The best Apple AirPods deals at Amazon right now — starting at $109

·8 min read

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Your ears will thank you if you buy Apple AirPods; your wallet will if you take advantage of sale pricing. (Photo: Apple)
Your ears will thank you if you buy Apple AirPods; your wallet will if you take advantage of sale pricing. (Photo: Apple)

There's a reason Apple AirPods are so popular: They're damn good earphones, and great for phone conversations/Zoom calls as well. Unfortunately, they're also among the most expensive ones you can buy, especially if you walk into an Apple Store. Prices start at $159 and rise sharply from there. That's pretty steep for a couple balsa-weight pieces of plastic.

Thankfully, Amazon and other stores have been offering substantial discounts. Right now, in fact, every earbud in Apple's lineup is on sale at near-historic lows. Could the prices go even lower as Black Friday draws near? Possibly, but to me this is a bird-in-the-hand kind of situation: At best they might drop another $5 to $10; at worst they might sell out and be difficult to get in time for holiday gift-giving.

Read more: I tried 5 AirPods Pro alternatives, all priced $100 or less. Which ones were the best?

Ah, but which AirPods should you buy, and what will you pay for them? Take a look at the three available options and their current sale prices. (I've also included the AirPods Max, which are over-the-ear headphones but still technically part of the lineup.)

Before you get started, make sure you're signed up for Amazon Prime so you can score free two-day shipping. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

Apple AirPods: $109 (save $50)

Apple's entry-level AirPods come with a charging case, but that case must be charged using an actual cable. The horror! (Not really.) (Photo: Getty Images)
Apple's entry-level AirPods come with a charging case, but that case must be charged using an actual cable. The horror! (Not really.) (Photo: Getty Images)

Not everyone likes the feeling of silicone ear tips nestled inside their ear canals, which is how AirPods Pro and roughly 98 percent of all other earbuds work.

Those ear tips also block outside noise, which is desirable in some situations but not others. If you're out for a walk, for example, noise-isolating earbuds can pose a safety issue, preventing you from hearing oncoming bikes and cars.

So consider these hard-plastic AirPods, which at $109 are close to the lowest price on record for any AirPods. Instead of creating a seal inside your ears, they rest just outside the canals. They also sound incredibly good and offer a couple nice usability perks, including touch controls and auto-pause/resume when you remove/replace an earbud.

Take note, however, that they're not sweatproof, something to consider if you're eyeballing these for jogging or the gym. 

$109 $159 at Amazon

Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $129 (save $70)

Choose the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case and you can charge the case using a Qi charging pad like the one shown here. (Photo: Getty Images)
Choose the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case and you can charge the case using a Qi charging pad like the one shown here. (Photo: Getty Images)

These are 100 percent identical to the previous AirPods; the only difference is the case, which supports wireless charging. That means you can set it down on any Qi charging pad, no Lightning cord required. Is that convenience worth an extra $20? That's for you to decide. I'll cop to really liking wireless charging, but I also like $20 — and it's not like plugging in a cord is a hardship. 

If you're new to the whole Qi (pronounced "chee") thing, here's a charging pad you can get for $17. It includes an AC adapter; you'd be surprised how many of these things don't. 

$129 $199 at Amazon

Apple AirPods Pro: $179 (save $70)

AirPods Pro offer exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and great sound to boot. (Photo: Apple)
AirPods Pro offer exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and great sound to boot. (Photo: Apple)

Should you "go Pro"? You should if you want top-flight noise-canceling, which arrives here via a combination of a physical in-ear seal and fancy ANC technology. I can't overstate how great that is when you're trying to work in silence, watch a movie on a flight or just enjoy your music to its fullest.

The AirPods Pro also offer something called transparency mode, which allows outside noise in (courtesy of the built-in microphones) when you want to converse with someone or you're concerned about bikes or traffic sneaking up behind you.

Meanwhile, the earbuds themselves are sweat- and water-resistant (important for exercisers) and the case supports wireless charging. There are cheaper alternatives, no question, but as an AirPods Pro owner I can understand the appeal here. They're singularly great earbuds.

$179 $249 at Amazon

Apple AirPods Max: $490 (save $59)

I forbid you from buying AirPods Max headphones, because excellent alternatives from the likes of Bose and Sony will cost you considerably less. (Photo: Apple)
I forbid you from buying AirPods Max headphones, because excellent alternatives from the likes of Bose and Sony will cost you considerably less. (Photo: Apple)

Don't buy these. Seriously, don't. Apple's over-the-ear headphones are very good, yes, but they're overpriced to a degree I find ludicrous. Most users will be just as happy with something like the Bose 700 or Sony WH-1000XM4, either of which will cost you considerably less. Oh, and the less said about the goofy purse-like case these headphones come in, the better.

Couldn't talk you out of it? I understand. Sometimes the ears want what they want. But if you insist on buying the AirPods Max, at least wait for a better deal: Earlier this year, they were on sale for $469 — and almost certainly will be again closer to the holidays.

$490 $549 at Amazon

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