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Ars Technica

Today’s Dealmaster is headlined by a nifty couple of deals on Bose noise-cancelling headphones—provided you’re willing to buy refurbished. Factory-renewed models of the popular Bose QuietComfort 35 II and the newer Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are both discounted at Bose’s official eBay storefront, with the former down to $200 and the latter down to $280.

We generally don’t recommend buying refurbished tech unless the used products come directly from a trusted manufacturer, and fortunately, that’s the case here. Bose itself has inspected and tested the re-sold gear, not a random third-party seller, and the refurbished headphones come with the same one-year limited warranty as new models. Bose says its refurbished gear “may occasionally have minor, nearly imperceptible blemishes,” so there is some risk involved, but the obvious benefit is that the cost of entry is far lower. A new pair of QuietComfort 35 IIs usually run between $300-350, while a new set of Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 range between $350-400. Beyond that, this QuietComfort 35 II deal is about $40 cheaper than the typical cost of a refurbished pair on Amazon.

Between the two, we’d say the QuietComfort 35 II is the better value here. That’s not to say the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are bad—their metal headband gives them a more premium feel, they have a USB-C port for charging, and their noise-cancelling is not only borderline best-in-class but adjustable on a more granular level through Bose’s companion app. They also have better built-in microphones, which allow for clearer call quality. Still, the QuietComfort 35 II’s active noise-cancellation is just as powerful, its physical playback buttons are more consistent than the 700’s sometimes-finicky touch controls, and its lighter design clamps with less force, which generally makes them more comfortable for longer sessions.

In terms of sound quality, neither is what we’d call exceptional, but both are decidedly solid for the money: the QuietComfort 35 II have a more balanced and pleasant profile, while the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 put a bit more emphasis on bass, which makes them preferable for those who prefer an energetic sound to a neutral one. All told, we still like Sony’s WH-1000XM3 as the best overall package among noise-cancelling cans, but if either of these Bose pairs better suit your needs, they’re still commendable at these prices.

If you don’t need a new pair of headphones, though, we also have deals on Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers, Google Pixel phones, another drop to $50 for Amazon’s Fire HD 8 tablet, and more. Have a look for yourself below.

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Note: Ars Technica may earn compensation for sales from links on this post through affiliate programs.

Top 10 deals of the day

Apple's latest Mac Mini is back on sale today.
Enlarge / Apple’s latest Mac Mini is back on sale today.

Laptop and desktop PC deals

  • Apple Mac Mini (early 2020) mini desktop – Intel Core i3-8100B, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD for $729 at B&H (normally $799).
  • Asus ROG Zephyrus G (GA502DU-BR7N6) gaming laptop – AMD Ryzen 7 3750H, 15.6-inch 1080p, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti Max-Q for $899.99 at Google Shopping and eBay (normally $1,099).
  • Acer Aspire 5 (A514-52-78MD) laptop – Intel Core i7-8565U, 14-inch 1080p, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD for $529 at Walmart (normally $699).
  • Apple MacBook Pro (late 2019) laptop – 2.3GHz Intel Core i9-9880H, 16-inch 3072×1920, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Radeon Pro 5500M 4GB for $2,499 at B&H (normally $2,650).
  • Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 wireless Bluetooth mouse for $9.99 at Google Shopping (normally $15).
  • AMD Ryzen 5 3600 6-core/12-thread desktop processor + Xbox Game Pass for PC 3-month membership for $164.99 at Newegg (use code: EMCDHGE28 – normally $174.99).
The Outer Worlds is included with Xbox Game Pass, but the standalone game is discounted today if you’re not a subscriber. ” src=”https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/goty_outerworlds-640×360.png” width=”640″ height=”360″ >
Enlarge / The Outer Worlds is included with Xbox Game Pass, but the standalone game is discounted today if you’re not a subscriber.

Video game deals

The Razer Viper gaming mouse.
Enlarge / The Razer Viper gaming mouse.

Jeff Dunn

Gaming deals

Here's the Sonos Beam. There isn't a ton going on from a design standpoint, which is probably for the best for a thing that's meant to sit under your TV.
Enlarge / Here’s the Sonos Beam. There isn’t a ton going on from a design standpoint, which is probably for the best for a thing that’s meant to sit under your TV.

