At this point, it would be an understatement to say there are a lot of wireless earbuds to choose from. There is something to be said about a competent platform-agnostic pair that takes a more targeted approach to features instead of relying on ecosystem tricks, which is precisely what Jabra aims to do with the Elite 8 Active.
Like their lauded predecessor, Jabra’s Elite 8 Active are designed with fitness buffs in mind. They boast adaptive ANC and eight hours of playback per charge, along with Jabra’s ShakeGrip coating, which helps secure them during rigorous exercise without the need for wing tips. This time around, though, they also carry an above-average IP68 rating and meet the military spec standard for ruggedized electronics, which means they’ve passed a series of durability tests to ensure they hold up to extreme temperatures, impact, and a slew of other factors.
The Elite 8 Active check all the basics, too. They support multipoint, wireless charging, and a standalone mono mode that lets you use either earbud on its own, making them a pretty well-rounded pair overall.
Best Buy, like every retailer under the sun, is already gearing up for the holiday shopping season with a series of planned sales events, some of which will be running counter to Amazon’s Prime Day event in October. This year, however, the retailer is also introducing a handful of deals and discounts in the form of Best Buy Drops, which will be available in limited quantities on a weekly basis at 11AM ET via the My Best Buy app.
To kick off the new Drops program, Best Buy is selling the Apple Watch Ultra 2 with an indigo Alpine Loop strap for $729 ($70 off) — the first discount we’ve seen on Apple’s new smartwatch outside of Amazon’s $20 discount.
What’s more, if you subscribe to either the retailer’s premium membership plans, My Best Buy Plus or Total, you can get an additional $10 off. But to be prepared for today’s impending deal, you should open the Best Buy app and click on “Drops” in the bottom row, where you can opt in to a push notification alerting you when the Ultra 2 deal goes live. It’s only available while supplies last, so you may have to buy it promptly once the app alerts you of its availability.
If you haven’t had a chance to dig into our Ultra 2 review, know that this year’s model is more iterative than it is revolutionary. The second-gen Ultra packs a brighter screen and slightly more processing power in the form of Apple’s new S9 SiP, which allows for onboard Siri processing, more power savings, and Apple’s unique “double-tap” feature. It also ships with watchOS 10 and features a second-gen ultra wideband chip, allowing for more precise tracking should you happen to lose your watch.
The rugged Apple Watch Ultra 2 comes in one size: 49mm. It offers the brightest display of any wearable in Apple’s lineup, along with better battery life and improved performance. It sports Apple’s new S9 SiP, too, allowing you to take advantage of Apple’s new double-tap feature. Read our review.
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Deals, discounts, and other savings
- TCL’s 55-inch Q7 has returned to its all-time low of $549.99 ($150 off) at Amazon and Best Buy. Much like the 6-Series we reviewed last year, this year’s midrange QLED TV offers a ton of value for the price, with support for features like Dolby Vision IQ, AMD FreeSync Premium Pro, and Google’s intuitive TV software. It also features two HDMI 2.1 ports and a native 120Hz panel that can ramp up to 240Hz when playing PC games at 1080p resolution using its Game Accelerator mode, rendering it a great pick for gamers.
- If you could use a dirt-cheap gaming mouse, Logitech’s G203 Lightsync is on sale at Amazon for $20.49 (half off) when you clip the coupon for an additional $5 off. The wired gaming mouse isn’t exactly known for its sweeping customization options or premium feature set, though you do get a pair of side-mounted thumb buttons, a scroll wheel, and an accurate sensor for a mere $20.
- The Sony WF-1000XM5 are on sale at eBay (via Secondipity) in refurbished condition with a two-year warranty for $229.99, which is $70 off the MSRP. In our opinion, the XM5 are the best pair of wireless earbuds you can buy, in large part due to their warm, detailed sound and noise cancellation that nearly rivals that of Bose’s QC Earbuds II. The fact they can connect to two devices simultaneously and support Sony’s higher-quality LDAC codec on Android phones is just an added bonus. Read our review.
- Lego’s AT-AT Imperial walker is down to just $152 ($18 off) at Amazon and Walmart — the lowest price we’ve seen on the Star Wars kit to date. Admittedly, it’s not quite as detailed as the supersize set Lego introduced at the end of 2021, but the 1,267-piece set is still a wonderful homage to the iconic tank featured at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back. It also doesn’t require you to take out a second loan on your mortgage, which, you know, is an absolute plus.
- Apple’s latest entry-level iPad is still on sale in its 64GB Wi-Fi configuration in select colors for $399 ($50 off) at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target. It’s not our budget recommendation in most instances — that would be the older ninth-gen model from 2021 — but it does offer a larger screen, USB-C charging, a faster A14 Bionic chip, and a better design, all for $100 more, making it a good upgrade pick. Read our review.
Update September 27th, 10:52AM ET: Added clarification around the timing of Best Buy Drops, including today’s Apple Watch Ultra 2 deal, which is set to begin at 11AM ET.