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-II

Full 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 Pro

Full 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

The Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless workout earbuds sit outside of the closed charging case, all objects are covered in sprinkles of water.

The Bose Sport Earbuds boast an IPX4 water-resistance rating.

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 ($69) at Amazon

Beats Powerbeats Pro ($174.95) at Amazon

Bose Sport Earbuds ($159) at Amazon

Jabra Elite Active 75t ($149) at Amazon

Jabra Elite 65t ($69.99) at Amazon

Jabra Elite 75t ($139) at Amazon

Jaybird Vista ($99.99) at Amazon

JBL LIVE 300 ($74) at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Buds Live ($139) at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus ($109.99) at Amazon

Sennheiser CX 400BT ($129.98) at Amazon

Skullcandy Indy ($34.99) at Amazon

Skullcandy Push ($39) at Amazon

Skullcandy Sesh Evo ($24) at Best Buy

Skullcandy Sesh Indy Evo ($39) at Amazon

Sony WF-XB700 ($68) at Amazon

1MORE Dual Driver ANC Pro ($108) at Amazon

Black Friday audio deals: Wireless earbuds

The Apple Beats Powerbeats on a book and next to the Master & Dynamic MW07 Plus true wireless noise cancellinlg earphones.

Beats redesigned its Powerbeats earphones, so they have a more mature appearance than before.

Aftershokz Aeropex bone conduction headphones ($124) at Amazon

Aftershokz Air ($99) at Amazon

BeatsX ($39) at Best Buy

Bose SoundSport Wireless ($89) at Amazon

Jaybird Tarah ($29) at Amazon

Beats Powerbeats ($99) at Amazon

Black Friday audio deals: Wireless Bluetooth headphones

The Beats Solo Pro on-ear noise cancelling headphones in profile against a wooden background.

The ivory headset looks sophisticated and modern.

Beats Solo3 Wireless ($119.95) at Amazon

Beats Solo Pro Wireless (169.99) at Amazon

Bose QuietComfort 35 II ($199) at Amazon

Jabra Elite 85h ($149.99) at Amazon

Sennheiser HD 450BT ($99.95) at Amazon

Shure AONIC 50 ($299) at Amazon

Sony WH-CH710N ($88) at Amazon

Sony WH-XB900N ($123) at Amazon

Black Friday audio deals: Gaming headsets

The Bose QuietComfort lays flat on a wooden table plugged into its volume dial.

The Bose QC 35 II Gaming Headset is as comfortable as gaming gets.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Gaming Headset ($296) at Amazon

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

Razer Kraken Ultimate ($69) at Amazon

Razer Kraken X ($32) at Amazon

Black Friday audio deals: Wireless Bluetooth speakers and smart speakers

The Twilight blue Amazon Echo 4th gen with the LED light glowing blue on a white desk.

When you activate Alexa the LED light on the speaker shines blue so you know it’s listening.

Amazon Echo (4th Gen) ($69) at Amazon

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

JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth speaker ($119) at Amazon

JBL Flip 5 Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth speaker ($79) at Amazon

Sonos Beam soundbar ($299) at Amazon

Sonos Move ($299) at Amazon

Sony SRS-XB33 IP67 Wireless Speaker ($118) at Amazon

Black Friday audio deals: Music streaming services

Deezer Premium 12-month subscription ($59.99) at Deezer

Tidal HiFi ($1.99 for 4-months) at Tidal

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