Best cheap AirPods deals and sales for May 2024 – The Verge

By Sheena Vasani, a writer covering commerce, e-readers, and tech news. She previously wrote about everything from web development to AI at Inside.
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If you know where to look, you can often score discounts on Apple’s ever-popular AirPods. Since Apple launched the third-gen AirPods at the end of 2021, we’ve seen the starting price of the second-gen, entry-level model consistently dip below $100. And now that the second-gen AirPods Pro have been on the market for over a year, we’re also seeing their price fall more often, too. We’re even seeing great deals land on the updated AirPods Pro with USB-C.
Here, 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.
These AirPods are Apple’s second generation of true wireless earbuds and the cheapest model in the AirPods lineup.
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.
For Black Friday, Apple’s most affordable pair of earbuds dropped to an all-time low of $69 ($60 off) at numerous retailers. Right now, however, the second-gen earbuds are only on sale with a Lightning charging case for around $89 ($49 off) at Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy. The model with the wireless charging case, meanwhile, is on sale at Adorama for $119.99 ($30 off).
Apple’s latest entry-level earbuds are water-resistant, sport better battery life than the 2019 model, and come with a Lightning-only or MagSafe-compatible charging case.
Similar in appearance to their sleeker sibling, the AirPods Pro, the latest entry-level AirPods boast a new charging case and shorter stems. They’re also water resistant, unlike the 2019 model, and sport better battery life.
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 2022, Apple quietly introduced a new, slightly cheaper option of the third-gen AirPods that comes with a Lightning-only charging case, which is on sale at Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy right now for an all-time low of $139.99 ($30 off). The MagSafe option, meanwhile, is available to Costco members for $149.99 or at B&H Photo for $169.99 ($10 off).
The second-gen AirPods Pro improve upon Apple’s original pair with much better noise cancellation, improved sound quality, and onboard volume controls. The latest refresh also ships with a USB-C charging case, as opposed to Lightning.
In 2022, Apple announced the second-gen AirPods Pro, which feature a similar build to the first-gen model but offer better noise cancellation, swipe-based controls, and an extra-small pair of swappable silicone ear tips for smaller ears. Apple followed them up last year with a minor refresh, one that features a USB-C charging case and an upgraded IP54 rating for water and dust resistance. The newest model also supports lossless audio when used with Apple’s new Vision Pro headset.
You can currently buy the updated AirPods Pro for $189.99 ($60 off) at Amazon, Target, Best Buy, and Walmart. Although that’s $10 shy of the all-time low we saw at the end of April, it’s still one of their better prices to date.
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Apple’s AirPods Max feature exemplary build quality, sound phenomenal, and keep up with the best at noise cancellation.
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 sticker price — but it’s hard to find a pair of Bluetooth headphones that sound better and feature more intuitive controls.
Woot and other retailers have discounted the AirPods Max as low as $409 in the past. Right now, though, the best you can do is $499.99 ($50 off) at Amazon and Best Buy.
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