Best Black Friday Smart Speaker and Headphone Deals
Where to find the deepest discounts on audio gifts from Amazon, Beats, Bose, and more
Smart speakers, regular Bluetooth speakers, and wireless headphones may be among the hottest electronics gifts this holiday season. We've combed through the offers from Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, Walmart, and other retailers to find the best Black Friday deals.
Be prepared to pounce. Many doorbuster specials are available during limited time windows in small quantities, and a few retailers are already offering the deals listed below in pre-Black Friday sales.
Smart Speaker Savings
Amazon Echo Show, $180
Starting on Thanksgiving Day, Amazon will cut $50 from the regular price on the revamped Show, which features a 10-inch HD touch screen and a built-in smart-home hub. Our testers give the speaker high marks for its ease of use and versatility, and commended the great sound quality.
Amazon Echo Plus, $110
Amazon and Best Buy will be offering a $40 deal on the new Echo Plus, which has a large, 3-inch woofer designed to deliver stronger bass to accompany clearer midrange and high tones compared with previous Echo models. Our testers say the Plus represents a significant improvement in sound over the previous generation Echo Plus and the second-generation Echo.
Amazon Echo Spot, $90
Starting at 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day (and 12:01 a.m. Central Standard Time online), Kohl's will be selling this smart speaker, which has a compact touch screen, for $40 off its regular selling price of $129, and sweetening the offer with $15 in Kohl's Cash. Amazon will be selling the device for $90, too, but without the bonus cash. Our testers find the Spot to be easy to use but severely lacking in sound quality.
Amazon Echo, $69
Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl's, and Target will be selling the second-generation Echo smart speaker at this $31 discount, but Kohl's improves the offer with $15 in Kohl's Cash. Consumer Reports' testers find the Echo to be easy to use but unimpressive in sound quality.
Amazon Echo Dot, $25
The recently released third-generation Echo Dot will be half-price at Amazon, Best Buy, Kohl's, and Target. If you'd like to save even more money, you can purchase a second-generation Dot at Amazon, Best Buy, and Target for just $20. Our testers say the new Dot is easy to use and improved in sound quality compared with its predecessor. It's not great for music but fine for podcasts. An option for music lovers is to pair the Dot with a Bluetooth speaker.
Apple HomePod, $249
Best Buy is knocking $100 off Apple's infrequently discounted HomePod, selling the Space Gray model for $250. Our testers are impressed by the HomePod's sound, and it's a solid performer for the Apple fan.
Google Home Hub, $99
Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, and Walmart are selling the Home Hub, which features a 7-inch touch screen, for $40 off the regular price, but Kohl's gets the edge with an extra $15 in Kohl's Cash. CR has not yet tested this recently introduced model.
Google Home, $79
Best Buy, Kohl's, and Target are knocking $50 off the price here, but the extra $15 in Kohl's Cash gives that retailer the best deal once again—as long as you have more holiday shopping to do at the store. Our testers find the Home's sound quality lacking, however.
Google Home Mini, $25
Google's smallest smart speaker is selling for about half off at Best Buy, Kohl's, Target, and Walmart. CR's speaker test team is less than impressed with the Mini's sound quality but—like the Amazon Dot—the device can be paired with a Bluetooth speaker for much better sound.
Wireless and Bluetooth Speaker Savings
UE Boom 2, $79
This is a Kohl's deal. The retailer currently sells this speaker—billed by the manufacturer as water-resistant—for $110. At Best Buy, it's priced at $126. So this is a good deal, even before you toss in the additional $15 in Kohl's Cash. Our testers were unimpressed with the speaker's sound quality, though. The speaker will be available for the same price from Dell starting at 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Black Friday.
UE Megaboom, $99
Best Buy is selling UE's larger waterproof wireless speaker, the Megaboom in charcoal black, for $99. That's as much as $140 off Best Buy's regular price, although prices do vary from other retailers. Our testers like the sound of this versatile unit.
JBL Flip 4, $59
Best Buy and Kohl's are slashing the price on the JBL Flip 4 by $40, and the extra $15 in Kohl's Cash makes for one of the top wireless speaker bargains of the season. Our testers like the Flip 4's sound, too, making the speaker a good deal even at full price.
Beats by Dre Powerbeats3 Wireless, $90
This deal is from Target. We haven't rated this model, but Beats by Dre headphones tend to get decent scores in our tests. You can buy great portable headphones for less, but this $90 deal is a significant discount on these earphones, which usually sell for about $150. Best Buy will also have them for $100.
Beats by Dre Studio3 Wireless, $260
Overstock.com will be selling the beats Studio3 Wireless over-ear headphone, which usually goes for $350, for $260. This model has solid sound quality and superb noise-canceling performance. It will also be available from Kohl's for $280 along with $75 in Kohl’s Cash, making the offer a real bargain if you plan to do more shopping at the retailer.
Beats by Dre Solo3 Wireless, $240
The headphones are on sale at Kohl's, and you also get $60 in Kohl’s Cash.This isn’t the first time we’ve seen these over-ear Bluetooth headphones for $240, but they often sell for as much as $300, and they come recommended by our testers, who say the signature bass is deep with good impact.
Bose QuietComfort 35 Series II, $299
Dell is providing a good deal on great headphones. The QuietComfort 35 Series II is one of the best-scoring noise-canceling headphones in our tests, both for that feature and for sound quality. Discounts on this wireless over-ear pair are unusual, so the $50 you'll save is significant. The headphones will be available in limited quantities at Dell.com starting at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Thanksgiving.
Bose SoundSport Wireless, $99
The earphones will be available at this price from Best Buy, Dell, and Walmart. The Bose SoundSport Wireless earphones don’t have noise-canceling technology like some of the company’s better-known products, but they’re among the top-rated portable Bluetooth models in our ratings. This price is $50 to $100 off what you’ll usually pay, which makes it a deal worth jumping on.
Jabra Elite 65t, $120
Best Buy has this great price on the Jabra Elite Active 65t, which is a true wireless model, meaning there's no cord connecting the two earpieces. This model stands out among wireless models for its top-notch sound, a decent advertised battery life, and appealing features like a quick-charge function. Best Buy's deal is $50 off the usual price, and it's already available.
Jaybird X3, $60
These well-rated wireless earphones are targeted at runners, with a slim profile and what's advertised as a water-resistant design. (We don't test that feature.) The Jaybird X3 is available at Best Buy right now for about $20 off the everyday price of $80 as part of a pre-Black Friday sale.
JBL E55BT, $60
This Dell price is about 50 percent off the usual price for wireless, over-ear JBL E55BT Wireless headphones. Our testers were unimpressed with their sound quality, however. This early-bird, online deal from Dell starts at 8 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, Nov. 18.
SOL Republic Shadow Wireless, $49
The brand SOL Republic is having its own Black Friday sale on its website, offering 30 percent off its headphones and free shipping on orders over $29.99 when you type in the code "SOLFRIDAY." That knocks about $20 off the price of the Shadow Wireless earphones, which is one of the best portable wireless models in our tests.
Sony WH-1000MX2, $200
Best Buy is selling these over-ear headphones for $100 off the usual price in stores starting on Thanksgiving. Over the last few years, Sony has been challenging Bose for the top spot in the noise-canceling headphone category. The wireless WH-1000MX2 didn't score quite as high as Bose's flagship models, but it produces great sound, and scores very high on noise-canceling effectiveness, too.