I've been happy with Apple's AirPods ever since I bought them on release day, back in December 2016. Yet it wasn't until I bought the original AirPods Pro in late 2020 as a gift for myself that I was truly sold on what they were capable of — mainly thanks to their fantastic noise-canceling feature. With my previous non-Pro AirPods, I was never able to switch between transparency mode and noise-canceling modes. AirPods Pro unlocked that.
Unfortunately, I was in a subset of users who would experience crackling in one AirPod Pro bud — and this happened, not once, but three times.
I admit, it dampened the experience of owning AirPods Pro, which caused me to make frequent trips to the Apple Store to get them replaced. You can imagine my excitement then when AirPods Pro 2 were announced in 2022 — no more crackling in one AirPod, no more trips, and no more replacements. Back in July during the Amazon Prime Day sale, I bought a pair and loved the improved noise-canceling that they offered.
I'd be unlucky once again, but not due to faulty AirPods. Two months after I bought the AirPods Pro 2, a new version with a USB-C port in the case arrived. Apple didn't give the option to buy this case separately, as the new AirPods offer support for new high-res audio with Apple Vision Pro.
Gutted was an understatement. In the backpack I usually carry with me, I have a bunch of USB-C wires to charge my Mac, Steam Deck, and Sony XM5 headphones — now there's just one additional Lightning cable to charge my AirPods Pro 2. Thanks to a Cyber Monday deal, however, I may be able to stop this two-year curse and look into AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C. To mark the event, you can currently get a pair for $189, down from $249.
The best AirPods deals in the U.S
AirPods Max |
$549 $409.99 at Amazon
The AirPods Max are nearly three years old, and we expect Apple to release a newer model in 2024. That said, these are the best headphones Apple offers, and you can get them for $409.99 at the moment, which is its lowest-ever price. Jump at the chance to get these behemoths. At this price, we'd still pull the trigger.
The best AirPods deals in the UK
AirPods Pro 2 (USB-C) |
£229 £199 at Amazon
The newest AirPods Pro with USB-C is at its lowest-ever price with £30 off. If you're like me, now could be the time to look into a pair of these to take advantage of all the features these offer — not just because of that new USB-C port in the charging case.
AirPods Max |
£549 £499 at Amazon
Regardless of these being three years old at this point, these are the best headphones Apple offers, and now you can get them for £50 off. We're still a few days away from Black Friday ramping up, but if you've been eyeing a pair of these up, now could be the time to buy them.
I hear you say that I could choose another pair of cheaper AirPods that have even better deals associated with them at the moment — but I want noise-canceling and USB-C. The ones I’d really like are the AirPods Max, which would replace both my in-ear AirPods Pro and over-head Sony XM5 headphones. Also, the AirPods Max are four years old at this point though, so I worry that these will be replaced by a brand new model as soon as I buy my fourth AirPods Pro. And I don't want to go down this replacement rabbit hole all over again.
Instead, I’ll play it safe — well, as safe as it can be when you've had the same model go wrong three times — and see how well these AirPods Pro 2 with USB-C fare. At least I’ll finally be free of the Lightning port. If you're looking for a great AirPods deal, then make sure you check out the best AirPods Black Friday deals.
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Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.
Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.