Wedn: Sennheiser PX684i neckband earbuds for $20 w/FS; LG V30S ThinQ for $600

There are two headphone-related offers at the B&H Daily Deals running until Wednesday at 11:59pm eastern (or earlier if any of them happens to sellout ahead of time).

We start with the earphones, they are earbuds, of the neckband type. IT is the new condition Sennheiser PMX 684i In-Ear Neckband Sports earbuds with iOS remote control buttons for $20 with free shipping.

Next up, on the PADs front (Phones as DAPs), the new condition factory unlocked LG V30S ThinQ Smartphone (128GB onboard) is offered for $600 with free shipping with two different color options to pick from. This was among the last Snapdragon 835 smartphones with a headphone jack [the latest models have the 845], with 128GB of on-board storage plus microSD slot for even more FLACs and WAVs and such, Android 8.0, 6″ screen, a solid 6GB RAM which should be more than enough for all your music streaming and equalizing and visualizing needs, Bluetooth 5.0, apt-X HD, FM radio, USB Type C version 3.1, and so forth. And of course the famous V-series DAC technology.

PADs: LG V30S ThinQ unlocked for $680

For a limited time, New York’s B&H Photo is offering the new condition factory unlocked LG V30S ThinQ smartphone for $680 with free expedited shipping. It is available in two color schemes. It comes with a 1-year warranty out of the box, but if you register it with LG, you get a second year of warranty coverage!

The LG V-series is praised for its audio components, and it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, unlike certain other flagship smartphone lines. The nice screen is also a plus if you like to watch a lot of music videos or concerts on it! Note though that this uses the Snapdragon 835, while the brand new flagships are using the newer 845.

It comes with 128GB of on-board storage, which may be more than enough for some music collections if you also utilize a lot of music streaming, but if you need more, it also takes microSD cards up to a theoretical 2TB.

Phones as DAPs: Sony XZ1 Compact for $370 [LDAC]

If you like a more compact Android phone as your “Phone as DAP” (PAD), and you prefer new condition and factory unlocked with a previous-generation flagship Snapdragon, and you like your PAD to support LDAC, the new condition “Sony XZ1 Compact” is on sale for $370 with free shipping by Amazon actual in the black color scheme with up to four per customer at the sale price. This is an old fashioned sale, not a lightning deal.

It supports LDAC, has a Snapdragon 835, 4.6″ display (yes, under 5 inches!), 4GB RAM, 32GB on-board, GSM, Android Oreo, USB-C charging, QC 3.0, AND a headphone jack!

[DEAD] Wedn Phones as DAPs: refurb LG V10 for $120, V20 for $180

This offer expired…

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[DEAD] PADs: $25 off preowned iPhone SEs ($164+ after coupon)

These offers expired…

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Honor 7X with Honor Bluetooth Earphones for $225 (with Band 3 for $254)

From the “PADs” department (Phones as DAPs”), the official Honor Store is offering for a limited time the Honor 7X phone along with the Honor bluetooth earphones for $225, or you can add the Band 3 wearable to the bundle and pay $254 instead. This has a 3.5mm headphone jack, 18:9 display (think playlist editing), 32GB on-board storage and microSD (up to 256GB), microUSB, Bluetooth 4.1 with LE (Low Energy), etc…

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 for $22.50/mo on 24-mo plan [$540 total]

If you are not tempted by the new AI version of the LG V30, the one with the goofy name of “ThinQ” revealed at MWC 2018 [yes, it has a headphone jack], Verizon Wireless is having a $300 off trickle-monthly promotion on the new condition LG V30 if you buy it on a 24-month installment plan. The monthly price will be $22.50 and at the end of the 24 months, you own the phone. That’s because the discount is applied monthly, instead of up front. That makes it $540 for the phone with ownership at the end of the 24 month cycle.

If you want to buy the phone upfront, it doesn’t look like it’s eligible for the $300 off discount. This is only a good deal if you plan to have Verizon Wireless service in the next 24 months.

