’s back on sale for the same price we saw during Super Bowl sales at the beginning of the year.
CR’s test results: Vizio V585-J01
The Roku Streambar Pro is a 2.0 soundbar with a built-in 4K Roku streaming player that supports the HDR10 format, but not Dolby Vision or HDR10+. The model comes with an advanced voice remote control with a headphone jack for private listening and buttons that can be programmed for voice commands. The soundbar has Roku’s standard access to lots of streaming services, meaning you won’t need a separate streaming device to access your shows.
CR’s test results: Roku Streambar Pro
This is an impressive discount on this low-priced 2.1-channel soundbar speaker system, which comes with a wireless subwoofer. It’s a fairly basic model in Samsung’s lineup, but you can add optional Samsung wireless rear speakers to create a full surround-sound system.
The model has a digital optical input and a USB port but no HDMI connection. Features include a graphic EQ for tweaking the sound, built-in Bluetooth for wireless streaming from your mobile device, an optical cable and brackets for wall mounting, and a fairly basic remote control.
CR’s test results: Samsung HW-A450/ZA
If you’re willing to spend more, take a look at this complete 5.1-channel system with two wireless rear surround speakers and a wireless subwoofer. It delivers solid overall sound at the lowest price we’ve seen in months. (The offer has been fluctuating between $350 and $380.)
CR’s test results: Samsung HW-Q65T/ZA soundbar
This budget-priced 5.1-channel system comes with a wireless subwoofer and small satellite surround-sound speakers. Unlike some pricier Vizio models, it doesn’t support Dolby Atmos sound, but that’s not surprising given the price. It does have Bluetooth for wirelessly streaming music from an audio device. It comes with wall-mount brackets, optical and HDMI cables, a 3.5mm mini-jack cable, as well as a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable, plus a basic remote control.
CR’s test results: Vizio V51-H6
The Netgear Orbi AC1200 has been on sale for a while, but it’s fallen steadily from around $150 in the past few weeks. This three-unit mesh router system performs well in our tests overall. But it doesn’t rate quite as high for speed at midrange and far distances, and it isn’t compatible with the WiFi 6 standard, which might not be ideal for early adopters who want the fastest connections to the latest smartphone and other gadgets. (Don’t worry about compatibility, though; all new devices work with the earlier WiFi standard.) Given the relatively low price, however, there’s a lot to like here, including an easy app-based setup, a built-in Ethernet port, and automatic firmware updates, which protect you from hackers, malware, and other security vulnerabilities.
CR’s test results: Netgear Orbi AC1200 wireless mesh router (three-pack)
This three-unit mesh router performs well in all of CR’s speed tests, and it supports many of the useful features you’d expect to see in a top-rated model, including app-based setup and automatic firmware updating. It’s also compatible with the WiFi 6 standard, which may be useful as you add new home devices that fully take advantage of the latest WiFi standard.
CR’s test results: Netgear Nighthawk AX1800 mesh router