AirPods are a top choice if you use an iPhone, iPad or Mac thanks to the devices’ seamless integration with Apple’s earbuds. There are four different models of AirPods in Apple’s wireless audio lineup: The second-gen AirPods from 2019 are the least expensive option, while the current, third-gen AirPods boast better sound quality with spatial audio. The AirPods Pro add versatility with active noise cancellation and transparency mode, and the plush AirPods Max over-ear headphones, by far the priciest of the bunch, are packed with high-end features.
As well as the Apple-branded AirPods, there are a couple of Beats-branded earbuds worth considering that also incorporate Apple-made tech for a similarly smooth experience. These include the Beats Fit Pro, which use Apple’s H1 chip for fast, reliable connections and a sporty design for jamming out to tunes at the gym, or while running or otherwise exercising and being active. The Beats Studio Buds lack the H1 chip and the AirPod stem, but they are lightweight, comfortable and affordable.
Here are the best prices you can find on AirPods right now along with the best prices to date for comparison.
Apple AirPods pricing 2022
|Model||Apple Store price||Best price right now||Best all-time price|
|AirPods Pro 2021||$249||$180||$159|
The list above is the full lineup of Apple wireless earbuds and headphones as of early 2022. Except for the baseline AirPods 2, all those listed above (plus the two aforementioned Beats models) are compatible with Apple’s spatial audio features. However, none of them will deliver the maximum quality of Apple’s lossless audio format, which is too rich for the current Bluetooth wireless standard to handle.
We update this story frequently to reflect current pricing.
Unlike the AirPods Pro, these third-generation AirPods have an open-air design, so they don’t have active noise cancellation, but they still offer some serious improvements over the AirPods 2. The adaptive EQ attunes music to your ear shape, and the battery life has been bumped up to 30 hours total. They also have an IPX4 water resistance rating. They are currently selling for $160 at B&H, which is $19 less than you’d pay at Apple. They can often be found at a $29 discount at Amazon, so you may want to wait for that price break to return.
The AirPods Pro are Apple’s most advanced wireless earbuds to date. They offer active noise cancellation and silicone tips so you can immerse yourself in the music, or you can use the transparency mode when you need to be more aware of your surroundings. With the charging case (included in this price) the battery can last over 24 hours on a charge, and they’re on the list of our top wireless earbuds of the year. You can save close to $70 right now on them at Amazon and elsewhere.
While the AirPods 2 aren’t the most advanced model on the market right now, they still boast some impressive specs and are a great choice for those on a tighter budget. They’re equipped with the same H1 chip as the AirPods 3, so they feature the same fast connectivity, and they support hands-free Siri access. Amazon quotes a $59 discount, but Apple has dropped the price of the 2nd-gen AirPods from $159 to $129, so you’re saving only $29.
Apple’s first full-size headphones are chock-full of high-end features like noise cancellation, spatial audio and easy integration with Apple devices. Yes, paying about the same as you would for a PS5 may sound excessive, but here’s the thing: They’re actually kinda worth it, so long as you don’t feel burned by their lack of support for full lossless audio. You can save $70 or close to that figure on AirPods Max in their various colorways.
No, they’re not AirPods, but the Beats Studio Buds offer active noise canceling and make a great affordable alternative to the pricier AirPods Pro. They look a lot like the rumored stemless AirPods that people were talking about but that never materialized — as AirPods, anyway. Geared toward both iOS and Android users, they’re missing a few key features on the Apple side of things (there’s no H1 or W1 chip), but they’re small, lightweight earbuds that are comfortable to wear and offer good sound. They fit most ears securely, including mine — I run with them without a problem — but others may find a better fit with the Beats Fit Pro and their integrated wing tips. Right now, they’re available with a $20 discount, though only for the blue version, at both Amazon and Best Buy.
Technically, the new Beats Fit Pro aren’t AirPods, but they’re built on the same tech platform as the AirPods Pro. Unlike Beats’ earlier and less expensive Studio Buds, the Beats Fit Pro include Apple’s H1 chip and have most of the features of the AirPods Pro, including active noise canceling, spatial audio and Adaptive EQ. I’d venture to call them the sports AirPods you’ve always wanted. And for some people, they might just be better than the AirPods Pro. They are occasionally discounted by $20 at Amazon and Best Buy but are currently selling at full price.