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If your household is anything like mine, your Apple AirPods go missing or get damaged at least one a year (dog eats them, bed eats them, who can understand where they go?). So this deal caught my eye: Apple AirPods Pro are now on sale on Amazon for their lowest price of the year ($174.98), which isn’t their lowest price on Amazon ever (that happened last year around Black Friday), but is still a good deal (regular price is $249).*
About Apple Airpods Pro: The wireless earbuds, which are both sweat and water resistant, offer noise cancellation, three sizes so you can customize them to your ear, adaptive EQ technology for better sound quality, Siri, in-ear detection, and they come with a charging case.
What pro reviewers say: “If you’re an iPhone user and have been toying with the idea of going true wireless with your earbuds, then the Apple AirPods Pro are a great choice. The new noise-cancelling feature is neat and useful, and the overall improvements to sound and design couldn’t be more welcome – though, they are quite pricey,” writes TechRadar in a review.
And CNET writes of the AirPods Pro: “Their winning design and fit, improved bass performance, effective noise cancellation and excellent call quality make these earbuds a top true-wireless choice.” But their reviewers add that “sound quality is good but some competitors sound better.”
Other things to consider: Apple fans may be just fine with the Apple Airpods (Apple Airpods 2nd Generation, which are $109 on Amazon). And in October, Apple released its Apple Airpods 3rd Generation ($169 on Amazon). CNET writes of the Apple AirPods 3 that they are “superior to the AirPods Pro in some ways” like “they sound slightly better in non-noisy environments, and they offer a touch better noise-reduction during calls and have better battery life.” But they add that “the AirPods Pro’s noise-isolating design and active noise cancellation have obvious benefits. For instance, you’d want to use AirPods Pro on a plane, not the AirPods 3. Also, the Pro’s excellent transparency mode mitigates some of the occlusion issues people have with noise-isolating buds.”
There are plenty of non-Apple options for headphones as well, many of which are cheaper than AirPods. Our reviewer tried five options for earbuds that were cheaper than Apple’s, and here’s what she loved.
*Pricing data comes from CamelCamelCamel
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Catey Hill is the managing editor for MarketWatch Picks. Catey is the author of two personal finance books, “Shoo, Jimmy Choo!” and “The 30-Minute Money Plan for Moms.” She previously held positions at the New York Daily News, Meredith and SmartMoney.
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