From the original AirPods to the higher-end AirPods Pro, you’ll find Apple’s wireless earbuds hanging on the ears of pedestrians everywhere. If you’re eyeing a new pair, there’s always a deal to be had on the wireless earbuds and headphones. Luckily for you, we’ve done all the deal hunting and list the very best offerings below. In every case, you’re going to be paying significantly less than what Apple charges at its stores.

Also: AirPods 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Which wireless earbuds should you buy?

  • Current Price: $169
  • Original Price: $179

The third generation of Apple AirPods comes with updates to the adaptive EQs and can play up to six hours of listening time on a single charge. With the charging case, you’ll get up to 30 hours of listening. You’ll also get spatial audio with this set of pods.

  • Current Price: $99
  • Original Price: $129

Arguably the most iconic AirPods of Apple’s arsenal, the second-generation earbuds are not the newest on the market, but they make stellar audio accessories, especially for iPhone users. ZDNet’s resident AirPods listener, Jason Cipriani, reviewed the earbuds in 2019 and praised the enduring battery life, quick pairing via Apple’s H1 chip, and overall ease of use.

More: Apple AirPods (2nd Generation) full review

  • Current Price: $179
  • Original Price: $249

With active noise cancellation, superb audio quality that hits the right notes in the lows, mids, and highs, and seamless integration with iPhones, it’s no surprise that the 2-year-old AirPods Pro still sit atop ZDNet’s best wireless earbuds of 2022 list. When we reviewed these earbuds, we found the AirPods Pro to have some of the best microphone and call quality among wireless earbuds, and the cushioned ear tips provide a snug fit no matter the ear shape or size.

The lowest price we’ve seen is $159.

More: Apple AirPods Pro full review

  • Current Price: $479
  • Original Price: $549

There was no bigger flex than when Apple revealed its premium over-the-ear headphones, the AirPods Max, for $549. The price tag is a lot to swallow. ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani and Jason Perlow had the same thought when initially testing the headset, but the two agreed that while expensive, the AirPods Max had the sound quality and performance to justify the ask. A key feature, Spatial Audio, even produces a surround sound experience similar to that of IMAX theaters. Apple didn’t skimp on the hardware either, with a cool-to-the-touch stainless steel polish running from one earmuff to the other.

More: Jason Cipriani’s AirPods Max review | Jason Perlow’s AirPods Max review

When shopping for Apple AirPods, you will come across four different models: 2nd and 3rd-generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, and AirPods Max. These are the factors that may sway you toward one model over the others.

  • AirPods (2nd generation): An icon among wireless earbuds, pick up the 2nd generation AirPods if you’re on a budget but still want stellar audio performance.
  • AirPods (3rd generation): The newly released 3rd generation AirPods bring longer battery life than the predecessor, Apple’s Spatial Audio, and wireless charging.
  • AirPods Pro: Get the AirPods Pro if you want the best wireless earbuds Apple has to offer. It has an exceptional microphone and sound quality, active noise cancellation, and rubberized ear tips for added comfort.
  • AirPods Max: The Max is for those who prefer over-the-ear style headphones and are willing to pay extra for premium hardware and impressive sound performance.

If you don’t like things stuck in or over your ears, ZDNet’s Adrian Kingsley-Hughes strongly suggests bone-conduction wearables such as the Shokz bone conduction headphones. Bone conduction might sound weird, but it’s a way to deliver sound into your ears and still be able to hear everything else that’s going on.

Fortunately, you can pair AirPods to non-Apple devices, including Android phones, tablets, and desktop computers via Bluetooth. However, you will miss out on a couple of features like “Hey Siri” voice commanding and AirPods tracking via Apple’s Find My app. Also, the inability to process Apple’s AAC codec means the audio streaming quality won’t be as good as it is on Apple devices. 

If you ever lose an AirPod or both, there are a couple of ways you can find or replace them.

  1. Apple’s Find My app: Like tracking a lost iPhone, you can use the Find My app to track the location of your lost AirPod(s). Note that this will only work if the earbuds are paired to your iOS device via Bluetooth and the app can only locate the earbuds, not the charging case.
  2. Purchase a spare AirPod from Apple: Your second option is to purchase a left or right AirPod directly from the Apple store. Currently, Apple sells spare earbuds for the AirPods (2nd and 3rd generation) and AirPods Pro. They sell for $69 and $89 each, respectively. Learn more about Apple’s replacement and repair service here.

If you only lost one AirPod and still have the second with the charging case, you can still use it as is.

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