Holiday headphone deals, updated: Sony, Bose, Beats and more – CNET

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season’s best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but there continues to be big savings across the entire range of headphone styles from true wireless earbuds to noise-canceling headphones — and several big brands are discounted, including Jabra, JBL, Sony, Sennheiser and Bose. And if you’ve been considering buying a pair Beats, AirPods or Samsung Galaxy Buds, you still have time to save. 

Some of the top discounts from our list below include Sony’s popular WH-1000XM3 and Bose’s QuietComfort 35 II noise-canceling headphones for $279 (save $70). And even Bose’s new Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 are finally being discounted by $50. Also, Beats Studio3 Wireless Headphones are still reduced to $200 (save $150).

We’ve collected some of our favorite offers in our list below and we’ll keep it up to date with the remaining deals while stocks are still available. Finally, if it’s all been a bit too stressful this holiday buying season, take a moment to check out our Holiday Survival Guide for tips on how to make it through the holidays without too much pain. It’s packed full of ideas to help keep you on track. 

Last update: Klipsch T5 drops from $150 to $130; Jabra Elite 65t Active returns at $130; Sennheiser HD 4.50R returns at $80. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Amazon has had Klipsch’s T5 True Wireless earbuds discounted to $150 (from $200) since before Black Friday. But now these excellent true wireless headphones are all the way down to $130, at least for the silver version. I was impressed with their sound — it’s nicely detailed with natural-sounding mids and punchy, well-defined bass. The only caveat is you really have to jam the tips into your ears to get a tight seal and block out noise, and the design may not be for everyone. 

While the Zippo-inspired case is somewhat heavy for its relatively compact size, it’s sleek and sturdy with USB-C charging. Battery life is also a highlight: The earbuds themselves can run for up to 8 hours on a single charge at moderate volume levels and the case with its built-in battery provides three additional charges on the go. 

The T5 Wireless earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 and support both AAC and AptX. As for water resistance, they’re splashproof (IPX4-certified).

Read our Klipsch T5 True Wireless review.

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Anker’s new Liberty 2 Pro normally retails for $150 but is on sale for $40 off at Amazon. It’s one of the best values in true wireless earbuds, with very good sound and features (it has both USB-C and wireless charging). It also works very well as a headset for making calls. At this price, it’s a real bargain. 


From Dec. 1 to Dec. 29, Jabra’s highly rated Elite 85h wireless noise-canceling headphones are on sale at Best Buy and Amazon for $200, or $100 off their list price of $300.

Note that the best deal may not be available at all the retailers listed below. Prices and inventory are constantly changing, so check each site before you choose where to buy.

Read our Jabra Elite 85h review.

David Carnoy/CNET

If you’re looking for a cheap, comfortable over-ear wireless headphone, Earfun’s Wave is an excellent budget choice that sounds decent, has good battery life and nicely padded ear cups. It lists for $50, but is now on sale for $32. An extra 5% discount coupon brings it close to $30. I like the sound of the Tribit XFree Tune slightly better (it’s $40), but this model is more comfortable to wear. It comes with a case but the headphones don’t fold flat (they fold up), the case ends up being pretty bulky. That’s their only drawback. 

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Sarah Tew/CNET

The Sony WH-XB900N Extra Bass headphones have a similar design to the WH-1000XM3 and share many of that model’s features but for $100 less. (Their previous low was $123 but they’ve popped back up to $148.) They’re comfortable to wear and have USB-C charging, good battery life and effective noise cancellation. They also work decently as a headset for making calls, and the sound quality is good as long as you don’t mind a preponderance of bass.

Read our Sony WH-XB900N Extra Bass review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose’s newest noise-canceling headphones, the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, are finally on sale. They list for $400, but several retailers have them on sale for $349, or $50 off. I thought $350 should be their initial price to compete with Sony’s WH-1000XM3, but Bose went out higher. Good see a discount on them, even though it’s not huge.