TV and home entertainment deals

The Pixel 4a is coming soon, which means big discounts on the Pixel 3a have begun.
Enlarge / The Pixel 4a is coming soon, which means big discounts on the Pixel 3a have begun.

Jeff Dunn

Electronics deals

  • Google Pixel 3a (64GB) unlocked smartphones for $299 at Amazon and Google Shopping (normally $360).
  • Google Pixel 4 (64GB) unlocked smartphones for $499 at Amazon and Google Shopping (normally $650).
  • Google Nest Mini (2nd gen) smart home speaker for $29 at Google Shopping and B&H (normally $49).
  • Google Home smart home speaker for $50 at Google Shopping and Walmart (normally $80).
  • Sonos One (2nd gen) smart speaker for $149 at Amazon and Sonos (normally $199).
  • Sonos One SL home speaker for $129 at Amazon and Sonos (normally $179).
  • Amazon Fire HD 8 (16GB, ads) tablet for $49.99 at Amazon (normally $79.99).
  • Amazon Echo (3rd gen) smart home speaker for $59.99 at Amazon (normally $90).
  • Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen) smart home speaker for $24.99 at Woot (normally $40).
  • Amazon Echo Dot with Clock (3rd gen) smart home speaker for $39.99 at Amazon (normally $50).
  • TP-Link HS200 (3-pack) smart light switch for $47.99 at Amazon (use code: 20SWITCHES – normally $65).
  • TaoTronics SoundSurge 85 Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones for $36.99 at Amazon (use code: NE492LQC – normally $55).
  • Netgear CM600 cable modem – up to 400Mbps for $69.99 at Amazon (normally $90).
  • UE Boom 3 portable Bluetooth speaker for $79.99 at Google Shopping (normally $125).
  • JBL Flip 5 portable Bluetooth speaker for $89.95 at Amazon (normally $105).
  • Beats Solo Pro Bluetooth noise-cancelling on-ear headphones for $249.95 at Amazon (normally $299.95).
  • Certified refurb: Bose QuietComfort 35 II Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones for $199.95 at Bose via eBay and Bose (normally $349).
  • Certified refurb: Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 Bluetooth noise-cancelling headphones for $279.95 at Bose via eBay and Bose (normally $399).
The Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
Enlarge / The Bose QuietComfort 35 II.

Jeff Dunn

Accessories and miscellaneous deals

  • Apple Leather Case (Red) for iPhone XS for $9.99 at Verizon (normally $40).
  • Apple Silicone Case for iPhone XS for $19.99 at Verizon (normally $35).
  • Aukey PB-Y13 USB-C portable battery – 18W USB-C PD, USB-A, 37Wh for $19.19 at Amazon (use code: ZRKOFDK4 – normally $29.99).
  • Prime only: Aukey PA-Y18 (3-pack) USB-C wall charger – 18W USB-C for $23.98 at Amazon (add three to cart – normally $44.97).
  • RAVPower 61W PD GaN Charger USB-C wall charger – 61W USB-C PD for $23.99 at Amazon (normally $35.99).
  • Anker PowerWave Pad (2-pack) Qi wireless charger – 10W Galaxy/7.5W iPhone, no AC adapter for $17.99 at Amazon (use code: AKB253SD – normally $22).
  • Anker PowerLine+ II (6ft, 2-pack) USB-C to Lightning braided nylon cable for $26.99 at Amazon (use code: AKPLP2PK – normally $39.99).
  • Anker PowerPort Cube USB power strip – 3x USB-A, 3x AC for $15.81 at Amazon (normally $19.99).
  • Anker PowerWave Base Pad Qi wireless charger – 10W Galaxy/7.5W iPhone, no AC adapter for $10.99 at Amazon (use code: PWAVE2505 – normally $13.99).
  • New users only: Amazon Music Unlimited 3-month membership for free at Amazon (normally $30).
  • Amazon FreeTime Unlimited 1-year Family Plan membership for $19.99 at Amazon (select from drop-down menu – normally $69).