Apple’s headphones are hard to beat, thanks to their excellent sound quality, plus superb noise reduction. Here at CNET, AirPods are often the best lists of the best headphones of the year. But that doesn’t mean choosing an AirPods is easy. S AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, standard AirPods and older AirPods on the market, it can be difficult to determine which AirPods are best for you. This is where we enter.

Check out some of the features highlighted below to choose the best AirPods for you or your loved ones. Many times this can be reduced to balancing function and price, so we have drawn the most current prices for you. Without further ado, here are the best options while looking for deals on Apple AirPods this year. We’ve even included a few headset kits that serve as an alternative to AirPods, just to give you more choice in looking for real wireless headphones.

Read more: The best real wireless headphones for 2022

AirPods prices in 2022


Apple Store price

The best price at the moment

The best price of all time

AirPods 2

$ 129

$ 100

$ 89

AirPods Pro 2021

$ 249

$ 175

$ 169

AirPods 3

$ 179

$ 169

$ 169

Beats Fit Pro

$ 200

$ 180

$ 175

AirPods Max

$ 549

$ 449

$ 429

We update this story frequently to reflect current prices.

Sarah Tu / CNET

Although released in 2019, Apple’s AirPods Pro remains a true true wireless headset, thanks to its comfortable fit, decent sound, active noise reduction and a fascinating feature set that includes Apple’s virtual surround sound surround sound feature. Their transparency mode, which allows you to hear the world around you while wearing it, is also the gold standard. Apple AirPods Pro are the best real wireless headphones and great for making calls.

As third-generation AirPods get MagSafe compatibility, Apple has updated AirPods Pro to include MagSafe, so be sure to get the latest version of the new AirPods Pro (the updated version sells for the same price as the “older” model) .

Although the catalog price of the AirPods Pro is still $ 249, the new model – with the MagSafe charging case – is usually available for around $ 190 on Amazon (and sometimes falls lower).

Read our review of AirPods Pro.

David Carnay / CNET

The latest Beats headphones aren’t AirPods, but – except for the lack of a wireless charging case and MagSafe compatibility – they almost pack most of the features found on AirPods Pro in a sportier design and come in a variety of color options. You should definitely check them out before buying AirPods 3 or AirPods Pro at almost the same price. Read our review of Beats Fit Pro.

David Carnay / CNET

The latest 2021 AirPods provide better sound quality than their predecessors while maintaining an open design. Slightly larger and more shaped like AirPods, they should be more suitable for more people’s ears, but at the same time they may not fit those with very small ears that fit perfectly with 2nd generation AirPods.

As they are brand new, we have not yet seen any major reductions. Read our review of AirPods 3.

David Carnay / CNET

Apple’s first full-size headphones are packed with high-end features such as noise reduction, surround audio and easy integration with Apple devices. Yes, paying about the same as you would for a PS5 may sound crazy, but here’s the crazy thing: they’re actually worth it, as long as you don’t feel burned out by their lack of lossless full audio support and no cable included for cable listening (to be purchased separately).

Since May 2022, Apple AirPods Max prices have dropped to $ 449 for certain colors. Otherwise, they were around $ 479.

Read our review of AirPods Max.

Apple’s 2nd generation AirPods remain in the line, but no longer include a wireless charging option in the future. Apple has reduced the official price of AirPods 2 to $ 129, although you will find them at less. They recently settled for about $ 100.

They are not as full of features as the other AirPods on this list, but remain an attractive option for people on a smaller budget or those who have worn out their original pair but love the fit and just want to replace them.

Read our review of AirPods.

What are the latest AirPods?

Technically, the latest AirPods are the third-generation 2021 enhanced AirPods, which arrived in stores on October 26. They feature an updated design, improved sound and better battery life. However, Beats Fit Pro – which shares most of the same features as AirPods Pro – arrived on November 5th. Although they are not AirPods by name, we and others call them “sports AirPods that are always wanted.”

Note that an updated version of AirPods Pro compatible with MagSafe was released at the same time as the third generation AirPods. MagSafe compatibility is the only difference between the “old” and “new” versions of AirPods Pro.

Are the new Beats Fit Pro better than AirPods Pro?

Yes, in some ways the new Beats are better than the AirPods Pro at about the same price. We think they have a little better sound and their battery life is better – up to 6 hours with noise reduction included compared to up to 4.5 hours for AirPods Pro. The noise reduction of the Beats Fit Pro seems to be on par with that of the AirPods Pro, as well as their transparency mode. The integrated wing tips also lock the pimples in your ears for sports and daily use. While the Fit Pro should fit comfortably on most ears, some people don’t like the design of the top of the wing.

The Fit Pro lacks wireless charging and compatibility with MagSafe, found in the updated version of AirPods Pro, which was released simultaneously with the third generation AirPods.

Do I need to buy AirPods at the Apple Store?

If you can help, no: the various AirPods are usually sold less online at other retailers such as Amazon and Walmart. Meanwhile, Amazon usually has the lowest price at other retailers. In principle, we would only buy AirPods from the Apple Store if we wanted an engraving not available elsewhere. However, if you decide to go to the Apple Store for Apple deals, you should ask for a price match. Although Apple does not appear to have an official policy, it is reported that it will offer up to 10% price matching. As an example, this would be a $ 25 discount on AirPods Pro, which is $ 249. It’s not much, but it’s worth asking to see if you can get a 10% discount.

Does surround audio sound different on different AirPods?

The short answer is, not really, when you talk about spatial audio with head tracking for watching movies and TV. While AirPods Max offers the best sound overall, using the Surround Virtual Audio feature is pretty much the same experience as all AirPods that support it.

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