Black Friday is often a boon for deals on headphones and earbuds, and this year is no different. The shopping holiday has brought a plethora of deals on all kinds of headphones, include several top picks from our guides to the best wireless headphones, wireless earbuds, budget wireless earbuds and gaming headsets. Other popular models from the likes of Sony, Beats, Bose and Apple are discounted as well. All of this means it's an ideal time to pick up a new set, whether it's to give as a gift to someone on your holiday shopping list or just to replace your own aging cans. To help you get a good bargain, we've rounded up the best Black Friday deals on headphones and earbuds we could find for 2023.
The Sony WH-1000XM5 is down to $328 at Amazon, B&H and other retailers, which is a $72 drop and ties the lowest price we’ve seen. This is the top pick in our guide to the best wireless headphones, and we gave it a review score of 95 last year. Its active noise cancellation (ANC) is among the better options we’ve tested, its design is comfortable to wear over extended periods and its battery lasts a solid 30 or so hours per charge. The sound goes heavy on the bass by default, which should please fans of hip-hop and pop music, but you can customize the EQ curve through Sony’s app. Like many Sony headphones, it also comes with a number of useful bonus features; “Speak-to-Chat,” for instance, automatically pauses your music when you start speaking.
For an in-ear pair, the Sony WF-1000XM5 is also on sale for $248 at Amazon, B&H and others. (Yes, Sony’s headphone naming scheme is bad.) That matches the lowest price we’ve seen and comes in $52 below Sony’s usual list price. This set tops our list of the best wireless earbuds and earned a score of 87 in our review this past July. Like the over-ear XM5 above, it offers a host of useful features, a warm yet customizable sound, powerful ANC and a comfortably snug fit that naturally isolates a good chunk of outside noise on its own. Battery life should sit around seven to eight hours with average use.
If you don’t want to pay up for Sony’s highest-end noise-canceling headphones, Amazon, Adorama and B&H have the older Sony WH-1000XM4 down to $248 as well. While that isn’t an all-time low, it’s $100 off Sony’s list price and a little lower than the usual sale price we’ve seen over the course of the year. The XM4 delivers similar ANC and battery performance as its successor and has nearly the same feature set. Unlike the XM5, it can also fold up for easier storage. However, its mics aren’t as clear for calls, it’s a little bulkier (though it’s still comfy) and it sounds a bit boomier out of the box. But at this price, it’s still a strong value. We gave it a 94 in our review back in 2020.
Apple AirPods Pro
Apple’s AirPods Pro are on sale for $190 at Amazon, Walmart, Target and Best Buy. That's $60 less than buying from Apple directly and ties an all-time low. This is the “best for iOS” pick in our wireless earbuds guide thanks to its suite of helpful Apple-specific features, including hands-free access to Siri, quick pairing with iPhones and device tracking through Apple’s Find My network. Effective (if not class-leading) ANC, a superb transparency mode and a pleasantly warm sound also stand out. That said, the Pro’s six-hour battery life is just average and, as with any set of AirPods, you pretty much have to be a dedicated Apple fan to get the most out of it.
This deal applies to the latest iteration of the earphones, which come with a USB-C charging case. If you don’t mind using a Lightning charging case, Walmart has the previous version on sale for a new low of $169. Either way, we gave the AirPods Pro a review score of 88 last year.
Apple AirPods (3rd-gen)
The third-gen AirPods are available for $140 at Amazon, Target, Best Buy and others. Typically, these wireless earbuds have retailed between $10 and $20 higher in recent months, but steeper discounts have been uncommon. We gave this pair a review score of 88 back in 2021: There are certainly better-sounding options for the money, but the third-gen AirPods sound noticeably richer than their predecessor, and their haptic touch controls are altogether more convenient. This is another open design, though, so there still isn’t much in the way of deep bass or noise cancellation. Not everyone will find the wider earpieces comfortable either.
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen)
The second-gen AirPods are down to $80 at Amazon and Target, which isn’t an all-time low but comes in roughly $20 below the pair’s usual street price in recent months. These are Apple’s entry-level wireless earbuds, having launched way back in 2019. They’re a bit tougher to recommend these days, as their one-size-fits-all design won’t fit everyone and you can get better sound quality even at this discounted rate. But if you prefer an open design that doesn’t completely seal off your ear canal or just want the typical AirPods conveniences for as cheap as possible, this is at least a more acceptable price.
