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Should you buy AirPods on Black Friday 2023?

Deciding whether you should buy Apple’s AirPods (and which model) this Black Friday can seem like a simple decision, but you want to make sure you’re getting the right model at the right price, so you can blissfully listen to everything from The Stones to Lady Gaga. As Black Friday headphone and earbud deals start to roll in, you might be asking if it’s practical to buy the cheapest set of AirPods for under $100 or if you should splurge up to $250 on the second-generation AirPods Pro with USB-C?



Related: Best headphone and earbud Black Friday deals

With so many different AirPods to choose from, how do you decide? Let us do the heavy-lifting for you as we find out which of Apple’s AirPods is the right fit for you and your wallet this Black Friday and when you should make your investment.


Should you actually buy AirPods this Black Friday?

In years gone by, Cyber Monday used to be the best day to snag a great tech deal, but in recent times there isn’t much difference between the two sales events. Retailers just want you to spend your money with them and don’t really mind whether it’s on Friday or Monday. It’s always a toss-up whether the item you buy on Black Friday will be cheaper on Cyber Monday, but if you linger you run the risk of the product either being out of stock or perhaps sporting a higher price tag.

Related: 8 items you should buy on Black Friday instead of Cyber Monday

And if you aren’t sure that AirPods, or any item for that matter, is its lowest price yet, there’s a great price checker we use to track the product’s deal history, Learn more on how to use it here.

If you buy AirPods on Black Friday, which ones should you get?

There are multiple AirPod generations currently on sale, but what are the differences, and which pair best suit you? Let’s dive in.

Apple AirPods 2nd-Gen

Apple AirPods 3 to get new design but AirPods 2 still coming early 2019 image 1
Pocket-lint

Apple AirPods 2

$80 $129 Save $49

Offering all the basic features such as Siri compatibility and good sound, the $89 Airpods 2nd-Gen are the most affordable path to Apple’s audio experience.

At just $100 instead of $130, the AirPods 2 offer the basic functions you would expect from a modern set of headphones with support for “Hey Siri,”, the classic AirPod design, and most importantly, good sound at a great price. Besides being the most budget-friendly option, the AirPods 2 are also the oldest model available, so you won’t find newer features such as water-resistance or Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The AirPods 2 are capable of up to 5 hours of playback and there’s a full day’s charge from the charging case.

For a few dollars short of $100 though, the AirPods 2 are still a good buy if you just want great sound, access to convenience features and Siri compatibility.

Apple AirPods 3rd-Gen

Apple AirPods (3rd generation) review product shots photo 17

Apple AirPods 3

$140 $169 Save $29

The middle-sibling with extra goodies, the AirPods 3 is the most practical of Apple’s line-up. With Personalized Spatial Audio, sweat and water-resistance, and wireless charging present, the AirPods 3 offer the most bang for your buck at $140.

Sitting in the middle of the pack are the AirPods 3 which, as you might guess, is the newer version of the AirPods 2. As such, they add a few more handy features into the mix, such as a newer design, improved sound quality, and sweat and IPX4 water and sweat resistance. Noise cancellation is still missing but the Lightning-equipped charging case does support wireless charging. Compared to its predecessor, the AirPods 3 have an improved playback time of up to 6 hours and 30 hours from the case. Siri compatibility is present, as is Personalized Spatial Audio with Head Tracking, the ability to tweak your listening experience via adaptive EQ, and even the touch controls on the AirPods themselves, which offer more functionality. As with the other two models, the AirPods 3 are only available in white.

Reduced to $140 from $169, the AirPods 3 sit in-between the most affordable and most expensive options and offer a good mix of features with improved sound over its predecessor. If the now obsolete Lightning port is a deal-breaker though, you’ll want to take a look at the 2nd-Gen AirPods Pro 2 instead.

AirPods Pro 2 (2nd Generation)

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen USB-C - 10

Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Generation (USB-C)

$190 $250 Save $60

Discounted to $190, the full-featured AirPods Pro 2nd Generation packs in ANC, Spatial Audio, Water & Dust Resistance, and the fancy new (for AirPods) USB-C charging port.

The most expensive model is the AirPods Pro 2 (2nd Generation) which, besides being the first model to use the convenient USB-C charging port, also packs in a range of improvements in the audio and feature departments. Featuring all the functions mentioned on the other models, the AirPods Pro 2 (2nd Generation) also benefit from Active Noise Cancelation and Transparency mode that lets you hear the environment around you while your favorite tune is still perfectly audible. The new Conversation Awareness function lets you carry on with a conversation at the same time as listening to music, which is pretty neat.

Related: If you’re buying noise-cancelling headphones on Black Friday, these are the ones to get

Internally, you’ll find the new H2 audio chip along with a custom dynamic range amplifier onboard which optimizes audio quality and removes background noise. Sound controls are present on the stems, which should bring further convenience and ease of use. Advanced features such as Precision Finding to help guide you to a lost AirTag and Adaptive Audio mode that lets you chat on the phone with reduced environmental noise as you move are also included.

Besides being sweat and water-resistant, the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation also offer protection against dust, which means you are good for exercising both in the gym and outdoors. You can expect the same 6 hours of playback and 30 hours from the charging case as on the AirPods 3. If the AirPods Pro 2nd Generation with USB-C are singing your tune, you can pick them up for $190 instead of the $250 RRP and save $60 in the process.

The best time to buy AirPods is…

As for the answer to the question posed in the title, I’m afraid only you and your wallet can decide whether Black Friday is the best time to buy a set of AirPods. But what I can say is that Pocket-lint is especially vigilant in checking deals on Black Friday and if any of the AirPods listed above are reduced further, we’ll be sure to let you know.

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