Well, the day finally came: it’s Black Friday again. After all that’s gone on in 2020, the year is coming to a close and retailers are once again making an attempt at your hard-earned cash with some sales after your socially-distant Thanksgiving (Ed. note: real Thanksgiving was in October).
Of course, we always suggest waiting for the right model of headphones for you—but sometimes you need a gift, or maybe serendipity is smiling upon you in an otherwise monstrously crappy year. Here’s the best of what’s out there this Black Friday, with a healthy dose of our usual skepticism.
The best noise canceling headphones deal for Black Friday 2020 is the Sennheiser PXC 550-II
Sure, the hot item on everyone’s wish list is the Sony WH-1000XM4, but hear us out. Not only is the Sennheiser PXC 500-II an excellent set of headphones, they’re also far more affordable this year at $199.95. That’s a tough price to beat for headphones that give some of the top tier cans a run for their money.
Sennheiser PXC 550-IIFull Review
They’re not without their foibles, for example, they don’t support the hi-res LDAC codec. However, the use of AAC, aptX, and aptX Low Latency means that you’re in for a less frustrating time when you stream video content. If you’d like, check out how they stack up against the Sony WH-1000XM4 before buying. But we gotta tell ya: $200 is a very good price for these headphones.
The step-up option
If you’re bummed that the Sony WH-1000XM4 isn’t discounted further: don’t be. You can pick up the Sony WH-1000XM3—headphones that are nearly identical in every way but better Bluetooth codecs and no multipoint—for $229.99. A full breakdown is here, but this is one set of headphones that isn’t worse than its successor.
If you’re a fan of AirPods, pick up the AirPods Pro
AirPods don’t often go on sale, but they did this time: you can find them for a copper under $190. At this price, they’re poised competitively against competing options from Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser. However, you may not want to grab these if you’re not an iPhone user, as many of their features don’t work without that H1 chip.
Apple AirPods ProFull Review
If you’d like to explore alternatives, there’s plenty out there. You can get better noise canceling from the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2 (on sale for $249), or better sound from the Sony WF-1000XM3 (also on sale, for $168). This event was kind to true wireless earphones, so it’s hard to go wrong here.
Consider these other deals, too
Of course, these are just a few of the available deals, and who knows? Maybe there’s something specific you’re looking for.
This list will be updated as the day goes on and our staff is able to point you in the right direction. I may have drawn the short straw on the graveyard shift this year, but our staff will be scraping the deals as they come in long after I’ve clocked out at 6am today. All prices are listed in USD, unless stated otherwise.
Black Friday audio deals: True wireless earbuds
Skullcandy Push ($39) at Amazon
Skullcandy Sesh Evo ($24) at Best Buy
Skullcandy Sesh Indy Evo ($39) at Amazon
Black Friday audio deals: Wireless earbuds
Aftershokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones ($124) at Amazon
Aftershokz Air ($99) at Amazon
BeatsX ($39) at Best Buy
Black Friday audio deals: Wireless Bluetooth headphones
Black Friday audio deals: Gaming headsets
Corsair Void RGB Elite with 7.1 surround sound ($59) at Amazon
HyperX Cloud Alpha S ($99) at Amazon
HyperX Cloud Stinger Core ($64) at Amazon
JBL Quantum 800 Wireless ($179) at Amazon
Logitech G432 DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound Wired ($39) at Amazon
Logitech G733 Lightspeed ($119) at Amazon
Razer Kraken ($49) at Amazon
Black Friday audio deals: Wireless Bluetooth speakers and smart speakers
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen) ($28) at Amazon
Amazon Echo Studio with two free Hue Bulbs ($159) at Amazon
JBL Boombox Waterproof Bluetooth speaker ($279) at Amazon
Sonos Beam soundbar ($299) at Amazon
Sony SRS-XB33 IP67 Wireless Speaker ($118) at Amazon