Note that the best deal may not be available at all the retailers listed below. Prices and inventory are constantly changing, so check each site before you choose where to buy.

Read our Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I’m not a fan of cheap noise-canceling headphones. I’ve actually been struggling to put together a list of models for a best noise-canceling headphones roundup because there are so few that I’d recommend buying. But Anker’s Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid Active Noise Cancelling Headphones are an exception. They’re quite decent for their regular list price of $60. Now they’re on sale on Amazon for $40 for the black version and $43 for the silver version. 

No, the Life Q20 doesn’t sound as good as premium models such as the Sony WH-1000XM3, but it sounds pretty good, which is all you can ask for at this price. It’s fairly well balanced with a reasonable amount of clarity and plump bass that’s not bloated or muddy (there’s a bass boost or BassUp mode if you want an extra helping of bass). It’s also comfortable to wear, the noise-canceling is acceptably effective, it’s solid as a headset for making calls and battery life is good at 40 hours.


On Thanksgiving Day, the Rose Gold edition of the QuietComfort 35 II was on sale for $249 or $100 off and all the colors, including black and silver, were sale on Cyber Monday for $279. Their price rose to $300 but is now back at $279. With the arrival this year of Bose’s new Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones (on sale for $350), you can expect to see continued sales on the QuietComfort 35 II, which remains a very good headphone that’s arguably slightly more comfortable than the 700.

Read our QuietComfort 35 II review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Sony’s excellent WH-1000XM3 noise-canceling headphones have regularly been on sale for as low as $250. But they’re hovering around $278 this week at a variety of retailers including Best Buy and Amazon. Buy them knowing you’re getting the best overall noise-canceling headphones available today.

Note that the best deal may not be available at all the retailers listed below. Prices and inventory are constantly changing, so check each site before you choose where to buy.

Read our Sony WH-1000XM3 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Bose’s SoundSport Free has been out a while and was on sale for this price last year during the holiday season. They’re very good true wireless earbuds (their case is a little large, however), but note that Bose will be releasing new true wireless earbuds in 2020, including a noise-canceling model. It’s unclear how much those new earphones will cost but they will most like be more than $169. Note that the best deal may not be available at all the retailers listed below. Prices and inventory are constantly changing, so check each site before you choose where to buy.

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Read our Bose SoundSport Free review.

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Best Buy has had the Beats Studio3 Wireless headphones sporadically on sale the last two weeks. They’re back at $200 being on sale the last few days at $210. That’s e lowest price we’ve seen for these. This model has been out a while, but they’re still great noise-canceling headphones. They list for $350, but usually can be had for around $280.

Read our Beats Studio3 Wireless review.


The CNET Editor’s Choice for true wireless headphones in 2018 was the Jabra Elite Active 65t, on sale here for $130 (a $50 savings). Yes, the new, more compact Elite 75t earbuds retail for $180, but that price on last year’s model makes them a compelling gift. The stepdown (non-Active) Elite 65t — which loses the sweatproofing feature — is $20 cheaper, too ($110 total).

Read our Jabra Elite Active 65t review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Sennheiser’s Momentum True Wireless are among the top sounding true wireless earbuds. They started out at $300 and more recently have been on sale for $250. They’re now being discounted to $210. Note that the best deal may not be available at all the retailers listed below. Prices and inventory are constantly changing, so check each site before you choose where to buy.

Read our Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless review.

Juan Garzon/CNET

Amazon had the Galaxy Buds on sale for $100 — now their price is up to $110 or $20 off. Although they’re not great for making calls, they’re a decent set of true wireless earbuds and a good AirPods alternative, particularly for Galaxy smartphone owners (and Android users).

Read our Samsung Galaxy Buds review.

Expired deals

These deals have expired for now but may return in the coming days.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Released in early November, the noise-canceling AirPods Pro are regularly priced at $250 but are currently available for $235. This small discount is great for those needing to upgrade their previous AirPods or those who want to dive into a truly wireless audio experience. Note that these keep going in and out of “backordered” status, so right now there appears to be a delay in shipping.

