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Big Black Friday headphones sale: Deals on Bose, Beats, Sony, Jabra, JLab, Sennheiser and more – CNET

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.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but the headphone deals continue. You can still find big discounts on headphones such as the Beats Solo 3, as well as models from other big brands, including Bose, Sony and Samsung. The sales aren’t limited to just one type of headphone or earbud, either. There are still excellent Cyber Monday deals on in-ear, on-ear and over-ear styles, as well as noise-canceling and true-wireless options. Several cost less than $100, and a few even run $50 or less.

New deals in the past two days have included new (or returning) price cuts on some Beats 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. We expect to see some of these discounts fluctuate over the next few days, and some will extend past Cyber Monday into December.

Read more: Best Cyber Monday Bluetooth speaker deals

Amazon

If you’re looking for an AirPods Pro alternative for a lot less, JLab’s Epic Air earbuds are well worth considering, particularly at only $50, or half off the list price of $100. I used these recently and was generally impressed, partially because they fit my ears really well. They’re comfortable and come with a wide assortment of ear tips. They also sound decent, have active noise canceling and come with a compact wireless charging case that can also be charged using the integrated USB cable, a trademark of JLab true wireless earbuds. Don’t expect them to be as good at noise canceling as the AirPods Pro, but for $50 these are a very good value. They also work fairly well for making calls, although their background noise reduction could be slightly better.

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The Beats Solo 3 headphones have been out a few years (the Solo Pro model, which is also on sale, is the latest on-ear model from Beats). You can nab the black version for $119, which is right around the lowest price we’ve seen for the Solo 3.

Jason Outenreath/CNET

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live earbuds came out a few months ago and we’re already seeing them discounted. For Cyber Monday, they were $60 off at Woot (that deal expired) and now they’re back to $40 off at Amazon. They have perhaps the most innovative design of the year and 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.


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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 $100 or $50 off their list price, a deal that’s close to the lowest price we’ve seen for them.

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus review.

Sony

If you can’t afford Sony’s WH-1000XM4, the company’s less expensive WH-CH710N noise-canceling headphones are available for a nice discount. They don’t offer the sound quality, build quality or noise-canceling performance of Sony’s 1000X models, but at $88 they offer good value for money. I don’t think they’re worth anywhere near $200, their list price. They do not include any sort of carrying case or pouch.

Amazon

Skullcandy’s Sesh Evo true wireless earbuds are usually around $50-$60. They don’t really distinguish themselves from a host of other earbuds in that price range, some of which have extra features like active noise cancellation (the Mpow X3, for example). But at $30, they’re a relative bargain. They were as low as $25 recently, so that’s not their lowest price, but it’s close.

They sound decent enough, should fit most ears pretty well, have a water resistance rating of IP55 (meaning they can sustain a long spray of water) and are equipped with Tile technology to help you find them should you misplace them. They’re available in several different colors.

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Both Bose’s new 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.

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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 Woot currently selling them for $190 as it had been earlier. That’s $60 under the regular Apple Store price. Shipping is free at Woot if you’re an Amazon Prime member.

Read our AirPods Pro review.

David Carnoy/CNET

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 lava red color for as low as $150 and spring yellow is $160. Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

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Companies like Under Armour (with the help of JBL) have released sporty on-ear models designed for people who want that type of secure-fit workout headphone that covers their ears. These Adidas RPT-01 headphones are a bit too expensive at their list price of $170, but they’re a good deal at $100. Designed by the same Swedish company that makes Urbanears headphones, they sound quite decent, with well-balanced sound that doesn’t push the bass too much. 

I found them comfortable for on-ear headphones, which tend not to be as comfortable as over-ear headphones, but those with larger heads may feel they clamp down a little too snugly on both your head and your ears. This set of headphones is sweat-resistant with an IPX4 certification, and the ear cushions and inner headband are removable and washable (there are instructions for how to do this, but Adidas should do a how-to video). The RPT-01 headphones are available in three colors.

