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Cyber Monday deals: AirPods at or near all-time low prices


This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

It’s been a banner season for price drops on AirPods — and out-of-stock notices. Black Friday AirPods deals, and now Cyber Monday deals, have been hitting left and right, along with a few surprises. Right now, you can get AirPods 3 for $150 and the Space Gray model of the AirPods Max for $429, their lowest prices to date. And while the AirPods 2 haven’t returned to their earlier November low of $89, they’re now down to a decent $100 at Amazon. The same goes for AirPods Pro: They dipped to as low as $159, but are now hovering around $170 — if you can find them in stock.

AirPods pricing 2021

Model Apple Store price Best price right now Best all-time price
AirPods 2 $129 $100 $89
AirPods Pro 2021 $249 $170 $159
AirPods 3 $179 $150 $150
AirPods Max $549 $429 $429

Long story short, Apple now has three sets of true wireless headphones competing in the $160 to $200 range. Except for those baseline AirPods 2, all the others listed above are compatible with Apple’s new spatial audio features, but none of them will deliver the maximum quality of Apple’s upcoming lossless audio format, which is too rich for the current Bluetooth wireless standard to handle. 

We update this story frequently to reflect current pricing. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Amazon has Apple’s newest AirPods, the AirPods 3, on sale for just $150, its lowest price ever, $29 less than the Apple Store and other retailers. Note that at Amazon, the listed price doesn’t reflect that; you’ll get the sale price during checkout, which is indicated by “Save $20 at checkout” in green under the larger red price. If you don’t see that, the deal has expired. The AirPods 3 have been in and out of stock at this price. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Leading up to Black Friday, Apple’s AirPods Pro ping-ponged between $70 and $200. They’re still pinging and ponging: The new model, with the MagSafe case, is only $170 at Amazon during the weekend between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, just $10 more than they were at their all-time low. Though they’re listed as “In stock soon,” Amazon does state delivery by mid-December. 

They’re still listed at Walmart for $159, though not for online purchase; it’s worth a click to see if they’re available at a local store near you at that lower-than-ever price. Or possibly worth a check back to see if the original deal comes back on Cyber Monday.

In 2020, the entry-level AirPods hit $99 during Black Friday sales at Walmart. This year, Walmart raised the bar by selling them for $89, their all-time low. They’re still on sale at Amazon, now for their second best-ever price, $100, just $10 more. That’s still a great deal.

Note that at Amazon, the listed price doesn’t reflect that; you’ll get the sale price during checkout, which is indicated by “Save $15 at checkout” in green under the larger red price. If you don’t see that, the deal has expired. 

Read our AirPods review.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

Apple’s first full-size headphones are chock-full of high-end features like noise cancellation, spatial audio and easy integration with Apple devices. Yes, paying about the same as you would for a PS5 may sound crazy, but here’s the crazier thing: They’re actually kinda worth it, so long as you don’t feel burned by their lack of support for full lossless audio. Prices have dipped to as low as $430 on certain colors and Amazon now has the Space Gray for $429. Otherwise, the street price at other retailers seems to be $480 or more most of the time.

Read our AirPods Max review.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

With the arrival of Beats new Fit Pro earbuds, I assumed we’d see some nice discounts on the earlier and less feature-rich Beats Studio Buds, which list for $150, or only $50 less than the new $200 Beats Fit Pro. I predicted we might see their price dip to $100 and sure enough, that’s what their price is now (and a new low). On top of that, Amazon’s tossing in a  $10 Amazon credit with the code BYZPPJADUODB, which you’ll get after they ship, for a total savings of $60.

Important note: The credit expires on January 31, 2022.

The Beats Studio Buds look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods that people were talking about but never materialized — as AirPods anyway. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they’re missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there’s no H1 or W1 chip), but they’re small, lightweight earbuds that are comfortable to wear and offer good sound. They fit most ears securely, including mine — I run with them without a problem — but others may find a better fit with the Beats Fit Pro and their integrated wing tips.

Read our Beats Studio Buds review.

 

David Carnoy/CNET

Yes, these are “wired wireless” earbuds — with a cable connecting the left and right earbud, but they’re also the most affordable wireless Apple headphones you can buy (Beats is a subsidiary of Apple). Equipped with Apple’s older W1 chip, not the H1 found in the third-generation AirPods , AirPods Pro and Beats Fit Pro, they don’t have such extra features as spatial audio. However, they sound good and work well for making voice calls.

Some people like the concept of neckband-style wireless earbuds. You can leave the earbuds dangling from around your neck, wearing them like a pendant. Gone is the fear of losing an AirPod by dropping it. Going from listening to not listening with the earbuds requires simply lifting them to your ears — or pulling them out. And forget about having to drop them in a charging case when you’re not using them.

Note that they started out at a $50 list price when they were released, but their price mysteriously jumped up to $70. That said, $39 is their lowest price to date.

Read our Beats Flex review.

 

There are a bunch of models in Apple’s AirPods lineup, so let’s break it down for you quickly so you know which ones you should be looking for deals on.

  • The AirPods Pro ($249 list, often on sale for $190 or less) are still around, but they now include that same MagSafe-compatible case (if you buy the right one). The Pro models offer full noise isolation (via ear tips) and active noise cancellation, neither of which are available in the standard AirPods models. Amazon is now selling them for $170.
  • The AirPods 3 were released in October (alongside new MacBook Pros). The $179 true-wireless headphones include a case that’s compatible with MagSafe and wireless charging, and they offer better sound quality than the older AirPods 2 (see above). For Cyber Monday, they’re back down to their all-time low price of $150 and back in stock at Amazon.
  • The second-gen AirPods (or AirPods 2) are the entry-level models in Apple’s lineup now, and we saw them drop to $89 at Walmart for Black Friday. They’re not that low again, but Amazon does have them for $100.
  • The Beats Studio Buds are a 2021 model with a closed design. They are currently discounted down to $100 plus a $10 credit with code BYZPPJADUODB. and are a good alternative to the AirPods 2 if you don’t need an open design.
  • The Beats Fit Pro were unveiled just a few days after the AirPods 3 were released. Like the AirPods Pro, the $200 Fit Pro offer an isolating design, active noise cancellation and water resistance. But they also add a stabilizing fin built into the design, making them better for active use. We’re still waiting to see if discounts pop up on these, though given how new they are — some places don’t even expect them in until January — we doubt we’ll see any sales on these this holiday season.
  • The AirPods Max, Apple’s high-end full-size headphones that were released late in 2020, are still in the line, but they’re often on sale at closer to $449, versus the official Apple Store price of $549. Now you can get select colors for $429 at Amazon, their all-time low.



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