Arguably, the best time to get new audio gear is … well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, just because the shopping event to end all shopping events (and our collective sanity) is over, it doesn’t mean there are no deals left. We’ve found a ton of sales on WIRED-tested headphones, earbuds, and gaming headsets. They’ll make great presents, whether for a loved one or yourself.
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These are our favorite overall headphones, hands-down. The WH-1000XM5 (9/10, WIRED Recommends) have incredible noise-canceling capabilities, they’re comfortable to wear for long periods, and they offer up to 30 hours of battery life. Sony’s processing and drivers also deliver some of the best sound quality of any headphones we’ve tested. This price matches what we saw during Black Friday.
The Px7 S2 headphones from Bowers and Wilkins (9/10, WIRED Recommends) have memory-foam-filled leather and high-quality plastic that make them unbelievably comfortable. While the noise cancellation isn’t quite as robust as on other headphones we’ve tested, the sound quality is impeccable. These headphones have been fluctuating in price a bit recently and slowly trending downward, so they’re not usually much more expensive than this, but besides a few outliers, this is still among the lowest prices we’ve seen.
If you’re looking for headphones for children, you probably don’t need to spend a ton of cash. These headphones from Belkin have a focus on durability testing, so your little ones are less likely to break them, and they’re cheap enough that it’s not a major loss if they manage to pull it off. They also have a volume limiter to protect your little one’s ears.
Wireless Earbud Deals
Google Pixel Buds Pro
This price matches what we saw on Black Friday. They’re our favorite wireless headphones for Android users. The Pixel Buds Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) come in multiple colors, have solid noise cancellation, and fit comfortably in most ears. They can last for seven hours of playtime with noise canceling on, which is one more hour than Apple’s comparable buds.
The Galaxy Buds2 Pro (9/10, WIRED Recommends) are another great Android alternative to AirPods if you stick to the Samsung side of the ecosystem. They have dual-driver arrays that give them a little better sound than the Pixel Buds, and the microphones deliver a better call experience in our experience. This deal is a few dollars lower than we saw during Black Friday, but the price keeps fluctuating.
The Sony LinkBuds (8/10, WIRED Recommends) are designed to let you continue to hear the world around you while still listening to your music. They’re sort of the opposite of noise-canceling earbuds. They have tiny holes in the center of each driver so you can hear whether a very different kind of driver is about to run you over with their car before it happens. They’re great for walking around in the city or anywhere you need to be aware of your surroundings. They were $10 cheaper during Black Friday.
Anker Soundcore Space A40
The Space A40 (8/10, WIRED Recommends) from Anker are surprisingly good for their price, even before a sale. They have solid noise cancellation, pair with multiple devices, and come with a wireless charging case. They’ve never dipped lower than this.
These are our favorite earbuds for working out, partially thanks to their substantial IP68 rating, which essentially means they are “dust-tight” and can be submerged in a few meters of water without taking damage. A “few meters of water” does sound like what I lose in sweat working out, so that’s great. This is the lowest price we’ve tracked.
Gaming Headset Deals
HyperX Cloud III
We’ve been practically fawning over the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless (10/10, WIRED Recommends) and its 300-hour battery life. However, right now, its little sibling, the Cloud III (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is on a better sale. It gets 120 hours of battery life which somehow feels like a disappointment, but it’s still four times longer than most competing gaming headsets. I charged this headset before Black Friday and haven’t had to plug it in since. It’s currently a few dollars more expensive at Amazon, and you have to click a coupon to get the deal, so check Target for stock first.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is a sleek gaming headset that produces excellent sound, but its distinguishing feature is the desktop DAC, which lets you adjust volume, mix game audio and chat, and apply a wide array of EQ options right from a box on your desk. The wireless option blew us away, but the wired version is currently on the best sale. Kind of. This one fluctuates in price so much that a chart of its sales looks like the headphone has a cardiac arrhythmia, but it’s currently on the low end of the cycle, so now’s the time to buy.
This might be one of the most … ostentatious designs for a gaming headset (which is saying something), but it earns the right to show off, thanks to its incredible sound. JBL’s spatial audio implementation is one of the best we’ve tested. The included software can track the position of your head to adjust audio based on where you’re turning, and even turn the volume all the way down if you turn away from your computer. We already like these headphones, but they’ve been pretty pricey in the past. Right now, they’re at the lowest price we’ve ever tracked.
SteelSeries Arctis 7+
The Arctis 7+ (8/10, WIRED Recommends) headphones from SteelSeries have a solid 30-hour battery life, comfortable ear cups, and most notably a low-profile USB-C adapter. This makes it pretty easy to plug into a variety of portable gadgets, from your phone or tablet to a Switch or other gaming handheld.
We normally feature a lot of headphones that offer some powerful customization or tweaks that can help you deliver audio the way you want. These studio headphones from Beyerdynamic go in the opposite direction. They’re designed to deliver audio exactly the way the audio engineers designed it. Which, for a lot of games, can already be pretty incredible as is. If you’re something of a purist (or, like me, want headphones you can use for gaming and video or audio editing), these are great.