Looking for a bargain on the best headphones? Whether you're after truly wireless headphones or an over-ear pair, we’ve rounded up some of the best offers you can find in the sales 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.
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 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.
We like: Comfortable
We didn’t like: Quite a bit of sound leaks to your surroundings
With the launch of the AirPods 3 in late October, the price of this second-generation model (which launched in 2019) has fallen considerably – its RRP is now £119, when it was originally £159. The best price we can find at the moment is £99.
We like: No sound leakage
We didn't like: No equaliser to adjust sound to your preferences
It's rare to see a saving this large on Apple devices, but with newer AirPods launching very recently we've seen a substantial decrease in prices from this tech giant. They normally retail for around £215 on the high street, but you can pick them up for just £169 from Vchain.
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?
We like: Decent price
We Don't Like: Poor battery life
These Bluetooth earbuds are compatible with Android and IOS and have with controls on each bud. They're water and dust resistant, and produce a decent amount of bass.
Normally around £50, these Skullcandy earbuds are discounted on Amazon marketplace to £27.59.
We like: Over 6 hours of battery life
We Don't Like: Sound quality isn't great when making calls inside
These headphones come with noise cancelling, helping to block out unwanted background sounds. They also come with a charging case which will give you 24 hours of listening.
They're normally on sale for £129, but Amazon currently has them for £99.
We like: Comfortable, good build quality
We Don't Like: Battery life could be better
Samsung's answer to the Apple Airpods Pro, the Galaxy Buds Pro are wireless, in-ear headphones with active noise cancelling designed for use with Android devices. The earpieces are waterproof and they come with a small charging case, so you can charge the battery when you're not using them.
They usually cost £219, but we've found them on sale for £149.
We like: Well built
We Don't Like: Expensive compared with some rivals
These wireless in-ear headphones have a built-in active noise cancelling, helping to block out background noise. Touch controls on the earbuds let you perform functions such as skipping between tracks and turning on noise cancellation. These Bluetooth earbuds are compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Usually retailing for around £229, these Bose earbuds are now available on Amazon for £179.
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.
We like: Comfortable and good build quality
We Don't Like: No headphone controls or travel case
These headphones sit on the ear, and the padded ear muffs make them comfortable for all ages.
They have no sound leakage at all, and they also fold so are perfect for commuting.
They're usually around £45, but now available on Amazon for £34.99.
We like: Noise cancelling feature and little sound leakage
We Don't Like: Not the most comfortable
These are sleek and stylish headphones which are easy to fold and transport. If the battery dies, you can attach a wire and carry on listening. The headphones have playback controls on them, but you can also control them using voice commands.
Normally £119, they're now available on Amazon Marketplace for £99.
We like: Decent battery life
We didn’t like: Build quality and comfort could be better
We like: Good sound quality
We Don't Like: The app works only with Windows
These headphones were launched a while back and have been superseded by the , but they are still worth considering as a cheaper alternative. They usually retail for around £180, but are currently on sale at Amazon Marketplace for around £136.
They have excellent sound quality with very little sound leakage. The battery life is approximately 14 hours and they come with a detachable cable in the event your battery runs out. They can also be activated via the Cortona voice control function.
We like: Compatible with iOS and Android as well as Windows
We don't like: Built quality is a bit rattly
These headphones were launched in June 2020 and are the updated version of the slightly older Microsoft Surface Headphones. They're usually on sale for around £200, but you can pick up a pair from John Lewis for just £159.
We like: Excellent battery life
We didn’t like: Small ear-cups, tight fit
These headphones were released in 2019, but are still worth considering. They are compatible with Google, Siri and Alexa and have various noise cancelling modes. We found they have a tight fit, which won't suit everyone.
Usually around £200, these headphones are now available from Amazon for £159.
We like: Comprehensive smartphone app
We didn’t like: Touch controls could be better
The Sony WH-1000XM3 headphones' sound is supremely balanced and engaging with an excellent active noise cancelling system.
We like: Strong noise cancelling
We didn’t like: Sound lacks dynamism
Bose is renowned for its high-quality headphones, with its QuietComfort 35 II set being one of the most popular.
We like: Voice control
We didn’t like: Battery life could be better
These high-end headphones are very study and have a metal frame. They also have a transparent mode, which lets you hear sound from your surroundings alongside your music (this works well when commuting and listening for announcements). All features can be adjusted in the app, which works on Android and iOS devices.
We like: Impressive noise cancelling
We didn’t like: Not fully foldable, heavy to wear
The Apple Airpods Max are Apple's first over-ear headphones, designed for use with iPhones, Macs and other Apple devices. They feature active noise cancelling and a Transparency mode for when you need to hear more sounds from your surroundings.
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.
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:
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 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 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.
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.
The only way to make fully considered comparisons is to check out our . 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 is a popular place to buy small consumer electronics such as headphones. The retailer often has handy outlets in larger Sainsbury’s stores too.
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.
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 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.
Some headphone manufacturers such as 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.