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Sony’s newest noise-canceling headphones — and arguably the top noise-canceling headphones out there — recently went on sale for $278, and that price could return in the coming weeks. They’re now available for $298. Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 review.

Sony

The WF-XB700 earbuds are in the company’s Extra Bass line and list for $130. I’ve tried them and really liked their fit. They don’t measure up to the WF-1000XM3 or WF-SP800N models in sound quality, lacking some clarity, but if you like bass, they’re decent-sounding. I thought they were a little expensive at $130. At $52 off, they’re much more enticing. $68 is their all-time low price. Read our Sony WF-XB700 Extra Bass first take.

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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 $339 (the white version was as low as $299 recently). The Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones have been on sale for as low as $278 — that’s probably the better deal when it returns — but if you had your eye on this Bose model, this is a decent price. Read our Bose Noise Cancelling 700 review.

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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 $180, they’re much more enticing. This is below the earlier sale price of $200 that we were seeing a few weeks back, but they did dip to $170 for a few days. Read our Beats Solo Pro review.

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If you can’t afford Sennheiser’s $300 Momentum True Wireless II, the same brand’s CX 400BT earbuds are a more affordable option that also deliver excellent sound (they are a little bulbous, however). They’re a little expensive at their list price of $200, but I had a feeling they’d see some discounts this holiday season, and now they’re $50 off, which is about what they should cost. (They did dip to $130 for a few days, so this is not their lowest price.) Read our Sennheiser CX 400BT review.

Although they’ve been out for over a year, Plantronics’s BackBeat Fit 6100 over-the-ear wireless headphones are a solid choice for both the gym and everyday use. The adjustable sport-fit headband has an IPX5-rated water-resistant and sweatproof design. The headphones are equipped with 40mm angled drivers and noise-isolating earcups with an Awareness mode. Battery life is rated at 24 hours. I thought they were a bit expensive at $180, but they’re a good value at $90. Last year for Black Friday they were on sale for $110.

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The WF-1000XM3 earbuds list for $230 and are now frequently on sale, although $168 is near their low price. They’re still the best-sounding wireless earbuds in this price range and also feature active noise cancellation technology to reduce ambient noise. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC, but not aptX.

The only drawback is they aren’t rated as sweat-proof or waterproof. That said, I’ve used them for light workouts with a bit of a sweat at the gym without a problem.

Note that we’ve been expecting Sony to release the next-generation WF-1000XM4 earbuds, but at this point, we may not see those before 2021. Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.

David Carnoy/CNET

It took a while, but now we finally have a new true wireless noise-canceling sports model from Sony: 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. They were recently down to $127, but the current $148 price is still $50 below list, and $20 below their usual street price.

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.

Amazon’s Echo Buds were a little expensive at $130, but they’re certainly more enticing at $80. They’re one of the better true wireless models for calls, partly because they’re equipped with Bose noise-reduction technology. They also feature always-on Alexa so you don’t have to press a button to access Amazon’s voice assistant. Six months of Amazon’s Music Unlimited service is included for free.

Read our Amazon Echo Buds review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose’s Noise Canceling 700 Headphones ($379) are the company’s current flagship noise-canceling headphones, but in recent weeks we’ve seen the older but arguably more comfortable QuietComfort 35 II get big discounts. The 700 model is now only $199, the lowest we’ve seen for this model.

Note that with Sony discounting its new WH-1000XM4 headphones to $278, we may see the Noise Canceling 700 Headphones also get some nice discounts as we head into the holidays. Read our QuietComfort 35 II review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Jabra’s Elite Active 75t earbuds are the more rugged version of the Elite 75t. Both models are among the best true wireless earbuds out there and now can be upgraded with active noise canceling via a software upgrade. (New models that shipped to stores recently may already be equipped with the upgrade.)

