We use cookies to allow us and selected partners to improve your experience and our advertising. By continuing to browse you consent to our use of cookies. You can understand more and change your cookies preferences here.


When you click on a retailer link on our site, we may earn affiliate commission to help fund our not-for-profit mission.Find out more.

14 October 2021

Best headphones and AirPods deals

The best wireless headphones deals chosen by Which? tech experts, including cheap wireless headphones, Apple AirPods deals and the best deals from brands such as Anker, Bose and Sony
Oliver Trebilcock

Looking for a bargain on the best headphones? Whether you're looking for truly wireless headphones or an over-ear pair, we’ve rounded up some of the best offers you can find right now.

Headphones come at a huge range of prices, from £5 to more than £300, and a small saving on a pair of cheap headphones can be as worthwhile as a larger saving on a more expensive pair.

You'll need to be prepared to spend more if you’re looking for an effective pair of active noise cancelling headphones, as our tests have found that good pairs rarely come cheap.

Best headphones deals for October 2021

There are attractively-priced and cheap headphones deals available all year round. Some models are always cheap and can be great to snap up at any time of the year, while some pricier sets get huge discounts during promotional periods.

The deals we’ve pulled out were all available on 30 September 2021. Deals won’t necessarily last the full month.

Best deals on earbud and in-ear headphones

The most popular kind of in-ear and earbud headphones are truly wireless headphones such as the Apple AirPods. They’re compact and save you from daily untangling of wires.

Other styles of wireless headphones have a wire or a neckband between the two earpieces.

1. Apple AirPods – £125

Apple AirPods
  • Truly wireless headphones (earbuds)
  • Apple iOS and Android device compatible (some non-essential features are iOS-only)
  • Five hours claimed battery life
  • 24 hours total claimed battery life with top-ups from charging case

We like: Comfortable

We didn’t like: Quite a bit of sound leaks to your surroundings

You don’t often come across a huge deal on an Apple product, but the best price this month is £125 from John Lewis and Amazon.

Find out whether they’re the best option to choose in our Apple AirPods review

Buy for £125 at John Lewis or Amazon

2. Apple AirPods Pro - £169

Apple airpods pro
  • Truly wireless headphones with flexible eartips
  • Designed for Apple iOS (basic functions and noise cancelling work on Android devices)
  • Active noise cancelling
  • IPX4 rating for water resistance

We like: Easy to use, no sound leaks to your surroundings, water resistant, offers wireless charging

We didn’t like: Limited functionality on Android devices, no equaliser to adjust sound preferences

Normally selling for around £215 in the main high-street retailers, a good discount can be had on the AirPods Pro by turning to online sellers at the moment.

Find out whether they’re the best option for you in our Apple AirPods Pro review.   

Buy for £169 at Vchain

3. Skullcandy Jib Wireless - £12

  • Bluetooth in-ear headphones
  • In-line remote for calls and music control
  • Six hours claimed battery life

We like: Great price, Bluetooth connectivity

We didn’t like: Battery life could be better

The two earbuds are connected by a cord, but they link wirelessly to your phone. However, can a set of Bluetooth headphones costing this little possibly sound great?

Our independent lab tests have all the answers: see our Skullcandy Jib Wireless review.

Buy for around £12 at Amazon

Best deals on over-ear and on-ear headphones 

On-ear headphones sit on top of your ears, while over-ear headphones surround and cup your ears. This makes on-ear headphones more compact, while over-ear headphones can be more comfortable for longer listening sessions. 

Both types tend to have much longer continuous-listening battery lives than in-ear headphones.

1. Sony WH-1000XM3 – from £159

Sony WH-1000XM3 Black Friday
  • Over-ear wireless headphones
  • iOS and Android device compatible
  • Sony claims ‘industry-leading’ active noise cancelling
  • 30 hours claimed battery life with noise cancelling

We like: Noise cancelling, well-featured smartphone app

We didn’t like: Touch controls could be better

Originally costing £330 at launch, a higher-end pair is now available the Sony WH-1000XM4s, meaning you can now get them at an exceptionally low cost for a high-end flagship pair. This price is the best we've found this month, a huge saving on their typical price at many major retailers.

See the verdict of our professional listening panel in our Sony WH-1000XM3 review

Buy the black version for £159 or the white version for £188 at OnBuy.com

2. Sennheiser RS 175 – £170

  • Over-ear wireless headphones 
  • Claimed range of 100m 
  • Also known as 'RS 175-U' – they’re the same headphones

We like: Connects to TV and hi-fi

We didn’t like: Can’t be used outdoors (connect wirelessly to their dock)

These aren’t usual headphones: they have a dock that you connect via a wire to your TV, and the headphones have a custom wireless connection to the dock. They’re highly convenient for TV listening as the headphones charge themselves whenever you place them back on the dock.

Normally priced at around £229 these premium build wireless headphones are currently available with a substantial £60 discount..

Discover if these are a match for their rivals in our Sennheiser RS 175 review.

Buy them at Amazon for £170

How we select the best headphone deals

Apple AirPods are also incredibly popular, and big savings on Apple products are rare, so we keep a close eye on the prices of these iconic headphones to pull out any rare bargains.

