6 tempting Prime Day deals to avoid (and what to buy instead)

Best Pride Day headphones deals
(Image credit: Future)

It can be hard to know which Prime Day deal to buy. Even if you know the size of TV you want or have a definite budget for a new pair of headphones, there are often multiple options that fit your criteria and seem to scream "I'm a great deal!"

Anyone familiar with the seemingly endless pit of product listings on Amazon won't be surprised to know that this happens during Prime Day. That's why we've scoured the Prime Day sale, from TVs to headphones, turntables to Bluetooth speakers, to call out popular and obvious deals that might be tempting – and in many cases are pretty good – but are actually second (or third) best to another one. Because while bagging a good deal can give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside, bagging the best one possible means you can feel very smug indeed.

Best wireless headphones deal: Sony beats Bose

Tempting deal: Bose QuietComfort 45 for £178.95 (43% off)

What to buy instead: Sony WH-1000XM4 for £208 (42% off)

You can read our full Bose QC45 vs Sony WH-1000XM4 comparison for a comprehensive breakdown of the two models, but essentially both pairs look good, block out noise well, and allow two devices to be connected simultaneously. But in terms of sound quality, the Sonys pull away pretty significantly, with greater detail and a more musically cohesive and poised presentation. Our Sony WH-1000XM4 review calls them "some of the finest noise-cancelling headphones on the market".

Despite Bose's admirable sonic neutrality across the frequencies, in direct comparison, they're unable to match the XM4 in terms of timing, dynamics and outright musicality. And that's predominantly why I'd recommend the Sony XM4 at £208 over the Boses, no matter how close to 'half price' the Bose deal gets. 

Sony WH-1000XM4 was £350 now £208 at Amazon (save £142)

Sony WH-1000XM4 was £350 now £208 at Amazon (save £142)
Sony’s premium wireless noise-cancelling headphones deliver on all fronts. They're detailed, dynamic and have a natural knack for timing. Nothing really lets them down – battery life, build, comfort and usability are all great at this level, not least at this knockdown price.

Best TV deal: LG edges Samsung

Tempting deal: Samsung 65-inch QN90B QLED for £1049 (56% off)

What to buy instead: LG 65-inch C2 OLED for £1398 (48% off)

Two 2022 TVs from two big brands stand out as the heaviest discounted premium 65-inch TVs in the Prime Day sales, making them much more affordable than the 2023 models that have recently arrived for around £1000 more. Both are good sets. We awarded Samsung's QN90B five stars and four stars at its 50-inch and 43-inch sizes respectively for their competitive picture quality, though we haven't gone twelve rounds with this 65-inch version. Presumably it will be good – how good, we don't know – but the LG C2 is one of our favourite-ever TV ranges, and the 65-inch size happened to be our Product of the Year at the most recent What Hi-Fi? Awards. Worth the extra £350 (and £1100 saving over the new C3 successor)? Certainly.

The LG C2 is coming to the end of its shelf life too, so we wouldn't be surprised if Priem Day 2023 was its last (or maybe penultimate) big discount in a big summer sale. Get it while you can – you won't regret it.

LG OLED65C2 OLED was £2699 now £1398 at Amazon (save £1301)What Hi-Fi? Award winner

LG OLED65C2 OLED was £2699 now £1398 at Amazon (save £1301)
While the next-model-up G2 is an even better performer, the C2 is still the 2022 LG OLED TV that most people should buy, thanks to its irresistible performance-per-pound credentials – especially with its Prime Day discount. It's got a flawless set of next-gen gaming features, too.
What Hi-Fi? Award winner

Best soundbar deal: Sony outdoes Roku, Hisense

Tempting deal: Roku Streambar for £59 (55% off) and Hisense HS214 for £69 (47% off)

What to buy instead: Sony HT-SF150 for £99 (34% off)

All three of these budget soundbars are four-star performers. The compact Hisense suits smaller rooms and screens up to 55 inches and will particularly enhance your TV speaker sound in the bass and vocal departments. The Roku is actually a bit of a different proposition, being a video streamer and soundbar in one – but if your TV serves you apps anyway and your priority is a sound quality boost, it's probably best to spend the money elsewhere unless your budget does only extend to £60. 

The Sony, however, comes out on top and, despite being £30-40 pricier than the other two, is the best buy of the trio. If you can afford it, it's very decent – it offers scale and theatrics that are unusual at this modest price – and relatively speaking is still a "supremely affordable enhancement to your TV’s in-built speakers", to quote our Sony HT-SF150 review.