The Elite Active 75t buds look nearly identical to the Elite 75t, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the finish on the case and earbuds is different. Instead of the hard smooth finish of the Elite Active 75t, the Active 75t has a soft-to-the-touch finish with a touch of grip to it. Or, as Jabra put it, the earbuds are “built with a durable coating for dust and sweat resistance and [feature] an increased IP water-resistance rating from IP56 (of the Elite Active 75t) to IP57, making them waterproof.” Read our Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

Amazon

Skullcandy’s Indy and Indy Evo earbuds are on sale for $35 and $40 respectively. I think it’s worth spending the extra $5 on the newer Indy Evo ‘buds. I didn’t think they were a good deal at their list price of $80, but they’re a decent value at $40 and should fit most people’s ears well. They’re available in multiple colors at that sale price.

Sarah Tew/CNET

This is a great price for the Jaybird Vista, one of our top picks for runners. It’s a good set of true wireless sports earbuds that lock in your ears and are fully waterproof. The Vista model has been out a while, so it’s due for an upgrade — maybe that’s why it’s on sale — but if a new model comes out any time soon, it’ll probably cost around $180. Read our Jaybird Vista review.

Amazon

JBL’s Live 300 true-wireless earbuds have been out since last year and have sporadically been on sale for $100. Now $75 is the lowest price we’ve seen for them. They sound good and they’re suitable for sports use with their included sport fins and IPX5 water resistance rating (meaning they can withstand a sustained spray of water). Battery life is rated at 6 hours and they have an “ambient aware” mode that lets some sound in for safety purposes.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Jabra Elite 85h headphones are a good value alternative to pricier premium noise-canceling headphones from Bose and Sony. They feature good sound, a comfortable fit and excellent voice-calling performance, which makes them a good option for working from home. Read our Jabra Elite 85h review.

Amazon

Sennheiser updated its well-regarded 4.50BTNC noise-canceling headphones for 2020. The new 450BT headphones have some notable upgrades, including better battery life (up to 30 hours with noise canceling on), USB-C charging, Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX support for devices like the Samsung Galaxy smartphones that support it and more comfortable earpads. That said, they’re still not as comfortable as Sennheiser’s higher-end headphones. The 450BT noise-canceling headphones list for $200, but usually sell for around $150 so they’re really $50 off. They sound very good for the money.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Jabra Elite 45h headphones were released a few months ago and are now on sale for $90, 10% off their list price of $100 (though they’ve recently been on sale for as low as $80). 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.

David Carnoy/CNET

Swedish company Urbanista’s London true-wireless earbuds are a good alternative to the AirPods at less than half the price. They look a lot like Apple’s AirPods Pro and have noise canceling with a transparency mode, as well as a sensor that detects when you take the earbuds out of your ears and pauses your music for you. They sound better than the AirPods Pro, with clean, well-balanced sound and punchy, well-defined bass and nice detail. On top of that, they’re good for making calls, with good noise reduction so people hear you well, even if there’s noise in the background.

Their only downside is that their touch controls are somewhat limited and not quite as easy to use as those of the AirPods Pro. They also sound distinctly different when you have them in ambient (transparency) mode and noise-canceling mode. Battery life is rated at 5 hours — the same as the AirPods Pro — but that’s not as good as some of the latest true wireless earbuds with noise cancellation. The compact charging case, which charges via USB-C, gives you an additional four charges.

On Amazon, there’s sporadically a 20%-off instant coupon that brings the price down to $80, so it might be worth waiting.

David Carnoy/CNET

The Mpow X3 true-wireless earbuds sound shockingly good for the price. They have good clarity and powerful bass — not to mention playing quite loud — and they even have active noise cancellation that’s fairly effective. (No, it’s not as good as the AirPods Pro’s, but it’s not bad.) They’ve been on our list of the best cheap true-wireless earbuds for a while. Now there’s a new white version that costs more than the black model and is actually upgraded in significant ways. The new X3 has better battery life, a new transparency mode and improved connectivity. The controls have also been improved.

More recommendations

Source: Big Black Friday headphones sale: Deals on Bose, Beats, Sony, Jabra, JLab, Sennheiser and more – CNET

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