The best Black Friday headphone and earbud deals for 2022
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Black Friday is typically a great time of year to pick up a new set of headphones, and this year is no exception. Many pairs we like, including several of the top picks in our guides to the best wireless headphones and best true wireless earbuds, are down to their lowest prices to date. Below we’ve rounded up the best Black Friday headphone deals we could find thus far, covering models from Apple, Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, Anker and more. We have a few discounts on speakers we like, too. We’ll be sure to add more deals of note if they arise over the course of the day.
Apple AirPods Pro
The latest AirPods Pro are down to $200 at multiple retailers, which is an all-time low. This is $50 off Apple’s MSRP and roughly $40 off the noise-cancelling earphones’ street price since launching in September. We gave the AirPods Pro a review score of 88 and currently list them as the “best for iOS” pick in our guide to the best wireless earbuds. Their battery life is just average, but their sound quality and active noise cancellation (ANC) are among the better options on the market, their transparency mode is superb and, per usual, they’re particularly convenient to use with other Apple devices.
The second-generation version of Apple’s standard AirPods are available for $79, while the third-gen model is down to $140. Both of those match the lowest prices we’ve seen and sit roughly $25 below the earbuds’ respective street prices over the last few months. We gave the third-gen AirPods a review score of 88 last year and the second-gen pair a score of 84 back in 2019.
You’d consider one of these two if you’re an iPhone owner who wants the easy pairing and tight iOS integration of any Apple headphone, but prefer an unsealed design that doesn’t completely block out external noise. The third-gen AirPods in particular are one of the better-sounding unsealed wireless earbuds you can buy. Their designs still won’t fit everyone, though, and there’s little reason to consider either pair if you use Android.
Sony’s top-of-the-line WH-1000XM5 headphones are down to $348 this Black Friday, which is $50 off their normal going rate. While that’s not a massive discount, it does match the lowest price we’ve tracked. The XM5s are the top pick in our guide to the best wireless headphones. We gave them a review score of 95 earlier this year, praising their light and comfortable fit, powerful ANC that’s particularly effective with high- and mid-range frequencies (think human voices), 30+ hours of battery life, bass-forward (but customizable) sound, improved call quality and plethora of useful bonus features.
Sony’s predecessor to the XM5s, the WH-1000XM4, are also on sale at $228, which matches their all-time low and comes in about $100 off their typical street price. We still prefer the XM5 for those who can afford it, as the XM4 feels a bit bulkier on the head, has worse mic performance and doesn’t sound as good out of the box (though it’s similarly customizable via Sony’s app). Unlike the XM5, though, the XM4’s design can fold up for easier storage. Its battery life and feature set are essentially the same, too, and though its ANC isn’t as adept at negating higher-frequency noises, it’s still plenty effective on the whole. The XM5 also rely on an automatic ANC adjustment system, which some may prefer to avoid. We gave the XM4 a score of 94 in 2020; if you want to save some cash, it’s still a good value when it’s discounted to this extent.
Bose QuietComfort 45
Bose’s QuietComfort 45 headphones are available for $249, which is $20 more than their all-time low but still roughly $60 off their average street price. This is an alternative pick in our guide to the best wireless headphones: Sony’s models are more customizable, last longer and perform better on the whole, but the QC 45s have a more neutral sound out of the box, still-capable ANC and a design that’s about as comfortable as the WH-1000XM5 without sacrificing the ability to fold up. They also use physical buttons instead of touch controls. We gave the QuietComfort 45 a review score of 86 last year.
Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones are down to $178, which matches the lowest price we’ve tracked and sits about $70 below the pair’s usual going rate. We gave the WF-1000XM4s a review score of 86 last year, and they are currently the top pick in our guide to the best wireless earbuds.
The strengths here are similar to those of Sony’s over-ear models above: upper-tier ANC, solid sound quality that can be customized, good battery life (about 8-10 hours per charge), and useful extras like wireless charging and “Speak to Chat,” which can automatically pause your music while you’re speaking to somebody else. Their active noise cancellation is a step behind Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II, but their in-ear fit and foam ear tips isolate a ton of noise naturally. The main caveat is that the earpieces are rather large, so some may find them cumbersome to wear.
Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II
Speaking of Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II, that set of noise-cancelling earbuds is currently on sale for $249, which is a $50 discount and a new all-time low. This is the “best noise cancellation” pick in our wireless earbuds guide, and indeed, no true wireless pair we’ve tested is as adept at muting the outside world. They’re a bit bulky, and their lack of multipoint connectivity and wireless charging is still disappointing at this price, but if it’s top-tier ANC you’re after, this is the best you can do in this form factor.
Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3
Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless 3 are on sale for $200, which isn’t cheap, but still $40 off the pair’s usual going rate and tied for the best price we’ve seen. These are the wireless earphones we recommend if detailed sound quality is your chief concern — they don’t have the same bundle of useful bonus features the WF-1000XM4 can provide, but their adaptive ANC is still effective, their eight-ish hours of battery life is still solid and their default sound profile should greatly satisfy if you enjoy a boosted low-end.
Sony LinkBuds S
Sony’s LinkBuds S earphones are on sale for $128, which is about $50 below their average street price and matches their all-time low. This pair is an honorable mention in our guide to the best wireless earbuds. The WF-1000XM4 offer a more detailed sound, better noise isolation, a couple hours of extra battery life and wireless charging, but the LinkBuds S still perform well for this deal price, and its lighter, more compact design is comfier to wear over time. It recently gained the ability to connect to multiple devices at once, too, something the XM4s are also expected to receive in the near future.
Jabra Elite 3
Jabra’s Elite 3 is on sale for $50, coming within a couple dollars of the lowest price we’ve tracked and undercutting the earphones’ typical street price by roughly $15. We gave this pair a review score of 88 last year, and it’s currently the top budget pick in our best wireless earbuds guide. The Elite 3’s mildly bass-bumped sound is pleasant for the money — and now customizable after a recent update — but its lightweight, water-resistant design is impressively comfortable for any price. Battery life is solid, too, at about seven hours per charge. There’s no ANC, wireless charging, auto-pausing or multipoint connectivity, but at this deal price, the Elite 3 are good enough at the fundamentals to be worth recommending for those on a budget.
This deal comes as part of a wider sale on Jabra earbuds for Black Friday. We don’t recommend most of those pairs over the other picks in this roundup, but the Elite 4 Active are worth a shout at $80 — they’re effectively the same as the Elite 3, but with a (just okay) ANC feature and a higher water-resistance rating (IP57 instead of IP55). We gave that pair a review score of 84 this past January.
Anker Soundcore Life Q30
Anker’s Soundcore Life Q30 is back down to $60 for Amazon Prime members, which is $10 more than the all-time low but still $20 or so off the pair’s usual going rate. At this price, but the Q30’s cushy fit, 40+ hours of battery life and competent ANC performance make it an excellent value. This is still a budget set of headphones, so call quality isn’t great, the build is flimsier than more expensive options and the default sound profile goes very hard on the bass by default. Nevertheless, good noise-cancellers priced under $100 are rare, and this is one of them.
Anker Soundcore Space A40
Likewise, Anker’s Soundcore Space A40 represents great value at its current deal price of $80, which is a $20 discount and a new all-time low. This is a compact and comfortable pair of true wireless earphones that delivers solid ANC, multi-device pairing and a strong 10 or so hours of battery life per charge. The default sound profile could use a bit more treble presence — though an EQ tool in Anker’s app can help — and the noise isolation isn’t quite as effective as our more premium picks above. The included touch controls are somewhat limited, too. But if you can’t spend more than $100, the A40s are a great buy.
Sennheiser Momentum 4
Another honorable mention in our guide to the best wireless headphones, Sennheiser’s Momentum 4 is down to $293, which is their all-time low and about $50 off their recent street price. We gave this pair a review score of 82 this past August: Though its ANC and feature set can’t match up to Sony’s WH-1000XM5, it can get a stellar 60 or so hours of battery life per charge, and its sound quality is better out of the box.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M20xBT are available for $59 this Black Friday, which is a $20 discount and the lowest price we’ve tracked. This is the budget pick in our best wireless headphones guide. Clunky name aside, they offer a relatively detailed and accurate sound with impressive bass depth for the money. Multipoint connectivity and a rated 60 hours of battery life help, too. The build quality is somewhat flimsy, and the Soundcore Life Q30 are a better buy if you need ANC, but if you’re on a budget and care more about sound quality in your wireless headphones, the M20xBT is worth a look.
Beats Fit Pro
The Beats Fit Pro are down to $160, which beats (heh) the pair’s usual going rate by $30 and is only $7 more than the lowest price we’ve seen. We gave the Fit Pro a review score of 87 last year, and it’s now the “best for workouts” pick in our wireless earbuds guide. It carries many of the same benefits as any set of AirPods — “Find My” tracking, easy pairing and fast switching with Apple devices, hands-free Siri, etc. — in a smaller, sportier, and more secure-fitting design. Their slightly bass-boosted sound profile is great, and unlike AirPods, their feature set isn’t totally limited if you use an Android phone. That said, the ANC is merely serviceable by comparison, there’s no wireless charging and their case is a little chunkier. There are no built-in volume controls, either.
