Apple’s wireless AirPods headphones offer iconic looks, exceptional convenience and strong sound quality. However, they come with a premium price tag, so it’s important to look for a good deal… or find a bunch of tech experts who will do it for you. That’s where we come in.
In this article, we round up the best AirPods discounts and bundle deals to help you save money. We’ve got the best prices for the new 3rd Gen AirPods, launched in October 2021, and we’ve found great deals on the AirPods Pro, AirPods Early 2019, and AirPods Max.
Best AirPods Deals
Apple sells two sets of base AirPods: the new 3rd-generation model introduced in 2021 (MSRP $179 in the US and MSRP £169 in the UK), and the 2nd-generation model from 2019 ($129 / £119).
The automatic price comparison tables below collect the latest and greatest prices on the AirPods from the major retailers.
AirPods (3rd generation, 2021; MSRP $179)
Apple finally updated its ultra-popular AirPods last October, after a wait of more than two and a half years. The new models have a more Pro-esque design and a MagSafe-compatible charging case; they also have improved battery life and water resistance, and support for Spatial Audio. Get all the information you need in our AirPods 3 review.
You can buy directly from Apple, but you’ll find the best prices elsewhere in the automated table below. For specific advice, read our guide to where to buy the AirPods 3.
As you can see, it’s a struggle to find a huge discount, but you shouldn’t be paying full price right now. Best Buy had sold the AirPods for $169 ($10 off Apple’s price), but that deal appears to be over; Amazon, meanwhile, is usually good for a small discount. If you can’t find these earbuds below the suggested retail price, we recommend waiting for a better price.
In the UK, John Lewis, AO and Currys all have 3rd gen AirPods for £159, or £10 off the MSRP, but Amazon has them for £131.84. We recommend visiting multiple sites to check delivery charges to your area, and note that John Lewis offers a longer warranty.
AirPods (2nd generation, 2019; MSRP $129)
Note that this version of the AirPods comes with an old-fashioned charging case that needs to be plugged in, unlike the wireless charging case that comes with the 2021 AirPods and AirPods Pro. (However, you can purchase a wireless charging case separately.)
Check out the automated table below for deals that have appeared since we last updated this article.
Apple is your baseline and retails for $129 in the US, but you should be able to find a discount elsewhere. However, as with the third-generation AirPods, Best Buy has withdrawn a very attractive deal: The 2019 AirPods were recently $109.99, but have returned to the $129 MSRP. It may be worth the wait.
In the UK, John Lewis, Currys and Very have all managed to shave £10 off Apple’s suggested retail price, selling for an attractive £109. Amazon has them for £100, so that’s the best deal right now .
Best AirPods Pro deals
The AirPods Pro came out in 2019 and we think there will be a new version later this year. If you buy direct, Apple will sell you the AirPods Pro for $249 / £239, but there are better offers elsewhere. The comparison table below collects the lowest prices of the AirPods Pro, so you can be sure not to miss out on attractive offers.
AirPods Pro (List price $249)
Best Buy and Amazon lead the way in the US, selling the AirPods Pro for $199.99: that’s a $50 discount, or about 20 percent.
In the UK, John Lewis, AO and Laptops Direct are all selling the AirPods Pro for £189 (an excellent £50 off the current MSRP); check them all to see if there are delivery charges for your area. All else being equal we would go with John Lewis for his two year warranty.
Best AirPods Max deals
Right now the AirPods Max are available to buy direct from Apple for $549 / £549.
As you can see from our automated table below, third-party retailers are starting to undercut Apple by a significant margin.
AirPods Max (List price $549)
Amazon is currently the best bet in the US, selling all five colors for $479, a $70 saving. It’s worth checking out Best Buy too, as it recently advertised the AirPods Max for just $449, but on at the time of writing, the site is charging $499.99.
In the UK, Laptops Direct had at least one color finish for under £400 until recently, but the best it can now is £429 on the pink, green, blue and silver models. (The site doesn’t seem to have any stock of the Space Gray version.) It’s worth checking to see if Amazon can do better with your favorite color.
Read Where to Buy AirPods Max for an in-depth look at your options here.
How to get a good deal on AirPods
Good AirPods deals are rare and usually don’t last long. If you see one (and you’re sure the vendor is legit: look it up on TrustPilot if you haven’t bought there before), grab it.
The suggested retail price of the AirPods Max is $549 / £549 / AU$899.
