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The best products we've tried in 2020 | CNN

2020-10-30T22:44:54.719Z

Throughout the year, we at CNN Underscored are constantly testing products, be it coffee makers or headphones, to find the best in each | CNNE Underscored | CNN



Throughout the year we at CNN Underscored are constantly testing products, be they coffee makers or headphones, to find the best in each respective category.

Our testing process is rigorous.

We spend hundreds of hours consulting experts, reading editorial reviews, and perusing user ratings to find the best products in each category.

Once we create a test pool, we spend weeks, if not months, testing and retesting each product multiple times in real-world environments.

All this in an effort to come up with the best products.

So as we enter peak gifting season, if you're on the hunt for the perfect gift, we know you'll find something on this list that they (or you!) Will love.

Coffee

Best Coffee Grinder: Virtuoso + Baratza ($ 249;

amazon.com

)

Beginning baristas and coffee aficionados alike will be pleased with the Baratza Virtuoso +, a conical grinding wheel with 40 settings for grind size, from super fine (espresso) to super coarse (French press).

The best coffee grinder we've tested, this sleek look and simple, intuitive controls, including a digital timer, allow for consistent grinding every time, as well as optimal convenience.

Best drip coffee maker: Braun KF6050WH BrewSense ($ 79.95;

amazon.com

)

During our coffee maker tests, we found that the Braun KF6050WH BrewSense drip coffee maker made a hot, delicious cup of coffee, brewed efficiently and cleanly, from sleek, relatively compact hardware that is turnkey to operate, and all. for a reasonable price.

Best single-serve coffee maker: Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus ($ 165; originally $ 179.95;

amazon.com

)

Among all the single-serving machines we tested, the Breville-Nespresso VertuoPlus, which uses capsules that deliver espresso and 'regular' coffee, simply couldn't be beat for convenience.

Intuitive and ready to use right out of the box, it looks stylish on the counter, contains a separate 60-ounce water reservoir so you don't have to refill it with each use, and delivers perfectly hot and delicious coffee with a simple touch of a lever and press a button.

Best Coffee Subscription: Blue Bottle (starting at $ 11 per shipment;

bluebottlecoffee.com

)

The Blue Bottle coffee subscription won us over with its balance of variety, customization, and most importantly, taste.

We tried both the single origin assortment and the blend assortment and loved the taste of almost every mug we made.

The flavors are complex and bold, yet unmistakably delicious.

Beyond your coffee, the Blue Bottle subscription is simple and easy to use, with tons of options to suit your caffeine needs.

Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Hario Mizudashi Cold Brew Coffeepot ($ 25;

amazon.com

)

This sleek, sophisticated and streamlined carafe produces 1 liter (approximately 4 1/4 cups) of rich and robust cold brew coffee in just eight hours.

It was one of the simplest to set up, it made a good batch of coffee in the shortest amount of time, and it looked classy doing it.

Plus, it was the second most affordable in our inventory.

Kitchen essentials

Best Nonstick Skillet: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Antistick Skillet with Lid ($ 39.97;

amazon.com

)

If you are a minimalist and you prefer to have a single pan in your kitchen, consider the T-fal E76597.

The depth of this skillet gives it multipurpose functionality - it cooks standard skillet foods like eggs and meats, and its 2 1/2-inch sides are high enough to make recipes you'd normally reserve for pots, like rice dishes and casseroles.

It's an affordable, high-quality skillet that outperformed some of the most expensive in our testing range.

Best Blender: Breville Super Q ($ 499.95;

breville.com

)

With 1,800 watts of motor power, the Breville Super Q features a host of preset buttons, comes in multiple colors, includes key accessories, and is touted as being quieter than other models.

At $ 500, it's priced high, but for those who can't imagine a morning without smoothies, what breaks down to about $ 1.30 a day for a year seems like a bargain.

Best Knife Set: Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set ($ 119.74;

amazon.com

)

The Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17-Piece Knife Block Set sets you up to take on just about any cutting job with ease and is a great deal at just $ 119.97.

Not only did the included main knives work admirably, the set included a bevy of extras, including a full set of steak knives.

