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15 April 2021

Best wireless headphones deals for 2021

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 Bose, Mpow 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 April 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.

Our market experts update this page monthly; the deals we’ve pulled out were all available on 1 April 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 headphone have a wire or a neckband between the two earpieces.

1. Apple AirPods – £119

  • 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, Easy to use

We didn’t like: Quite a bit of sound leaks to your surroundings, Fairly loose fit

You don’t often come across a huge deal on an Apple product, but this is a decent £6 saving on the typical selling price of £125 at major retailers.

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

Buy for £119 at Laptops Direct.

2. Apple AirPods Pro – £189

  • 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 £189 at Laptops Direct and Appliances Direct.

3. Mpow M30 Wireless Earbuds – around £30 

  • Truly wireless headphones with flexible eartips
  • Among the cheapest truly wireless headphones available
  • iOS and Android device compatible
  • Five hours claimed battery life
  • 20 hours total claimed battery life with top-ups from charging case

We like: Great price, Truly wireless, Waterproof

We didn’t like: Build quality, Could be more comfortable

There’s loads of options if you’re looking for cheap truly wireless headphones – but how do you know which to go for? This popular pair on Amazon has more than 25,000 five-star user reviews. But are they really a good alternative to the Apple AirPods, and is there anything to watch out for?

Our independent lab tests have all the answers: see our Mpow M30 Wireless Earbuds review.

Buy for around £30 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 – £187

  • 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, these have now been succeeded by Sony's 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 of more than £50 less than 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 £187 at OnBuy.com.

2. Jabra Elite 85h – around £169

  • Over-ear wireless headphones
  • iOS and Android device compatible
  • Cheaper than many big-brand rival active noise cancelling headphones
  • 36 hours claimed battery life with noise cancelling

We like: Superb battery life, Good fit, Nice app

We didn’t like: The optional PC software

These flagship headphones from Jabra are often attractively priced a touch lower than those from heavyweight brands such as Bose and Sennheiser. The battery life is impressive here – you may well only need to charge them weekly.

Discover if these are a match for more expensive rivals in our Jabra Elite 85h review

They can be had for around £169 at Amazon (exact price depending on the colour), a saving of around £50 on their typical price.

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 they’re 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: the best time to get a great cheap headphones deal?

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.


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