Best Prime Day headphone deals: save on Airpods Pro, Bose, Sony and more

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This story is part of Amazon Prime Day, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Update, October 15: Amazon’s Prime Day sale officially ended at midnight PT. However, we’re keeping track of the best Prime Day deals still available, and we’ve identified the best Walmart “Big Save” deals, which remain available through the end of day. 

Prime Day 2020 is in its final hours and between Amazon’s big savings and similar sales from Best Buy and Walmart, now is your last chance to get your hands on your favorite headphones, anything from wireless earbuds to epic over-the-ear noise-canceling headsets with comfy ear cups.

We’re seeing the kind of deep discounts on Sony headphones that typically arrive around Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sony has not only slashed prices on all its true-wireless earbuds, but it’s also offering a sweet discount on its new, highly rated WH-1000XM4 over-ear noise-canceling headphones. We’re also seeing Apple headphones return to a low price of $199 (even as a new AirPods Studio over-ear headphone remains rumored). 

We expect more amazing headphone discounts to keep arriving throughout the day, so if you’re in the market for a specific type of headphone (say ones with noise cancellation, Bluetooth connectivity, or true wireless earbuds) keep checking back.

Note that you’ll need to be an Amazon Prime member to get these exclusive deals.

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New iPhones were unveiled Tuesday, and they will come without wired headphones in the box for the first time ever. In the meantime, Apple’s current top of the line noise-canceling true wireless headphones are now back to selling at $199. That’s still pricey, but it’s $50 off what you’ll pay at the Apple Store, and $20 less than their usual price at Amazon.

Read our Apple AirPods Pro review.

Amazon

Sony’s latest noise-canceling headphones get a $50 discount for Prime Day and Amazon has thrown in a $25 gift card to sweeten the deal.

The new WH-1000XM4 has improved voice calling (compared to the WH-1000XM3) and also adds multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you can connect to two devices — such as your phone and PC — at the same time. That means that if a call comes in while you’re using the headphones with your computer, the audio will switch to your phone when you answer the call.

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 probably still have the edge for voice calls, but the 1000XM4 headphones are arguably a tad more comfortable and have some other improvements to noise cancellation and sound that make this model a great all-around choice.

Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 review.

Bose

When Bose released its new flagship Noise Cancelling 700 Headphones, it didn’t drop the QuietComfort 35 II from its headphone lineup, and this is still a top noise-canceling model. While I think the 700 performs better overall, there are people who prefer the QuietComfort 35 II. 

While the QuietComfort 35 II lists for $350, it’s usually on sale for $300 or less. However, $199 is about the lowest price we’ve seen for it. It’s also on sale at Best Buy.

Read our Bose QuietComfort 35 II review.

Amazon’s Echo Buds sound decent, are good for making calls — they have Bose noise-reduction technology — and feature hands-free Alexa for issuing voice commands without pressing any buttons. I thought they were a little expensive at $130, but they’re much more enticing at $80, especially after getting some firmware upgrades that have improved their performance.

Read our Amazon Echo Buds review.

Sony

If you can’t afford Sony’s WH-1000XM4, the company’s more entry-level WH-CH710N noise-canceling headphones are down to $88 after hitting $100 recently. 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. However, I don’t think they’re worth anywhere near $200, their list price.    

The standard AirPods with the wired charging case have been selling for $125 on Amazon. But for Prime Day, the price is $115, making an extra $10 savings. While I’d like to see them hit $99, that’s about the best price you’ll see for the standard AirPods. The Airpods with the wireless charging case are on sale for $150 (they list for $200 but also sell for less than that).

David Carnoy/CNET

Microsoft’s over-ear noise-canceling Surface Headphones 2 were released earlier this year, and the biggest change from their predecessor is the price: The original Surface Headphones launched at $350, while the Headphones 2 cost $250 — and now Amazon has them for $200 for Prime Day.

While they’ve lost their hands-free Cortana voice control feature (a change no one will lament) and the sound quality hasn’t improved (it’s quite good but not stellar), the combination of some small design tweaks, better battery life, upgraded Bluetooth and the new lower price helps bump up their rating and make them more recommendable. 

Their multipoint Bluetooth pairing capability allows you to pair them with two devices at the same time (such as a computer and phone) and quickly switch the audio from each device to the headphones. That’s an appealing feature from a work-from-home standpoint, and these also work well for making voice calls. Read our Microsoft Surface Headphones 2 review.

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The Sony WH-XB900N looks similar to Sony’s WH-1000XM4. It isn’t as snazzy, however, and it doesn’t deliver quite the same level of sound quality and noise-canceling performance, though it does share some of its features. But if you like bass, it’s got plenty — it is a Sony Extra Bass headphone after all. It’s also a comfortable headphone with decent noise-canceling features. We saw it dip in price to around $150 during last’s year’s holiday buying season, so $123 is a good price. Read our Sony WH-XB900N review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Beats’ Powerbeats Pro list for $250 but usually sell for $200. These earbuds are $175 for Prime Day, which is about as low as we’ve seen them. Note that only the black and white models are on sale for $175.


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The WF-1000XM3 earbuds list for $230. They briefly dipped to $170 earlier this year, but at $178, they’re still the best sounding wireless earbuds in this price range and also feature active noise cancellation technology to reduce ambient noise.

The only drawback is the WF-1000XM3 earbuds aren’t rated as sweat-proof or waterproof headphones. That said, I’ve used them for light workouts with a bit of a sweat at the gym without a problem. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC, but not aptX.

Note that we’ve been expecting Sony to release the next-generation WF-1000XM4, 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. 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.

This isn’t quite the WF-1000XM3 with a water-resistant body. It’s missing Sony’s QN1e processor, but there’s still a lot to like about it, including very good sound, solid noise canceling and good call quality. It’s definitely a significant upgrade over the WF-SP700N, which came out in 2018, and its “arcs” (sports fins) lock the buds in your ears. Just make sure you get a tight seal from one of the included ear tips or else both the sound and noise canceling will be lackluster.

Read our Sony WF-SP800N review.

Sony

The WF-XB700 is in the company’s Extra Bass line and lists for $130. I’ve tried them and really liked their fit. Their sound quality doesn’t measure up to that of the WF-1000XM3 or WF-SP800N (it lacks some clarity), but if you like bass, they’re decent sounding earbuds. I thought they were a little expensive at $130. At $52 off, or $78 — matching their all-time low — they’re a much more enticing option.

Read our Sony WF-XB700 Extra Bass first take.

First published earlier this year. Updated to reflect the return of sale prices and Prime Day.



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