Sony HT-SF150

Sony HT-SF150 soundbar was £109 now £99 at Amazon (save £20)
If you're looking for a simple, constructive step up in sound from your TV's in-built speakers, Sony's SF150 offers a significant sonic enhancement for little outlay. Alongside HDMI ARC, it has an optical input supporting Dolby Digital, Dolby Dual mono and LPCM 2ch. There's also a USB port and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity for music playback from an external source too. Four stars

Best turntable deal: Sony over House of Marley

Tempting deal: House of Marley Stir It Up for £179 (28% off)

What to buy instead: Sony PS-LX310BT for £189 (6% off)

The House of Marley record player looks tempting with its low price and 28 per cent discount – and it could well be a bargain. But we haven't tested it and our experience with House of Marley products (mostly headphones, admittedly) has been mixed-to-unfavourable. What we have tested is the Sony PS-LX310BT, awarding it five stars for its entertaining sound, easy set-up and added convenience of Bluetooth functionality. "Oodles of features, effortless usability and entertaining sound make this Sony a real winner," we concluded in our Sony PS-LX310BT review.

We're much happier recommending the Sony at £10 more, even if the discount over its original RRP isn't much to shout about it.

Sony PS-LX310BT was £249 now £189 at Amazon (save £60)
Fuss-free set-up, Bluetooth streaming for headphones (you can pair up to eight!), built-in phono stage and entertaining sound – Sony hits the jackpot in delivering a feature-packed Bluetooth turntable that's also affordable. Five stars

Sony PS-LX310BT was £249 now £189 at Amazon (save £60)
Fuss-free set-up, Bluetooth streaming for headphones (you can pair up to eight!), built-in phono stage and entertaining sound – Sony hits the jackpot in delivering a feature-packed Bluetooth turntable that's also affordable. Five stars

Best Bluetooth speaker deal: JBL trumps Bose, Marshall

Tempting deal: Bose SoundLink Flex for £99.95 (33% off) or Marshall Emberton for £86 (43% off)
What to buy instead: JBL Flip 6 for £86 (33% off)

The speaker by Bose has a 33 per cent discount, a 4.8/5 star rating from nearly 10,000 Amazon customer reviews, and a bold presence in Amazon's Headphones, Speakers and Music section of its Prime Day hub. The story isn't much different with the Marshall, which has a 4.8 rating from over 5,000 reviews and a 43 per cent discount – and hey, it's Marshall. It's very cool, man.

We do like the Bose – it's stylish and delivers a nice, clear sound, though it isn't the most balanced or precise sounding and its design could be more rugged. We haven't reviewed the Marshall (though the two Marshall speakers we have reviewed have both only received three stars). The JBL, however, is a What Hi-Fi? Award winner and a benchmark performer around the £100 mark, with a "punchy bass" and "functional yet good-looking build", as we said in our JBL Flip 6 review. And that's why it's the better portable Bluetooth speaker buy.

JBL Flip 6was £119now £85.99 at Amazon (save £33)
One of the best portable speakers around at this price level, the JBL Flip model has consistently impressed over its various generations, and this latest is no different. Expect musical, broad sound, rugged build and excellent usability. What Hi-Fi? Award winner

JBL Flip 6 was £119 now £85.99 at Amazon (save £33)
One of the best portable speakers around at this price level, the JBL Flip model has consistently impressed over its various generations, and this latest is no different. Expect musical, broad sound, rugged build and excellent usability. What Hi-Fi? Award winner

Best streamer: Google outplays Amazon

Tempting deal: Amazon Fire Stick 4K for £35 (42% off)

What to buy instead: Chromecast with Google TV 4K for £40 (33% off)

While reducing the price of its own Fire TV Stick 4K, Amazon has also used its Prime Day sale to slash the competing Google Chromecast with Google TV – though it isn't surprising that the former undercuts the latter!

This latest Google streamer is a current What Hi-Fi? Awards winner and our favourite in the video streamer market, so this 33 per cent saving is not to be sniffed at, even if we have seen it drop to £35 during a previous sales event. It’s every bit as good as the excellent Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K for picture and sound performance, and even better when it comes to the fabulous Google TV UI and recommendations engine. Unless you're in Amazon's camp and would prefer an Amazon-heavy interface, our vote goes to Google.

Sorry, Amazon, we know it's your sales event...

Chromecast with Google TV was £60 now £40 at Amazon (save £20)

Chromecast with Google TV was £60 now £40 at Amazon (save £20)
Google's Chromecast is a user-friendly, featured-packed media streamer with all the apps you already know and love. Whatever you want to watch, you can do with Chromecast. Plus, you'll get a great 4K HDR picture, and Dolby Vision and Atmos support.

MORE:

The best Amazon Prime Day 2023 UK deals in the big summer sale

Sensational Prime Day deal sees Bose flagship, five-star wireless earbuds hit record low price

Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.