For the AirPods Pro, it’s $249 / £239 / AU$399.
For the early 2019 AirPods, it’s $129 / £119 / AU$219.
You should never pay more than these prices: we’ve seen unscrupulous retailers claim the MSRP/RRP is higher and calculate “savings” based on that.
The 2016 AirPods were pulled from sale as soon as the early 2019 models came out, so never officially got a price cut from their $159 / £159 launch price. But if you’re chubby for these much older models, you shouldn’t even have to pay $100. Pay. If you can’t find a seriously good deal, go for newer ones.
Remember to factor in delivery and shipping costs when evaluating deals; we’ll include it in our list of prices, but most retailers won’t add it until you checkout. And watch out for deals that seem too good to be true, but turn out to be out of stock. We see this a lot.
Perhaps the best way to get a good price on AirPods is to bundle them with a phone, although this is mainly an option in the UK.
Three offers a variety of bundles that include the AirPods. Visit the company’s accessories page to see the best options for you.
With EE, you can add AirPods to your plan for £10 per month over 11 months plus £10 deposit (if you’re settling for the 2019 models), or £15 per month + £10 for the 2021 models. The AirPods Pro, including the new 2021 MagSafe case, will cost £22 per month, but with no upfront payment. In any case, you need to click on Apple and then on your AirPods model of choice.
Vodafone and O2 are not currently bundling the AirPods with their iPhone plans, although O2 is only selling the 2021 AirPods, the AirPods in early 2019 and the AirPods Pro only.
Whichever bundle you choose, don’t forget to check to see if you’re getting the AirPods Pro, the early 2019 AirPods (sometimes referred to as the second generation or AirPods 2), or the new 2021 AirPods (third generation or AirPods 3). If you get the AirPods Pro, see if they include the new MagSafe charging case.
AirPods Buying Advice
Wondering if a pair of AirPods is right for you? Let’s discuss the pros and cons.
First of all, there are four models, three of which are still for sale: the original AirPods (2016), long discontinued; the early 2019 AirPods, which are similar but add Hey Siri; the late 2019 AirPods Pro, which add improved sound quality and active noise cancellation, plus a new design; and the 2021 AirPods, which add MagSafe support, improved battery life, and some elements of the Pro design.
(Plus, there’s the 2020 AirPods Max, which are over-ear headphones and essentially a very different product from the rest of the AirPods range. For this reason, we’ll be discussing the Max model separately.)
All four non-Max models are wireless, sit in your ears and theoretically stay there only through a snug fit. The benefits of this are clear: you can go for a run or workout without worrying about the cables snagging, but they can fall out as soon as you pick up the pace. However, in our experience, the AirPods are among the best earbuds in this regard.
The AirPods Pro have a better fit than the others, as they have a choice of flexible ear tips, and they can even tell you if you picked the right tip or not.
Sound quality is decent, but not exceptional on the original and early 2019 models; the AirPods Pro are a step further, thanks in part to their better fit and implementation of active noise cancellation. (We haven’t tested the audio quality of the 2021 AirPods yet, but Apple speaks a good game as always.) What AirPods consistently do better than non-Apple headphones is coordinated with other Apple products, thanks to the W1 chip (in 2016 model) and H1 chip (2019 and 2021), making pairing with an iPhone a breeze.
As for the battery, most non-Max AirPods will last about five hours, but that’s not the end of the story: they come with a small charging case with its own larger battery, so you can pop them back in for a while. fast recharge. The case should offer another 24 hours (give or take) before it needs to be charged. However, the 2021 AirPods offer more in this department, with claimed figures of six hours out of the case and 30 hours in total. We’ve got some advice for better AirPods battery life.
Apple’s 2019 AirPods can respond to Hey Siri commands, charge wirelessly if you opt for the Wireless Charging Case, and provide more talk time than the originals. Those features will be retained in the 2021 models, with Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ added to the mix.
For more detailed advice and thoughts on the best alternatives to Apple’s three cheaper AirPods models, read our guides to the best wireless headphones and, more specifically, the best wireless earbuds.
The AirPods Max are a lot more expensive and a completely different proposition. Audio quality is almost universally regarded as exceptional, but the question is whether it is exceptional enough to justify that premium price tag. And many reviewers have pointed out that the case is oddly designed, as the one part of the headphones it doesn’t protect — the mesh headband — is most vulnerable to damage.
The AirPods Max are an attractive prospect, but they’re unlikely to be practical for most budgets.