By Don Lindich
Week 45, 2023
One of this week’s gift recommendations is a reader favorite for under $100. The other is a prime example of go big, or go home!
ZVOX AV100 TV Speaker, $89.99: ZVOX TV speakers are very popular with readers of the column because they make television audio sound better while making dialogue easier to understand. This popularity makes sense given there are a lot of older folks in the newspaper audience, but these speakers benefit younger viewers as well. Recent studies show that young people are using television subtitles about as often as the older crowd because it is hard to make out what people are saying on-screen. This is a result of poor audio mixing by program producers and the tiny speakers in flat-panel televisions. ZVOX’s patented AccuVoice feature lifts voices above the soundtrack, greatly enhancing the overall viewing experience. Through the end of the year the best-selling, extremely compact ZVOX AV100 TV speaker, normally $129.99, is available for $89.99 by using the $40 coupon code GIFT23 at zvox.com. Shipping is free and there is a 60-day satisfaction guarantee.
Samsung 98-inch Q80C QLED TV, $4,999.99: Through Cyber Monday this $7,999.99 TV is $4,999.99, almost 40% off. I can’t overstate what a value this is because such TVs were selling in the tens of thousands of dollars not long ago, and the Q80C is undoubtedly better given ongoing advancements in television technology. Other sizes and models are available at similarly impressive discounts, but the 98-inch deal has me drooling and anyone furnishing a mancave should put this at the top of their shopping list. Samsung has 0% financing as well, and it is easy and seamless to order and finance through their website.
Earlier this year I purchased an 85-inch Samsung TV and I have been thrilled with it. A wonderful feature it shares with the Q80C and many other Samsung televisions is the Samsung Gaming Hub, which allows you to play many of the latest video games without a console. It seemed too good to be true when I read about it, but I purchased an Xbox controller, paired it to my TV and subscribed to Xbox Game Pass. You need a fast internet connection, but it works, is fantastic and it made me even more satisfied with my TV.
Q. I recently replaced my 1970s-vintage amplifier and tuner with a new Denon DRA-800H receiver. I am delighted with the Denon upgrade, and something that surprised me is the convenience of using it to stream various sources via WiFi using the receiver’s HEOS feature. I also didn’t need the tuner section of the receiver since so many FM stations are available for free over the internet via the TuneIn app. Can you recommend a value-priced CD player to add to the system?
-B.L., Santa Clara, CA
A. You will get the best audio quality using the digital connection from player to receiver. Since the receiver does the digital-to-analog conversion to create the sound, the choice of player comes down to cost, quality and convenience.
The Sony DVDSR210P DVD player will also play CDs. It sells for $35 online. For pure value, that is hard to beat.
You would get more satisfaction from the Denon DCD-600NE CD player. It is built to a much more impressive standard, it matches your receiver visually and the receiver’s remote will also operate the CD player so you are not juggling two remotes. The DCD-600NE lists for $429, but accessories4less.com has refurbished units available for only $249. Given how much you have enjoyed your new Denon receiver I think it is worth the extra investment.