Phones as DAPs: refurb HTC One M8 for $90

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, if you are looking for a double figures Android DAP without breaking the bank, the refurbished HTC One M8 is offered as a “Scratch & Dent” for $90 at part of the longer running Woot deals, this one is good until March 1st (or earlier if sold out). Limit up to ten per customer.

This is a Verizon + GSM unlocked phone, with 2GB RAM, 32GB on-board and microSD card (of particular music interest obviously), Snapdragon 801, 5 inch screen, etc. It comes with a 90-day Woot warranty.

Shipping is free for Prime members (must login to Woot with our Amazon Prime account), otherwise it’s the usual $5 flat for everything you buy during the central time zone calendar day.

Phones as DAPs: LG G6+ (Quad DAC, 128GB, USA warranty, Unlocked) drops to $470

If you want a quad DAC in your Android smartphone but for one reason or another don’t want the LG V30, there is now a US warranty alternative, the LG G6+, new condition, factory unlocked, with USA warranty, in the Amazon Prime Exclusive version dropping from $520 to $470 with free Prime shipping.

This went for $500 before Amazon removed the Lockscreen Ads from their “Prime Exclusive” phones and increased their price by $20 to $520. So now it’s down $50 (or down $30 from the previous previous price) but without lockscreen ads.

Limit one per customer at the moment. The shipping estimate is currently a variable “1 to 2 months”. Amazon tends to be conservative on the estimates (so as not to over-promise something they can’t deliver on time), but still, if you want this by a specific time in the near future, there are no guarantees for delivery when you need/want it! So keep that in mind.

Phones as DAPs: LG G6+ with Quad DAC for $520 (Prime only)

Starting today (February 7 in 2018), Amazon is no longer selling their Prime Exclusive phones with Lockscreen and other Ads. Instead they are sold ad-free. Their prices went up by $20 since yesterday to counter the ad removal. Of audio interest, the LG G6+ with its Quad DAC and 128GB on-board storage is now going for $520 with free shipping. This is a US warranty model, unlocked, and working with US carriers. Only Prime members can buy them.

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 (Unlocked, USA Warranty) for $675; LG G6+ Prime Ads (128GB, Quad DAC too) for $500

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, especially if you are looking to get both a new phone and a new DAP, the new condition, factory unlocked, with USA warranty LG V30 is currently on sale for $675 with free shipping in the cloud silver color scheme at B&H Photo. You can also get a second year of warranty by registering the product online with LG.

Considering all the specs of this model, it can be used as a DAP long after it may be considered too old to be your main phone. The Quad DAC, 64GB onboard and microSD, Snapdragon 835, 4GB RAM, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, 18:9 (easier playlist management), 802.11ac, NFC, FM radio, IP68, Qi charging, are more than good enough to handle music streaming apps for many years to come.

LG G6+ for $500 with Prime Lockscreen Ads
If you want a Quad DAC, but prefer a slightly smaller screen and slightly smaller price, Amazon is offering the Prime exclusive LG G6+ for $500. You will get Amazon Lockscreen Offers and Ads, which is why you pay a lower price. The G6+ model has the quad DAC in the US version, with 128GB on-board storage, microSD, 4GB RAM, Snapdragon 821, 18:9 screen, IP68, and so forth.

I haven’t used any of Amazon’s “Lockscreen Ads” phones/tablets, so I don’t know how annoying or helpful they can be [helpful if you are an Amazon bargain hunter]. The ads on the Kindle e-book readers are not annoying and occasionally useful [in finding deals], but e-ink screens limit the type of advertising, while smartphones have a lot more [annoying] ads options 🙂

Seller Refurbished LG V20 for $210
If you want an even better price, the LG V20 is offered seller refurbished for $210 with free shipping by eBay seller “Guarantee Cellular” (96.3%, Brooklyn) is Titan or Silver color schemes. This is a higher risk purchase, but they offer a 30 day guarantee. Still if you hate the idea of having to return something, you may want to avoid this. Over 480 units have been sold from this listing so far.