Beats Powerbeats Pro
The Beats Powerbeats Pro, meanwhile, are down to $150, which matches their all-time low. Typically, these earbuds retail between $180 and $200. The Powerbeats Pro launched all the way back in 2019, but if you want AirPods-style pairing and Siri control in an around-the-ear hook design, they still have value. There’s no ANC, their half-sealed fit isn’t ideal for audio performance and their case is comically huge, but they stay secure on the move, and their 9-11 hours of battery life is fantastic. Just note that there’s no formal IP rating, so they may not be ideal for consistently intense activity.
Beats Studio Buds
Beats’ Studio Buds are on sale for $90, which matches the lowest price we’ve tracked and is about $35-40 below their average street price. We gave these earphones a review score of 84 last year, praising their fast-pairing with Apple devices, compact and easy-to-wear design and fairly neutral sound profile. Their five-ish hours of battery life (with ANC on) is middling, though, and the included ANC and transparency modes, while fine, aren’t as effective as most of the other picks above. The Soundcore Space A40s are better, but if you specifically want a more Apple-friendly pair of true wireless in-ears for less than $100, the Studio Buds aren’t a bad alternative.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
Google’s Pixel Buds Pro are still down to $150, which comes in about $35 below their usual street price and ties the lowest they’ve been. This is the “best for Android” pick in our guide to the best wireless earbuds, as the Pixel Buds Pro offer AirPods-esque integration with their manufacturer’s OS, particularly if you use one of Google’s own Pixel phones. Their punchy sound and ANC are pleasing, too, though not superlative in the context of the wider true wireless market. The included transparency mode isn’t great, either. Still, we gave the earphones a review score of 87 in July, and they’re an easier sell at $150.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, meanwhile, is an alternative pair we like that plays nicer with Samsung phones. If you have one of those, note that the Buds 2 Pro are down to $180, which isn’t an all-time low but still $45 less than usual.
JLab Go Air Pop
Normally retailing around $20, JLab’s Go Air Pop wireless earphones are currently down to just $10 at Walmart. We highlighted these budget buds in our recent audio gift guide. There’s no ANC, they’re made of cheap plastic and their audio quality can’t compete with what’s available in pricier buds, but you still get on-device controls, IPX4 water resistance, eight-hour battery life and perfectly passable sound, all in a colorful design. Also, they’re $10! If you need a backup set of wireless earbuds, they’re hard to fault.
JBL Flip 6
JBL’s Flip 6 speaker is on sale for $90 for Black Friday, which is the lowest price we’ve seen on it. The device earned a spot in our best Bluetooth speakers list for its overall solid sound quality, durability and volume for its size. Its cylindrical design lets you sit it lengthwise on a table, or prop it up on its end if you’re pressed for space. We also like its carrying strap, which makes it easier to take this thing with you, and its raised buttons, too.
JBL Charge 5
The Charge 5 is a worth upgrade from JBL’s Flip 6, and it’s down to $120 for Black Friday. We’ve seen it drop this low before, but that doesn’t change the fact that it remains an all-time low. It has bigger sound and longer battery life, plus a USB-C port with which you can charge other devices like your smartphone or tablet.
Amazon Echo Studio
Echo Studio is a bigger and louder version of the standard Echo smart speaker, built to deliver hi-res audio. It’s usually $200, and rarely goes on sale, but for Black Friday, it’s $45 off the list price. We gave the Studio an 88 in our review, saying Amazon had finally nailed the audio element of its smart speaker lineup. With the larger build and speaker array, it’s clear Amazon is trying to compete with other smart speaker manufacturers like Sonos and Bose with this one, and it does a great job of it.
Amazon has so many Echo options, it’s hard to keep track. This is the original Echo, the very first smart speaker that brought Alexa into our homes to handle everything from setting timers and telling jokes to controlling our smart home universe. It’s usually $100, but Black Friday deals have knocked 50 percent off of it, bringing it down to only $50.
Google Nest Audio
Google’s competition for Amazon’s Echo is the Nest Audio, and it remains one of our favorite smart speakers you can get right now. For Black Friday, you can pick one up for half off or only $50. We gave it a score of 87 when it first came out for its good audio quality, attractive design, good integration with the Google Assistant and the ability to pair two together for stereo sound.
Amazon Echo Dot
Like its name and appearance suggests, the Echo Dot is the smallest member of the Echo family, a speaker meant to unobtrusively bring Alexa’s capabilities to more places in your home. Right now it’s down to $25, which is 50 percent off its usual $50 price and a first-ever discount for the latest generation. Released last month, this model includes an upgraded speaker along with a temperature sensor that can pair up with your smart thermostat.
Your Cyber Week Shopping Guide: Get the latest Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers by following @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribing to the Engadget Deals newsletter. Also, shop the top Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deals on Yahoo Life. Learn about Black Friday trends on In the Know, and our car experts at Autoblog are covering must-shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday auto deals.
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