The Wirecutter’s best deals: $30 off the Amazon Tap

This post was done in partnership with The Wirecutter, a buyer’s guide to the best technology. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we’ll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot—some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Athlon Optics Midas ED Binoculars

Street price: $ 290; MSRP: $ 290; deal price: $ 250

The first time we’ve seen a drop on these binoculars since we started tracking them, and it’s a worthwhile one. At $ 250, they’re a full $ 40 below the street price.

The Athlon Optics Midas ED are our pick for the best binoculars. Daniel S. Cooper said, “Amazingly affordable with great optics, these binoculars have comparable performance to many models that cost thousands more.”

He went on to say, “The Athlon Midas ED pair’s optics aren’t its only strong suit: These are exceptionally durable binoculars that easily withstood the humid, dusty, and hostile environment of the Mexican rain forest and harsh sun of the Californian desert. And their focus dial adjusts reliably and smoothly across a wide range of depths, making it easy to focus on what you’re trying to see, no matter where it is.”

Anker PowerLine 3-ft Lightning Cable (3-Pack)

Street price: $ 25; MSRP: $ 40; deal price: $ 20

If you like having spare Lightning cables on hand, Anker’s currently offering a deal on a 3-pack of their PowerLine 3-ft Lightning cables. It’s $ 5 below their street price and only slightly over the usual cost of buying two Lightning cables individually.

The Anker PowerLine Lightning cable is our pick for the best Lightning cable. Nick Guy wrote, “Anker’s PowerLine cables charge iPads, iPhones, iPods—and the plethora of Lightning-based accessories Apple introduced over the past year—at their maximum speed (though the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can charge even faster with a special cable and charger). They also fulfill our readers’ number-one request: sturdiness. Anker builds its PowerLine cables with Kevlar fiber and PVC strain-relief collars that should prevent fraying during normal use. Plus they’re affordable: The 3-foot cable is half the price of Apple’s 1-meter (3.5-foot) Lightning to USB Cable. Add to this Anker’s reputation for stellar hardware, its fantastic customer service, and an awesome 18-month warranty, and it’s clear why this cable is our pick.”

Amazon Tap

Street price: $ 130; MSRP: $ 130; deal price: $ 100

This is the second time we’ve seen the Tap down to $ 100, matching a previous sale from the start of August. A couple days after that last sale started, Bed Bath and Beyond beat it with an $ 80 sale for a few days, but since that’s the only time we’ve seen a great BB&B sale on any our picks, we don’t think we’ll see that price again soon.

The Amazon Tap is a more portable pick in our Alexa guide. Grant Clauser wrote, “The Tap’s built-in battery lets you take Alexa voice control to the backyard or other places outside the home, though worse audio performance and the lack of an always-on microphone is limiting.”

For more about the always-on microphone, “The Tap doesn’t sport the always-on microphone for receiving voice commands that the Echo and Dot have. Instead, there’s a microphone button you need to press, similar to pressing the home button on an iPhone to call Siri to attention (if you don’t have “Hey Siri” enabled on your iPhone). This little inconvenience is meant to make the Tap’s battery last longer. It also makes it unsuitable as your main Alexa interface. You can’t shout commands across the yard, because the Tap isn’t listening.”

Refurbished Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 Lens

Street price: $ 350 (new); MSRP: $ 400 (new); deal price: $ 220

We’ve featured a deal on this refurbished lens before, but this comes in at $ 20 below the previous sale. At this new low, it’s even more affordable and even more of a reason to pick it up if you’re looking for a more capable prime lens. As always, Canon’s refurbished lenses come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 STM is the higher quality version of our prime lens pick in our Canon lenses guide. Tim Barribeau wrote, “If you’re willing to spend a bit more, the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 is higher quality—and capable of gathering even more light—but nearly three times the price. Of the company’s two 50 mm offerings, the f/1.4 version is undoubtedly a better lens, but if you’re just starting out and you aren’t sure what you want out of a lens, the f/1.8 version is supremely affordable and worth getting as you feel your way around.”

Deals change all the time, and some of these may have expired. To see an updated list of current deals, please go to The Wirecutter.com.

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