Phones as DAPs: refurbished LG V20 for $230

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, especially if you want one for a big enough screen to watch music videos or music performances, eBay seller Guaranteeee Cellular is offering the seller refurbished LG V20 for $230 with free shipping and 30-day returns and a 60-day seller warranty.

It is available in two color schemes. This is the Verizon version with unlocked GSM. Check bands and such if you are planning to use it as a phone as well. Given the screen size and specs, you can also use it as an in-home/in-office mini-tablet.

Seller refurbished is a higher risk than manufacturer refurbished, as you rely on the seller to stand behind their work. That’s why the price is lower, so that’s a trade-off some are willing to make.

In addition to the praised DAC/Audio module, this has other music-playback friendly features, such as 64GB on-board plus microSD (up to 256GB), 4GB RAM, a previous generation flagship processor (so it won’t have problem using music/streaming apps for many years), 5.7-inch screen, etc.

PS: I have now began putting the “Phones as DAPs” under the Digital Audio Players category

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 (USA warranty, Unlocked) for $675

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, the well-regarded LG V30 is now on sale for $675 with free shipping, factory unlocked, with USA warranty at B&H Photo, a very reputable online and B&M dealer.

Of audio interest, in addition to the well-regarded DAC/amp, this has 4GB of RAM, 64GB of on-board storage, a Snapdragon 835, a microSD slot, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, 802.11ac, water/dust-proof, headphone jack, USB-C charging/connector, and more. All these means it will be able to keep up with music streaming apps for many years to come, and it has the latest Bluetooth version and fast Wifi.

Phones as DAPs: refurb HTC M8 for $75

If you are looking for a Phone as a DAP, the good old HTC M8, a Verizon unlocked phone, in the red color scheme (which makes it loom more DAP-ish than phone-ish) is on sale for $75 with free shipping in seller refurbished condition by eBay seller “Guarantee Cellular” with a 60-day seller warranty. The other colors are sold out.

Android phones, even older ones, are typically better suited at dealing with music and streaming apps than Android DAPs since the DAP manufacturer have nowhere near the same level of Android experience as a phone manufacturer (other things equal).

The M8 has a microSD slot, it marks the re-embrace of the microSD card by HTC after the M7. HTC was also among the first to abandon the headphone jack, so they may be among the first to do the mea culpa 🙂

The M8, M9 and M10 all have a headphone jack. The HTC U11 abandoned it.

Phones as DAPs: LG V30 for $540 with a 24-month Verizon Installment Plan

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, the current LG flagship, the new condition with USA warranty V30 phone with all its state of the art phone audio features has a special promotion until 12/13/17 at Verizon Wireless. If you purchase it with a 24-month installment plan, you will get a $300 off discount on its current price of $840. You will pay $540 for it, divided over 24 months, making it a $22.50/month installment. You own the phone at the end of the 24 months, this is not a confused Sprint lease plan 🙂 On approved credit and all that good stuff.

Phones as DAPs: refurbished HTC One M9 for $100

As part of their Under $100 TechRabbit sale, you can get a $100 (okay, $99.99) “Phone as DAP”, the refurbished HTC One M9 in gray or silver color scheme, with 32GB storage and microSD slot AND a headphone jack. The M9 was the second to last HTC flagship with a headphone jack. It is the Sprint version with its GSM unlocked. It comes with free shipping and a 90-day warranty.

(ENDED) Friday’s Phones as DAPs: refurbished LG V10 for $135

This daily offer expired…

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[DEAD] Essential Phone w/360 Camera for $399

This Cyber Monday offer expired…

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PADs: refurbished HTC One M9 for $100

If you like to use phones as DAPs (PADs), for example, you listen to a lot of streaming services and like to use some of the Google Play music apps for your own music, we have a $100 offer for you.

