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The 7 best holiday AirPods deals

Grab these top AirPods deals at retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy before Christmas comes.
Written by Nina Raemont, Associate Editor
AirPods with charging case (2nd generation) | Save $30
AirPods with charging case (2nd generation)
Save $30
View now View at Amazon
AirPods Max Headphones | Save $80
AirPods Max Headphones
Save $80
View now View at Best Buy
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Charging | Save $50
AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with MagSafe Charging
Save $50
View now View at Best Buy

Christmas is days away, and whether you're in the market for a new pair of AirPods for yourself or as a gift for someone else, this holiday season, you'll find deep discounts on lots of models ranging from the basic AirPods to the AirPods Pro and AirPods Max

Also: The best holiday deals

Apple's AirPods offer long-lasting battery life, noise cancellation, portability, and immediate Apple ecosystem integration, along with that classic Apple style. We've rounded up all of the best AirPods deals we've found as we're in the thick of holiday shopping to help you find exactly which discounts are worth taking advantage of. (If you are unsure which model you'd like to invest in, you can also check out our guide on how to choose the best AirPods for you.)

Best holiday AirPods deals

  • Current price: $99
  • Original price: $129

If you're looking for a cheaper pair of earbuds that seamlessly connect to your iPhone, you can't go wrong with the second-generation AirPods with the standard Lightning charging case. They may not come with as many compelling features as the newer models, but they offer 24 hours of battery life so you can listen, literally, all day long without ever having to consider recharging. 

  • Current price: $470
  • Original price: $550

If you're steering clear of earbuds and would rather opt for an over-ear headphone instead, there's no better option for you than the AirPods Max. They don't simply deliver robust sound -- they've also become a statement fashion piece of their own. Best Buy offers the headphones for $70 less than the original price. With 20 hours of battery life and impressive active noise cancellation, you're getting a great pair of headphones perfect for deep work and focus with enough of a charge to last you through a workday or two at a $70 discount. 

Review: AirPods Max: Stunning sound and performance mean I'm keeping the $550 headphones

  • Current price: $200
  • Original price: $250

In case you missed it, the newest iPhone 15 lineup includes a USB-C charger instead of Apple's signature Lightning port. That means the newest AirPods are following suit. If you want the AirPods Pro (2nd generation) with the USB-C MagSafe charging case instead of the Lightning case, it's $50 off at Best Buy right now. 

The AirPods Pro is ZDNET's top pick for best AirPods of the year. Apple put its most modern H2 chip into the earbuds, so you're getting the freshest tech embedded into them. "They fit almost every type of ear, they are very comfortable to wear, and they include all of the best and latest features that Apple has to offer in headphones. Plus, they get a bonus set of new features as part of the iOS 17 update, which won't come to any of the other AirPods," ZDNET editor-in-chief, Jason Hiner writes in his AirPods buying guide. 

How did we choose these holiday AirPods deals?

ZDNET only writes about deals we want to buy -- devices and products we desire, need, or would recommend. Our experts looked for deals that were at least 20% off (or are hardly ever on sale), using established price comparison tools and trackers to determine whether the deal is actually on sale and how frequently it drops. 

We also looked over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the deals we're recommending. Our recommendations may also be based on our own testing -- in addition to extensive research and comparison shopping. The goal is to deliver the most accurate advice to help you shop smarter. 

Which is better? The AirPods Max or Beats Studio Pro?

The AirPods Max retail for $550 and the Beats Studio Pro retail for $350. By the looks of it, the AirPods Max offer 20 hours of battery life, while the Beats Studio Pro offer double that, at 40 hours. Both offer noise cancellation, spatial audio, and decent sound. "With Beats's longevity combined with the Studio Pro's updated features, these headphones are the best you'll find from Beats," Jada Jones writes in her spotlight of the Beats Studio Pro

Apple's AirPods Max, on the other hand, are a pretty decent pair of headphones, albeit at a higher price. The decision to invest in a pair of AirPods Max or save some money and invest in a less expensive pair that isn't integrated in the Apple ecosystem is up to you. 

Are there alternative earbuds worth considering?

My favorite pair of earbuds are Bose's QuietComfort Ultra earbuds. They offer amazing sound, six hours of battery life, an Immersive Audio feature that knocks your socks off, and they rarely fall out of my ears while I'm exercising.

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