New 4K streamers
Number 2 on the list was Amazon’s Fire TV Stick 4K, a media streamer we’ve recommended on multiple occasions in the past. Our biggest complaint with the streamer is its insistence on pushing Amazon-related content in its user interface, but with Prime Day’s audience almost exclusively made up of Prime members, that may have been less of an issue.
More likely, though, devices like the Fire TV Stick 4K and competing Roku Streaming Stick+ are very similar from a core functionality standpoint, and Amazon’s device was cheaper. The Streaming Stick+ was the seventh-most popular deal among Ars readers, but whereas it was on sale for $37, the Fire TV Stick 4K was priced down to $30.
Unfortunately, the Fire TV Stick 4K’s deal has since expired, but the Roku deal is still kicking as of this writing.
Going wireless with AirPods
The third-most popular Prime Day deal among Ars readers was Apple’s AirPods Pro, which, even at its $199 deal price, is far from a budget buy like the products above. Still, true wireless headphones are the trend these days, and the AirPods Pro are among the best: we recently recommended them as the best set of noise-canceling earphones with this form factor. It helps that this deal matches the best price we’ve seen.
We’ll lump in the base-model AirPods here, too, as they were the 10th-most popular Prime Day deal. Down to $115 for Prime Day, this is the best price we’ve seen on the easy-to-use earbuds, but more Ars readers seemed to think the noise-cancellation and improved sound of the AirPods Pro were worth the extra investment.
Apple AirPods and AirPods Pro
The best e-reader for most people
Number 4 was Amazon’s Kindle Paperwhite, which we’ve long recommended as the best e-reader for most people. Prime Day brought it down to a new low of $80, and with the COVID-19 pandemic cooping more people up inside, it seems like a sensible buy for those in this market.
Stocking up on microSD storage
The fifth-most popular deal was Samsung’s 256GB EVO Select microSD card. This is another one that got a specific call-out in our general Prime Day deals roundup: as we said in that post, the EVO Select isn’t the absolute fastest card you can buy, but it finds a nice middle ground between faster cards that cost much more and cheaper cards that are too slow to comfortably recommend. It should get the job done on a Nintendo Switch, GoPro, Android phone, and the like, and at $28—another new low—for 256GB of storage, it’s a solid value.
A Switch classic
The sixth-most popular deal was The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for the Nintendo Switch. This was one of a handful of first-party Switch games that dropped down to $40 for Prime Day. Breath of the Wild is more or less a must-play for new Switch owners, and while we’ve seen its price drop lower in the past, this was as cheap as it’s been since Black Friday last year. Sadly, many of those Switch game deals appear to have expired, though we’re likely to see them return as we get closer to Black Friday and Cyber Monday next month.
Blocking out the noise
Sony WH-1000XM4 + $25 Amazon gift card
With the aforementioned Roku Streaming Stick+ at Number 7, we’ll move to the eighth-most popular deal: the Sony WH-1000XM4. These are Sony’s latest wireless noise-canceling headphones, and we recently gave them a hearty recommendation in our working-from-home gear guide. They’re certainly expensive, but their active noise cancellation is among the most effective available, they’re comfortable to wear for hours at a time, and their sound, while not exactly neutral by default, is nicely detailed and customizable through Sony’s companion app.
Bose’s Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have similarly excellent noise cancellation and the ability to adjust the intensity of the effect, but that pair did not receive a significant Prime Day deal. This $50 discount was the XM4’s first major price cut since launching in August, and it came with a $25 gift card for good measure.
A little bit Alexa
Amazon Echo Dot (3rd gen)
Though we’ve covered a litany of privacy and data security concerns surrounding smart speakers like the Echo Dot, Amazon’s diminutive digital helper was the ninth-most popular deal with Ars readers on Prime Day. It’s also worth noting that this deal applied to the third-gen version speaker, as Amazon launched a redesigned fourth-gen follow-up last month. Since that device won’t be released until October 22, we may see discounts on that new device on Black Friday.
Nevertheless, even if this Prime Day deal was something of a fire sale, there isn’t much difference between either model from a functionality standpoint. At $19, it’s still an inexpensive way to have Amazon’s Alexa assistant set timers and control smart home devices.
Smartening up the kitchen and garage
We’ll close with a couple deals that fell just outside the top 10 despite being products we don’t typically cover on Ars. First up was the 3-quart Instant Pot Ultra, which was down to a new low of $50. This is a smaller variant of the mega-popular pressure cooker, meant more for one- or two-person households than larger families. It has since sold out, though a Prime Day deal that takes $50 off the larger 10-quart Instant Pot Duo Nova is currently available for those interested in this sort of set-it-and-forget-it cooking.
Just behind that as the 12th-most popular deal was Chamberlain’s MyQ Smart Garage Hub, a controller that lets you open a garage door through your phone, works with most garage doors, and supports services like IFTTT and the Google Assistant (but not Alexa). It’s not the most full-featured device of its type, but at a new low of $17 for Prime Day, it was certainly affordable.