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If you’re still hunting for the perfect holiday gift, there are some great bargains out there—especially if you’re shopping for the music lover in your life.
Consumer Reports has dug up some great discounts on highly rated headphones that are sure to please when it comes time to unwrap gifts, with options from Apple, Beats, Bose, Sony, and more.
Here are the best holiday headphone deals we’ve seen this week.
In-Ear Bluetooth Headphone Deals
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen.; With Regular Charging Case)
The deal: $139-$145 at Amazon, Staples, Target, Walmart
CR’s test results: Apple AirPods (2nd Gen.) with wireless charging case (similar model)
Unlike the new AirPods Pro, the second-generation AirPods don’t get high marks for sound in Consumer Reports’ testing. But there’s no denying the appeal of these true wireless earphones for many Apple fans. And with the launch of the newer model, we’re seeing some rare discounts on these headphones. If you buy the AirPods with the standard charging case straight from Apple, you’ll pay $160, but a number of retailers are selling them for less.
Apple AirPods (2nd Gen.; With Wireless Charging Case)
The deal: $169-$170 at Amazon, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target
CR’s test results: Apple AirPods (2nd Gen.) with wireless charging case
These are identical to the AirPods listed above, but the charging case they come with can be powered wirelessly. That means if you have a wireless charging pad (sold separately), you can power the case cable-free just by setting it down. Apple will charge you $200, but you can find them for $30 less at other retailers.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
The deal: $99-$100 at Amazon, Dell, Sam’s Club, Target
CR’s test results: Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones
These aren’t noise-canceling headphones, unlike some of Bose’s more popular models. That doesn’t mean they aren’t solid headphones, though, and in our tests they stand out for sound quality. This is about $30 dollars off what you usually have to pay.
Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earphones
The deal: $99-$100 at Amazon, Best Buy
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite 65t
Want outstanding true wireless earphones (think no cords or cables) that don’t cost a fortune? This deal makes the Jabra Elite 65t a fantastic option. They sound great and come with a number of appealing features. Usually they sell for about $170, but you can pick them up for around $100 at Amazon and Best Buy.
Samsung Galaxy Buds True Wireless Earphones
The deal: $111 at Amazon, Best Buy
CR’s test results: Samsung Galaxy Buds
The Samsung Galaxy Buds are true wireless earphones, the same style popularized by the AirPods without a cord connecting to earpieces. Despite what you might hear from Apple fans, our testers say the Buds’ sound quality blows the AirPods’ out of the water. In fact, they’re one of our top-rated headphones of any style. This isn’t a hefty discount, and you can pick them for about $20 more any day of the year, but it might be worth pulling the trigger if you’ve been thinking about buying a pair.
Over-Ear and On-Ear Bluetooth Headphones
Beats by Dre Studio3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The deal: $199 to $279 at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
CR’s test results: Beats by Dre Studio3
The Beats by Dre Studio3 deliver above average sound and superb noise-canceling. But at their usual price of $300, they typically don’t make our lists of top picks because there are cheaper models that perform just as well or better. For around $200, though, the Studio3 is definitely worth the cost of entry. The best deal we’ve seen is at Best Buy, but they’re on sale for a smaller discount at Amazon and Walmart as well.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II Noise-Canceling Headphones
The deal: $249-$279 at Amazon, Costco, Best Buy, Staples, Walmart
CR’s test results: QuietComfort 35 Series II
Bose launched an upgraded model this year, the Bose 700, knocking the QuietComfort 35 Series II from its flagship status. The newer headphones have appealing improvements and new features, but the QuietComfort 35 Series II gets the same fantastic ratings for sound and noise-canceling in our tests. That means you have a great opportunity here to score a deal. Costco has them for just $249, but if you're not a member you can snag them from a few other retailers for $279. We’ve seen these headphones at this price a few times lately, but they usually sell for $350.
Jabra Move Style Edition Wireless Headphones
The deal: $70 at Amazon
CR’s test results: Jabra Move Style Edition
At its normal price, this model is already one of our top picks for headphones under $100, and right now you can get it for $30 off. The Jabra Move Style Edition is an on-ear Bluetooth model with a sleek appearance and better-than-average sound. It comes with convenient features such as controls for call, playback, and volume, and the option to forgo Bluetooth and use the detachable audio cable included with your purchase.
Jabra Elite 85h Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The deal: $198-$200 at Amazon, Best Buy
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite 85h
The 85h delivers fantastic noise cancellation and dependable sound, and it’s available for about $100 off the usual price at Amazon. Features include a detachable audio cable for wired connections, a monitor mode to let in outside sound, a quick-charge function, and an option that Jabra says will automatically adjust the level of noise cancellation based on your environment. Keep in mind there are a few noise-canceling models we like better that can be found for less, but these sleek-looking, feature-rich headphones may still be an appealing option for many shoppers.
JBL Live 650BTNC Noise-Canceling Headphones
The deal: $130 at Amazon, Best Buy, Macy’s
CR’s test results: JBL Live 650BTNC
This model has gotten a fair amount of attention recently, and for good reason. They don’t match the best noise-canceling headphones in our ratings, but they still get high marks from our testers, which is impressive considering how much cheaper they are than most competitors. Most often you’ll have to pay $200 for this pair, making this deal an incredible value.
Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
The deal: $278 to $279 at Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart
CR’s test results: Sony WH-1000XM3
For years, Bose was essentially the only game in town for top- quality noise cancellation, but Sony has been hot on their trail. This is one of the most popular models on the market, and while we still think Bose’s flagship model sounds better, the Sony delivers great sound and noise-blocking performance. This is a good price; they usually sell for about $350.
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