Executive Editor, MacworldNOV 26, 2022 9:07 am PST
With hundreds of dollars off MacBooks and iPhones, it can be easy to overlook the tremendous deals on every AirPods model this Black Friday. New or old, Pro or Max, you’ll find a fantastic deal to treat your ears and your wallet. We’ve sorted through all the deals to help you decide which model to buy.
Why we love it: The 1st-gen AirPods Pro (4.5 stars) were Apple’s flagship earbuds until September, when the 2nd-gen model arrived. You’re giving up some impressive features by buying the older model—notably Adaptive Transparency, stronger noise cancellation, and better battery life—but you’re still getting a great pair of earbuds with IPX4 sweat and water resistance, active noise cancellation, and MagSafe charging case. At $159, $20 less than the third-gen AirPods, they’re at an all-time low and a fantastic purchase.
Why we love it: Apple’s newest AirPods Pro (4.5 stars) might look the same as the previous model, but they’re all-new on the inside, with improvements to noise cancellation, battery life, audio quality, charging, and fit. With an all-time low savings of $50 after only being on shelves for two months, they’re an absolute steal.
Why we love it: There’s a reason why Apple still sells the 2nd-gen AirPods (4.5 stars)—they’re an excellent pair of earbuds. We don’t love them at their $129 MSRP, but at $79, they’re an easy recommendation. They don’t have a lot of the features of the third-gen model—including Adaptive EQ, personalized Spatial Audio, and sweat and water resistance—but they’re excellent entry-level earbuds at the lowest price we’ve ever seen.
Why we love it: We’ve seen the third-gen AirPods (4.5 stars) for as low as $139, but they’re been surprisingly hard to find, especially with the MagSafe charging case. But Costco has been one of the few reliable stores to have them in stock, other than Apple. You’re getting a slew of upgrades over the second-gen model, including personalized Spatial Audio with dynamic head tracking, sweat and water resistance, adaptive EQ, custom drivers, and longer battery life, so you’re definitely getting your money’s worth.
Why we love it: The AirPods Max (4 stars) are Apple’s highest-end AirPods with an over-the-ear design, noise cancelation, and a uniquely striking design. Their normal $549 MSRP is a little steep, but at $100 off they’re much more reasonable, even if they’re a little higher than their $429 all-time low.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.