Best Deals on Headphones Right Now
You'll find great prices on top over-ear and true wireless models
Headphones are such an important item for so many of us, whether you wear them to concentrate on work, get through a workout, or just soak up a good audiobook while you clean. And whether you’re in need of a new pair or ready to upgrade to something with superior sound, you may be able to find a dynamite set on sale, especially as Memorial Day approaches.
But a good deal is not just about the dollar amount—the quality of the product you buy makes all the difference. It won’t matter how much you saved if those earbuds don’t hold a charge or the noise-canceling over-ear set you picked lets in ambient sound. So we look beyond the price, weighing Consumer Reports’ test results against the discounts to help you find deals on headphones and earbuds that will actually be worth your money. And right now, there are some great deals on models for every budget.
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For the best sound quality you can get from a portable model under $100, look no further than the 1More E1001 Triple Drivers. You won’t find many competitors that deliver such impressive audio anywhere near this price. These headphones have a sleek design and come with extras, including a removable shirt clip, a carrying case, and nine sets of earpieces of varying shapes and sizes to help you find a good fit.
CR’s test results: 1More E1001 Triple Driver
The 1MORE PistonBuds deliver great sound quality for the price, beating out competitors that cost far more, and with Amazon’s on-page coupon, it’s an even better deal right now. They have an advertised 3.5-hour battery life—fairly standard for a true wireless model—and come with a charging/carrying case that will recharge the earphones almost five times before it needs to be plugged in again. They also feature water resistance and touch controls, and they plug in with USB-C. 1MORE boasts a top owner satisfaction rating, based on surveys of CR members.
CR’s test results: 1MORE PistonBuds
Shopping for noise-canceling headphones on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice performance. Case in point is the Anker SoundCore Life Q20. You can pick it up for just over $50 right now thanks to the on-page coupon, and our tests show that it beats models that cost hundreds more.
The model has great sound quality and outstanding noise cancellation. It doesn’t sound quite as good as top-rated options like the Sennheiser PXC 550-II, and you won’t get sought-after features like adjustable levels of noise cancellation. But at this price, those may be sacrifices worth making.
Anker does include some appealing perks, too, such as the ability to work over either Bluetooth or an audio cable, and a free app that adds features, including a bass boost EQ setting. According to Anker, the headphones have a generous 40-hour battery life when Bluetooth and noise cancellation are both turned on.
CR’s test results: Anker SoundCore Life Q20
Apple’s third-generation AirPods are the latest in the company’s ever-popular line of headphones, and it’s a major upgrade over the previous model. The third-generation are similar to the second-generation AirPods. They feature a number of tweaks and improvements, though, chief among them a significant bump in sound quality. Just don’t get them mixed up with the noise-canceling AirPods Pro—like the classic AirPods, these let in sound from your environment on purpose. That can make it hard to hear your music in noisy surroundings, but they won’t leave you totally cut off from the outside world.
The discounts are modest, but that there’s any savings at all is a little unexpected for a product that only launched in October.
CR’s test results: Apple AirPods (third-generation)
Want to stand out from the crowd? Skip the AirPods and try this well-rated model from Jabra. The noise-canceling true wireless earbuds get high marks in our tests, both for sound-blocking and audio quality. They have some handy features, too: adjustable noise cancellation, customizable audio that’s supposed to optimize to your hearing, an ambient sound monitoring mode, and more. Jabra advertises a 5.5-hour battery life bolstered by a charging case with a built-in battery.
CR’s test results: Jabra Elite 85t
The JBL Tune 510BT headphones are a no-brainer if you’re in the market for affordable headphones. The Bluetooth set delivers pretty good sound quality and it has a 40-hour advertised battery life. The 510BTs sit on the ears, which some people find more comfortable than being engulfed by the more common over-ear style. As an extra perk, you can use them with a cable if you forget to charge them.
CR’s test results: JBL Tune 510BT
This model is a relative newcomer, but it deserves credit for providing very good sound at a bargain price. It’s an on-ear option with a sleek appearance and a price that sometimes dips below $70, making this one of the best values among Bluetooth headphones in our ratings.
It has controls for volume, calls, and playback, a smartphone app for equalizer adjustments, and an advertised 25-hour battery life. It also charges over USB-C, the same cable that powers newer Mac laptops and tons of other devices. Sennheiser is a winner for reliability and owner satisfaction, too, earning superb ratings in both categories.
CR’s test results: Sennheiser HD 250BT headphones
There are lots of great choices if you’re looking for less expensive noise-canceling headphones. One of our top picks is the 1MORE ColorBuds 2, which offers the convenience of true wireless headphones, satisfying sound quality, and superb noise cancellation, all for less than $100, even when they’re not on sale. 1MORE advertises a 6-hour battery life backed by a charging case that holds enough power for two full cycles.
CR’s test results: 1MORE ColorBuds 2