Apple AirPods Max
Apple’s top-of-the-line headphones, the AirPods Max, are discounted to $450 at Amazon and Best Buy. That’s $20 more than the lowest price we’ve seen but about $30 below the pair’s usual street price. Apple itself sells the headphones for $550. The AirPods Max are still overpriced for most even with this discount, but they remain undeniably premium, with top-tier ANC, a superbly balanced sound profile, a high-quality aluminum design, reliable controls and all the usual AirPods features. They’re hefty, though, and their included “case” is bafflingly flimsy. We gave the AirPods Max a review score of 84 in late 2020.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones
Bose’s new QuietComfort Ultra Headphones are $50 off at multiple retailers, bringing the over-ear cans down to $379. Outside of a very brief drop a few weeks back that may have been a pricing error, this is the first significant discount we’ve seen. Bose only released the QuietComfort Ultra last month. We gave it a score of 86 in our review, praising its predictably comfy design, outstanding ANC, above-average call quality and bassy default sound. We still recommend the Sony XM5 to most, as that pair offers a wider feature set and the ability to be used passively (i.e., without being turned on), but the QuietComfort Ultra may still be worth a look if you must have especially powerful noise cancellation.
We’ll also note that the new, non-Ultra QuietComfort Headphones are $100 off, bringing them down to a new low of $249. We haven’t reviewed this model yet, but it’s the follow-up to 2021’s QuietComfort 45, which we generally liked. Other reviews suggest it has a more bass-heavy sound, though, and we’d expect it to be a slight step down from the Ultra across the board.
Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds
The new Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, meanwhile, are down to $249 at several stores. That's another $50 discount and an all-time low. We gave these in-ears a review score of 88 in September and recently named them the “best for noise cancellation” pick in our wireless earbuds buying guide. As that title suggests, the main reason to consider this pair over the Sony WF-1000XM5 is its ANC performance, which is the strongest we’ve tested from a true wireless model. We also enjoy Bose’s spatial audio tech. But the earpieces are on the larger side, the call quality and battery life (at six-ish hours) are just OK and there’s no support for multi-device pairing.
Beats Fit Pro
The Beats Fit Pro is back down to $159, which isn’t an all-time low but is still roughly $20 below its average street price. This is the “best for workouts” pick in our wireless earbuds buying guide, as it packs many of the iOS-friendly conveniences of Apple’s AirPods in a sportier and more stable design. It also uses physical control buttons instead of touch panels, and its punchy sound plays well with most popular music. But it can’t connect to multiple devices at once, it doesn’t support wireless charging and its ANC, while fine, isn’t as capable as the AirPods Pro’s. The Fit Pro earned a score of 87 in our review from 2021.
Beats Studio Pro
The Beats Studio Pro is down to $170 for Black Friday at Amazon, Target and Best Buy. That tops the pair’s previous low by $10 and falls about $130 below its average street price in recent months. The Studio Pro isn’t a top pick in any of our guides, but we gave it a solid review score of 81 in July. Its sound is largely pleasant and even-handed, its ANC is strong enough to be useful and it can stream higher-quality audio if you connect over a USB-C cable. It works well with both iOS and Android, too, though it doesn’t support multi-device pairing on the former. There’s no auto-pausing when you remove the headphones, either, and the design is mostly made of plastic. But if you like the Beats style, those flaws should be a little easier to accept at this price.
Amazon Echo Buds (2023)
We recommend the Amazon Echo Buds in our budget wireless earbuds guide to those who hate the feeling of traditional in-ear headphones. They’re now down to $35 for Black Friday, a $15 drop that matches an all-time low. The Echo Buds have a semi-open design, so they let in a good amount of outside noise and can’t produce deep bass, but some will find the shape preferable to a pair that sticks in their ear canals. They can sound perfectly decent with a bit of EQ tweaking, while features like multi-device pairing, wear detection and hands-free Alexa are all nice to have. However, there’s no wireless charging, the battery life (five or so hours per charge) is mediocre and the IPX2 sweat-resistance rating is too weak for the gym. Amazon’s companion app is rather bloated too. But those shouldn’t be deal-breakers for $35. We gave the Echo Buds a review score of 77 in July.
Anker Soundcore Space A40
The Anker Soundcore Space A40 is one of the best values in wireless earphones at its normal price of $79, but now it’s down to $54 for Black Friday. That ties the lowest price we’ve tracked. The Space A40 tops our guide to the best budget wireless earbuds because it delivers most of the features we expect from headphones that cost twice as much. It’s comfortable, its ANC is genuinely capable, its battery lasts up to 10 hours per charge, its tiny case supports wireless charging and it can pair with two devices at once. Its warm sound will be pleasing enough for most by default, but it can also be customized through a clean companion app. The only major downsides are middling mic quality and a lack of auto-pausing when you remove an earbud.
Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC
The Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC is the runner up in our budget wireless earbuds guide, as it offers a highly similar feature set as the Space A40 but comes in a larger “stem” design reminiscent of Apple’s AirPods. It has a more bass-forward sound by default, which some may find fatiguing, but it also has slightly more extensive touch controls and technically supports wear detection. Right now the Liberty 4 NC is down to $70 at Amazon, B&H and Best Buy, which beats its previous low by $10 and falls $30 below Anker’s list price. If you prefer this kind of bulkier but easier-to-remove shape, this is an excellent value.
Anker Soundcore Space Q45
If you’re after a wallet-friendly pair of noise-canceling over-ear headphones, Anker’s Soundcore Space Q45 is worth a look at its Black Friday price of $100. For that amount, this pair’s better-than-average ANC, softly padded design and multi-device pairing make for a strong value. Its V-shaped sound profile isn’t especially detailed, but it can work well enough for pop music and it’s customizable through Anker’s app. Call quality is mediocre, however. This $50 discount matches the lowest price we’ve tracked, and it's available at both Amazon and Anker's online store; just use the on-page coupon for the latter.
The Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT is a modest $10 off for Black Friday, bringing the wireless headphones down to $69. We saw this pair fall to $55 during Amazon’s Prime Day sale in July, but this is about as low as it’s been outside of that. The M20 is the budget pick in our wireless headphones guide thanks to its comfortable fit, 60-hour battery life, multi-device connectivity and relatively detailed audio quality. It lacks ANC and doesn’t have the sturdiest design, but it should do the job if you just need a no-frills wireless headphone for cheap.
EarFun Free 2S
The EarFun Free 2S is down to $24.59 at Amazon with a Prime-only discount and the checkout code FREE2SPD1. That’s an all-time low. The Free 2S is the “best under $50” pick in our budget wireless earbuds guide. It has a hugely bass-forward sound out of the box, but some may enjoy that with hip-hop or EDM and the profile is customizable through the EarFun app. The earpieces are comfortable and fully waterproof, the battery lasts around seven hours, and the suite of touch controls work reliably, which isn’t a given in this price range. There’s no ANC, multi-device connectivity or wear detection, however, and the built-in mic will pick up wind noise if you’re on a call outside.
Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro + $10 Amazon gift card
The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are on sale for $160 for Black Friday, and you can get them with a $10 Amazon gift card for no extra cost. That’s a good way from their all-time low — they very briefly fell to $105 last year — but it’s still $30 or so less than their average selling price in recent months. While the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro aren’t a top pick in any of our guides, they’re worth a look if you use a Galaxy phone, as they can quickly pair with and swap between other Samsung devices (including TVs) and support a higher-quality audio codec on the company’s handsets. More generally, this is one of the better sounding pairs of wireless earphones we’ve tested, with impressive clarity and well-controlled bass, and the buds themselves are both comfortable and waterproof. You can’t connect to two devices at once, however, and the five-hour battery life is poor. We gave the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro a review score of 86 last year.
Jabra Elite 3
Another pick from our budget wireless earbuds guide, the Jabra Elite 3, is down to $40 at Best Buy. That matches the best price we’ve tracked. This pair’s mildly bass-boosted sound is great for the money, and its snug, IP55-rated design is well-suited for workouts. It’s a relatively basic set, though, as it lacks ANC, multi-device pairing, wireless charging and wear detection. But those omissions are easier to accept for $40. We gave the Elite 3 a score of 88 in our review from September 2021.
JLab Go Air Pop
The JLab Go Air Pop is available for $17 at Amazon, which isn't an all-time low — the pair was briefly down to just $10 at Walmart earlier this week — but still takes about $6 off their usual going rate. We highlight the Go Air Pop as an honorable mention in our budget wireless earbuds guide. Its IPX4-rated design is light and generally comfortable, its battery lasts around eight or nine hours per charge and, unlike many cheap earphones, its touch controls actually work. Its boomy sound profile won’t win any awards, predictably, but it’s well beyond serviceable for less than $20. JLab even bakes three different EQ presets directly into the earphones. If you’re looking for a cheap backup to your main wireless earphones, this is a great value.
Google Pixel Buds Pro
The Google Pixel Buds Pro are available for a new low of $115 at Wellbots, which is about $50 off their average street price. Other retailers like Amazon and Best Buy have them for $5 more. We call the Pixel Buds Pro the best option for Android users in our wireless earbuds buying guide due to their tight integration with the OS (and Google’s Pixel phones in particular). Their ANC and V-shaped sound are solid (if not superlative) as well, and they can last between up to 11 hours depending on how often you use the former. The fit may be tricky for those with smaller ear canals, though. We gave this pair a score of 87 in our review last year.
Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X
Beyerdynamic's DT 900 Pro X headphones are down to $249 at Amazon and Target from a trusted third-party seller. That’s only $20 off their usual going rate, but we haven’t seen many larger discounts over the past few months. The DT 900 Pro X is a wired pair of open-back headphones designed for critical listening at home. It’s currently the top pick in our guide to the best headphones for gaming, as its wonderfully spacious sound does well to envelop you in the fine details of any given game. Like most open-back cans, it can’t produce truly deep sub-bass, but it delivers enough low-end to give in-game explosions a powerful sense of impact. A set of soft velour earpads keep the whole thing comfortable, though it can’t fold up, and the open design means it won’t block much external noise when you’re outside of the house.
Sennheiser HD 560S
The Sennheiser HD 560S is another open-back pair of wired headphones we highlight in our gaming headset guide. It’s down to $150 at Amazon, B&H, Sennheiser’s online store and other retailers — that’s not an incredible deal, as the pair often sold for the same rate earlier in the year, but it’s about $30 less than the street price we’ve seen since the summer. Regardless, the HD 560S offers a pleasingly balanced, spacious and detailed sound profile and a frame that’s comfortable to wear for extended periods. It can sometimes sound a little piercing in the treble, it’s not as sturdily built as the DT 900 Pro X and, again, it’ll leak and let in lots of noise. But if you want audio-centric headphones for less than $200, this is one of the better options in the price range.
In other Sennheiser deals, the Drop X Sennheiser HD 6XX is on sale for $169 at Drop, a $50 discount that’s only $10 more than the lowest price we’ve tracked. We haven’t formally reviewed this pair, but Engadget’s audio expert Billy Steele gave some positive impressions in a hands-on way back in 2016, and the pair upon which it’s based (the Sennheiser HD 650) has long been a favorite among audiophiles. If you’d prefer an open-back pair with a little more bass warmth, it might be worth a look.
Astro A40 TR
Our favorite dedicated gaming headset for most people, the Astro A40 TR, is down to $100 at Amazon. That’s a $30 discount. This deal bundles the headset with Astro’s MixAmp M80, an optional amp that connects to Xbox controllers and provides various audio controls. Even without the accessory, we like the open-back A40 for providing a wider soundstage than most gaming headsets. It’s not as open or detailed as the Beyerdynamic DT 900 Pro X or Sennheiser HD 560S, and it misses more detail in the treble range, but it’s immersive, with a slight bass boost gives in-game effects a little extra boom. The headset as a whole looks “gamer-y,” but it’s comfortable. And while its built-in mic isn’t the clearest we’ve tested, it’s at least serviceable for basic chat.
HyperX Cloud Stinger 2
If all you want is a decent gaming headset for as little as possible, the HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 is worth considering at $35. That’s only $5 below its usual going rate, but it matches the lowest price we’ve seen. The Cloud Stinger 2 is the budget pick in our gaming headset guide: It sounds narrower and less balanced than the Astro A40, but its built-in mic is great for the money and its bass-heavy profile at least makes action scenes feel a little more exciting. It’s all comfy, too, though it’s largely made of plastic.
The Logitech G535 is another honorable mention in our gaming headsets guide, one that should specifically appeal to those who want a wireless option for less than $100. If that’s you, good news: It’s available for just under $80 at Amazon, B&H and Best Buy, which is about $25 off its usual street price. The G535’s noticeably light frame, relatively balanced sound and Bluetooth support all impress for the price; just note that it doesn’t work with Xbox, and that its mic sounds a bit thinner than the wired headsets highlighted above. Its battery life clocks in at 30 to 35 hours per charge, which is decent but not great.
Shokz OpenRun Pro
The Shokz OpenRun Pro is back down to $125 for Black Friday, which is $25 more than its all-time low but $55 less than its usual street price. These are bone conduction headphones, which means they go around the side of your head and deliver sound via vibrations to your skull. If you want to listen to music and podcasts without totally blocking the outside world, they might make sense. The flipsides are that they’re harder to use in noisier areas and, generally speaking, not as full-sounding as traditional in-ear headphones. Engadget Editor Jon Turi found this pair to deliver more low-end depth than most of its peers, however. It can also last up to 10 hours per charge.
Your Black Friday Shopping Guide: See all of Yahoo’s Black Friday coverage, here. Follow Engadget for Black Friday tech deals. Learn about Black Friday trends on In The Know. Hear from Autoblog’s experts on the best Black Friday deals for your car, garage, and home, and find Black Friday sales to shop on AOL, handpicked just for you.
This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/black-friday-headphone-deals-2023-the-best-picks-from-sony-apple-bose-beats-and-more-011220591.html?src=rss