This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.
Update, Oct. 31: The AirPods Pro are currently available for $195 at Woot, which is $5 less than Amazon proper but $5 more than their all-time best price at Woot earlier this year.
The new iPhones were unveiled earlier this month, and surprise: for the first time ever, they don’t include headphones in the box. We didn’t say it was a fun surprise. Anyway, it’s a good thing that Apple’s AirPod true wireless earbuds have never been more affordable. No, we’re not talking about the price you’ll pay for these headphones at the Apple Store: Those are stuck at $159 for the standard AirPods, $199 for the AirPods with wireless charging case and $249 for the AirPods Pro with active noise cancellation and better sound quality. But shop around, and you’ll find much better prices across the board: We saw the regular AirPods dip to $115 during Prime Day sales, and the AirPods Pro drop to $200.
AirPod Pricing 2020
Apple Store price
Best price (current)
Best price (all-time)
AirPods with wireless charging case
*Dropped to $115 during Prime Day, but Walmart has announced $99 price starting Nov. 4.
Now, of course, Black Friday sales are just around the corner. In fact, big sales are starting soon (or have already started) at retailers like Best Buy and Home Depot. And Walmart has already thrown down the gauntlet with major early Black Friday sales starting Nov. 4, including the baseline AirPods for $99. That beats the earliest price we’ve seen by $15.
Now, we can’t guarantee that you’ll see better prices than those between now and the end of the year. But the moral of the story is that you shouldn’t pay full price — the Apple Store price — for any Apple headphones right now.
The AirPods Pro briefly dropped as low as $190 during Prime Day sales at Woot, but that instantly sold out. Now the best price on Apple’s current top of the line noise-canceling true wireless earbuds is $200. That’s still pricey, but at least it’s $50 off what you’ll pay at the Apple Store, and more in line with prices of other high-end noise-canceling true wireless earbuds.
The standard AirPods with the wired charging case dropped as low as $115 during Prime Day, and they’re back to $129 on Amazon. But we know this model will be selling for $99 — its lowest price ever — at Walmart on Nov. 4, so you should absolutely wait until then to buy these.
Personally, I would either get the cheaper AirPods or the AirPods Pro. But if you’re really a zealot for wireless charging, know that you can get the standard AirPods with a wireless charging case for $160, which is a $39 savings versus the Apple Store price.
This article is frequently updated to reflect current pricing.
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