We were impressed by its solid construction and reliable workmanship at such an incredible value.

The knives stayed sharp through our multitude of tests, and we're huge fans of the grip handles that prevented them from slipping, as well as the classic chestnut-stained wood block look.

If you're looking for a complete knife set you can be proud of at a price that won't put a dent in your savings account, this is the clear winner.

Audio

Best Small Wireless Earbuds: AirPods Pro ($ 199, originally $ 249;

amazon.com

)

Apple AirPods Pro stand out in everything.

They offer a wide soundstage, thanks to on-the-fly EQ technology that produces a playback that seemingly takes you inside the studio with the artist.

They have the best noise-canceling capabilities of all the headphones we tested, which apart from distractions from stiff arms, creates a truly immersive experience.

In short, you are getting a comfortable design, a wide soundstage, easy connectivity, and long battery life.

Best noise-canceling headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 ($ 278, originally $ 349.99;

amazon.com

)

The WH-1000XM4 not only boast class-leading sound, but also phenomenal noise cancellation capabilities.

So much so that they toppled our old best overall pick, the Beats Solo Pros, in terms of ANC quality, as the over-ear XM4s better seal the ear from outside noise.

Whether it was a noise from a tumble dryer, noisy neighbors in the hallway or high-pitched sirens, the XM4s proved impenetrable.

This is a feat that other headphones, in particular the Solo Pros, couldn't compete with, which is to be expected considering its $ 348 price tag.

Best Cup Headphones: Beats Solo 3 ($ 119.95, originally $ 199.95;

amazon.com

)

The Beats Solo 3s are a phenomenal pair of headphones.

Its sound quality was among the best we tested, pumping out particularly clear vocals and instrumentals alike.

We also enjoyed the control scheme, taking the form of buttons in a circular configuration that blend seamlessly into the design of the left ear cup.

They're also light, comfortable and stylish, more than you'd expect given their reasonable $ 199.95 price tag.

Beauty

Best Matte Lipstick: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick ($ 11, originally $ 22;

amazon.com

)

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick has thousands of 5-star ratings on the web, and it's easy to see why.

True to its name, this product clings to your lips for hours on end, burritos and breakfast sandwiches are not a condemnation.

It is also surprisingly hydrating for such a superior formula, a combination that is rare to come by.

Best Daily Liquid Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner ($ 22;

stilacosmetics.com

)

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner is a longtime customer favorite, hence its nearly 7,500 5-star reviews on Sephora, and for good reason.

We found that it requires little to no effort to create a precise line, the coating has superior staying power and did not irritate those of us with sensitive skin after full days of use.

As an added bonus, it's available in a whopping 12 shades.

Essential elements for working from home

Best Office Chair: Steelcase Series 1 (starting at $ 381.60;

amazon.com

)

The Steelcase Series 1 scored among the highest overall, standing out as one of the most customizable, high-quality and comfortable office chairs on the market.

For $ 415, the Steelcase Series 1 beat out most of its pricier competitors in all test categories, scoring less than a single point less than our top-rated chair, the $ 1,036 Steelcase Leap, making it easily the best option for the money and a clear winner of our best overall office chair.

Best ergonomic keyboard: Logitech Ergo K860 ($ 129.99;

logitech.com

)

We found the Logitech Ergo K860 to be a phenomenally comfortable keyboard.

Its construction, with a split keyboard (meaning there is a triangular gap in the middle) along with a curve throughout the body, allows both shoulders and hands to rest in a more natural position that relieves tension that often it can follow the hours spent in front of a normal keyboard.

Add the cozy wrist rest along the bottom edge and you have a perfect option.

Best ergonomic mouse: Logitech MX Master 3 ($ 99.99;

logitech.com

)

The Logitech MX Master 3 is an unmistakably comfortable mouse.

It is perfectly shaped, with particular attention to the clicking fingers.

When wearing it it seemed our fingers were resting, with an ergonomic groove sculpted for almost all of them.

