During last year’s holiday season, we saw lots of great deals on headphones and earbuds. Well, a lot of those deals have now returned along with several new ones. Models from Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, Samsung, Beats and others are nicely discounted. The sales aren’t limited to just one type of headphone or earbud, either. You can pick up excellent deals on in-ear, on-ear and over-ear styles, as well as noise-canceling and true-wireless options. Several cost less than $100.
More recent deals have included new (or returning) price cuts on some Sony and Bose models. In some cases, prices for headphones and earbuds are matching or even dipping below their all-time lows. Here are the best deals on headphones and earbuds available right now. We’ll continue updating this list as more models go on sale and other deals expire.
Jabra describes the Elite 85t as “semiopen” earbuds, meaning you don’t have to jam the tips all the way into your ear canal. Rather, the new, more oval-shaped tips nestle in your ear for a more comfortable fit — according to Jabra, anyway. A touch of sound will leak in, however, because you’re not creating a supertight seal. Engineered with Qualcomm technology, Jabra calls the Elite 85t’s noise-canceling Advanced ANC, which is designed for earbuds that don’t have true noise-isolating designs.
Personally, I didn’t find the 85t earbuds any more comfortable than the 75t. They didn’t stay in my ears quite as securely, though they did stay in. While the 85t buds are bigger — and so is their charging case — they definitely seem like siblings in terms of design. They do sound richer than the 75t, with more bass, and their voice-calling capabilities are also very good. They do feature multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you can take a call on your smartphone while being connected to your computer.
Available in multiple color options, they’re splashproof like the AirPods Pro (IPX4 water resistance rating) and list for $230, but we’ve seen them sporadically discounted to $180, their current low price. Read our Jabra Elite 85t review.
If you get a tight seal (three different sized ear tips are included), 1More’s ComfoBuds Pro not only sounds good but also performs well as a headset for making calls, with three microphones in each earbud. There’s a touch of presence boost in the treble and the bass packs good punch, which gives these a dynamic sound profile (they’re not laid back) and they play loud for those looking for that.
You can toggle between two levels of noise cancellation (as well as “off”) using the touch controls — and there’s a pass-through transparency mode and a wind noise-reduction mode. You can also toggle through all of those modes using the companion app for iOS and Android. Battery life is rated at 6 hours with noise canceling on and 8 hours with it off. The earbuds are IPX4 rated for water-resistance, which means they’re splashproof (same as the AirPods Pro).
In short, if you don’t want to spend $200 or so on the AirPods Pro, the 1More ComfoBuds Pro is a good budget alternative. Note that 1More also makes an open version of the ComfoBuds (see below), which is similar to the standard AirPods and costs around $50. This Pro version is better.
This is the lowest price we’ve seen for Sony’s true-wireless noise-canceling sports model, the WF-SP800N earbuds. Funnily enough, I wrote at the end of my mostly positive review that I’d like to see them more in the $160-$175 range. Well, in the red and blue colors, they’re down to $98.
These aren’t quite the WF-1000XM3 earbuds with a water-resistant body — they’re missing Sony’s QN1e processor — but there’s still a lot to like about them, including excellent sound, solid noise cancellation and good call quality. They’re definitely a significant upgrade over the WF-SP700N model, which came out in 2018, and their “arcs” (sports fins) lock the buds in your ears. Just make sure you get a tight seal from one of the included sets of ear tips or else both the sound and noise canceling will be lackluster. Read our Sony WF-SP800N review.
Sony’s excellent noise-canceling headphones were on sale for $278 during the holidays last year. That price has returned. Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 review.
If you’re looking for a budget alternative to Apple’s AirPods Pro, you certainly have plenty to choose from, and several, including the EarFun Air Pro, can be found on our list of best true-wireless earbuds under $100. The Earfun Air Pro typically retail for around $70, but if you enter the code MDAPANC1 at checkout on Amazon, you’ll get an additional 25% off. That code combined with the instant 10% discount code on the product page (check that box), brings the price down to $52 before tax. That’s the lowest price we’ve seen for these earbuds. Note that the extra 25%-off code can only be used for the black version, not the white, and often with these deals Earfun runs out of stock after a few days.
The Earfun Air Pro distinguishes itself with a comfortable fit, decent (though not great) noise canceling and nicely balanced sound, with good clarity and well-defined bass. They’re smooth-sounding earbuds.
The AirPods Pro were briefly as low as $169 at Walmart and $170 at Amazon for Black Friday. Now they’ve been ping-ponging between $190 and $199, with Amazon currently selling them for $197. That’s still $52 under the regular Apple Store price.
Read our AirPods Pro review.
Both Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds and Sport Earbuds are good for workouts, thanks to their StayHear Max tips and secure fit, but the Sport Earbuds are more compact and lighter and also more affordable (the QuietComfort Earbuds do have excellent active noise canceling, however). This is the first time we’ve seen the Sport Earbuds discounted.