Be aware that not all price cuts are as good as they seem. Even if a retailer promotes a big price cut, it doesn’t guarantee that you won’t find the headphones cheaper elsewhere, or that the pair is good enough to justify even a rock-bottom price.

We only feature deals on headphones that score pretty well in our tests, though they’re not all Best Buys. You can make sure that the headphones you have your eye on deliver where it matters to you – be that sound quality, comfort, ease of use or battery life – by clicking on the links to our full reviews.

When and where are the best headphones on sale?

Some headphones are cheap all year, while pricier sets from big-brand names such as Sony and Bose get their prices slashed at certain times of year. 

However, just because the price tag highlights a huge saving, it doesn’t mean the offer is as special as is claimed. Retailers use all sorts of tricks to try to convince you to buy, such as:  

  • Making something seem like a ‘hot’ product by flagging how many people are viewing the product around the same time as you, which can give a sense of urgency and make you feel it’s popular.
  • Giving low stock warnings, which can also encourage a hasty purchase. 

It’s worth stepping back from these messages and ensuring the product really is a good deal, as it could just be one being heavily marketed at that time.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the most popular retailers to buy headphones from, and what to watch out for to identify a genuinely great deal. 

Apple Store headphones deals

Apple headphones, such as the AirPods, are very popular, but the Apple Store is usually not the place to go if you’re looking for the best price, as Apple rarely cuts its prices when selling direct. 

You’d be better off keeping an eye on big tech retailers such as Amazon and Currys PC World. These often offer considerable savings over the recommended retail price of Apple products to tempt your custom their way.

Click on the links below to head to these key retailers’ dedicated AirPods pages and see what they have to offer right now:

Amazon headphones deals

Amazon can be a great place to compare prices and snap up a bargain on headphones from big name brands such as Bose, Sennheiser or Sony – and it offers some particularly good deals around Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday and other promotional periods. 

What to watch out for

Search for headphones on Amazon.co.uk and you’ll also find loads of very cheap pairs for sale, including many brands you’ve probably never heard of – names that crop up regularly include Anker, Mpow and Enacfire. Many of them will have hundreds, or even thousands, of positive reviews. 

If you’re tempted by the low prices of lesser-known brands, proceed with caution. Just because you haven’t heard of a brand doesn’t automatically make the headphones a bad buy, and we’ve found some great cheap headphones in our testing. However, we’ve also found many that have disappointed our lab experts, despite the apparently endless number of rave reviews.

Which? investigations repeatedly show that product reviews on online marketplaces such as Amazon can’t always be trusted, and a huge numbers of positive reviews for budget-priced products is something to be sceptical about.

The only way to make fully considered comparisons is to check out our headphone reviews. There are so many pairs on Amazon we don’t test them all, but we do review some of the most popular models from brands that regularly feature in Amazon's bestsellers charts, such as Anker, Mpow and Enacfire.

Argos headphones deals

Argos is a popular place to buy small consumer electronics such as headphones. The retailer often has handy outlets in larger Sainsbury’s stores too.  

Argos often has good deals on individual headphones, so it can be worth checking the Argos website on occasion to see what new pairs its promoting heavily.

Argos also has a clearance section. It’s worth keeping an eye on, as clearance deals at Argos are often genuine discounts on stock that it’s trying to get rid of. 

What to watch out for

Be wary of headphones marked with a ‘WOW’; Argos uses this to pull your attention to a product (often its own-brand Bush range), and it doesn’t always mean that the headphones are a good deal. 

Also watch for ‘Great new price’ labels, as that is no guarantee the price is better than the old one.

Currys PC World headphones deals and ‘clearance’ sales

While Currys PC World can offer some genuinely great headphone deals on its dedicated deals page, it’s worth scrutinising the small print.

What to watch out for

Many Currys PC World deals aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. The retailer sometimes puts headphones on sale at an inflated price, before suddenly dropping the price to a more appropriate level just a few weeks later. This can make the saving seem bigger than it actually is – and doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t find the same headphones cheaper elsewhere.   

Currys PC world also has a ‘clearance’ page that, at certain times of year, is packed with headphones. However, whatever the term ‘clearance’ might suggest, discounts on these models can be very small or, in some cases, nothing at all. Currys may want to shift stock, but it doesn’t guarantee it’s a good deal.

Black Friday headphones and AirPods deals

There are great headphones deals available all year round, but you can bag some of the  biggest bargains in the buying season surrounding Black Friday. Black Friday itself hits at the end of November each year, but deals begin to ramp up through November, continue through Cyber Monday, and may linger on towards Christmas.

Are headphones trade-in schemes a good deal?

Some headphone manufacturers such as Apple and Jabra also offer trade-in schemes for the headphones, where you send back your current pair for a discount on a newer model, and they responsibly recycle your old pair.

This can be a good way to get an even better deal on your new pair of headphones, although the manufacturer’s discount will often be on the standard retail price rather than any lower price commonly offered by other retailers, so the discount can seem larger than it actually is.

Head over to our how to buy the best headphones guide to find more about how to buy the ideal pair of headphones for you.