One of the early pre Black Friday sales at NewEgg Flash is the refurbisehd HTC One M9 for $100 with free shipping. It is available in three different color options. The seller is “AllBuyHome”. This has both a headphone jack and a microSD slot (HTC brought it back with the M8)

The HTC M10 was the last HTC flagship to have a headphone jack. The U11 line after that removed the headphone jack. The list of smartphones without is growing but they are all cursed 🙂 The HTC U11 is not getting traction with consumers despite great reviews, the Motorola Z series is mostly ignored even though everyone’s in love with their Moto G series, Le Eco is having major financial troubles, the Pixel 2s are plagued with hardware problems 🙂

Pre-order LG G6+ with Quad DAC and QuadPlay headphones for $500 [Amazon Prime Lockscreen Ads version]

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for the new condition LG G6+ 128GB smartphone with the quad-DAC and QuadPlay headphones [included in the box] for $500. This is the Prime Exclusive with Lockscreen Offers and Ads version, so keep that in mind.

The regular LG G6, which is also getting its own Lockscreen version for $400, does not have the Quad-DAC.

These are expected to ship November 9 in 2017, and they are available for purchase for Prime members only.

If you are not a Prime member, or not logged on to your Prime account, you will see a different offer – the LG G6+ will be $800 and it will encourage you to sign up for Prime. After you become a paying Prime member, you will receive a $300 Amazon Gift Card, making it a $500 phone when you factor in the $300 gift card.

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 Unlocked with Motorola Pulse BT Over-Ears for $310

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, with the LG V30 slowly rolling out, the prices of the LG V20 are rolling down. At the moment, NewEgg actual is offering the new condition unlocked LG V20, the AT&T version, model H910A, along with a FREE Motorola Pulse bluetooth 4.1 over-ear headphone (goes for $40 on its own), together for $310 with free shipping.

Of DAP interest, the V20 has the quad-DAC, microSD slot, and removeable battery.

[DEAD] Phones as DAPs: refurbished LG V10 for $145

This daily deal expired, but Woot’s offers often keep coming back in future daily deals or Woot-OFFs or Leftover deals…

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[DEAD] Phones as DAPs: LG V20 (unlocked AT&T) for $303

As of 9/30/17 recheck, the price increased to $330…

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Phones as DAPs: certified refurbished LG V10 for $180, refurb LG V20 for $290, or NEW for $390

The LG V30 was just announced, with a price expected to be somewhere between the Galaxy S8+ and the Note 8. But if you want a smartphone with some quality audio and don’t need to have the latest and greatest model, the previous generations of the LG V-series are dropping in price as follows:

+ certified refurbished LG V10 (Unlocked T-Mobile model) for $180 by marketplace seller with the order fulfilled by Amazon (Prime eligible)

+ certified refurbished LG V20 (T-Mobile) for $290

+ new condition, USA model with USA warranty LG V30 (Titan Grey) for $390

Why Use a Smartphone as a DAP

We call using smartphones as digital audio players PADs (Phones As DAPs). You can get something like a Fiio X1 [text unboxing here] for under $100, so why would you need a smartphone?

One reason is because you want to use music subscription services, and phones are better at running Android apps than the few DAPs that are running GooglePLAY Android.

Another reason is because you also want to use the smartphone as a phone, or use it for various other purposes, eg as a media remote control at home, a bedtime Wifi device (so you don’t eat up your daily driver phone’s battery or sleep with an AC charging cable next to your head), and so forth…

More on this in a future post.

What is Amazon’s Certified Refurbished?

On Amazon, “Certified Refurbished”, when indicated so on the product listing, is a program run by Amazon that offers refurbished products that include a minimum 90-day warranty, and a charger or cable (that may or may not be original). More details at the Certified Refurbished Home page.

Amazon only allows some sellers to participate in this, so in theory, you would have more leverage in case of warranty issues, because if a seller is playing games with you, you can call Amazon’s customer service and complain, and if they are caught mistreating customers, they can lose their status in the “certified refurbished” program, or even get booted off the program.

