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category_outlined / Business & Finance
Consumer ReportsConsumer Reports

Consumer Reports

December 2019

Ratings, recommendations, reliability reports, safety and price comparisons from the world’s largest consumer testing center. Helps consumers make better choices for everything from cars to cell phone service. The only magazine of its kind: Expert, independent, nonprofit. 100% unbiased. Consumer Reports accepts no outside advertising.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Consumer Union
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$24
12 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time2 min.
what’s wrong with recalls

EVERYDAY, WE make certain assumptions about the safety and quality of the products we live with. We hunt for bargains, read reviews, and assume that what we buy and bring into our homes has been tested and proved to meet sensible standards. We know some products will work better or last longer than others, but how often do we consider the ways in which our purchases could result in harm—such as sickness, injury, or even death? If a product or food were reported to have hurt consumers, the manufacturer or government would surely let us know, right? Not so fast. As unsettling as it is, it’s important to know that under our current regulatory system, dangerous items are sometimes put on the market and remain on the shelves. A variety of…

access_time3 min.
consumer reports

President and CEO Marta L. Tellado Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Leonora Wiener Vice President, Chief Content Officer Gwendolyn Bounds Editor in Chief Diane Salvatore Executive Editor Kevin Doyle Features Editor Natalie van der Meer Design Director Matthew Lenning Creative Director, Brand Young Kim Associate Design Director Mike Smith Art Directors Ewelina Mrowiec, Michael Solita Photo Editors Lacey Browne, Emilie Harjes, Karen Shinbaum Senior Director, Content Development Glenn Derene Deputy Directors, Content Development Christopher Kirkpatrick, Ellen Kunes Associate Directors, Content Development Scott Billings, Althea Chang Senior Director, Content Impact & Corporate Outreach Jen Shecter Special Projects Joel Keehn, Director; Margot Gilman, Associate Director; Lisa L. Gill, Rachel Rabkin Peachman, Deputies; Ryan Felton, Donna Rosato, Writers Editorial Director, Digital Erle Norton Senior Director, Product Testing Maria Rerecich CARS: Editors/Writers: Keith Barry, Jeff S. Bartlett, Jonathan Linkov, Mike Monticello, Jeff Plungis Auto Test Center: Jake Fisher, Jennifer Stockburger,…

access_time4 min.
building a better world, together

Protecting Kids’ Privacy WHAT’S AT STAKE Everyone who uses the web has reason to be concerned about online privacy. But children are especially vulnerable to privacy violations at the hands of online marketers, data brokers, and identity thieves. That’s why a federal law, the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act, requires that websites and apps get parents’ consent before collecting personal information from kids younger than 13. HOW CR HAS YOUR BACK CR was one of the groups that pressed Congress to pass COPPA in 1998, and we worked with the government officials who updated the rules in 2012. We were also part of a coalition that alleged that Google-owned YouTube was collecting information about kids without parental consent and using it to target ads. In April 2018 the coalition filed a complaint with the Federal…

access_time1 min.
ask our experts

TV technology is better than ever—so why are we still being sold sound bars? Though sound quality on TVs—especially on high-end models—has improved in recent years, “many more affordable sets still don’t match the experience that even a decent sound bar can deliver,” says Claudio Ciacci, CR’s TV tester. (Superior sound technology can be expensive, and on some sets, it’s not prioritized.) As a result, the majority of the 200 or so TVs we test get only a Good or Fair rating for sound. We hold sound bars to a higher sound standard than TVs. So a sound bar with a Good rating will deliver richer sound than a TV with a Good sound rating. Our tests reveal that even a low-cost model (such as the Creative bar above) can enhance…

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what we’re testing in our labs …

Travel-Size Humidifiers WE TESTED: 6 models WE TEST FOR: Ease of operating and maintaining a unit, number of gallons emitted daily per square foot, how noisy a unit is, energy efficiency, and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 80 Range: 26-87 Works With Any 20-Ounce Water Bottle as the Tank Hunter QLS-03 $30 87 OVERALL SCORE Long Wall-Plug Cord Well at Walgreens Personal Humidifier $30 83 OVERALL SCORE Can Be Charged by USB Crane EE-5950 $30 82 OVERALL SCORE Sound Bars WE TESTED: 26 basic models WE TEST FOR: Sound quality, including tonal accuracy and the ability to reproduce fine sonic detail; how easy a model is to set up and use with a TV; and more. ABOUT THE SCORES: Median: 50 Range: 20-65 Best Overall & 2-Year Warranty Yamaha YAS-207BL $230 65 OVERALL SCORE Very Easy to Use With a TV Klipsch RSB-11 $600 60 OVERALL SCORE Bargain Buy Creative Stage 2.1 $90 57 OVERALL SCORE Dishwashers WE TESTED: 76 models WE TEST FOR: How well a model washes a full load of dishes…

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cr insights

GIFTS FOR $50 AND UNDER $ WestBend 2-Slice Black & Silver 78823 $25 84 This sleek toaster is a top performer, too: It passes our toasting evenness test with flying golden-brown colors and has a bagel setting to boot. Amazon Basics Stainless Steel Electric Kettle $20 85 Great for any tea enthusiast, this quick-to-boil 4-cup kettle earns the second-highest score in our ratings. $ Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Programmable 49465R $25 82 For coffee lovers on your list, here’s a glass carafe brewer that serves up 12 excellent cups in just 10 minutes. Brita Stream Rapids OB55 $30 81 An ultra-practical pick, this Brita filters water quickly as you pour it into your glass—and is tops in our tests. $ Artisanal Kitchen Supply Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (Bed Bath & Beyond) $25 78 This sturdy, 12-inch cast-iron frying pan is a bargain and is excellent for…

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