November 29, 2020
Best Black Friday 2020 headphone sales: Sony, Beats, Galaxy Buds and more deals available now

Best Black Friday 2020 headphone sales: Sony, Beats, Galaxy Buds and more deals available now


This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2020, CNET’s gift picks with expert advice, reviews and recommendations for the latest tech gifts for you and your family.

The Black Friday deals are already in full swing, and if you’ve been thinking about buying a new pair of headphones, several of the deals listed here are for some of our favorite models. The sales aren’t limited to just one type of headphone, either — there are excellent bargains on on-ear, over-ear, noise-canceling and true-wireless headphones. 

In some cases, prices for headphones are matching their all-time lows or even dipping below all-time lows. Here are the best headphone deals available right now. I’ll update this list as more models continue to go on sale and other deals expire.

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Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Live earbuds came out a few months ago and we’re already seeing them discounted. It’s not a huge discount ($30), but it’s almost 20% off. They have perhaps the most innovative design of the year and I rated them highly, although the noise canceling is relatively light. One warming: While they fit my ears very well, due to their shape, they won’t work for everybody. 


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Swedish company Urbanista’s London true-wireless earbuds are a good alternative to the AirPods at less than half the price. Currently, on Amazon, the black or white versions are $100, and if you clip an instant coupon for 20% off, their price drops to $80).

They look a lot like Apple’s AirPods Pro and have noise canceling with a transparency mode, as well as a sensor that detects when you take the earbuds out of your ears and pauses your music. They sound better than the AirPods Pro, with clean, well-balanced sound and punchy, well-defined bass and nice detail. On top of that, they’re good for making calls, with good noise reduction so people hear you well, even if there’s noise in the background.

Their only downside is that their touch controls are somewhat limited and not quite as easy to use as those of the AirPods Pro. They also sound distinctly different when you have them in ambient (transparency) mode and noise-canceling mode. Battery life is rated at five hours — the same as the AirPods Pro — but that’s not as good as some of the latest true wireless earbuds with noise cancellation. The compact charging case, which charges via USB-C, gives you an additional four charges.  

Sony

The WF-XB700 is in the company’s Extra Bass line and lists for $130. I’ve tried them and really liked their fit. Their sound quality doesn’t measure up to that of the WF-1000XM3 or WF-SP800N (it lacks some clarity), but if you like bass, they’re decent-sounding earbuds. I thought they were a little expensive at $130. At $62 off, or $68 — hitting their all-time low — they’re a much more enticing option. Read our Sony WF-XB700 Extra Bass first take.

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The Beats Powerbeats Pro regularly hit $200 and sometimes get a little better discount, but $160 for the yellow version is near the lowest price we’ve seen. Read our Beats Powerbeats Pro review.

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The Beats Solo Pro are a very good set of on-ear noise-canceling headphones. The only issue is they’re overpriced at $300. At $180, they’re downright enticing. This is below the earlier sale price of $200 that we were seeing a few weeks back, but a bit above the $170 we were seeing earlier. Read our Beats Solo Pro review.

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The WF-1000XM3 earbuds list for $230 and are now frequently on sale, although $168 is near their low price. They’re still the best-sounding wireless earbuds in this price range and also feature active noise cancellation technology to reduce ambient noise.

The only drawback is the WF-1000XM3 earbuds aren’t rated as sweat-proof or waterproof headphones. That said, I’ve used them for light workouts with a bit of a sweat at the gym without a problem. They use Bluetooth 5.0 with support for AAC, but not aptX.

Note that we’ve been expecting Sony to release the next-generation WF-1000XM4, but at this point, we may not see those before 2021. Read our Sony WF-1000XM3 review.

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It took a while, but now we finally have a new true wireless noise-canceling sports model from Sony: the WF-SP800N. Funnily enough, I wrote at the end of my mostly positive review that I’d like to see them more in the $160-$175 range. They were recently down to $127, but the current $148 price is still $50 below list, and $20 below their usual street price.

This isn’t quite the WF-1000XM3 with a water-resistant body. It’s missing Sony’s QN1e processor, but there’s still a lot to like about it, including very good sound, solid noise canceling and good call quality. It’s definitely a significant upgrade over the WF-SP700N, which came out in 2018, and its “arcs” (sports fins) lock the buds in your ears. Just make sure you get a tight seal from one of the included ear tips or else both the sound and noise canceling will be lackluster. Read our Sony WF-SP800N review.

Sony

If you can’t afford Sony’s WH-1000XM4, the company’s more entry-level WH-CH710N noise-canceling headphones are down to $88 after hitting $100 recently. They don’t offer the sound quality, build quality or noise-canceling performance of Sony’s 1000X models, but at $88 they offer good value for money. I don’t think they’re worth anywhere near $200, their list price.    

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Sony’s newest noise-canceling headphones — and arguably the top noise-canceling headphones out there — recently went on sale for $300 as part of Amazon’s Prime Day. They’re now available for $278, the lowest price yet. Read our Sony WH-1000XM4 review.

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Bose’s Noise Canceling 700 Headphones ($379) are the company’s current flagship noise-canceling headphone, but in recent weeks, we’ve seen the older but arguably more comfortable QuietComfort 35 II, get big discounts. It’s currently selling for $299, though $199 is the lowest price we’ve seen for it.

Note that with Sony discounting its new WH-1000XM4 to $278, we may see the Noise Canceling 700 Headphones also get some nice discounts as we head into the holidays. Read our QuietComfort 35 II review.

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The Jabra Elite 85h at $150 is a good value alternative to pricier premium noise-canceling headphones from Bose and Sony. It features good sound, a comfortable fit and excellent voice-calling performance, which makes it a good option for working from home. Read our Jabra Elite 85h review.

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Jabra’s Elite Active 75t are the slightly more rugged version of the Elite 75t, which are also on sale (they’re $140 or $40 off). Both models are among the best true wireless earbuds out there and now can be upgraded with active noise canceling via a software upgrade. (New models that shipped to stores recently may already be equipped with the upgrade.)

The Elite Active 75t look nearly identical to the Elite 75t, but upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the finish on the case and earbuds is slightly different. Instead of the hard smooth finish of the Elite Active 75t, the Active 75t have a soft-to-the-touch finish with a touch of grip to it. Or, as Jabra put it, they’re “built with a durable coating for dust and sweat resistance and features an increased IP water-resistance rating from IP56 (of the Elite Active 75t) to IP57, making them waterproof.” Read our Jabra Elite Active 75t review.

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This is the lowest price we’ve seen for the Jaybird Vista, a very good set of true wireless sports earbuds that really lock in your ears (they’re one of top picks for runners) and are fully waterproof. The Vista has been out a while, so it’s due for an upgrade — maybe that’s why it’s on sale at its lowest price — but if a new model comes out any time soon, it’ll probably cost around $180. Amazon (linked below) has the grey model discounted; if you want “planetary green,” grab it at Jaybird’s siteRead our Jaybird Vista review.

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