Phones as DAPs: Used HTC 10 for $160 after coupon

The HTC 10 got good marks for its audio performance, so if you are interested in using it as a DAP, and you are comfortable buying higher risk used smartphones, it is offered in B-stock USED condition for $200 by eBay seller BidAllies (98.2%, New Jersey).

Coupon PSCHOOL20 drops the price by 20% off, making it $160. The coupon expires 8/17/17 at 3am ET.

This has a microSD slot, and 4GB of RAM, and powered by the Snapdragon 820. The HTC 10 is the last major phone from HTC to have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The newer HTC flagships are without a headphone jack.

[DEAD] Tuesday: Phones as DAPs: refurbished LG V20 for $285 [or $400 NEW]

These Tuesday offers expired…

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Phones as DAPs: pre-order Nokia 6 for $180 to $230

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, the Nokia 6 is finally coming to the US market (with Google PLAY access and USA warranty), July 10 is the estimate, and Amazon is accepting pre-orders for $230 in the Standard version for $180 in the Prime Exclusive With Ads version.

GSM Arena reviewed the Chinese version a couple of months ago, and found the headphone output “impressively clean”. It takes microSD cards and runs Android 7.1, so you have flexibility there.

[DEAD] Monday (Phones as DAPs): LG V20 for $400 [unlocked, USA]

This limited time sale expired…

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Phones as DAPs: HTC 10 for $240 [Sprint]

One of the recent flagship smartphone that has been flying under the radar but it is doing quite well audio-wise is the HTC 10. If you are interested in getting this as a phone or as a phone-DAP, it is currently on sale with a special promotion at Sprint: you can either buy it outright for $240, or sign up for a 24-month $10 per month installment plan.

It has 4GB RAM, 32GB on-board, and a microSD slot that supports up to a theoretical 2TB microSD card, so plenty of space for music. The battery is embedded, so you have to use external battery packs for uninterrupted playback. It is running Android 7.

There are quite a few reviews of this with some focus on the audio performance including Android Ad Central and GSM Arena (bottom half of this page).

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 for $500 (Factory Unlocked, USA warranty)

If you want to get the LG V20 but don’t want to be hogtied to a cellular carrier and don’t want to risk buying used or seller-refurbished on eBay, there’s another option, you can get the 64GB LG V20 in new condition, in the titan color scheme, factory unlocked and with LG USA warranty for $500 at B&H Photo. It comes with a 30-day return policy as well.

This being factory unlocked and able to work on GSM and CDMA networks, it will likely fetch a price if/when you decide to sell it later on. Only a small percentage of smartphones out there are “all-carrier phones”.

Of headphone/music interest of course is the Quad DAC, 64GB on-board storage, microSD slot, 4GB RAM so you can run various music apps, nice screen for music videos (eg YouTube Music app), removable battery, Android 7, etc.

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 (LS997, Sprint Locked) for $300

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, for the more adventurous shoppers, eBay Seller “Cellular Stream” (98.2%, Lincolnshire), is offering “New – Other” condition of the Sprint-locked LG V20 smartphone, model LS997, for $300 with free shipping. Limit up to five per buyer.

Cellular-wise, you can only use it on Sprint and any of the Sprint-approved MVNOs (Ting, FreedomPOP, etC). It is LOCKED to Sprint. It comes with a 30-day warranty from the seller, no LG warranty. The LS997 is the Sprint-designated model (see Tech Walls or use your favorite search engine).

Per the listing, you get the phone, the battery, the OEM LG charger, and a USB-C cable. No original box, nothing else included. The listing promises a Clean ESN.

If you are planning to use it strictly as a Wifi-only DAP and Media Player (5.7″ screen and microSD card along with 64GB on-board storage and 4GB RAM), then the cellular part is not as important. However, this being Sprint-locked, it means (other things equal) that if you decide to sell it in the future, it will fetch less than a GSM-unlocked model would.

