Apple’s AirPods Pro wireless earbuds are a go-to pick that’s often on sale | Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone, but there are still some great discounts available on Apple’s AirPods. In fact, we’ve actually been seeing some deals that are even better than they were during the recent shopping holidays.
Since Apple launched the third-gen AirPods in October and unveiled its new AirPods lineup, we’ve seen the starting price of the second-gen, entry-level model drop from $159 to $129. Even better, we’ve seen many retailers starting to heavily discount the second-gen AirPods as well as the more expensive AirPods Pro and Max, which offer noise cancellation and better sound quality than the standard model. We’ve even recently seen some significant discounts on the third-gen AirPods, despite how recently they launched.
Here, we’ll run through the best deals available on each model, including the entry-level AirPods, the AirPods Pro, the third-gen AirPods, and the AirPods Max.
The best entry-level AirPods (second-gen) deals
Once $159, Apple recently lowered the list price of the second-gen AirPods — now the entry-level model — to $129. It only sells the model with a wired charging case, however, which charges via a standard Lightning cable. Despite their age, we found these easy-to-use earbuds offer great wireless performance and reliable battery life, making them a great pick if you can live without a wireless charging case.
Right now, Apple’s most affordable pair of AirPods are selling for their lowest price to date. Amazon has discounted the earbuds to $89.99 (with delayed shipping), which is less than what we saw them go for on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The best AirPods (third-gen) deals
The newest pair of wireless earbuds support Apple’s MagSafe technology. The short stems yield a more subtle design, while improved sound and features like sweat and water resistance, support for spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, and improved battery life render them a nice improvement over the last-gen model.
Deals were once hard to come by on the third-gen model, but we finally started seeing some significant deals starting around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, like the second-gen AirPods, they’re currently selling for less than they were last month. At the moment, Amazon is selling the $179 earbuds for $139.99, yet, just like their predecessor, with delayed shipping. Walmart is also discounting the third-gen model, but only by $10 or so. You will, however, be able to get the earbuds in time for the holidays, if you intend to use them as a gift.
The best AirPods Pro deals
We think Apple’s premium true wireless earbuds, the AirPods Pro, are the best wireless earbuds an iPhone owner can buy, regardless of the price. They have better sound quality than the models above, offer active noise cancellation, and come with a wireless charging case. The earbuds also support Apple’s spatial audio feature, which adds an immersive surround sound effect to select content, and come with swappable silicone tips. In addition, they recently received a firmware update that added Conversation Boost, an accessibility feature for those who are hard of hearing.
Apple recently launched a new version of the AirPods Pro with a wireless charging case that supports Apple’s MagSafe technology, just like the third-gen AirPods. These start at $249, but you can buy them right now for $169 in-store at Staples until December 18th. If you miss out on that deal, they’re also going for $179 at Amazon and $179.99 at Target. That’s not quite as low as the $159 price we saw this model drop to during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it’s still roughly a $70 discount off the cost you’d pay through Apple directly.
The best AirPods Max deals
The AirPods Max aren’t the iconic in-ear style that has become synonymous with the AirPods name. They’re large and luxurious, comprised of aluminum, steel, and mesh fabric that remains comfortable during extended listening sessions. They also sport excellent noise cancellation, Apple’s spatial audio feature, and a wide, balanced sound, even if they lag behind some of their peers when it comes to bass response. They’re not the best noise-canceling headphones for most people — blame the $550 sticker price — but it’s hard to find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that sound better and feature more intuitive controls.
Although the AirPods Max were discounted to $429 at Amazon during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, prices have since increased. Still, the Max are currently selling for around $479 at Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo, saving you $70.