Best Ring Light: Emart 10-Inch Selfie Ring Light ($ 25.99;

amazon.com

)

The Emart 10 Inch Standing Ring Light comes with a tripod that is fully adjustable, from 19 inches to 50 inches, which makes it a great option if you are placing it on top of your desk for video calling or need Some aerial lighting so no strange shadows creep into your photos.

Its three light modes (warm, cool, and a good mix of the two), along with 11 levels of brightness (at the top of the settings on any of the lights we tested), ensure you're always framed in the right light.

And at a relatively cheap price of $ 25.99, this light combines usability and affordability better than any of the other options we tested.

Home

Best Linen Sheets: Parachute Linen Sheet Set (starting at $ 149;

parachute.com

)

Well made, luxurious to the touch, and with the most versatile purchase options (six sizes, nine colors, and the ability to order individual sheets), Parachute linen sheets are by far our favorite set.

From satisfying unpacking to sumptuous sleep, with a la carte availability, Parachute set the gold standard in linen luxury.

Best showerhead: Kohler Forte showerhead (starting at $ 74.44;

amazon.com

)

Without question, the Kohler Forte shower head provides the best overall shower experience, offering three distinct environments.

Backstory: Many shower heads out there feature a myriad of "settings" that, when tested, are virtually indecipherable.

The Forte's three sprays, however, are each incredibly different and equally useful.

There's the full-coverage, soaked rain shower, the pulsating massage, and the 'silk mist' setting which is basically a super dense mist.

The Forte manages to accomplish all of this while using only 1.75 gallons per minute (GPM), making it a great option for those looking to conserve water.

Best Humidifier: TaoTronics Cool Mist Humidifier (starting at $ 49.99;

amazon.com

)

The TaoTronics cool mist humidifier increased the humidity in a room in about an hour, which was faster than most of the options we tested.

Most importantly, though, it maintained those humidity levels for the longest period of time, 24 hours to be exact.

The levels were easy to check with the built-in reader (and we checked that reading with an external reader to confirm accuracy).

We also loved how easy this humidifier was to clean, and the night mode for the LED reader eliminated any bright light in the bedroom.

Video

Best TV: TCL Series 6 (starting at $ 699; 

amazon.com

)

With models starting at $ 699 for a 55-inch, the TCL 6-series might surprise you considering everything you get for that relatively small price tag.

But can a 4K smart TV with so many spec standards really deliver a good picture for $ 600?

The short answer: a resounding yes.

The TCL 6 Series produces a vibrant picture with flexible customization options and handles both HDR and Dolby Vision, optimization standards that enhance the content you are viewing by adding depth to detail and broadening the color spectrum.

Best streaming device: Roku Ultra ($ 99.99;

amazon.com

)

Roku recently updated its Ultra streaming box and the 2020 version is faster, thanks to a new quad-core processor.

The newer Ultra retains all the features that we loved and enjoyed about the 2019 model, such as nearly zero lag time between waking up and streaming content, leading to a hiccup-free streaming experience.

On top of that, the Roku Ultra can enhance content to deliver the best possible picture on your TV, even on older model TVs that don't offer the latest and greatest picture quality, and it supports everything from HD to 4K.

Travels

Best Carry-On: Away Carry-On ($ 225;

away.com

)

The Away Carry-On scored high marks in all of our tests and has the best mix of features for the average traveler.

Compared to high-end brands like Rimowa, which sell for hundreds of dollars more, you're getting the same durable materials, a great internal compression system, and eye-catching style.

Add in smart charging capabilities and a lifetime warranty, and this was the bag to beat.

Best portable charger: Anker PowerCore 13000 (starting at $ 31.99;

amazon.com

)

The Anker PowerCore 13000 shined the brightest in terms of payload capacity.

It boasts 13,000 mAh (maH is a measure of how much power a device puts off over time), which is enough to fully charge an iPhone 11 two and a half times.

Plus, it has two fast-charging USB Type-A ports so you can squeeze out a couple of devices simultaneously.

Though it's not peak in terms of cargo capacity, at just $ 31.99, it's a serious bargain.

Note: The above prices reflect the price at the time of publication of the article.

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2020-10-30

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