January 30, 2023

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Best cheap AirPods deals and sales for December 2022

4 min read

If you know where to look, there are often some great discounts available on Apple’s popular — yet oftentimes expensive — AirPods. Since Apple launched the third-gen AirPods last year, we’ve seen the starting price of the second-gen, entry-level model drop from $159 to $129. And now that you can buy the second-gen AirPods Pro, we’re seeing even better discounts on the last-gen Pro and other models. For your convenience, we’ve curated the best deals currently 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

Last year, Apple lowered the list price of the second-gen AirPods — now the entry-level model — from $159 to $129. It now only sells the model with a wired charging case, however, which charges via a standard Lightning cable. Despite their age, we found that the easy-to-use, second-gen AirPods still offer great wireless performance and reliable battery life, making them a great pick if you can live without a wireless charging case.

Right now, you can purchase Apple’s most affordable pair of earbuds for $89.99 ($40 off) at Target, and Walmart, which is just $10 shy of their all-time low. You can also buy the model with the wireless charging case for $139.99 ($20 off) at Adorama.

Apple AirPods in front of Audeze MX4$90

The AirPods are Apple’s second generation of true wireless earbuds and the cheapest model in the AirPods lineup.

The best AirPods (third-gen) deals

With support for the company’s MagSafe technology and an asking price of $179, Apple’s third-gen AirPods are often considered the middle child in Apple’s current AirPods lineup. The shorter stems make for a more subtle design, too, 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.

In September, Apple quietly introduced a new option for the third-gen AirPods that comes with a Lightning-only charging case, one that retails for $10 less than the option with a MagSafe charging case. However, given you can currently buy the first-gen AirPods Pro with noise cancellation for $159.99, we suggest buying those instead. We would not recommend buying the AirPods with a Lightning-only charging case regardless, as the MagSafe-compatible model is regularly on sale for less than the MSRP. Right now, for instance, you can buy them for around $169 ($10 off) at Staples and Sam’s Club (if you’re a member).

$169

Similar in appearance to their sleeker sibling, the AirPods Pro, the latest entry-level AirPods boast a new charging case and shorter stems. They’re also water resistant, unlike the 2019 model, and sport better battery life.

The best AirPods Pro deals

In case you missed it, Apple announced the second-gen AirPods Pro during its “Far Out” event in September, a pair of earbuds that feature a similar build to the first-gen model but offer better noise cancellation. They also sport swipe-based controls, come with Apple’s new H2 chip, and feature an extra-small pair of swappable silicone ear tips for smaller ears. Despite having just come out a couple of months ago, they’re already on sale at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target for $199.99 instead of $249, which is their all-time low and Black Friday price. Read our review.

A pair of AirPods in an open charging case$200

Apple’s latest AirPods Pro take after the last-gen model but include swipe controls and a new H2 chip that allows for improved noise cancellation. They also come with a water-resistant charging case that offers support for Apple’s robust Find My network.

If the second-gen AirPods Pro are too expensive for you, rest assured that we often see discounts on the first-gen AirPods Pro. They have better sound quality than the non-premium models listed above, as well as active noise cancellation. They also come with swappable silicone tips — albeit three, not four — and support Apple’s spatial audio feature, which adds an immersive surround sound effect to select content.

Last year, Apple launched a new configuration of the AirPods Pro with a wireless charging case that supports Apple’s MagSafe technology, just like the third-gen AirPods. The noise-canceling, MagSafe-ready earbuds typically retail for $249, but they’re currently available at Verizon for $159.99, which is their all-time low price. If you prefer a different retailer, you can also pick them up for $20 more from Walmart.

The AirPods Pro, the best wireless earbuds for people who use Apple products, pictured next to an iPhone 11 Pro Max and MacBook Pro.$160

The last-gen AirPods Pro improve upon the regular AirPods with better sound quality, excellent active noise cancellation, and immersive spatial audio.

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The best AirPods Max deals

The AirPods Max aren’t the iconic in-ears that have 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 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.

$449

Apple’s AirPods Max feature exemplary build quality, sound phenomenal, and keep up with the best at noise cancellation.

Although Woot and other retailers have discounted the AirPods Max to as low as $409 in the past, prices have since increased across the board. Right now, for instance, the Max are on sale for around $449 at Amazon (in gray) and $444.99 at the Micro Center, though you’d have to live nearby to pick them up from your local store. If you prefer more color options and online delivery, you can also buy them from Best Buy for $479.