Also, since you are only getting a 30-day seller warranty, this increases the risk. All of these factors, along with the seller’s feedback score, contribute to this being offered for $300 instead of a lot more.

If any of the above does not make you comfortable, DO NOT BUY!

LG V20 Unlocked International Version for $440

On the “Phones as DAPs” front, the international version of the LG V20, H990DS, factory-unlocked but does not work with CDMA since that’s a US market thing, with dual SIMs, is on sale, in new condition, for $440 with free shipping by NeverMSRP on eBay in black or silver. The pink is out of stock. Limit five per buyer.

Check bands in the listing and online if you are not certain this will work with your carrier of choice. A US charging adapter will be included by the seller. Since this is imported, no LG USA warranty.

This has a headphone jack, it is USB-C powered, supports Bluetooth 4.2 with apt-X, and has the highly talked about Quad DAC. 4GB of RAM, 64GB on-board storage, microSD (up to 256GB), and removable battery bode well for music playback. The size may be a bit of a detriment if you plan to use it as a pocket DAC.

I’m finding a 6-inch phone (I don’t have this one) with a headphone cord attached to it becomes a bit of a pocket monster. On the other hand, if you like to watch music videos or concerts on the phone, the extra screen and resolution can be handy. Remember, if you are paying for Google Play All Access or YouTube RED, you can download the YouTube Music app and play YouTube music ad-free either in video or audio-only mode (saves battery, especially if you are not looking at the screen). You are not going to get audiophile-level streaming from YouTube Music, but some content cannot be found or purchased from the various music streaming services (eg, “Cassette” from “Viet Cong” reborn as “Preoccupations” ~ as seen at Coachella 2017 ~ after getting yelled at for inappropriate use of a name. The band seems to have trouble picking names in general, both of their studio albums are self-titled, and their first EP was titled “Cassette”).

LG V20 (Unlocked, US warranty) for $450 with coupon

More discounting on the quad-DAC front, the LG V20, unlocked and with US warranty, in the “Titan” color scheme, model US996, is going for $450 with free shipping at NewEgg by NewEgg actual when you enter promo code EMCSRERD5 over there. The sale ends Tuesday night or earlier if they sell out.

LG V20 Unlocked T-Mobile for $500 [Phones as DAPs]

For Prime members only, Amazon actual is offering the new condition of the LG V20, fully-unlocked for GSM carriers, but it is the T-Mobile version, in the Titan Grey color scheme. A marketplace seller has it for $500 for all, which is probably what triggered an automated price-match by Amazon actual.

On the same listing there are other colors that are international versions, so pay attention if you are traversing the various options. Likewise, all the posted reviews (as of the time of writing) are for the international versions. You have to filter reviews by color since they are all grouped together.

The LG G6 is not getting the quad-DAC in the US market, so it does not overshadow the V20 in that regard. The V20 has other music-playing benefits, removable battery, 64GB on-board storage, and microSD slot that can take cards up to 2TB (unicorns have 2TB cards!). It comes with Nougat out of the box.

Phones as DAPs: LG V20 (factory unlocked with USA warranty) for $542

From the “Phones as DAPs” department, the new condition LG V20 with USA warranty, factory unlocked, is on sale for $542 [was $564] with free shipping at Amazon by Amazon actual. Limit up to three per customer. Make sure Amazon actual is the seller, as you are guaranteed you are getting a USA warranty. The other sellers, buy only if you are 100% certain… Price updated here 3/18/17 AM…

This is no-contract, no-obligation, no installment-plan, no other restrictions. You pay $564 upfront and you can do whatever you want with it.

The V20 has the quad-DAC, which only some of the new LG G6 flagship models are getting. The US version of the G6 will get wireless charging but not the quad DAC. It runs Nougat, has 4GB RAM, 64GB on-board and takes microSD cards (up to 2TB theoretically).