Tested product deals: Amazon Prime Day 2021
This article is part of CNN Underscored’s wall-to-wall coverage of Amazon Prime Day. To find all of our coverage, click here.
All year, our editors and writers put products large and small through a battery of tests and then use them day in and day out so we can make sure to recommend the things that will work best for you. For Prime Day, we’ve tracked down the very best deals on the products we’ve tested, so you can be sure to get the things you really want -— and can depend on — for the lowest prices of the year.
Our pick for the best Lightning cable for your Apple devices, the Anker Powerline II gets a solid 25% off discount for Prime Day. It doesn’t get much better than Anker’s Powerline II cable. It’s extremely affordable, charges quickly and is more durable than Apple’s own cables. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty should anything go wrong. The MFi-certified (it meets Apple’s stringent quality requirements) Powerline II may be just a basic cable that does everything well. Pick up a few for home, office, your bag, and your car and always be prepared to charge.
At nearly $100 off, our favorite full-size, over-ear noise-canceling headphones, the Sony WH-1000XM4, are not just a great listening experience, but a great deal. With impressive sound quality and noise cancellation, up to 30 hours of battery life per charge, and a design that’s comfortable to wear all day, the Sony WH-1000XM4 outperformed every other full-size, over-ear headphone we tested. Onboard processing intelligently enhances audio; we enjoyed crisp and clear audio from every source we tried.
Fitbit Inspire 2
Available at a price matching its historical low, our favorite overall fitness tracker, the Fitbit Inspire 2, gives you accurate workout, step, and sleep tracking in a slim, comfortable-to-wear package with up to 10 days of battery life. The small screen is very visible, the app is easy to use, and it’s overall a great choice for anyone who wants robust data about their health and fitness.
At 26% off for Prime Day, the Wemo Plug is a solid choice for any smart home. Wemo Plug is the only one we tested to offer support for all three major smart home ecosystems — Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. (While the Philips Hue Plug can connect to all three, it’s only rated for use with lamps.) We found the tiny, unobtrusive Wemo Plug to be faster than most plugs we tested in operation; it took only about a second to register a command (like turning the plug on or off) whether we were controlling it using the Wemo app or a smart assistant; some of the other plugs we tested took a good few seconds.
At 26% off for Prime Day, the Wemo Smart Plug — our pick for the best HomeKit smart plug — is a solid choice for any smart home. Wemo Plug is the only one we tested to offer support for all three major smart home ecosystems — Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. (While the Philips Hue Plug can connect to all three, it’s only rated for use with lamps.) We found the tiny, unobtrusive Wemo Plug to be faster than most plugs we tested in operation; it took only about a second to register a command (like turning the plug on or off) whether we were controlling it using the Wemo app or a smart assistant; some of the other plugs we tested took a good few seconds.
At 20% off for Prime Day, our premium portable hard drive pick, the SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD, is a great deal on storage that outperformed the other solid state drives we tested on read, write, backup, and file opening speeds. The compact size and durable build makes it perfect for on-the-go use.
At the lowest price we’ve seen, the 4th generation Amazon Echo, our pick for the best smart speaker, is a great deal on the device that defined the category. The new spherical form factor is more appealing aesthetically than the original Echo and most competing speakers, and the sound is richer and clearer. And you get the same ample access to Alexa, which is constantly getting smarter and giving you more control over your information.
Bose Noise Canceling Headphones 700
Prime Day gives you a chance to pick up the Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700 — our pick for the most comfortable over-ear headphones — for a deep discount. They’re the most comfortable over-ear headphones we tested, and offer great sound quality and Bose’s typically effective noise cancellation. They don’t offer as wide an array of EQ modes or as much customization as our other top picks, but they are very solid performers, with Bose’s low-key, grown-up style.
Razer Huntsman Mini
While we didn’t recommend it as one of our best gaming keyboards, the Razer Huntsman Mini was a dream to game and type on, but it comes with a steep learning curve if you’re new to 60% keyboards. It’s so small, in fact, that it even lacks arrow keys. It uses Razer’s Optical Switches, in clicky or linear, and to make up for the lack of all the extra keys most of us are accustomed to, some of the keys have secondary functions that require you to hold in the Fn key to access. You can easily identify those keys by a small icon printed on the side of the key, and the alternate functions light up so they’re clearly indicated, but you’ll have to relearn your key combinations to take advantage of the smaller format.
Eero Pro 6
Discounted to the lowest price we’ve seen for Prime Day, the Eero 6 mesh Wi-Fi router (available in a set with two extenders) is the best mesh Wi-Fi router we’ve tested. It blankets wide spaces with unfaltering coverage and pairs with a helpful companion app, and its straightforward setup make it a great choice even for a tech-challenged user. With more than 100 devices on the network (from smart bulbs to TVs, laptops to connected appliances), the Eero 6 never once so much as sputtered during our testing, nor did we notice the smallest of dead spots. While the main router alone has enough juice to cover 1,500 square feet, pairing it with the two extenders covers a radius of 5,000 square feet.
At 24% off, the Apple AirPods Pro, our pick for the best wireless earbuds for Apple users, are priced at just $20 more than the lowest price we’ve seen — a rare significant discount. They deliver great sound and solid noise-canceling ability and play especially nice with iPhones, iPads and Macs, with instantaneous pairing and the ability to switch between Apple devices without missing a beat.
Those in need of an alarm clock without any extra bells or whistles will be more than happy with the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock, our runner up pick for the best alarm clock. The DreamSky, which gets a small discount for Prime Day, is small but packs a big display, and at $18.99 you get an easy-to-use clock with an adjustable wake-up tone. It lacks the extras of our overall winner, but the DreamSky Compact Digital Alarm Clock is a solid pick to get you out of bed in the morning.
55-inch Sony A90J OLED TV
At $200 off today from Best Buy, our pick for the best luxury TV, the Sony A90J has the best picture quality we’ve ever tested, with superb detail and hyper accurate colors. It’s one of the brightest OLED TVs we’ve seen, supports all the standards videophiles demand and lets you access everything easily with the Google TV interface. It’s still pricey, but if you’re after the finest possible picture here’s a chance to grab it at a small but still significant discount.
At 69.99, the cheapest price we’ve seen, our budget tablet pick is an even better deal. You don’t sacrifice much with the Fire HD 8 Plus. It can handle a host of everyday tasks, including streaming movies and TV shows, light emailing, plenty of content consumption, e-reading and even some light gaming. The only downside here is Fire OS, which limits you to solely using Amazon’s Appstore.