Best cheap AirPods deals and sales for May 2023
If you know where to look, there are often some great discounts available on Apple’s ever-popular AirPods. Since Apple launched the third-gen AirPods toward the end of 2021, we’ve seen the starting price of the second-gen, entry-level model slowly dip to around $100. And now that you can buy the second-gen AirPods Pro at most retailers, we’re seeing even better discounts on the last-gen Pro and other models. Even other Apple earbuds, including the fitness-focused Beats Fit Pro, are on sale right now for as low as $159.95 ($40 off).
Below, we’ve curated the best deals currently available on each model, including the entry-level AirPods, the AirPods Pro, the third-gen AirPods, and the AirPods Max.
The best AirPods (second-gen) deals
In 2021, Apple lowered the list price of the second-gen AirPods — now the entry-level model — from $159 to $129. It now only sells the model with a wired charging case, however, which charges via a standard Lightning cable. Despite their age, we found that the easy-to-use, second-gen AirPods still offer great wireless performance and reliable battery life, making them a great pick if you can live without a wireless charging case.
We’ve seen Apple’s most affordable pair of earbuds drop to as low as $79.99, but right now they’re only on sale for $99 ($30 off) at Amazon, Walmart, and Verizon. Alternatively, if you prefer the model with the wireless charging case, it’s available at Adorama for $139.99 ($20 off).
The best AirPods (third-gen) deals
With support for the company’s MagSafe technology and an asking price of $179, Apple’s third-gen AirPods are often considered the middle child in Apple’s current AirPods lineup. The shorter stems make for a more subtle design, too, while improved sound and features like sweat and water resistance, support for spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, and improved battery life render them a nice improvement over the last-gen model.
In September, Apple quietly introduced a new, slightly cheaper option for the third-gen AirPods that comes with a Lightning-only charging case. They currently retail for a mere $10 less than the option with a MagSafe charging case at places like Best Buy and Walmart — or for $20 less at Amazon — but we recommend that you buy the MagSafe-compatible model given the subtle price difference between the two configurations. The latter is available at B&H Photo for $174.95, or at Sam’s Club and Costco for around $170 if you’re a member of either wholesaler.
The best AirPods Pro deals
In case you missed it, Apple announced the second-gen AirPods Pro during its “Far Out” event in September, a pair of earbuds that feature a similar build to the first-gen model but offer better noise cancellation. They also sport swipe-based controls, come with Apple’s new H2 chip, and feature an extra-small pair of swappable silicone ear tips for smaller ears.
They typically retail for $249, but right now they’re on sale at Verizon for $199.99, which nearly matches their all-time low. If you prefer another retailer, you can also buy them for $229 at Amazon and Walmart, or for $189.99 if you live close to a Micro Center.
The first-gen AirPods Pro are also still available for purchase, and sometimes much cheaper than the second-gen model. They have better sound quality than the non-premium models listed above, as well as active noise cancellation. They also come with swappable silicone tips — albeit three, not four — and support Apple’s spatial audio feature, which adds an immersive surround sound effect to select content.
At the end of 2021, Apple launched a new configuration of the first-gen AirPods Pro with a wireless charging case that supports Apple’s MagSafe technology, just like the third-gen AirPods. They used to retail for $249, but they’re available right now for $199 at B&H Photo. That’s a far cry from their all-time low of $129.99 and their typical sale price of around $159, which is why we suggest buying the second-gen AirPods Pro while they’re on sale or waiting for the first-gen model to drop further in price.
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The best AirPods Max deals
The AirPods Max aren’t the iconic in-ears that have become synonymous with the AirPods name. They’re large and luxurious, comprised of aluminum, steel, and mesh fabric that remains comfortable during extended listening sessions. They also sport excellent noise cancellation, Apple’s spatial audio feature, and expansive, balanced sound, even if they lag behind some of their peers when it comes to bass response. They’re not the best noise-canceling headphones for most people — blame the $550 sticker price — but it’s hard to find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that sound better and feature more intuitive controls.
Although Woot and other retailers have discounted the AirPods Max to as low as $409 in the past, prices have since increased across the board. Right now, for instance, the Max are only receiving a moderate discount at Amazon, Best Buy, and Costco (for members only), where you can pick them in select colors for $479.99 ($69 off). If you live near a Micro Center, you can also buy them for $469.99 ($79 off) in a range of colors.