Read our AirPods Pro review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Walmart has the on-ear Beats Solo3 headphones (the Pop color collection) on sale for $130, but that deal seems to be almost dead (only the purple color was available at that price when I checked and it will most likely run out soon). However, Amazon has the black version on sale for $130.

Read our Beats Solo3 Wireless review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you can’t afford the AirPods Pro, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 is a good alternative and are a top model for making calls. Like the AirPods Pro, they do a remarkably good job of muffling ambient noise (callers said they could hear me fine even with a lot of street noise around me). While they don’t have active noise canceling, they sound nearly as good, fit comfortably and their noise-isolating design passively seals out a lot of ambient noise. Amazon has them for $10 off with a discount coupon. 

Read our Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

1More’s Stylish True Wireless are one of the best sounding true wireless earbuds for less than $100. They’re were at Amazon for $30 off at Amazon during. Now you can get them for $35 off at by applying the code BFCM at checkout (you can use the code for other products — it’s a 35% off code). 

Read our full review of 1More Stylish True Wireless.

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The Powerbeats Pro are back, once again selling at the previous all-time low price of $200. A bit of a mixed bag, the Powerbeats Pro have good sound quality, battery life and stay securely plugged into your ears. But you’ll need to cart them around in an awkwardly large case that isn’t especially pocket friendly. If you don’t mind the large case, though, you’re not going to find these earbuds for a better price.

Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

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These sporty earbuds aren’t “true wireless” — there’s a cable connecting the left and right earbuds that wraps around the back of your neck. But they are fully waterproof, and they’re half off right now.

Prices and inventory are constantly changing, but this offer is still currently available at Best Buy and Crutchfield.

Read our Jaybird Tarah review.

David Carnoy/CNET

They’re back: Best Buy again has the JLab Audio JBuds Air earbuds on sale for $30. They normally retail for $50. JLabs makes a lot of true-wireless earphones and these are its most affordable — and frankly, the only ones I’d buy. It’s a decent set of true wireless earbuds that’s a relative bargain at this price.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you can’t afford premium noise-canceling models from Bose and Sony, the JBL Live 650BTNC Wireless Noise Canceling Headphones list for $200 and are very good. And this week, you can get them for 50% off. (They’re on sale now for $130).

Read our JBL Live 650BTNC review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Best Buy has the all-black version of the Plantronics BackBeat Fit 3150 true wireless earbuds on sale for $50 off. The open design lets ambient noise in (a safety feature for runners) while the BackBeat Fit 3200 has a noise-isolating design that helps improve the sound quality, particularly the bass. That said, both models have the same drivers so they produce the same sound — you just hear it differently thanks to the design of the ear tips. Both are an improvement over the earlier Backbeat 3100 model, which had some connectivity issues.

As with the Powerbeats Pro, the one downside is that the BackBeat Fit 3150 earbuds have a large charging case that isn’t so pocket-friendly.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The BackBeat Fit 6100 over-the-ear wireless headphones are a very solid choice for both the gym and everyday use. The adjustable sport-fit headband has an IPX5-rated water-resistant and sweatproof design, 40mm angled drivers and noise-isolating earcups with an Awareness mode. Battery life is rated at 24 hours. I thought they were a little expensive at $180, but Best Buy has them for $110, which makes them more attractive.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple’s various AirPods have been all over the map in recent weeks, with a variety of deals that have popped up and sold out almost faster than we could write about them. This isn’t the best deal we’ve ever seen, but you can currently get the second-gen AirPods (not be confused with the AirPods Pro) for $20 off. They’ve been as low as $130. The model with the wireless charging case is $165 (save $35). 

Read our Apple AirPods 2019 review.

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Originally published last month. Regularly updated with new deals.



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