Best Prime Day AirPods Deals: Save $74 on AirPods Pro, $119 on AirPods Max and More – CNET

Apple’s AirPods provide a seamless experience with your iPhone or Mac, offering instant connection and wireless charging. There are four different models of AirPods in Apple’s wireless earbud lineup: The second-generation AirPods from 2019 are the least expensive option, while the current, third-generation AirPods boast better sound quality with spatial audio. The AirPods Pro add versatility with active noise cancellation and transparency mode, and the plush AirPods Max over-ear headphones, by far the priciest of the bunch, are packed with high-end features.

In addition to Apple’s own AirPods, there are a couple of Apple-made Beats models to consider when shopping for wireless earbuds. The fifth Beatle of AirPods is the Beats Fit Pro, which features Apple’s H1 chip for fast, reliable connections and a sporty design for jamming out to tunes at the gym, or while running or otherwise exercising and being active. The Beats Studio Buds lack the H1 chip and the AirPod stem, but they are lightweight, comfortable and affordable. 

Here are the best prices you can find on AirPods right now as Amazon Prime Day nears and early Prime Day deals begin, along with the best prices to date for comparison.

Apple AirPods pricing 2022

Model Apple Store price Best price right now Best all-time price
AirPods 2 $129 $100 $89
AirPods Pro 2021 $249 $175 $159
AirPods 3 $179 $169 $140
AirPods Max $549 $430 $400

The list above is the full lineup of Apple wireless earbuds and headphones as of early 2022. Except for the baseline AirPods 2, all those listed above (including the two Beats models) are compatible with Apple’s spatial audio features. However, none of them will deliver the maximum quality of Apple’s lossless audio format, which is too rich for the current Bluetooth wireless standard to handle. 

We update this story frequently to reflect current pricing. 

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Unlike the AirPods Pro, these third-generation AirPods have an open-air design, so they don’t have active noise cancellation, but they still offer some serious improvements over the AirPods 2. The adaptive EQ attunes music to your ear shape, and the battery life has been bumped up to 30 hours total. They also have an IPX4 water resistance rating. They are currently selling for $169 at Amazon, which is only $10 less than you’d pay at Apple. They can usually be found at a $29 discount at Amazon, so you may want to wait for that price break to return.

Read our AirPods 3 review.

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The AirPods Pro are Apple’s most advanced wireless earbuds to date. They offer active noise cancellation and silicone tips so you can immerse yourself in the music, or you can use the transparency mode when you need to be more aware of your surroundings. With the charging case (included in this price) the battery can last over 24 hours on a charge, and they’re on the list of our top wireless earbuds of the year. You can save $74 right now on them at Amazon.

Read our AirPods Pro review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

While the AirPods 2 aren’t the most advanced model on the market right now, they still boast some impressive specs and are a great choice for those on a tighter budget. They’re equipped with the same H1 chip as the AirPods 3, so they feature the same fast connectivity, and they support hands-free Siri access. Amazon quotes a $59 discount, but Apple has dropped the price of the 2nd-gen AirPods from $159 to $129, so you’re saving only $29.

Read our AirPods 2 review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Apple’s first full-size headphones are chock-full of high-end features like noise cancellation, spatial audio and easy integration with Apple devices. Yes, paying about the same as you would for a PS5 may sound excessive, but here’s the thing: They’re actually kinda worth it, so long as you don’t feel burned by their lack of support for full lossless audio. You can save $130 on AirPods Max in pink; the other colors have smaller discounts.

Read our AirPods Max review.

David Carnoy/CNET

No, they’re not AirPods, but the Beats Studio Buds offer active noise canceling and make a great affordable alternative to the pricier AirPods Pro. They look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods that people were talking about but that never materialized — as AirPods, anyway. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they’re missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there’s no H1 or W1 chip), but they’re small, lightweight earbuds that are comfortable to wear and offer good sound. They fit most ears securely, including mine — I run with them without a problem — but others may find a better fit with the Beats Fit Pro and their integrated wing tips. Right now, they’re selling at full price but can often be found at a $30 discount at Amazon and Best Buy.

Read our Beats Studio Buds review.

David Carnoy/CNET

Technically, the new Beats Fit Pro aren’t AirPods, but they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro. Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the features of the AirPods Pro, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted. And for some people, they might just be better than the AirPods Pro. They are occasionally discounted by $20 at Amazon and Best Buy but are currently selling at full price.

Read our Beats Fit Pro review.

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