Unlike their step-up sibling, the Sport Earbuds don’t have active noise canceling or wireless charging and they give an hour less of battery life, at 5 hours instead of 6. While they do stick out from your ears, they’re noticeably smaller and lighter than the QuietComfort Earbuds and their case is about 30% to 40% smaller. It still isn’t as small as the cases for such competitors as the AirPods Pro, Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus, Galaxy Buds Live and Jabra Elite 75t, but it feels reasonably compact.
Read our Bose Sport Earbuds review.
Released in early 2020, Amazon’s Echo Buds weren’t as exciting as I hoped they might be, but I found a lot to like about them — and a few things they could do better. Now Amazon has unveiled “all-new” second-generation Echo Buds that feature a smaller design, improved sound and noise canceling, as well as better voice-calling performance, according to the company. (I have not tried them yet but will soon).
Unlike some Amazon devices that receive small upgrades, most of them internal, these new Echo Buds are indeed completely new. While they’re set to ship in May and carry the same list price ($130) as the originals, Amazon is offering them for the preorder discounted price of $100, with a version with a wireless charging case costing $20 more for preorder.
The original Echo Buds’ price dipped to as low as $80 before being discontinued.
Read our Amazon Echo Buds review.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live earbuds came out last summer. For Cyber Monday 2020, they were $60 off at Woot and now they’re back to $40 off at Amazon. I rated them highly, although the noise canceling is relatively light. A word of warning: While they fit my ears well, due to their beanlike shape, they won’t work for everybody. Read our Galaxy Buds Live review.
Bose’s flagship noise-canceling headphones have been selling for $380 after starting out with a list price of $400, but you can now pick them up for $329 (the white version has been as low as $299 recently). The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones are on sale for $278, but if you had your eye on this Bose model, this is a decent price. Read our Bose Noise Cancelling 700 review.
Samsung’s long-awaited active noise-canceling earbuds were released early this year for $200. (Yes, the Buds Live also have noise canceling, but it’s pretty modest.) I’ve been mostly impressed, particularly with the sound quality and call quality, and there are some nice bonus features, including an improved ambient noise mode with voice detection. There’s also a virtual surround feature that currently only works with the new Galaxy S21 models but will slowly trickle out to other Galaxy devices. The noise canceling is also effective if you get a tight seal from the included ear tips. That said, just how good you think they are will ultimately depend on how well they fit your ears. Read the CNET review.
The Beats Powerbeats Pro (list price $250) earbuds remain a top true-wireless sports model with many of the same features as Apple’s standard AirPods, but in a water-resistant design with better sound. You can get the moss green and lava red options for $160. Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.
The Beats Solo Pro are a very good set of on-ear noise-canceling headphones. The only issue is they’re overpriced at $300. At $170, they’re much more enticing. They have briefly hit this price before but it is the lowest we’ve seen for them. Read our Beats Solo Pro review.
The Jabra Elite 45h headphones were released last year and are now on sale for as low as $73 (in black). This is one of the best on-ear headphone values right now: They have good sound quality, a sturdy design and a comfortable fit as on-ear headphones go. Additionally, they perform really well as a headset for making calls and a sidetone feature allows you to hear your voice in the headphones so you don’t talk too loudly. Battery life is also good.
If you can’t afford Sennheiser’s excellent Momentum True Wireless II ($250), the same brand’s CX 400BT earbuds are a more affordable option that also deliver excellent sound (they are a little bulbous, however). They lack some of premium look and feel of the Momentum True Wireless and are expensive at their list price of $200. But they’ve settled in at around $100, which makes them a lot more attractive. Read our Sennheiser CX 400BT review.
Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Plus have been out a while, but they remain one of the better true-wireless earbud options for the money, with really good sound, call quality and battery life along with a comfortable fit. They’re a solid value at $110 or $40 off their list price, a deal that’s $10 more than the lowest price we’ve seen for them.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review.
Aside from its new $50 neckband-style Flex earbuds (they’re on sale for $40), Beats makes plenty of Bluetooth headphones with high price tags, but its entry-level EP headphone is a surprisingly good listening experience value. The EP is an on-ear model that isn’t as swanky as Beats’ somewhat forgotten on-ear Mixr, as well as the over-ear Executive and Pro models. But thanks to its reinforced metal frame, it reminds me of low-frills versions of those headphones. By low-frills, I mean it isn’t incredibly flashy and it doesn’t fold up or fold flat for travel (it has no hinges).
I liked the way they sounded and so did Steve Guttenberg, who once wrote CNET’s Audiophiliac blog. These open back headphones exhibit the traits of a good headphone: They’re clean and open-sounding, particularly for an on-ear headphone, and there’s enough treble detail to give them some sparkle. (In other words: They’re not incredibly dynamic.)
The bass is a little accentuated — this is Beats after all — but it’s not bloated or boomy. There’s enough bass here to satisfy a low-end audiophile headphone lover but not so much to turn off someone who’s looking for a more balanced, neutral-sound quality in a headphone.
Read our Beats EP review.