Vizio SB3621

Cnet rating: 5.0 stars out of 5

The good: It offers excellent performance for a budget sound bar with great movie sound and toe-tapping music playback. There’s a decent selection of inputs including Bluetooth and it will decode both Dolby and DTS. The sound bar and wireless sub feature excellent build quality and a seamless setup.

The bad: The LED display is not very helpful, and the WAV-file-only USB port is a little weird.

The cost: $150 to $180

The bottom line: The SB3621n-E8 is the best sound bar under $300 we have ever heard. If you want better TV sound, it’s the budget benchmark.

Apple AirPods Pro

Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: They have an ultracompact, lightweight, noise-isolating and sweatproof design that fits more ears securely and delivers better bass and sound than the original AirPods. Their active noise-canceling significantly reduces ambient noise and they have a transparency mode to let in sound. Headset performance when making calls is top-notch. Case supports wireless charging, and replacement ear tips are dirt cheap.

The bad: Some competitors sound better. It’s unclear if these have better long-term battery life than the original AirPods.

The cost: $250

The bottom line: While they don’t take the crown for best-in-class sound quality, they exceed the standard AirPods in nearly every way.

Sonos One

Cnet rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The good: It integrates both Alexa and Google Assistant voice control, with better sound quality than any smart speaker at its price. It offers smart home controls from both systems and its far-field microphone performs well. The Sonos One works seamlessly with Sonos multiroom system and can pair with a second One for stereo. It also supports Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect.

The bad: The One costs twice as much as an Amazon Echo. You can’t switch between the Assistant and Alexa on the fly, and need to run setup again. It doesn’t work well if you have an Echo within earshot. There’s no Bluetooth.

The cost: $199

The bottom line: With excellent sound and the choice of Alexa or Google Assistant, the Sonos reaffirms its place as the best smart speaker for the money.

Apple Watch Series 3

Cnet rating: 4.0 stars out of 5

The good: It works well with phone calls, email, Siri and messages. Music syncs more easily. Fitness tracking has improved. It has added a barometer to GPS and swimproofing.

The bad: Battery life takes a major hit when making calls or during GPS workouts. 42mm cellular model is expensive, and that’s before monthly wireless service and Apple Music fees. Still requires an iPhone to set up and pair with.

The cost: $189 to $216

The bottom line: It’s the best smartwatch, but battery limitations and add-on fees keep it from being a must-have upgrade.

The following Cnet staff contributed to this story: David Carnoy, Justin Jaffe, Ty Pendlebury, Scott Stein and Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, visit